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Military Services

About Us: Staff

Office of Military Services

The Military Services team provides support to military students and their families through collaboration, education, and advocacy. Our support extends into the following areas:

  • Serve as advocates on military related issues for students and at the institutional level
  • Act as a liaison between student and the VA to help students understand their military benefits as it relates to their education
  • Certifies enrollment to the VA for students using their VA benefits
  • Conducts Military Leave of Absence review
  • Works with the different military agencies to maintain compliance


Office of Military Services Staff

Manager: Dan Watson

Dan Watson, Manager of Military Services, came to the Office of Military Services after 3 years as the Manager of Service and Operations within Walden University. Dan served in the U.S. Air Force for over 5 years. He has an AS in Meteorology from the Community College of the Air Force, a BS in Management, and an MS in Human Resources Strategic Management from Bellevue University. Dan will be managing the strategic initiatives for the Office of Military Services and improving programming and services for military affiliated students and alumni.

Ann Thao

Sr. Military Services Specialist: Ann Thao

Ann Thao, Sr. Military Services Specialist, has been with Walden University since 2006. She served as the Supervisor of Walden’s student records imaging project and transitioned into the Military Services role shortly thereafter. Ann is commited to serving the military community as her father served in the military. She also enjoys the outdoors and crafting. Ann manages student calls, overpayments, the Military Services website, and reporting requirements for VA.

Sr. Military Services Specialist: Fatima Benkhadda

Fatima Benkhadda, Sr. Military Services Specialist, has been with Walden University since 2008. She is from a military family as her father and brother both served with a nephew currently serving. Fatima has international work experience working in North Africa and the Middle East and graduated with a legal studies degree. She speaks French, English, and Arabic and enjoy traveling, cooking, baking, and reading about world history. Fatima manages certifications, Tuition Assistance, and TEMPO program.

John Tripp

Military Services Specialist: John Tripp

John Tripp, Military Services Specialist, came to the Office of Military Services after 9 years as a Student Success Advisor in Walden’s College of Management & Technology.  He’s a proud uncle of an Air Force senior airman and a new AF cadet. John received his undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota-Duluth (Go Bulldogs!) and his Master’s in education from St. Mary’s University in Winona, MN.  His hobbies include traveling historic Route 66 and genealogy. John currently manages our email communication from students and submission of new programs to the VA.


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