Military Affairs

Faculty and staff standing by an amphibious assault vehicle

Faculty and Staff Resources

Military-Affiliated Faculty and Staff

Do you have a military affiliation, either through your own service or that of a spouse or parent? If so, the Office of Military Affairs would like for you to join us for special events throughout the year, such as our Veterans Week celebration or one of our Military Appreciation athletic events. Please email Melanie Nelson ( to be added to the invitation list for special events. 

The Office of Military Affairs meets for Breakfast @ Dubs weekly on Fridays from 8:30-9:30 am when classes are in session. Breakfast is $8.56 for all-you-can-eat, or you can get a cup of coffee or other beverage for only $1. Please feel free to join us and to invite friends from around campus to learn more about our students and the work our office is doing. 

Green Zone Training

The Office of Military Affairs offers Green Zone training to all faculty and staff. A Green Zone is a safe space for student veterans and other students who are connected to the military. This workshop provides an introduction to military culture, describes the challenges faced by military-affiliated students as they enter higher education, and discusses ways that UNCW works to recruit and retain these students. Participants will explore ways that they can support military-affiliated students from within their roles at the university. 

If interested, individuals may register for the training through the Employee Dare to Learn portal. The two-hour training sessions are usually offered once per month. 

Departments may also schedule training sessions by emailing Melanie Nelson ( 

The Office of Military Affairs received a Friends of UNCW Grant in 2019 to purchase books that help further the ideas discussed in Green Zone training; staff and faculty are welcome to borrow these books any time from the Military Resource Lounge. 

Military Training Retreat

Each year, the Office of Military Affairs arranges a military training retreat for UNCW faculty and staff. Participants spend a day visiting Camp Lejeune and New River Air Station in Jacksonville, NC, where they observe and take part in training simulations. They also take part in facilitated group discussions to learn more about the higher education needs of current service members and veterans. The retreat is an extension of the Green Zone training, and it is designed primarily for those who have had little to no personal experience of the military, although others have found it beneficial as well. 

The 2019 retreat was held on Thursday, August 8th, and included representatives from UNCW and Cape Fear Community College. Check out the photos below!

First, we learned about Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAVs) and watched one "splash" into the water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. 

 Nick Pianovich, the Student Body President, and Jon Kapell, the Director of Campus Activities and Involvement, perched atop an amphibious assault vehiclePeople sitting inside an amphibious assault vehicleAmphibious assault vehicle splashes into the water 

Next, faculty and staff tried out the weapons simulators. 

People aim weapons simulators at a projector screen. Man adjusts a small arms weapon simulatorMan sits behind a weapon simulator

Finally, we met with a pilot to learn about the MV-22 Osprey at Marine Corps Air Station New River. 

People gather under the MV-22 Osprey aircraft.



UNCW Benefits

Here are the benefits UNCW offers to students who are either currently serving (active duty service members, reservists, National Guard members) or who have served (veterans): 

  • Priority registration
  • Parking permit discount ($20 off)
  • Designated student veteran parking spaces by Randall Library
  • Waived application fee (active duty service members only)
  • Personal shopping appointments at the UNCW bookstore
  • Scholarships for specific programs

All military-affiliated students (this category includes military spouses and military dependents, or children of the military) are welcome to use the Military Resource Lounge and to participate in events sponsored by the Office of Military Affairs. The Military Resource Lounge is located in the Warwick Center across from the cashier windows. 

Some military-affiliated students are eligible for the Veteran's Choice Act, which grants a waiver for the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition. If students have questions about the Veteran's Choice Act, they may ask Melanie Nelson, the Military Student Services Specialist ( 

VA Benefits

Military-affiliated students often have questions and concerns about the use of their VA educational benefits at UNCW. VA benefits may be referred to by chapter or by the name or abbreviation of the name of the benefit. For example, a student might say "I'm using my Chapter 33 benefits" or "I'm using my Post-9/11 GI Bill" to refer to the same program.

Here is a quick guide to VA benefits for advisors

Students may find answers to their basic questions about VA benefits in the Military-affiliated Student Handbook or on our Current Students page. For more specific questions, they should contact the VA Certifying Officials in the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid in Warwick Center (910-962-3177 or in person; they may also email, although an emailed response will likely take longer). Additionally, all Financial Aid counselors have a working knowledge of VA benefits. Finally, Melanie can answer many VA benefits questions (910-962-2933,, or in person in the Military Resource Lounge in Warwick Center). 

Sometimes, military-affiliated students need to be excused from class for a variety of reasons, including appointments at a VA Healthcare Clinic, participation in military drill or training, or participation in a deployment family day send-off or homecoming. These are valid reasons to excuse an absence, so please work with these students to grant them flexibility when possible. Students will do their best to inform you ahead of time when they will miss class, and they will provide necessary documentation, although the documentation may be delayed. Please be aware that VA Healthcare appointments and deployment homecomings are not always scheduled with advance warning, so again, flexibility is key. 

Other Resources

The Veterans Administration (VA) provides a Campus Toolkit with useful information on the adjustment processes that student veterans face when entering higher education and suggestions on how to work with student veterans in the classroom.  

The PsychArmor Institute offers free online training courses to help people understand military culture and veterans in higher education. 

Additionally, UNCW partners with PsychHub, which offers free online training courses on a variety of topics related to mental health support, including a course designed to help people understand post-traumatic stress (PTS) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Visit UNCW's PsychHub page to browse course offerings. 

Office of Military Affairs

The staff of the Office of Military Affairs is here to support faculty and staff as they learn how to interact with our military-affiliated population. Please reach out if you have questions or concerns about how to support our students.

If you have information to share with military-affiliated students, such as upcoming events or research, internship, work study, community service or job opportunities, you may email the details of the event and images for social media to Melanie Nelson ( for inclusion in the weekly roundup, which goes through the Military-affiliated Student Listserv. The roundup goes out on Wednesdays when classes are in session. Faculty and staff are also welcome to join the Listserv. 

Additionally, the Office of Military Affairs will gladly help you coordinate research efforts with local military populations. Please remember that public access to military bases is restricted, and any visits to local military installations will require an advance request through the Office of Military Affairs; please contact Joanna DeMott, the Military Affairs Program Coordinator, at to coordinate a visit.   

Logo saying Best for Vets 2019