By Sgt. Kim Browne

1st Cavalry Division public affairs

Effective time management and establishing a system of priorities are two things someone can unintentionally learn while pursuing a higher education.

When a soldier chooses to seek a higher education, those struggles are a constant battle.

Sgt. 1st Class Elaine Warthen, supply sergeant for the 589th Brigade Support Battalion, 41st Fires Brigade, began this effort in 1994 and has about six months remaining until she receives a doctorate in public policy and administration.

Warthen had taken some college courses before she enlisted in the Army in 1992 as a material storage and handling specialist.

In 1994, while at her first duty station in Germany, she resumed taking college courses in general studies.

A couple of years later at Fort Hood, she chose to major in criminal justice.

"I decided to pursue criminal justice because I wanted to become a military policeman and was thinking of changing my (job)," she said.

Warthen later moved on to Fort Bragg, N.C., where she completed a bachelor of science in criminal justice at Campbell University.

"After I had completed my bachelor's degree I had thought to myself, 'Wow, I don't know if I like (criminal justice)'," Warthen said.

During a tour in Korea, she decided to work on a master's degree in public administration at Troy State University in Yongsan.

After returning to the United States, Warthen completed her degree and began working on her doctorate.

"It's taken me five years to get from my master's to where I'm at now," she said. "Three deployments through that time frame made it tough and slowed me down."

Warthen said that juggling the military and school can be difficult and painful.

Warthen is on track to be finished with her degree work in October. She plans to retire from the Army soon after receiving her doctorate.

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