Like many, George Canino’s path to service began with his family. His father, a retired member of the U.S. Air Force, sparked his interest in the military at a young age.
Canino’s father was stationed in Madrid, Spain, while in the Air Force. After he retired, when George was 3 years old, the family remained there. Even after completing an associate’s degree in international business from Schiller International University in Spain, Canino held on to his desire to serve. Canino enlisted in the U.S. Army and moved on his own to the U.S. in an English-speaking environment after living 21 years in Spain
Later, while stationed in Ft. Drum, New York, Canino’s platoon leader suggested he was a good fit for the Army’s Green to Gold program, where enlisted soldiers can graduate with both a degree and an officer’s commission from the school of their choice. With a previous recommendation from the admissions office at West Point and given the convenience and familiarity of the area, Canino saw an obvious choice in Syracuse University to continue his education.
“That’s where the Office of Veteran and Military Affairs (OVMA) came in,” says Canino.
The OVMA worked with the Maxwell School to get Canino into the classes he needed to fulfill his requirements as a political science major, in the Maxwell School and the College of Arts and Sciences, and organized housing for the semester on South Campus.
He was impressed with OVMA’s persistence in getting him enrolled.
“They were like ‘no matter what we need to get this guy to school, here,’” Canino says.