The USAA Educational Foundation and the Texas A&M University Financial Planning Program are joining forces to launch a first-of-its-kind financial readiness program. Open to all students, while targeted specifically to the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets and veterans on campus, the program is designed to help military leaders of the past, present and future make sound financial decisions and prepare them to counsel others about financial decisions.

“The ‘Command Your Finances’ course is designed to develop, teach, and empower financial leadership among students at Texas A&M who could potentially become military officers,” said Dr. Nathan Harness, a professor in Texas A&M’s Department of Agricultural Economics who holds the title of TD Ameritrade Director of Financial Planning at Texas A&M.giant check from USAA

“We are excited about this opportunity to collaborate with The USAA Educational Foundation on a program to prepare students for leadership roles in the military and in financial planning.”

“Financial stress is an unfortunate reality for many military service members and their families,” said Steve Finley, executive director of The USAA Educational Foundation. “Equipping students, and especially future military officers, with financial knowledge and tools can help reduce the number of military families experiencing that stress in the future. Those who serve our nation, and their families, need support to be prepared to make informed decisions about their money and their finances.”

Harness said the new program will set the standard for financial readiness in educational institutions across the country.

“This is an optional course for students, so the curriculum has to really add value to their financial future. The inaugural course will serve as a learning lab to determine students’ needs, and begin to test the impacts of the course on students,” Harness said. “In the future, we plan to host a national conference on military financial readiness to scale the program to military academies and other universities that have ROTC programs.”
Harness noted that the program will ultimately prepare students for sound financial readiness well before graduation and help them establish themselves as financially savvy leaders when they enter military service or the workforce.

“So many people think about retirement only 10 years or so before they are ready to retire,” he said. “Someone who is 21 years old is typically not thinking about stocks or bonds, and might not even know what stocks and bonds are. This program will supply them with the knowledge, plus enable them to apply that knowledge to mentor other A&M students so that they may someday go out and teach others about financial readiness.”


The Texas A&M Financial Planning Program is a flexible program that provides a comprehensive curriculum serving current undergraduate and graduate students, former students and working professionals. The program is registered with the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM Board of Standards and students who complete a CFP Board-registered program are eligible to take the CFP® Certification Examination. Courses are offered online and through traditional classroom delivery. A team teaching concept involving practitioners and academics brings a unique mix of conceptual frameworks, practical knowledge, application, and rigor to students’ learning experiences. The overall focus is problem solving, applying financial planning principles to real life situations, and helping individuals, families, and businesses achieve their financial goals. Learn more at


The USAA Educational Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization focused on leading and inspiring actions that improve financial readiness in the military and local community. Its financial education resources are free and available at The USAA Educational Foundation does not endorse or promote any commercial supplier, product or service.


Media contact: Blair Fannin, 979-845-2259,