ACES ‘a force multiplier’ for Arsenal’s soldiers, civilians

The Rock Island Arsenal (RIA) and Western Illinois University Quad Cities (WIU-QC) celebrated on Monday, May 23, an education excellence partnership that serves more than 120 active, guard and reserve members and their families.

The event was staged at WIU-QC’s Moline riverfront campus to reinforce and renew the longstanding Army Continuing Education System (ACES) agreement between the partners. It also came on the heels of a weekend Armed Forces Day observance on Arsenal Island that was planned as part of the facility’s 160th anniversary.

From left, Jeremy Robinett, associate professor & WIU Vets Club adviser; WIU Interim Provost Billy Clow; Col. Todd Allison, commander of the Rock Island Arsenal Garrison; and WIU Trustee Greg Aguilar, of Moline, renew their education partnership at WIU-QC. CREDIT WESTERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY – QUAD-CITIES.

“For the last decade or two decades, we’ve really enjoyed a great relationship with Western Illinois University to provide quality and affordable education for our service members; active, guard and reserve,” Col. Todd Allison, commander of the U.S. Army Garrison, RIA, said Monday.

“I can’t think of a more exciting thing to do, two days after Armed Forces Day, than to … sign this memorandum of agreement with the university to continue that legacy here locally of continuing that quality and affordable education for our service members and their family members,”  he added.

“This is exciting; we’ve got an opportunity to serve the men and women and their families who are currently serving in the military for us, who are protecting us, who are helping us everyday,” said Western Illinois University Interim Provost Billy Clow of the two-year partnership renewal. “We have a chance to provide what we can, and that’s educational opportunities for enlisted folks and their families and on their schedules. If we can help make that a little bit easier, that’s what we are here for.”

In a news release, the garrison commander called “excellence in education” a priority for Army families, and partnerships with colleges and universities such as this one with WIU-QC “a force multiplier for our soldiers and civilians.”

Under the renewed agreement, inked Monday by Col. Allison and Mr. Clow, WIU will continue to provide courses, taught by its faculty, in formats including in-person, online and hybrid, that will lead to a bachelor’s and/or master’s degree, WIU said in a news release. The university also will  ensure an affordable education, by working within the parameters of tuition assistance set by the federal government for the active duty military personnel. The renewed pact will be in effect through 2024. In addition, WIU and WIU-C will work with veterans and civilians to maximize transfer and service credits toward earning a degree.

For more information, contact Curtis Williams at the WIU-QC campus at or (309) 762-3999, ext. 62236.

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