Military Member Pursues Degree at UMO

GOLDSBORO- Returning to school is an advantage that many veterans have after the Post 9/11 GI Bill was passed, which provides them with educational benefits. Over one million veterans and their families are attending college because of these benefits.


When Tim Carr of Battle Creek, Michigan graduated from high school in 2009, he was unsure of which direction his life was going.


Carr had a job selling car audio equipment for almost a year after graduation. “I started getting tired of doing the same thing every day without having a real plan of where my life was going,” Carr said.


After talking to a coworker’s brother who was serving in the Air Force, Carr decided to join the military. Both of his older brothers have been in the military as well. One has served in the Army, and the other is currently in the Navy.


“While I was in high school, the only class I enjoyed was Air Force JROTC, which helped familiarize me with the basic structure and organization of the military,” Carr explained. “I always felt like I would be a good fit for the military. I went to basic training in January of 2011 and have loved it ever since.”


Carr works as a Staff Sergeant in the Munitions Flight on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. “We store, transport, maintain, and build all munitions and explosives assigned to the base,” he explained. Carr has deployed to Afghanistan, UAE, and other locations.


Although many veterans decide to return to college, Carr was not particularly looking to continue his educational journey. However, once he was given the chance, he decided to take it.


Carr’s decision to return to college was encouraged by his supervisor. “After having such a hard time in high school, I never planned on going back to school or taking any college courses. My supervisor suggested that I take a class to at least try it and see if I’d like it,” he said.


When Carr spoke to an academic advisor at the University of Mount Olive (UMO) at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, he felt encouraged to continue his education.  He enrolled the next day seeking a bachelor’s degree in leadership. He is expected to graduate in 2020.


“I feel that a degree in leadership will be useful to me both in my military career and later in the civilian workforce,” Carr said.


As a military friendly institution, the University of Mount Olive is well known for its ability to work with members of the military in obtaining their degrees.


“I completed quite a few courses during my last deployment,” Carr shared.  “The intermittent internet access was often a challenge. However, I just made sure that I stayed in contact with my instructors and let them know of any issues I had. They were always very understanding and willing to work with me.”


Carr believes that attending UMO has already helped him in his career.


“Attending UMO has definitely changed my life.  I took a public speaking course through UMO and use the lessons almost daily during meetings and briefings. I now feel more confident when conversing with people of higher ranks and positions, and I can tell a difference in how I carry myself.  I feel as though I am becoming a better supervisor, mentor, and future leader.”


Carr lives in Pikeville, NC.


The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has locations in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Research Triangle Park, Washington, Jacksonville, in Smithfield at Johnston Community College, and online. For more information, visit