Militarily Speaking Ep 11 A Conversation with Shane Smeed from Park University

In this episode of “Militarily Speaking,” Tom, Jodi, and guest Shane Smeed discuss Park University and the services they provide for military members and their families. They also dig into the Valor Medals Review Project and the many awards Park University has won.

Show Notes

In this episode of “Militarily Speaking,” Tom, Jodi, and guest Shane Smeed discuss Park University and the services they provide for military members and their families. They also dig into the Valor Medals Review Project and the many awards Park University has won.

“Militarily Speaking” is a podcast produced by Armed Forces Bank that is dedicated to the military lifestyle and all the things that makes military community who they are.

Ep. 11 — A Talk with Shane Smeed from Park University

Introducing Shane Smeed and Park University

Tom and Jodi introduce President of Park University Shane Smeed, and then run through his previous background in a wide number of roles.

  • In that time he was responsible for 16,000 students annually, including 10,000 active duty, national guard, reserve, veteran, and military family member students.

Jodi asks Shane to provide an overview of Park University’s mission and how they serve military members around the world.

    • Shane then talks about the military background and history, as well as their military students and family.
    • He notes that Park University’s affiliation with the military stretches all the way back to the civil war, and later in 1901 the university established a military department.
    • He says that Park University understands that the military’s focus and value is on education.
    • He continues describing how Park is uniquely positioned to provide that to active-duty service members, veterans, and their families at the military locations.

What is the Global Warrior Center?

Tom asks Shane to describe what the Global Warrior Center is.

  • Shane says that while the Global Warrior Center is located in Parkville, MO, it is there for the success of all students, and non-students of the university that are seeking more information on how to receive educational services.
  • He notes that Park University supports thousands of military affiliated students through their VA benefits to help them with their education.
  • Shane continues stating that they also provide support and information to make their transition from civilian life to higher education, which can be a difficult transition.
  • Realizing they have students all over the world, he adds that of their 41 campus locations, 22 of them are on air force bases, 5 on marine corp. bases, 3 on army bases, and 1 on a navy base.
  • Tom notes that Park has campus locations in many of the same places that there are AFB bank and ATM locations.

Tom asks how having the physical presence on an installation, in addition to having an online option, helps further the mission of Park University.

    • Shane says that a lot of students still appreciate having the face-to-face experience.
    • He adds that a large portion will end up taking classes online at some point as well.

Jodi asks what support services are offered through the Global Warrior Center, or outside of it through Park University.

    • Shane says that a large number of the faculty and staff have some kind of connection with the military, which helps them understand the military culture, and help military students as they transition.
    • He adds that Park University works as a liaison with a number of Veteran Service Organizations (VSO).

Workshops and Resources Park University Offers Military Students

Tom asks what the workshop environment is like at Park for military students who are looking to pick up additional skills.

    • Shane begins by saying students can build their professional network through their career development center, where they partner with veteran inclusive organizations that provide mentors, internships, jobs.
    • He adds that to help with the schedules of their military students, Park has enrollment five times a year: August, October, Jan, March, and June.
    • Shane also says Park looks at how to get college credit from military experience, to help those students graduate sooner.

Jodi asks if there are certain resources that Park offers specific to military families or military spouses that are different than that offered from the active duty member.

    • Shane says that they treat the military member and their family members, such as spouses or children, the same.
    • He continues stating that this means the spouse can pay the same tuition rate as if they were a member of the military themselves.

Tom reads a few reviews of Park University, and then asks Shane about the ROTC program that they offer.

    • Shane regales a personal story of his own connection to the military through his father.
    • He then discusses how Park University is one of a few schools in the country that are a part of the U.S. Cadet Command Pony Express Battalion.

Valor Medals Review Project and Park University Awards

Jodi brings up the story of George S. Rob, and asks Shane to review Park’s involvement with the Valor Medals Review project.

    • He says that Park University has a team of researchers and historians that are investigating veterans from the great war that were unjustly denied high level valor awards due to their racial or religious background.
    • Shane notes that there are 214 service members that they are going through the review process, and discusses the documentary More Than a Medal adding that people can find showings at

Tom says that Park University has been recognized for a number of awards, and asks Shane to speak about some of them.

  • Shane says that Park University is designated a Military Friendly School in 2022-2023, and goes through a few other awards they have won as well.
  • He says that credit for all of the awards and recognition goes to the faculty and staff that are passionate about helping their students.

Military Minute

Jodi introduces the Military Minute segment of the show, beginning by closing out last episode’s Military Minute.

    • Last episode’s Military Minute: Veterans train on campus learning to navigate with their dogs for how many days?
    • Answer: 11 days
    • This week’s Military Minute question: What year was Park University founded?
    • Watch for Facebook and Instagram posts about this episode.
    • Answer with the correct answer and you plus a charity of your choice can each win $50.

Tom closes the episode by asking listeners to out to and subscribe to the show, as well as leave a rating and comment on your favorite podcast platform such as Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

Join us to hear how to better navigate your finances, military life, and the crossroads of the two.