California State University, Fresno has been named a Military Friendly School for 2011 by G.I. Jobs magazine for its dedication to the veteran community.
G.I. Jobs is targeted on individuals leaving the military and adjusting to civilian work or education. The schools on its list are the top 15 percent of all colleges and universities in service to veterans.
Fresno State was recognized for its efforts to ease veterans’ transition to a new lifestyle, said Robyn Gutierrez, coordinator of the Fresno State Veterans Affairs Office, and for the office’s comprehensive services.
Fresno State participates in the California State University Troops to College program, designed to attract more veterans to California’s public universities and colleges by making campuses more veteran-friendly.
The university’s Veterans Affairs Office, within the Division of Student Affairs, helps veteran students maximize educational benefits and understand the benefits process.
The office also helped its students form the Fresno State Student Veterans Organization last year. The club is recruiting from among the 350 veterans, reservists and active-duty personnel enrolled this fall.
The club promotes communication between student veterans, helps them connect with services, resources and organizations and encourages development of social and professional relationships among members as they continue to serve their country.
Club members are planning a campus observance of Veterans Day for Nov. 10 and will participate in the Fresno Veterans Parade on Nov. 11 which is led by the Fresno State Bulldog Marching Band.
Fresno State hosts two reserve officer training programs through its Aerospace Studies Program (Air Force) and Military Science Studies (Army).
The AFRTOC detachment was founded in 1948, just one year after the Air Force became an official branch of America’s military. It is one of the top-achieving AFROTC units, winning prestigious Right of Line Award for Best Detachment honors the past two years, a rare achievement.
Lt. Col. John M. Lussi, Aerospace Studies chair and professor of, applauded GI Jobs accolade for Fresno State, saying, “I could not be happier with the amount of popular support that Air Force ROTC Detachment 35 receives from Fresno State and the local community.
“Whether it be our relationship with the 144th Fighter Wing of the California National Guard at the airport, veterans at the Clovis Veterans Memorial Building or just patriotic people all around town; the Valley is a great place for military – past, present, and future,” Lussi added.
Army ROTC, at Fresno State since 1982, has commissioned hundreds of line and nurse officers for the active, National Guard and Reserve units.
Lt. Col. Scott T. Figlioli, Military Science chair and professor, said, “Army ROTC cadets receive unbelievable support from the Fresno community, organizations and businesses.”
“This program is fortunate to be located among such a military friendly community and our cadets give much of their personal time to volunteer in order give back to the community and university that they love,” he added.
“Fresno and the surrounding area have a high concentration of active duty, National Guard and reserve military organizations,” said Figlioli. “Many of our cadets choose to serve as members of those organizations after they gain commissions as Army officers in order to remain in Fresno and the Central Valley.”
The university also pays tribute to the military with flyovers at Bulldogs football games by the 144th Fighter Wing of the California National Guard and Naval Air Station, Lemoore. Three years ago, two B-1 Lancer bombers conducted a flyover from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., to honor a Fresno State alumnus who led development of the plane.
To view the GI Jobs list, visit the website at http://www.militaryfriendlyschools.com.
For more information about the Fresno State Veterans Affairs Office, call 559.278.7030.
(University Communications news intern Sadie Thomas contributed to this report.)