General Program Questions
When was Troops to Teachers created and
who administers it?
Troops to Teachers (TTT) was established in 1994 as a Department of
Defense program. The National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2000
transferred responsibility for program oversight and funding
the U.S. Department of Education but continued operation by the
Department of Defense. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
provides for continuation of TTT. TTT is managed by the
Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES), Pensacola,
What is the purpose of the Troops to
Reflecting the focus of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, TTT’s
primary objective is to help recruit quality teachers for K-12
schools that serve low-income families throughout America. TTT
helps relieve teacher shortages in subjects such as math, science,
and special education, and assists military personnel in making
successful transitions to second careers in teaching.
Why should I register in the Troops to
TTT assists in several ways:
1. Pending availability of funds, financial assistance may be
provided to eligible individuals as stipends up to $5K to help pay
for teacher certification costs or as bonuses of $10K. Stipend and
bonus recipients must agree to teach for three years in school
locations that meet certain Department of Education criteria. The
maximum amount of assistance is $10K per person.
2. Forty-nine states have Troops to Teachers offices providing
representation at the state level specifically to assist our
participants in their state.
3. Our database, which is a nationwide referral system, is made
available to school districts for the purpose of recruiting new
4. School districts may post their vacancies directly on our Home
5. Participants may research school districts for available
academic or vocational teaching positions.
6. TTT helps relieve teacher shortages in subjects such as math,
science, and special education, and assists military personnel in
making successful transitions to second careers in teaching.
During working hours, how does the TTT
phone system operate?
TTT’s phones ring in a circular hunt group that reaches several
available lines. When all lines are busy or no one is available,
calls are routed to our voicemail system. TTT’s normal business
hours are 0700 to 1600 Central Time. Calls received during
non-business hours automatically go to voicemail. If you leave a
message, speak slowly and clearly, include your name, phone number,
and purpose of call.
DSN TOLL-FREE COMMERCIAL 922-1241 1-800-231-6242 850-452-1241
If calling TTT after duty hours, which
specific extension should I dial for certain kinds of services or
Counseling Matters: Extensions 3157, 3117, or 3156
Financial Issues: Extensions 3154 or 3162
General Program Info: Extension 3161
Homepage/Internet Issues: Extension 3156
Mini-Resume Postings: Extension 3216
Registration Process: Extensions 3148, 3158, or 3160
School/School District Staff: Extension 3163
How can I locate a Troops to Teachers
office for my state?
A TTT state
office listing online.
Eligibility Example Questions:
Who is eligible to register for Troops to Teachers?
Those who meet one of the military requirements and one of the
educational requirements listed below:
Military Requirements (an individual is eligible to participate in
the program only if the last period of service was
Counseling, Referral Services and Financial Assistance:
1. Retired active duty and Selected Reserve personnel
2. Active duty who will retire within one year
3. Active duty or Selected Reserve personnel who separate on or
after January 8, 2002 for physical disability who register with TTT
within four years after separation
4. Currently serving in the Selected Reserve with at least ten
years of creditable serve toward retirement and willing to continue
for an additional three years or until eligible for
5. Military personnel who meet all of the following
a. separated on or after January 8, 2002, with at least 6 years
continuous active duty service;
b. who will transfer to the Selected Reserve within four years;
c. are willing to commit to at least three years in the Selected
Reserve or until eligible for retirement.
Counseling and Referral Services
1. Military personnel who have at least six years of active duty
and who separated on or after October 1, 1990
2. Current or separated members of the Selected Reserve with six or
more years of creditable service toward retirement
Academic Subject Teacher: Baccalaureate or advanced degree froma
regionally accredited institution at the time of
Vocational/Technical Teacher: Equivalent of one year of college
with six years of military experience in a vocational or technical
field or meet state requirements. Eligible for vocational referral
and, if applicable, vocational certification expenses only.
View the complete discussion of
Are there time restrictions for
registering in the program?
Yes. Different limits apply to those seeking counseling and
referral services than those seeking financial assistance.
1. Counseling and referral services are available to retired
military personnel, active duty personnel who separate with six or
more years of service on or after 1 Oct 1990, or current or
separated members of the Selected Reserve with six or more years of
creditable service towards retirement.
Individuals registering for counseling and referral assistance must
meet the education and service requirements noted in the previous
2. Eligibility for Financial Assistance has the following time
a. Active duty and Selected Reserve personnel separated on or after
8 Jan 2002 for physical disability must register within four years
after separation. Selected Reserve personnel who transition from
active duty on or after 8 Jan 2002 must have served a minimum of
on active duty immediately before separation and commit to three
additional years with the Selected Reserve.
View the various
eligibility criteria cited in depth.
Does my inactive Reserve and inactive
National Guard time count for TTT?
No. The law stipulates that one’s reserve time must have been in
the Selected Reserve to meet the RC-
2 category. See the
I am a retired reservist. I no longer
drill and will not receive retirement dollars until I reach age 60.
Am I eligible to register for TTT?
Yes, so long as you are retired, you are eligible to register for
TTT. See category RC-1 at the eligibility criteria.
I am a Vietnam-era veteran now enrolled in a teacher certification
program. Do I qualify for Troops to Teachers funding?
eligibility criteria list several categories that may confirm
eligibility to participate, both for stipend or bonus funding, or
for counseling and referral services. Alternatively, one may
TTT Self-Determination Guide.
I have 9 and ½ years active duty service.
I am planning to separate in six months. Am I
Possibly. If you separated from active duty on or after January 8,
2002 and commit to three years in the Selected Reserve, you will
likely be eligible for TTT financial aid. If you do not enter the
Selected Reserve, you will still qualify. With six or more years on
active duty, you qualify for TTT’s counseling and referral
services. Youmust also meet minimum education requirements for TTT
registration as a vocational or academic teacher. See the
I have 9 years in the Selected Reserve. Am
I eligible for TTT funding?
No, but you soon could be eligible for TTT funding. As a member of
the Selected Reserve with nine years, you are eligible only for
counseling and referral service. However, when you reach the
ten-year mark, you could also make yourself eligible for a stipend
or bonus by committing to an additional three years. Receipt of a
stipend or bonus would also require that you commit to teach for
three years in a targeted district or schoolhouse. You must also
meet minimum education requirements for TTT registration as a
vocational or academic teacher. See the
I have separated with 6 years of Selected
Reserve service. Do I qualify for TTT?
Yes, you would qualify to register with TTT for counseling and
referral service as long as you have an honorable discharge and
meet the education requirements.
Are all retired military eligible to register in TTT?
Yes, regardless when retirement occurred, both retired active duty
and Selected Reserve enlisted and officer personnel may register
for TTT if they meet minimum education requirements for TTT
registration as a vocational or academic teacher. Educationally,
the program requires that you have a bachelor's degree or a minimum
of one-year equivalent of college and 6 years of experience in a
vocational/technical area. If you meet these requirements,
financial assistance options are available, depending on your
teaching area (high-need school, etc.) and availability of funds.
Our motto is "Proud
to Serve Again,” and we encourage retiring military to consider
teaching as a second career. Your experience and maturity make you
a valuable role model for the youth of America today. The coding on
your DD-214 (Member Copy 4) or NGB-22 Form is the critical factor
in determining eligibility for funding.
I am a retired officer and I teach
JROTC at a public high school. Will I be able for and use TTT funds
to obtain a full teaching certification?Do I have to leave JROTC?
Possibly. Teaching generally requires that you be a state certified
teacher. Eligible TTT participants who receive a TTT stipend to
reimburse certification costs incur a three-year teaching
obligation. Additionally, some states count certain JROTC
courses as academic credit toward graduation and require their
JROTC instructors to be certified teacher. JROTC instructors who
must become certified and receive a TTT stipend or a TTT teaching
bonus also incur a three-year teaching obligation.
I was honorably discharged from the Air
Force in 1993 and have received my bachelor’s degree. I have 8
years 4 months time in service. Am I eligible to apply for funding
under this program?
No. However, if you join a Selected Reserve unit, you may apply for
the program when you reach 10 years of total service, as long as
you commit to an additional three years in the Selected Reserve
meet the education requirements for TTT.
Does the six-year minimum service
requirement include Service Academy time?
Yes, time spent at a Service Academy is considered active duty and
would count towards the six year requirement.
Are waivers or exceptions available to
those who were honorably discharged with less than 6 years
We are bound by the limitations of the law and do not offer waivers
Procedures for Registering in the Troops to
Where may I obtain a TTT registration
You may download the form from our Web Site, call TTT at
DSN 922-1241, toll-free 1-800-231-6242, or email the TTT home
office (email@example.com). TTT’s core
office hours are 0700 – 1600, Central Time, Monday - Friday.
Where should I send my TTT registration
The Troops to Teachers national office in Pensacola, Florida. The
address is on the form.
May I submit a “copy” of the registration
or must it be an original?
The registrant’s original signature is required. Other than the
signature, copies of documents are acceptable as long as they are
By submitting a signed registration, am I
obligating myself to anything?
No, however you are certifying that all information on the form is
true and correct and authorizing the release of your information to
school districts for referral purposes.
I sent my registration form to TTT but was
told that I forgot some supporting documents. What are the
The copy of the blank Registration Form may be downloaded from the
home page as a PDF file, or received from TTT via U. S. Mail. The
form contains a page entitled, “Definitions of Supporting Documents
Required to Register with the Troops to Teachers Program” and a
checklist of what must be mailed in. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have additional
Must I request original documents from
each source office?
No. However, it is important that you mail clean legible copies
rather than relying on FAX copies. FAX copies sometimes do not
arrive. Additionally, they are often unreadable and create a paper
management problem. Photocopies of college transcripts
are acceptable so long as the text is readable. If not, please
provide original transcripts.
If I am eligible for a stipend, may I take
my certification courses from a private school?
Regionally accredited institutions are the recognized sources of
certification programs. However, we recommend you check with your
state TTT officer to verify the certification program will be
recognized by the state.
Is the financial assistance (stipend or
bonus) a loan that must be repaid?
No. Both are one-time assistance. The stipend covers actual
expenses incurred in becoming certified, up to $5,000. Bonus awards
are $10,000. The combined total of the stipend and bonus per
individual may not exceed $10,000. Both stipends and bonuses are
There are conditions that must be met (agreed to by signing the
Memorandum of Agreement when applying for financial assistance). If
the terms are not met, you would be required to repay all or part
of the financial assistance. The conditions include but are not
1. Completing three years employment at a targeted school/school
2. For RC-2 and RC-4 participants, completing three additional
years (or until eligible for retirement) of Selected Reserve
What types of expenses will the stipend
We are allowed to reimburse expenses that you incur after the date
on which you are accepted into the TTT program. They must be
directly related to a teacher certification program, or apply to
courses leading to teacher certification or teaching endorsements
leading to a current teacher’s certification.
Below is a list of eligible expenses:
1. Tuition – If you are working toward another degree while
pursuing your teacher’s license, include only those courses that
are directly related to teacher certification.
2. Books and materials – for coursework only, not for student
teaching. Computer and software are not eligible expenses.
3. Fees – Certification fees, testing fees, and fingerprinting, if
it is required by the state.
4. Lodging for out-of-town seminars, testing and other
6. Transportation –58.5 cents per mile at this date (subject to
Ineligible expenses – expenses that we may not reimburse –are those
expenses that were incurred prior to your eligibility date,
computers, software, sports equipment, meals, or additional degrees
that do not result in teacher certification. We are also not
allowed to reimburse for certification, endorsements, or
endorsements in areas other than teaching, e.g., administration or
May I use the TTT financial assistance in
addition to Pell Grant and/or GI Bill funding?
I will be awarded my bachelor’s degree and retire simultaneously.
Upon my retirement, I will be certified to teach. Will I be
eligible for stipend money?
Possibly, if you seek an additional certification beyond the one
that you are earning with your bachelor’s degree.
I am in school but will retire before I receive my bachelor's
degree. Am I eligible for financial assistance from
If you have at least the equivalent of one year of college, you may
be eligible for expenses related to vocational certification.
However, we cannot cover expenses related to the acquisition of
one’s first baccalaureate degree or academic teacher certification
expenses prior to award of the baccalaureate degree. Once you have
received your baccalaureate degree, you may apply for a stipend up
to $5K to reimburse the post-baccalaureate costs of becoming a
certified K-12 teacher. A maximum of $5K is available for K-12
certification expenses; academic or vocational.
I submitted my registration package. What happens now?
You will receive a letter confirming or denying your eligibility.
If you are only eligible for counseling and referral services, that
fact will be stated. If you are eligible to apply for a Stipend
and/ or Bonus, an information sheet and the appropriate application
information will be in the package. As you complete the steps in
becoming certified, obtain a teaching position, and return the
required Stipend or Bonus packets, funds will be deposited to your
Questions about Becoming a
What if I am not sure I want to be a
The best way to know for sure is to gain some practical experience.
Volunteer in a public school at the grade level and in the subject
area in which you want to teach.
I have heard that a person has to be
certified to teach. What does that mean?
Each state requires that public school teachers meet certain
educational standards. The teacher certification agency in each
state’s Department of Education is the best source for specific
information. Direct links to the states’ certification
offices may be found
online. Our TTT state offices can also help you determine
certification requirements for the states that they represent.
Do substitute teachers have to be
Some states require that substitute teachers be certified to teach,
but most do not. Substituting allows the district to become aware
of your teaching abilities and offers you the opportunity to become
acquainted with the system. Our TTT state offices can give you
What are starting teachers
The American Federation of Teachers cited an average beginning
teacher salary in 2004-2005 of $31,753.00. In some districts,
veterans receive an automatic longevity pay boost when they are
hired. For current salary info, inquire with the districts in which
you are interested in teaching. For the school year 2004-2005, the
national average for K-12 salaries was $45,771.
Teacher Certification Questions
I submitted my registration
package, and my eligibility has been confirmed. How will TTT help
me become certified?
The answer has several parts.
1. Links to the states’ certification agencies may be found on the
2. Part of the TTT home page,
TTT Step-by-Step, contains specific suggestions for becoming
3. Our TTT state offices can also help you determine certification
requirements for the states that they represent and offer
suggestions regarding the best means of accomplishing your goals.
4. Current TTT participants who are already teaching act as mentors
in many states and offer advice regarding how to proceed. See the
Is a teaching certificate required to be
hired as a full-time teacher?
Not necessarily. Many states have a certificate that is referred to
as an “alternative teaching certificate” that can be issued to an
individual based on the applicant's academic background and the
state's immediate need to hire someone. In addition, participants
in many states can be hired as vocational/technical teachers based
on their skill levels without having a current vocational/technical
teaching certificate. Because of the No Child left Behind Act,
fewer states allow one to teach without being fully
What does fully certified
This can vary greatly among the states. (1) In general, you must
have proven knowledge in the subject matter that you teach.
Possessing a baccalaureate or higher degree in the required subject
or sometimes by completing a certain number of courses in the
subject or passing state-approved subject matter tests may suffice.
(2) Most states also require that you complete certain education
classes as well as a period of practice teaching. (3) In many
states, you must teach three to five years before permanent
certification is awarded. To be sure, check with the respective TTT
state office or state certification
What if the state in which I want to teach
has no “alternative teaching certificate”?
You will be required to either complete an entire teacher
preparation program in a college or university, or take selected
courses to meet your ‘deficiency’ in required academic areas.
How do I find a teacher certification program?
Contact the TTT POC to request a list of certification programs. Or
contact the respective State Department of Education, Office of
Certification. Once you’ve decided where you plan to locate after
leaving the military, you can check with the local college or
university that offers teacher preparation courses. The topic of
Alternative Certification is discussed in greater depth
online, which also contains a link to the National Association
for Alternative Certification. The TTT home page also lists several
distancebased certification programs.
In what states can I find a Troops to
TTT offices cover forty-nine of the fifty states. Where no state
TTT office exists, consult with the TTT office in neighboring
states. A TTT state office listing may be found
online. NOTE: See our Web Site for complete
TTT information at or call our offices at DSN 922-1241,
commercial 850-452-1241. E-mail may be sent to TTT at email@example.com.