Home : About DANTES
What is DANTES?

DANTES has been providing education and career-planning programs at no-cost to actively-serving U.S. military members, including those in the National Guard, Reserve components and the U.S. Coast Guard -- for 50 years, as of July 31, 2024 and we are celebrating this milestone all year long. 

Over the past 50 years, DANTES has continually adapted to the changing education environments, Service requirements, and needs of service members serving worldwide. DANTES has also increased program accessibility and awareness via multiple digital platforms, including monthly webinar training sessions, a redesigned, official, U.S. government website, a mobile application titled “MilEd Benefits”, five social media channels, and weekly information exchange efforts with multiple DoD and national educational organizations.

Our Defense programs can help a military member at every stage of his/her military career, from entry into the service to the final stage of transition to the civilian workforce. In a nutshell, DANTES provides quality education programs that make better service members today and more efficient citizens tomorrow. 

The Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) receives oversight from the Defense Human Resources Activity (DHRA). DANTES is an office within the Defense Support Services Center (DSSC) providing consolidated management of Defense Voluntary Education (VolEd) programs to help prevent duplication of effort among the Services. We are committed to helping service members gain the knowledge they need to achieve their education goals, advance in their military careers, and transition into the civilian workforce at the conclusion of their military services.

DANTES logo surrounded by DoD and Service logos showing their relationships

The Defense Department invests in off-duty, voluntary education (VolEd) to support military recruitment, retention, readiness, and civilian transition goals. Under the direction of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Officer and Enlisted Personnel Management, the Defense Department and DANTES maintain and provide educational opportunities for military members worldwide to include the following programs:
► Academic Skills Training Program (Peterson's Online Academic Skills Course/OASC)
► College and Career Counseling Program (Kuder Journey)
► DoD MOU College Comparison Tool (TA DECIDE)
► College Credit by Examination Program (CLEP and DSST)
► Military Training Evaluation Program (MTEP)
► Contingency/Overseas Education Support


MISSION: DANTES manages a portfolio of education programs that help service members achieve their education and career goals.
VISION: To lead in the delivery of quality education programs that make better service members today and more effective citizens tomorrow


► INTEGRITY: We value commitment, passion, dedication, and recognize the need for open communication, accountability, and good stewardship.
SERVICE MEMBER COMMITMENT: We provide service members with the support, tools, and resources required for them to realize their personal and professional goals.
INNOVATION: We have a willingness to change, be flexible, and develop new ideas and initiatives in support of DoD service member education needs.

DANTES Director:
Jeffrey (Jeff) Allen

Mr. Jeff Allen serves as the Director of the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) and has been in this position since September 2015. DANTES is tasked with leading, planning, and organizing a comprehensive portfolio of voluntary education (VolEd) programs and services in support of the Uniformed Services, including all branches of the U.S. Military and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Prior to this assignment, Mr. Allen served as the Executive Director of Manpower, Personnel, and Services, Headquarters, Pacific Air Forces, where he was responsible for the leadership and management of Manpower, Personnel and Services programs to include: assignments, training, equal opportunity, education, quality force, manpower resources, and quality of life, supporting a ready force of more than 45,000 military members, civilian employees and their respective family members. Mr. Allen holds a Master of Education from Campbell University, North Carolina,1990.

Deputy Director:
Michael J. Stahl

Mr. Michael Stahl was born in Evanston, IL, and graduated in 1982 from the U.S. Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Ocean Engineering. Following graduation, he reported to flight training in Pensacola, FL and was designated a Naval Aviator in April 1985.

His military operational assignments include tours with EA-6B squadrons and carrier air wing deployments on USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67), USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), USS Independence (CV 62), USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) and USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). He also served as Operations Officer for the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group and has more than 3,500 flight hours and 799 arrested landings.

Shore duty assignments included Flight Instructor, Operational Test Director, Joint Staff Action Officer, Chief of Staff and Deputy Commander for the Operational Test and Evaluation Force, and Chief of Staff for the Naval Education and Training Command. He obtained a Master of Science in National Resource Strategy, Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

Following retirement, he entered Federal Service in May 2012 with the Naval Education and Training Command, Pensacola, FL. In December 2013, he reported to DANTES, as the Deputy Director, responsible for coordinating the daily operational activities of the staff providing educational products and services that support the voluntary education needs of the Military Services.

Academic Skills Training (OASC) and
College & Career Planning (Kuder Journey): 
Ms. Mareba Mack

Ms. Mareba Mack is the DANTES’ Program Manager for two programs:
- The Academic Skills Training program assesses a Service Member's academic strengths and weaknesses to help improve skills in basic math, English and science for college-level course placement, qualification for reclassification or advance training, and military advancement, via the Peterson's Online Academic Skills Course (OASC).
- The College and Career Planning program, often referred to as Kuder Journey. Kuder Journey's education and career counseling program is designed to help military students learn, assess and plan, based on personal interests, skills and work values. With Kuder Journey, users can develop a college and career plan tailored to their individual needs and interests to help make life's journey easier and more rewarding.
Ms. Mack started with DANTES in February 2020, after several years as an Education Services Specialist in the following locations:
- Joint Base Andrews, MD (2018-2020)
- Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, DC (2016-2018)
- Naval Air Station Pensacola, FL (2014-2016)

Ms. Mack served 9 years on active duty in the U.S. Air Force. She holds a M.Ed., Education Leadership, 2002.
Please email Ms. Mack at dodhra-academicskills-dantes@mail.mil and/or dodhra-kuderjourney-dantes@mail.mil if you have questions about these programs.
Education Advice:
 “Commit to your career as though you will serve forever; prepare for your future as though you may separate tomorrow.”


Contingency (Overseas) Education Support:
Ms. Laura Dean

Ms. Laura Dean is the Program Manager for the Contingency Education Support program providing education services and resource to military members serving outside of the continental U.S. (OCONUS). 

Ms. Dean served in the following positions before coming to DANTES in December 2020:

- Chief of Education and Training, HQ Pacific Air Forces, (2008-2020)
- Education Services Specialist, HQ Pacific Air Forces, Hickam AFB, Hawaii, (2005-2008)
- Education Services Officer, Andersen AFB, Guam, (2003-2005)

Ms Dean has a Master of Arts in Professional Counseling, 2001.


Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) Branch Chief:
Mr. Douglas Johnson

Mr. Douglas Johnson serves as our Supervisory Education Program Specialist (Credit for Prior Learning Branch Chief.) 
Mr. Johnson is a retired Navy Commander with 31+ years of service in various education and training leadership roles. He earned a BS in Business Administration, University of South Carolina/Columbia, and an MBA, Trident University. Additionally, he has both the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and the Society of Human Resources Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) certifications.

Please email Mr. Johnson at 
dodhra.dantes-cpl@mail.mil if you have questions for him.
Education Advice:
 “Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) also known as Credit for Prior Learning (CPL), provides you with a head start.  It’s really important to think about how the learning you’ve obtained can support your admissions process, pre-requisite requirements, or be used as transfer credit to meet course equivalents.  Determine your long and short-term goals, periodically evaluate your military transcript and other academic and professional credentials and learn transfer of credit protocols at the institution(s) and for the programs you wish to attend.”

Credit-by-Exam (CBE):
Mr. Matthew Schwantz

Mr. Matthew W. Schwantz serves as the Program Manager for the DANTES' Credit-by-Examination program, a Prior Learning Assessment program that provides the DoD and Military Services with a means to evaluate, document and translate prior learning into college credit recommendations.

Mr. Schwantz served in the following positions before coming to DANTES in January 2019:

- Personnel Security Manager, Naval Hospital Pensacola, FL (2017-2019)
- Stay-at-Home Dad, Escambia, FL Substitute Teacher, Graduate Student, Professional Musician (2014-2016)
- Learning Standards Officer/Senior Instructor/Master Training Specialist (MTS), Navy Recruiting Orientation Unit (NORU), Pensacola, FL (2009-2013)

He is a retired Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer (1993-2013), who served as a Damage Controlman (Firefighter), Command Career Counselor, Navy Career Recruiter, Master Training Specialist/Instructor, and Senior Enlisted Leader.  He has an MBA from Columbia Southern University, January 2017.

Please email Mr. Schwantz at 
dodhra.dantes-cpl@mail.mil if you have questions about this program.
Education Advice:
 “Utilize all your education benefits the military provides you and get as many goals accomplished before you leave service.”


Mr. Mark Yates

Mr. Mark Yates serves as DANTES’ Program Manager for the DoD MOU and TA DECIDE programs. 
Mr. Yates served in the following positions before leading one of the DANTES education programs in January 2023:

- US Navy (1997-2022)
- Director of Training Navy Recruiting Command (2017-2020)
- Navy Instructor Pilot / Training Squadron Commanding Officer- (2000-2016)

Mr. Yates holds a BA History/Business, University of Texas Austin, 1995.

Please email Mr. Yates at dodhra-voledconcerns-dantes@mail.mil if you have questions about this program. 

Education Advice:
Education creates opportunities both inside and outside of your military service. Take advantage of every training opportunity that you can."

Military Training Evaluations Program (MTEP):
Ms. Beth Austin

Ms. Beth Austin serves as DANTES’ Program Manager for the Military training Evaluations Program (MTEP). A service member's learning from military training, education, and occupational experiences is evaluated through DANTES' Military Training Evaluation Program (MTEP) by the American Council on Education (ACE) and documented on the Joint Services Transcript (JST). Many service members are eligible for college course credit at academic institutions based on their knowledge already gained during military service. 

Ms. Austin served in the following positions before coming to DANTES in May 2023:
- Director, Veterans Resource Center, and Associate Director, Career Advising, University of Kentucky
- Operations Supervisor and Career Advisor, DoD Spouse Education and Career Opportunities (SECO) Program
- Marine Corps Family Team Building Trainer, MATSG-21, Pensacola
- Education Services Specialist/Education and Career Advisor, Navy College Program, San Diego and Pensacola
- Marine Corps Key Volunteer Coordinator, HMH-362 and VMFA-323
- Military Education Program Coordinator, Chaminade University
Ms. Austin is completing a Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies & Evaluation (Higher Education Studies) from the University of Kentucky. She holds a Graduate Certificate in Research Methods in Education from the University of Kentucky, an M.Ed. in Counseling from Chaminade University, and a B.A. in Spanish, French, and Secondary Education from Murray State University. Ms. Austin is also an IFC Certified Professional Coach.

DANTES provides consolidated management of Defense Voluntary Education (VolEd) programs to help prevent duplication of effort among the Services. However, service members must abide by their Service regulations and guidelines regarding education and tuition assistance (TA).
Please see your Services’ Voluntary Education (VolEd) website below for further information on the use of your military education benefits.