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Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families

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Complete Trust or Confidence in Someone or Something


Respecting Self and Others through "Follow Me" Example Setting


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The quality of being good; deserving respect or attention


Website Last Updated - 1/25/2024


The Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families provides a service to Student-Veterans and/or their Families entitled, “Paw for Patriots.”  

Learn more about the program to see if you qualify -

Military Benefits

Empowering our students to make the most out of their college experience! 

MiSsissippi National Guard Form

Benefits Intake Form (Veterans and Dependents)

Benefits Intake Form (Active Duty, national guard and Reserve) 

Federal Tuition Assistance Form

Non-Resident Tuition Exception Form

Joint Services Transcript Form



Yes, VA tutorial assistance is available if you’re receiving VA educational benefits at the half-time or higher rate and have a deficiency in a subject that makes tutoring necessary. You can be reimbursed by the VA up to $100 per month, up to a maximum of $1200 in a year. Any tutorial assistance paid in excess of $600 will be taken from your entitlement.

To apply for tutorial assistance, you must complete VA Form 22-1990t. One of our VA Certifying Officials (David Magola, Stacy Henley or Red Rayborn), and the assigned academic tutor must sign the form. When the form is complete, turn it into our VA Certifying Official who will mail it to the VA Regional Processing Office.

For an application and/or further information, contact the USM Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families at 601-266-8387.




Starting Fall 2023 - The University of Southern Mississippi is covering the gap between Federal Tuition Assistance and remaining course tuition for TA-approved hours. Whether fully online or on-campus, Military Students who qualify for Federal Tuition Assistance can have the remainder of their TA-approved hours covered through our TA Gap Funding Program. 
TA-GAP Funding Program



The University of Southern Mississippi is now an Air University Associate to Baccalaureate (AU-ABC) Cooperative partner!  The University of Southern Mississippi Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Applied Technology is the first officially approved degree in the AU-ABC program. In addition, Southern Miss will be added to the Community College of the Air Force website AU-ABC school list. The AU-ABC partnership marks an important milestone in providing a smooth transition for Air Force students pursuing their Bachelor’s Degree at Southern Miss. 


Banner for Open House

Quinlan-Hammond Hall of Honor

The new home for The Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families

Quinlan-Hammond Hall of Honor


USM Military Students Welcome You to Our Campus

Photo 2 Photo 3




We are a Military Caring University

Student-Veterans and Military Family Members are special at Southern Miss. With a drive to succeed in civilian life, Our Military Students possess core values such as loyalty, duty, respect, honor, courage and commitment. At Southern Miss, we honor such values by supporting Our Military Students in all their endeavors. The drive these students display makes us proud of their Service to Our Nation and tenacity in the classroom.

USM is nationally recognized as the top Military Caring University across the State of Mississippi and has earned designation as a Purple Heart Institution. In addition, Military Times has rated us as a number 3 “Best for Vets” institution across the Nation.

Such recognition and designation recognize USM’s continued extraordinary commitment to caring for and providing engaged assistance to support Military Veterans, Service Members and their Families.

Our Center staff provide guidance and support as our Military Students move through the admission process, on to graduation and career placement. Our Student Veterans learn and grow in an environment dedicated to their unique perspective. This level of attention successfully attracts Military Veterans, Service Members, and their Families to pursue their academic and professional development interests at The University of Southern Mississippi.

Apply Now to Be a Golden Eagle!

Military Times 2021

Military Friendly 21-22

Military Friendly Spouse School

Purple Heart

Marine Leadership Scholar Program



We are proud members of these organizations: 

Veterans Affairs Adminstrator of Mississippi (VAAMS)


National Association of Veterans' Program Administrators (NAVPA)


“At Ease at USM”

James Foster

  • Who are you? James Foster

What is your background? I was born in Biloxi, MS and grew up all over the state. I graduated from Oak Grove High School in 1999, while there I was very involved in band and ended up with a scholarship to JCJC where I attended a year before deciding to get a technical certificate instead. I got my lineman certification through MGCCC and went to work until 9/11 happened. Soon after I enlisted in the Air Force as Security Forces where I stayed until Dec 2017. While in the Air Force I was stationed in Georgia, Texas, Colorado, Guam, and Portugal, I also did 3 tours in Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom. One reason I loved my job in the Air Force was the travel, I have visited 13 different countries and countless small islands in the South Pacific. After getting out I wanted to work with my hands, so I went to Welding school at Tulsa Welding School in Jacksonville, FL. Shortly after graduating I went to work welding until February 2020 when corona virus shut down most of the country. I decided to use my GI Bill to get a degree, growing up around USM and going to baseball games and band concerts here, USM was the obvious choice for me. I am currently a senior working on my Information Technology degree with a focus on Cybersecurity and Networking.

a. Where do you call home? Purvis, Mississippi

b.  What branch did you join? United States Air Force

c.   When were you in the Military? Dec 2003-Dec 2017

d.   How long did you stay in the Military? 14 years

e.   What did you do in the Military? I was a 3P051B Security Forces which does law enforcement and security for bases and later transitioned to a Combat Arms Instructor teaching small arms to Air Force members.

f.    What is your proudest moment? One of my proudest moments was as a member of the 36th CRG responding to Super Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 in the Philippines to help evacuate over 6,000 people and bringing in supplies and water for those affected by the typhoon and subsequent flooding.

g.   What are some of your hobbies? I am an IT major and enjoy working on and building computers. I also do a lot of PC gaming in my spare time. I also grew up hunting and fishing so when I can I get outside to do that.

h.   How do you deal with stress? I am lucky that with my military career I was constantly in stressful situations so for me it is all about focusing on the situation and working through the stress.

Campus Resources 

Counseling and Consultation Services 

Southern Miss Student Counseling Services

Business Hours Phone: 601-266-4829

For 24/7 Mental Health Support: Call or text 988

What happens when I call 988?

What happens when I text 988?


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 

Call: 800-273-8255 (ext. 1)

Text: 838255

Support Services

USM Military and Veteran Student Services: 

Call: 601-266-8387 

VA Vet Success on Campus: 

Call: 601-266-8387

Student Accessibility Services: 

Hattiesburg Campus: 601-266-5024 
Gulf Park Campus: 228-214-3302




USM Student Honored with the Prestigious General George C. Marshall Award

Tue, 02/16/2021 - 11:02am | By: Van Arnold

Ryan Dean

University of Southern Mississippi (USM) student-veteran Cadet Ryan Dean has been selected as a U.S. Army General George C. Marshall Award winner recognizing him as the top USM Army ROTC cadet within the class of 2021.

Dean is a military veteran, member of the Mississippi Army National Guard, and Army ROTC cadet majoring in business management. As an Army veteran, he attends USM via his Post 9-11 (Chapter-33) GI Bill. He maintains an overall 3.8 grade point average while working as a VA work-study employee, and caring for his family of four.

While attending USM over the past few years, Dean dedicated all his academic efforts to not only learning business management, but also earning a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. In doing so was also selected to serve as the USM Army ROTC Corps of Cadets Command Sergeant Major.

“I am gladly representing the University, Army ROTC, and Center for Military Veterans, Service Members, and Families, accomplishing my goal of being a distinguished military graduate and now a George C. Marshall Award winner,” said Dean.

Dean is expected to graduate with his degree this year in May, receive his commission as a Second Lieutenant, and serve in the Army Aviation branch.

“Ryan is a once-in-a lifetime young man who has set a high standard within our program and all of U.S. Army Cadet Command as the leadership example for others to follow,” noted USM Army ROTC Professor of Military Science Lt. Col. Walker Nordan. “He will no doubt prove to be an exceptional army officer, and in doing so, we look forward years into the future watching him lead from the front, and progress in what will prove a wonderful future.”

General George Catlett Marshall served as one of the great American statesmen of the 20th century. He played a crucial role in international affairs from 1939 to 1951 -- the years that shaped the second half of the century. Until 1945, he was in the military service of the United States. As Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army from 1939 to 1945 he was, in the words of Winston Churchill, the “true architect of victory" in the West European arena of World War II.

The young men and women such as Cadet Ryan Dean who are honored this year will continue the legacy of service established by Gen. George Catlett Marshall. In 1976 the Army Chief of Staff and the George C. Marshall Foundation agreed to memorialize the accomplishments of the man Sir Winston Churchill called the “Architect of Victory” in World War II with the Marshall Award. As a result, the General George C. Marshall Award serves as a unique method of honoring the achievements of the top Army ROTC cadet from every college-level campus.

Dean is married to his wife, Racheal, and they have a daughter (Nora) along with a new baby girl (Everlee). 

USM is a Nationally Ranked Top-5 “Best for Vets” University

The prestigious publication Military Times released their annual “Best for Vets” assessment for 2021 ranking USM #3 across the Nation in providing services to Military Students. 

Last year, Military Times ranked USM #9 yet through continued “hands-on” care and support to Military Students USM earned a nationally recognized top-5 rating as a Military Caring Universities of choice.  

Click here to read more.


Purple Heart Recipient On-Campus Parking

USM Purple Heart recipients (and/or their respective widow) are not required to register their vehicle with Campus Parking Management. 

In this regard, the display of a Purple Heart license plate tag will suffice.  

Purple Heart tag owners may park in faculty/staff, commuter, resident and open zones.

Priority Registration for USM Military Students

USM Military Students who file with The University of Southern Mississippi Veterans Affairs office (in administratively processing their respective Educational VA Benefits) receive priority enrollment appointments – undergraduate or graduate.  

Qualified USM Military Students who self-identify when they apply to the university are ensured priority enrollment. Such individuals need to contact their academic advisor to schedule an advisement appointment as soon as the advisement period opens for the upcoming semester. 


Contact Us

Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families
200 North 35th Avenue
Hattiesburg, MS 39401

Hattiesburg Campus

Campus Map



Contact Us

Hardy Hall 235
730 East Beach Boulevard
Long Beach, MS 39560

Gulf Park Campus

Campus Map



VA Work Study Program

Part-time work-study opportunities may be available to those using VA Educational Benefits.

Interested? Find the application here.

Paws for Patriots

Established to provide Student-Veterans Military Working Dog companionship

Check out the latest article!

Golden Eagle Veteran Network

Established for local community sponsorship of Southern Miss Student-Veterans

Click here to see how you can be apart.