|| MILITARY NEWS
In The Trenches
Breakthrough for enlisting homeschoolers
Good news for homeschoolers who want to enlist in the Navy, Marines, Army, or Air Force! As of an August 15 directive from the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, homeschool graduates will continue to be eligible for Tier I status in all four branches of the military for another year.
|Homeschoolers will continue to be eligible for Tier I status through September 30, 2004|
For many years prior to 1998, homeschoolers who wished to enlist in the military were placed in the same category as high school dropouts and relegated to Tier II status. Many of the best military career options are closed to those who enlist under this status. The military simply did not recognize homeschool diplomas as valid.
Because only a few openings were available under Tier II status, almost all homeschool graduates were denied enlistment regardless of their high scores on the military aptitude test.
In order to end this discrimination, Home School Legal Defense Association worked with Congress and the Department of Defense to pass an amendment to the Defense Reauthorization Act in 1998. This amendment created a five-year pilot program that automatically conferred Tier I status on homeschool graduates so they would be treated as regular high school graduates.
Over the last five years, many homeschoolers have successfully entered the military and have served outstandingly. A partial listing of homeschoolers serving in the recent conflict in Iraq can be found on HSLDA's website at www.hslda.org/hsiraq.asp.
Unfortunately, the pilot program was set to expire on September 30, 2003, and many faced renewed difficulty in enlisting as military recruiters assumed the program was ending.
Anticipating this need, HSLDA Senior Counsel Christopher Klicka worked behind the scenes with the White House and the Military Recruiting Command to ensure the continuance of Tier I status for homeschoolers in the military. This pressure convinced the Department of Defense to extend the pilot program for another year while the Center for Naval Analysis conducts a study on the success of homeschoolers in the military.
Thus, homeschoolers will continue to be eligible for Tier I status through September 30, 2004. This will keep the doors wide open for homeschoolers who seek to serve their country.
Meanwhile, HSLDA will continue to work with the Department of Defense. We expect homeschoolers to be given Tier I status permanently, either by the military or by Congress.