President Obama signs executive order at Fort Stewart

President Obama signs executive order at Fort Stewart

HINESVILLE, GA (WTOC) - The President signed an executive order on higher education for military service men and women after speaking to soldiers and their families at Fort Stewart on Friday afternoon.

The executive order stops deceptive and misleading practices by educational institutions that target veterans, service members and their families, according to the White House.

The president discussed troubling high-interest student loans and aggressive college recruiters. He said that they are putting an end to those practices with the executive order.

He described the Know Before You Owe plan, which outlines what is needed for soldiers make decisions on how to pay for college.

He said the order requires colleges to provide a lot more counseling and that they need to come up with a plan for those serving in the military so they can get their degrees if they are  deployed.

The executive order would also bring end to dishonest and aggressive recruiting of military service members for college. He said it would strengthen rules on who can come on post and enable people to file complaints.

"If you succeed, our country succeeds," the President said.

First Lady Michelle Obama wrapped up her speech and introduced the President to the more than 10,000 soldiers, family members and veterans who gathered on Marne field. The President and First Lady arrived at Fort Stewart at noon and were greeted by 3rd Infantry Division Commander Maj. Gen. Robert Abrams, according to the White House.

Crowds at Fort Stewart began gathering at 6:30 a.m. Friday to see the President.

Abrams, 3rd Infantry Division commander, opened the event and introduced Sgt. Johnnie Marshall, 2-3 Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division. Marshall introduced the First Lady.

President Obama and the First Lady arrived at Warriors Walk at 11:45 a.m. Friday and toured the 441 Eastern Redbud trees, which each represent a fallen soldier who served with or was attached to the 3rd Infantry Division and was killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Marine One took the President and First Lady to Fort Stewart in Hinesville after Air Force One landed at Hunter Army Airfield on Friday morning. After landing, they shook hands with 100 soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Division. Hunter Army Airfield is the largest Army post east of the Mississippi River.

This was the President's first visit to Fort Stewart. President Obama's last visit to Savannah was in 2010. This was First Lady Michelle Obama's first visit to Savannah.

The First Lady will not be returning on Air Force One after the visit. She will be boarding a separate plane to leave for Florida.

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