Fletcher Veterans

Welcome to Fletcher!  As a 37-year veteran of the U.S. Navy myself, I am very proud of ALL of our veterans here at this marvelous school of international relations.  I believe that your experience in the armed forces will enhance your studies here, and hopefully contribute to finding just the right fit for you after you graduate.  I am looking forward to meeting you and hope that The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy is all that you hope.  See you around the school and thank you for your service,

Admiral James Stavridis, USN, (Ret)

Certification Information

Your Eligibility for VA Educational Benefits

At Fletcher, the majority of our current VA students are studying using the Chapter 33: Post 9.11 GI Bill benefit

In order to obtain more information regarding your eligibility for other VA educational benefits, such as Chapter 30: Montgomery Bill, please refer the Department of Veterans Affairs website.

Using Your VA Benefit for Your Fletcher Degree Program

New Students

Once your VA benefit application is approved and you receive the Certificate of Eligibility statement from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, you need to complete the following steps in order to certify the use of your benefit for the first time at Fletcher:

1. Provide a copy of your Certificate of Eligibility to the Fletcher School’s VA Certifying officer, Reiko Ohmura (office location: Registrar’s Office at 212 Goddard, Email: reiko.ohmura@tufts.edu) via email or in-person. Once you select to utilize your VA benefit for your Fletcher study, you are strongly recommended to contact Reiko Ohmura as soon as you receive your Certificate of Eligibility.

2. The certifying officer will evaluate and verify your VA benefit details and certify your tuition, fees and Yellow Ribbon award through the VA ONCE database. 

3. Provisional credit information of your VA benefit will be sent to the Tufts University Bursar’s Office based on your Certificate of Eligibility information. The amount of the expected VA benefit will be reflected in your university account as “Pending Credit.”

4. After receiving your certifying information, the VA transfers your educational benefit directly to your Tufts University financial account. 

Special Note for New VA Students

• If needed, seek other financial aid (i.e. FAFSA) in order to cover the rest of your bill

• Understand your eligible VA benefit (i.e. duration, eligible percentage)

• Understand your Fletcher program tuition and fees

• Know your responsibility for rest of the bill

Continuing Students

1. At the end of the semester, students receive a "VA Academic Status Report Form." Students need to submit the form to Reiko Ohmura (office location: Registrar’s Office, 212 Goddard, Email: reiko.ohmura@tufts.edu) via email or in-person in order to update his/her academic progression as well as the remaining VA educational benefit duration.

2. Based on the information on the form as well as your VA benefits eligibility, Reiko Ohmura will certify your tuition, fees and Yellow Ribbon award (if applicable) for the upcoming semester through the VA ONCE database. 

3. Reiko Ohmura will then request that the Tufts University Bursar's Office enter a provisional credit of the VA benefit amount for each eligible student.

4. After receiving the certifying information, the VA will transfer the educational benefit directly to the student's Tufts account. It will be listed as “VA BENEFIT.” If the student is eligible to receive the Yellow Ribbon award, it will be listed as "Fletcher Scholarship." 

FY 2017-2018* (8/1/2017 – 7/31/201): Maximum Amount of VA Educational Benefit** 

Post-Graduate Degree Students at Private Institution: $22,805.46 per Academic Year

*The VA’s fiscal year starts on August 1st and ends on July 31st in the next year.
**Tuition and fee caps for the upcoming fiscal year will be announced by the VA in spring to early summer (FY2017-2018 tuition cap information was announced in March 2017). FY2018-2019 tuition and fee cap information are expected to be announced by the end of spring 2018.

Yellow Ribbon Program

Only Veterans who qualify for 100% of the Post 9.11 GI Bill benefit (Chapter 33) are eligible to participate in the Yellow Ribbon program. The current Yellow Ribbon scholarship award at Tufts University/Fletcher School is $5,000 annually. The VA office matches the Tufts/Fletcher Yellow Ribbon scholarship amount, and sends the benefit directly to your Tufts account after your Post 9.11 GI Bill benefit is certified. The award will be paid on a semester basis.

Useful Links

Massachusetts Department of Higher Education

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: Regional Processing Offices

U.S. Department of Education:  Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Federal Student Aid

Tufts University Financial Services

Medical Benefits

Useful links

New England area healthcare system

10-10EZ, the online application for health benefits

Services and programs available to veterans residing in Massachusetts

Other benefits offered by the state of Massachusetts

VA medical centers in Massachusetts

VA hospitals abroad

For questions regarding health benefits, please contact:

  • Steven Shepard, OEF/OIF/OND Transition Patient Advocate, Department of Veterans Affairs, 617-894-7684, steven.shepard@va.gov
  • Susan Keating, Insurance Coordinator, Tufts Health Services, 617-627-3349, susan.keating@tufts.edu
  • GI Bill Hotline:  888-GIBILL-1 (Within the U.S.) OR 001-716-857-3196 (Outside the U.S.)

Fletcher Student Life
Contact a Fletcher Vet

Andrea Goldstein

Andrea Goldstein

Andrea N. Goldstein is a second-year student in the Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (MALD) degree program, concentrating in Gender Analysis in International Studies and Human Security. She is a 2016 Pat Tillman Scholar. Her focus area is concentrated on efforts related to implementing UNSCR 1325 and the Women, Peace, and Security agenda.

She is a 7-year veteran of the US Navy, and remains a drilling Reservist. Designated as an 1830/1835 Intelligence Officer, her military assignments include humanitarian assistance/disaster relief efforts in Japan, a shipboard WESTPAC deployment, and land-based assignments to Djibouti, Bahrain, and Timor-Leste. As a Reservist, she currently supports the Gender Advisor at NATO ACT.

Andrea writes and publishes extensively. She has written a regular column for Task and Purpose since 2014 (previously under the pseudonym ‘Anna Granville’), and has been published by the US Naval Institute, Joint Special Operations University, Business Insider, and Foreign Policy.

She graduated with honors in History from the University of Chicago.

Raffi Mnatzakanian

Raffi Mnatzakanian

Raffi is studying his second year at Fletcher in the Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (MALD) program. His fields of study are Human Security and International Political Economy.

Raffi grew up in the Washington DC area but has lived all over the country since joining the military. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 2008 and was commissioned as a Military Police Officer. In 2013, Raffi transitioned to the Civil Affairs branch and into Army Special Operations.

He has served tours in Hawaii, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Atlantic Resolve. He remains on active duty and will return back to the center of the universe (Fort Bragg, NC) after Fletcher. His wife and two children live with him in the Arlington, MA area and enjoy hiking, traveling, good German beer, and all winter sports. 

Robert Bell

Robert Bell (fletcher Vet) 

Robert Bell is a 1969 graduate of the US Air Force Academy who retired in January 2017 from the US Government following a 45 year career in the military, on Capitol Hill, at the NSC, and at NATO HQ. He was also a Senior VP for 6 years at SAIC, directing its business development activities in Europe. Mr. Bell received his MA from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in 1970, where he was granted a MALD equivalent degree in 1975 and was accepted as a PhD Candidate in 2017.

Katrina Ablen

 Katrina Ablen (Fletcher Vet)

Katrina graduated from The George Washington University and received her commission by way of the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC).  As a surface warfare officer, Katrina went off to do two tours in Norfolk, VA onboard two guided missile destroyers and deployed as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.  She then reported to United States Forces Korea in Seoul where she worked alongside multiple coalition partners.  Immediately prior to reporting to The Fletcher School, Katrina was part of the Commander's Action Group at Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet in San Diego, CA.

Katrina transitioned to the Naval Reserve and is assigned to the U.S. Seventh Fleet detachment out of Newport, RI. Katrina is a first-year Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (MALD) student concentrating on International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution and International Security Studies

Cutler Dawson

Cutler Dawson (fletcher Vet)

Cutler Dawson held military assignments on a Guided-Missile Destroyer, a Guided Missile Cruiser, and at the US Embassy in Bogota, Colombia. During Cutler’s seven years of service as a Surface Warfare Officer in the US Navy he made two deployments to the Persian Gulf, circumnavigated the globe as the shipboard Navigator, and was a central planner for the humanitarian assistance operation CONTINUING PROMISE mission for Colombia.

Cutler is a second-year student in the Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (MALD) degree program, concentrating in Negotiations and Strategic Management and Consultancy.