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While deployed, it was very easy to communicate and attend the classes.


Brian Habel, who is in charge of recruiting and retention for the Illinois Army National Guard, earned a perfect 4.0 GPA at Ashford University despite his military commitment – which included an overseas deployment!

Brian credits the staff and technology behind Ashford’s online platform for making it possible. “While deployed, it was very easy to communicate and attend the classes. Being online, you can feel like you’re a million miles away with a lot of different schools, but the customer service at Ashford has been outstanding.”

This Rock Island, IL resident has been active duty National Guard since 1986 and has has five children and stepchildren ranging from elementary school age to adult. “It keeps you busy!”

Prior to enrolling at Ashford, Brian had attended three different community colleges along with going through his military training. Luckily, these credits didn’t go to waste. “Ashford made it very easy for me to attend online. They transferred everything in and gave me a good idea of what path to take from there.”

How does Brian explain the incredible achievement of having earned a perfect 4.0 GPA despite his professional, family, and travel commitments? “That was kind of personal goal for my kids; showing them that when you’re going to do something, jump in with both feet rather than halfway. Having a 4.0 meant I was making the most out of that opportunity that Ashford was presenting to me. I wanted to take everything out of the college experience that I could. That included joining multiple honor societies and graduating summa cum laude. So it’s being a role model for my soldiers, my family, and the community as a whole.”

The professional benefits of having earned a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management degree, which he did at the age of 46, have been tangible as well. “My team does a lot of projects within the community, so it gives me new ideas, fresh information, and more knowledge to pass on to them about how to make successful projects happen.” Brian also feels his degree will benefit him in the future. “They’re telling me I’m going to have to retire one of these days, and I’m going have to find a ‘real job’ – I’m hoping the knowledge and experience that I’ve gained from Ashford is going to help me in my next career when I retire from the military.”

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