In 2008, Chris Howell began thinking of life after the military. He was serving in the Australian Army, Special Operations Command and was eager to head back to school, reinforced by some timely advice from his younger brother, David. “He said to me, ‘look, you can blow in a door and attack a room, but you need to learn how to read and write an essay.'” David, a top student at Sydney University at the time, took it one step further, putting together a crash-course of materials to help Chris prepare for college life. Five years later, this informal boot-camp became the basis of the Warrior-Scholar Project.

In 2012, Chris Howell partnered with Jesse Reisling and launched the project from Yale, offering a two-week intensive bootcamp for veterans returning to school. In addition to offering classes at Yale this year, they were also available at Harvard and the University of Michigan. By next year, the group plans to hold classes on 10 campuses.

Editors’ note: Since the original publication of this story, Jesse Reising, founder of the Warrior-Scholar Project, has become a NationSwell Council member.