Militarily Speaking Ep 51: Bridging Military Experience to Academic and Career Success at Syracuse University

“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.

We — with guests like you — will help the military community not only navigate their finances but also military life. We chat about both good and bad financial practices and provide some insight along the way. We’ll share strategies to help people get ahead, discuss military benefits that members should take advantage of, and more – all working towards the goal of helping people become more financially independent.

On the show, we’ll also preview and talk about how to take advantage of military specific services, such as loans and mortgages, and help members prepare for important milestones such as PCS moves and the transition to civilian life. Finally, at the end of every episode, we have a bit of fun with our Military Minute. That guessing-game segment features military history, hobbies, a bit of pop culture. Correct guesses by listeners could result in a donation to charity of individual’s choice.

Welcome to the "Militarily Speaking" podcast with Tom McLean and Jodi Vickery.

In this episode of “Militarily Speaking,” Tom and Jodi, together with guests Dwayne Murray and Mike Bianchi from Syracuse University, dive into the transformative work being done at Syracuse University to support veterans and military families, and the commitment to veterans and military families the school offers.

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

Ep. 51 – Bridging Military Experience to Academic and Career Success at Syracuse University

Syracuse University stands as a beacon of support and opportunity for veterans and military families, fostering a vibrant community where military experience translates into academic and career success. Mike and Dwayne deeply delve into several key programs and initiatives under the umbrellas of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) and the Office of Veteran and Military Affairs (OVMA).

Life-Changing Programs and Initiatives

Together the group explores of the transformative programs offered by the IVMF and OVMA. Mike elaborates on the Onward to Opportunity program – a pristine example of how Syracuse University is enabling veterans and their families to transition successfully into civilian careers. This program enrolls over 10,000 learners annually, providing them with crucial employability skills and access to industry-recognized credentials. It’s a testament to Syracuse’s dedication to ensuring that veterans lead meaningful civilian lives post-service.

Dwayne reflects on the meaningful academic journey veterans undertake at Syracuse, elaborating on the comprehensive support structures in place to navigate and maximize their time on campus. From immersive trips and career networking nights to specific interventions designed to address the unique challenges faced by student veterans, the OVMA's mandate is clearly centered on student success and well-being.

More Than Just an Education Institution

Syracuse University's commitment to being more than just an educational institution makes itself very apparent through this conversation with Dwayne and Mike. It positions itself as a key player in shaping policies and programs that meet the evolving needs of the veteran community, embodying a holistic approach to veteran support that extends beyond academic achievement to include impactful community engagement and career readiness.

A Model of Excellence in Veteran Support

Syracuse University’s concerted efforts in supporting veterans and military families set a gold standard in higher education. Through their exhaustive array of programs, initiatives, and a forward-thinking approach, the institution not only pays homage to the service and sacrifice of military personnel but also actively contributes to their success in civilian life.

The journey from military service to civilian achievement is one that Syracuse University is passionately committed to facilitating. With each program, initiative, and support structure, they weave the thread of service, sacrifice, and success into the fabric of their institution, proving that for veterans at Syracuse, the best is truly yet to come.


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: Which country music artist recorded the song, Some Gave All, and what year was it released?
  • Answer: Billy Ray Cyrus in 1992
  • This week’s Military Minute question: What is the acronym STRIVE in relation to Syracuse University?
  • 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.
  • After a winning selection, Military Minute participants are eligible for another selection after 12 months.


Tom closes the episode by asking listeners to go 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.