N A T I O N A L C E N T E R R E P O R T S
Defense Authorization Bill of 1998
How Can Home Schoolers Enlist in the Military?
Up to this point, many home schoolers have had difficulty entering the military because they did not have high school diplomas from an accredited school. All branches of the military were relegating potential home school recruits to Tier II status, which is reserved for high school dropouts. Tier I was reserved for high school graduates and those with some college credit. (Tier I candidates only have to score 35 on the militarys aptitude test, while Tier II candidates have to score 50).
Adding to the difficulty faced by home schoolers, the Air Force and Marines accept only Tier I candidates. And merely 10% of Navy and Army enlistees were Tier II candidates. HSLDA has been inundated with reports from home schoolers who scored over 90% on the militarys aptitude test, met all the militarys eligibility requirements, and yet were rejected simply because they did not have an accredited diploma.
By Gods grace, HSLDA persuaded Senator Paul Coverdell (R-GA) to introduce an amendment to H.R. 3616, the Defense Authorization Bill, to end this discrimination against home schoolers. The bill creates a five-year pilot project which automatically places home school recruits into the Tier I status. Each branch of the military must allow up to 1,250 home school diploma recipients to be considered under the Tier I status. This provision became effective on October 17, 1998.
The most important section of the new law states:
Sec. 571. Pilot Program for Treating GED and Home School Diploma Recipients As High School Graduates for Determinations of Eligibility for Enlistment in the Armed Forces.
. . . (b) Persons Eligible Under the Pilot Program as High School Graduates.Under the pilot program, a person shall be treated as having graduated from high school with a high school diploma for the purpose described in subsection (a) if
Under this new law, military recruiters must accept a home school diploma or transcript regardless of the teachers relationship to the student. Furthermore, a transcript or diploma either prepared by the parent or issued by a non-accredited home school correspondence course satisfies the laws intent.
. . . (2) the person is a home school diploma recipient and provides a transcript demonstrating completion of high school to the military department involved under the pilot program.
(c) GED and Home School Diploma Recipients.For the purposes of this section
. . . (2) a person is a home school diploma recipient if the person has received a diploma for completing a program of education through the high school level at a home school, without regard to whether the home school is treated as a private school under the law of the State in which located.
Home school students who meet all of the militarys eligibility requirements and seek to enlist in any of the four branches of the military can no longer be rejected simply on the basis of not possessing an accredited high school diploma.