UNC Charlotte serves military veterans in pursuit of opportunities

Wednesday, April 11, 2018


Founded following World War II in response to rising education demands generated by the war and its technology, UNC Charlotte began as one of 14 evening college centers created to serve returning veterans. The Charlotte Center opened Sept. 23, 1946, and offered evening classes to 278 students at Charlotte’s Central High School.

Today, UNC Charlotte is a research-intensive university, the third largest of the 16 institutions within the UNC System and the largest public institution in the Charlotte region. The University comprises seven professional colleges and offers 23 doctoral programs, 63 master's degree programs and 78 bachelor's degrees, and fall enrollment exceeded 29,000 students.

UNC Charlotte continues to honor its history and roots, serving and supporting veteran students. In 2018, Military Times recognized the University as one of 2018’s best colleges and universities for veterans. Learn more about the broad array of academic programs available at the University, as well as the numerous support services offered to our veteran students. 


Services and Support

Office of Veteran Services

UNC Charlotte’s Veterans Services Office (VSO) is dedicated to the support and success of the institution’s military-affiliated student body. From processing GI Bill benefits to providing the Veteran Student Lounge for study and community, to programing on internships, job placement and more, the VSO is the central hub at UNC Charlotte to promote a smooth and seamless transition for those choosing college after or during their service.

Student Veterans Association

The Veterans Association at UNC Charlotte is a student-led organization intended to provide a social community in support of its members as well as provide educational, career-oriented and service-oriented opportunities for members. It is designed to be inclusive of the UNC Charlotte population of military veterans, current military personnel, future military personnel, spouses and families of military personnel and supporters of the military community.

Veteran Scholarships and Apprenticeships

The Graduate School supports efforts to recruit talented military veterans to graduate programs at UNC Charlotte. Veterans Graduate Assistantships provide a graduate assistantship (teaching or research) for two academic years, resident tuition support and health insurance, to three newly admitted graduate students (doctoral or master's). Students must be nominated by their graduate program director.

Academy for Veteran and Military Health

The Academy for Veteran and Military Health is dedicated to improving health and community reintegration of military-affiliated populations. It is comprised of a group of scholars from a variety of backgrounds committed to providing effective instruction, actionable research and support services to address the challenges and health disparities facing transitioning service members, veterans and their families. Christine Elnitsky, associate professor of nursing, leads the academy, which includes researchers from the fields of public health sciences, nursing, kinesiology and health analytics.

Community Networking and Engagement

UNC Charlotte works hand-in-hand with agencies across the Charlotte region dedicated to providing veterans the support needed to ease the transition from military service and through higher education success in the civilian sector. Here are many of the agencies the University collaborates with and encourage service members to explore. 


UNC Charlotte is a proud participant in NCSERVES, a platform connecting service members with needed services in the Charlotte region. NCSERVES offers service members, veterans and their families access to a class-leading continuum of providers that runs the gamut from superior housing and emergency service providers to employment, recreation and fitness, financial capabilities and more. It is coordinated network of public, private and nonprofit organizations utilizing a common technology platform to create accountability and formalize communication, coordination and transparency in order to efficiently guide veterans, service members and their families to the most appropriate services and resources available to achieve their unique goals.  

North Carolina Defense Business Association

UNC Charlotte is now the western hub for the North Carolina Defense Business Association (NCDBA). The NCDBA provides information, connections and networking opportunities to members to build relationships and promote defense related business within the state of North Carolina. It is comprised of a group of businesses with interests in military contracting, government affairs and supporting the state’s military installations. The purpose of the Association is to build the Defense and Homeland Security industry clusters at military installations in North Carolina.

Fallen Heroes Memorial

In 2011, UNC Charlotte dedicated the Fallen Heroes Memorial, located in Memorial Hall. The Fallen Heroes Memorial contains the names of former students, faculty or staff who gave the final sacrifice in the line of duty.


Annual Conferences

College of Health and Human Services - Veteran’s Conference

Presented annually by the College of Health and Human Services, this daylong conference brings top experts to Charlotte to discuss topics around veteran health. In February 2018, the conference featured strategies to serve women veterans transitioning from active military to civilian lives with a series of keynote discussions, as well as breakout and research poster sessions.


Founded in 2014 as a project of the Governor’s Working Group, the goal of NC STRIVE is to provide services and supports leading to Student Veterans’ success in two-year and four-year public and private institutions of higher education in North Carolina. NC STRIVE accomplishes this goal through conferences targeting administrators, support staff and faculty.

During the month of April 2018, NC STRIVE hosted four regional conferences in Fayetteville, Charlotte, Morganton, and Greenville. Nearly 400 people attended, with representation from community colleges, the UNC system and private four-year colleges. UNC Charlotte hosted the Charlotte region’s conference to acquaint college and university staff, faculty and administrators with challenges and issues faced by veteran students in transition from service, through higher education to successful civilian careers.


Special Events

UNC Charlotte Pride of Niner Nation D-Day Commemoration Trip
The UNC Charlotte Pride of Niner Nation Marching Band has been selected as the official band to represent the United States in Normandy, France, in June 2018. The performance will mark the 74th anniversary of D-Day.  Each year, one band is chosen to represent the United States at this commemoration. The honor was historically reserved for official military bands, but in recent years has been assigned to university marching bands of distinction.

Band members will honor military veteran by placing small flags at the Johnson Band Center the day the group leaves for Normandy, France, and they will place larger flags on the graves of American soldiers in the Normandy American Cemetery. Band members will wear specially designed sashes for their performances in France, which include the names of military veterans.