All training institutions wishing to provide military students with an opportunity to capitalize on their GI Bill benefits must be approved by the Veterans Administration (VA) and designate a School Certifying Official (SCO) to aid those students. Many times this title is given to an exsisting employee as an additional duty severely limiting the indivdiual's ability to specialize and develop professionally as an SCO. In the past, SCOs in Mississippi saw this hardship was amplified by the lack of training and/or networking. A small cadre of Mississippi SCOs took notice of neighboring states which had an organized mechanism to meet SCO needs.
On their own initiative and with a deep desire for all to serve the military-related populace to the fullest, in late 2006 this group coordinated with Alabama’s SCO organization and VA representatives to establish the Veterans Affairs Administrators of Mississippi (VAAMS). By Fall 2007, they had effectively laid the groundwork for the first VAAMS Conference. VAAMS has continued to serve Mississippi SCOs and evolve to the changing VA and/or DoD requirements as well as constantly working to meet the needs of SCOs.