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New York Film Academy Veterans
Veteran students film and act in an original desert scene


Col. Jack Jacobs speaks as part of the guest lecture series at NYFA

Colonel Jack Jacobs, Chair of Veterans Advancement Program
Colonel Jack Jacobs Colonel Jack Jacobs, Chair of the New York Film Academy's Veterans Advancement Program, served in the U.S. military for more than 20 years and is considered a true American hero. Among our nation's most decorated soldiers, Colonel Jacobs was awarded the Medal of Honor — the nation's highest combat honor — as well as two Silver Stars and three Bronze Stars. His many service posts included work as a platoon leader in the 82nd Airborne Division, an executive officer of an infantry battalion in the 7th Infantry Division, and a commander of the 4th Battalion 10th Infantry in Panama. On two tours of duty in Vietnam, Colonel Jacobs served as an advisor to Vietnamese infantry battalions.

After leaving the military in 1987, Colonel Jacobs embarked on a successful career in the financial industry; he is currently the on-air military strategist for NBC and MSNBC. Jacobs was nominated for Emmys in 2010 and 2011, and received the distinguished Edward R. Murrow Award for his NBC segment "Iraq: The Long Way Out."

Colonel Jacobs holds bachelor's and master's degrees from Rutgers University, and entered the U.S. Army in 1966 as a second lieutenant through the ROTC program. A member of the faculty of the US Military Academy (WestPoint) and the War College, Colonel Jacobs taught international relations and comparative politics for three years.

Colonel Jacobs serves on a number of charitable boards of directors and is vice chairman of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. He holds the McDermott Chair of Humanities and Public Affairs at the US Military Academy. He has authored two books: memoir "If Not Now, When?" with Penguin in 2008, and non-fiction book "Basic" in 2012 with St. Martin's Press.

Los Angeles:

John Powers, Director, Division of Veterans Services
John Powers John T. Powers is an advocate for veterans who currently serves as the Director of NYFA’s Division of Veterans Services, where he plays a vital role in supporting the veteran-students of NYFA. Powers received his bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Rhode Island and his master's degree from Rhode Island College. Powers previously served as the co-founder and executive director of Student Veterans of America, a national coalition of student veteran organizations from college campuses across the country. He was also an advisory council member to the Military Family Research Institute and Operation College Promise. In 2009, Powers formed the consulting company Operation Vets, working with more than 35 higher education institutions and college systems to develop programs to support veterans on campus. He has contributed to numerous grant review committees, and regularly presents at state and national conferences focusing on veterans' reintegration issues and education.

Eric Brown, Senior Veterans Outreach & Recruitment Advisor, Division of Veterans Services
Eric Thomas Brown Eric Thomas Brown was born and raised in Miami, Florida, and is a decorated Navy veteran, with deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). He is a graduate of the New York Film Academy in Acting for Film, and is a passionate veterans advocate. In Brown's current position as a Veterans Coordinator, he is responsible for assisting in the coordination of NYFA's efforts to educate those currently serving in the United States military, veterans, and their family members, about the educational programs offered at the New York Film Academy.

Michael Kunselman, Senior Veteran Services Specialist, Division of Veterans Services
Michael Kunselman Michael Kunselman, originally from Mantua, Ohio, served seven years in the U.S. Navy as an air traffic controller. He was stationed onboard the USS Kitty-Hawk and at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. After being honorably discharged, Michael moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting. Since arriving in Los Angeles, Kunselman has appeared in numerous indie short films, features, TV shows, plays, and commercials. He is a member of SAG-AFTRA.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at

For Post 9/11 GI Bill®️ (Ch 33) students and VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Ch 31) students, our tuition policy complies with 38 USC 3679(e) which means Post 9/11 and Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment students will not be charged or otherwise penalized due to a delay in VA tuition and fee payments. For eligibility consideration, a Post 9/11 GI Bill student must submit a VA Certificate of Eligibility (COE) and a Vocational Rehabilitation Student must provide a VAF 28-1905 form.
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