About Us


To support the Wisconsin Experience of military-connected students by fostering personal transitions and pursuit of academic success

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What We Do

We serve military-connected students in three key focus areas:

Education Benefits – We certify both state and federal GI Bills, advise students on the use of education benefits, and assist with applying for new benefits.

Student Success – Students often need more than financial assistance to succeed academically. We develop programming to build community among our military-connected students and campus as a whole. A new initiative for the 2019-2020 academic year is Peer Advisors for Veteran Education (PAVE), a peer support program for incoming undergraduate student veterans.

Educate/Advocate – As the subject matter experts on the needs and interests of the students we serve, we educate the greater campus community and act as a resource for faculty/staff. Through local, regional and national partnerships, we advocate for the best student experience.

Who is a Military-Connected Student?

We use the term “military-connected student” to describe students who are:

  • Veterans of the U.S. military
  • Currently serving in the U.S. military (active and reserve)
  • Children and spouses of current or former members of the U.S. military

This term does not include all ROTC students, but cadets and midshipmen may also identify as former military or family members.


UW-Madison has employed a Certifying Official since the creation of the first GI Bill after World War II. In 2007, the former Division of Student Life hired an Assistant Dean for Veterans. The Veteran Services and Military Assistance Center (VSMAC) opened in 2014 with an office in 333 East Campus Mall as a joint effort between the Division of Student Life and the Office of the Registrar, housing both the Assistant Dean and Certifying Official.

In 2019, the VSMAC was administratively moved to Student Affairs as part of the Identity and Inclusion theme. The name was changed to University Veteran Services effective November 1st, 2019.

Meet the Staff

Joe Rasmussen

Position title: Veteran Services Coordinator & Certifying Official

Email: joe.rasmussen@wisc.edu

Joe Rasmussen serves as a Veteran Services Coordinator for University Veteran Services. He is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, serving on active duty from 2002-2006. Joe earned his Master of Social Work from UW–Madison and his Bachelor of Social Work from UW – Whitewater.

UW Student Appointments

Cody Huggins

Student Office Assistant

Adam Kehl

Student Office Assistant

Abby Schumacher

Student Office Assistant & Social Media Coordinator