By Amy Staff Sgt. Shawn Morris, 99th Regional Support Command
Ever since his days as a private in basic training, Army Capt. Eric Moton has never been one to rest on his laurels.
Moton said he always wanted to learn, as evidenced by the doctorate he earned in 2016, and the Army has been there to assist him throughout his quest for knowledge.
“In basic training, one of the things that a young sergeant pulled me aside and told me was, ‘Hey, education is big in the military,’” said Moton, who serves as chief of the finance division for the Army Reserve’s 99th Regional Support Command here. “I took to heart everything that young soldier told me and went ahead and enrolled in college when I got to my unit.”
Pictured above: Army Capt. Eric Moton, right, chief of the Finance Division for the Army Reserve’s 99th Regional Support Command, presents a retirement award to Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Moore during a ceremony at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., Nov. 5, 2016. Moton earned his Ph.D. in business administration in 2016, joining a select group of Army Reserve soldiers who have pursued higher education. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Shawn Morris
After several years as an active-duty chaplain assistant, Moton was selected for the Green to Gold officer scholarship program while deployed to Iraq. Upon redeployment, he was commissioned as an active-duty infantry officer.
“I ended up coming out of the Green to Gold active-duty program with a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree,” he said.
After a year off, Moton registered for the Ph.D. program at Capella University. In 2016, Capt. Moton became Dr. Moton.
“I had two company commands and a deployment to Saudi Arabia [during the time with Capella] and was able to get my doctoral degree in business administration,” Moton said.
Moton’s achievements are even more remarkable when considering his early struggles with education.
“The Ph.D. is something I wanted to prove to myself. I tried to go to college prior to joining the military, but was unsuccessful,” he said. “I had to take a whole bunch of placement tests starting out, including developmental math, developmental science — I had to take pretty much every developmental course. That discouraged me from going to college at that time, and that’s why I joined the military.”
Moton has now joined a select group of Army Reserve soldiers who have pursued higher education. Of all doctorates in the Army, 75 percent reside in the Army Reserve. Of all master’s degrees in the U.S. Army, 50 percent reside in the U.S. Army Reserve.
Having such a highly educated force helps the Army Reserve remain capable, combat-ready and lethal.
While the Army has paid for much of Moton’s education, he is currently paying out-of-pocket to pursue another master’s degree, this time in information management.
“I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon,” said Moton, whose future roadmap includes a degree in legislative administration with an eye toward working in Congress.