Your Education Can Build Your Resume

Trident  University  |  |  Your Education Can Build Your Resume  | 

Published in the July/August 2013 issue of print Search & Employ®  | 

Command Sergeant Major Philip F. Johndrow was in the Army for more than 33 years, serving as a squadron, brigade, division, and corps command sergeant major. As a command sergeant major, he was responsible for up to 100,000 soldiers.

Johndrow helped shape the Army’s acceptance of the digitized force. He was the senior non-commissioned officer in the Baghdad Surge (2007) and helped save the life of one soldier in a firefight as well as the lives of several Iraqi families who were in danger. He was awarded the Army Distinguished Service Medal; four Bronze Stars, one for Valor; the ARCOM (Army Commendation Medal) for Valor; and the Presidential Unit Award.

Trident University hired Johndrow as director of military outreach in 2011. He excels in his task of explaining the advantages of enrolling at Trident because he is a two-time graduate of the institution – he earned his BS in business administration and his MBA with Trident.

In fact, Johndrow credits his Trident studies with helping him save lives. “While I was a 3rd Brigade CSM in Iraq, I met two Iraqi translators who were working with my soldiers,” he said. “They were charged with helping us communicate with the Iraqi soldiers, dignitaries, and local people. These womens’ lives were constantly in danger, and I did not know what to do to help them.

“Then I came back as the 1st Cavalry and the Multi-National Division Baghdad CSM, and I began taking classes with Trident University – and sharpening my critical thinking skills and developing my confidence. With the help of those classes, I knew there had to be a way to save their lives, and I was finally able to figure it out and help them out of the country.” He worked to get both of them to the United States, and today they are American citizens. Their story is told in a video at

As the national director for military relations at Trident University, one of Johndrow’s primary objectives is to explain to active-duty servicemembers and veterans the importance of education. “I do this through speaking engagements, writing articles, and meeting with leaders,” he said. “Trying to help them realize the importance of education is job one.”

“My passion for the university came from how they helped me through some difficult times and kept me focused on my education,” he said. “Each time I began a new class, each one of my professors was very supportive; and I felt that I was not taking the class alone, but that we were taking the classes together. The school’s support made me want to help spread the word around to many other military members who could become students and enjoy the critical thinking training I received.”

The university experience helped Johndrow in other ways, too. “Taking classes helped me to decompress from the rigors of combat,” he said. “These were some of my goals: to continue to improve myself while on active duty, to continue to hone my critical thinking skills, and to also prepare myself for success once I made the transition into Corporate America – just as I had succeeded while in uniform.”

Johndrow believes it’s never too early – or late – to start or resume an education. “I would ask anyone who is currently in the military to please work on your civilian education while you are still in the military,” he said. “It will help you with promotions and your critical thinking skills while you are still in uniform, and it will also help you as you make the transition into Corporate America by being able to be an active member of any team. The benefits of a college education will last a lifetime. The fact that you’ll be building a career for the rest of your life is reason enough to make time for a college education.”

Trident Universityis a good fit for servicemembers and veterans because it understands the world of the military, according to Johndrow. Trident is a university that loves soldiers and loves its veterans. I could not have found an organization I could be prouder to be a part of. Trident is not only a university that provides a quality education but it is also very flexible so it can fit into anyone’s schedule. They do this because they know just how busy our veterans are and they want to help them so they can make a difference in their lives.”

Johndrow says that Trident teaches skills that will help anyone in any career. “The university keys in on using critical thinking skills that will enhance your decision-making cycle as you are put to the test in real work situations,” he said.

He says that planning is the key to making a smooth transition from the military to the civilian world: “Make sure you are set up for success. Every operation we ever do in the military is something we plan for. Don’t let your transition to civilian life be something you did not plan for.”

An education should be part of that plan. “Your education can build your resume,” Johndrow said. “Thinking about what kinds of things you would like to do as you look at transition will set you up.  Prepare yourself, and start your plan with a solid education.”

Trident University, based in Cypress, California, offers 100 percent online higher education. The university was founded 15 years ago. It has 15 degree programs, including doctorate, master’s, and bachelor’s programs.

The university gives its students the freedom and flexibility to choose from eight online course sessions throughout the year. The university assigns an academic advisor to each student, and provides fast technical support for the classes. Faculty members are available for one-on-one instruction, guidance, and support. Most of student body is active-duty military.

Trident University uses case-based and applied learning methodologies to help students acquire critical thinking and strategic skills. More than 90 percent of the faculty have earned Ph.D.’s or the highest equivalent degrees in the fields they teach. Trident is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

About the Author

This article was written by Jay Myers