March 26, 2007

U.S. Marine Corps Opens Doors Wide for Homeschool Graduates

The U.S. Marine Corps has joined the U.S. Army in actively pursuing homeschooled students. A recent statement from the Marine Corps Recruiting Command Public Affairs Chief makes it clear that homeschoolers are eligible to enlist in all military programs, the same as a graduate from public school.

Furthermore, the Marine Corps has given homeschooled enlistees Tier I status in its internal ranking. This ensures that homeschoolers will receive any applicable enlistment bonuses.

Home School Legal Defense Association remains committed to ensuring that homeschoolers are fully able to enlist in any military program, and salutes the United States Marine Corps for recognizing the achievements of homeschooled graduates.

Details are outlined in the following news release from the Marines.

Ready for a Challenge?

By Master Sgt. James D. Edwards

MARINE CORPS RECRUITING COMMAND, QUANTICO, Va. (March 22, 2007)—As the end of another school year approaches, the graduates of the class of 2007 are preparing to step off on their next endeavors in life. Some will continue on with school, some will get a job, and some will do both, but a select few will take up the challenge and push themselves to limits they have never reached before—they will start their journey of becoming a United States Marine.

Myth—Homeschool students don’t have a high school diploma so they can’t join the Marine Corps.
Fact—If you are a homeschool graduate, you can join the Marine Corps.

Myth 2—The Marine Corps will only enlist a specific number of homeschool graduates each year.
Fact 2—There is no practical limit on the number of homeschool graduates who can enlist into the Marine Corps each year.

Each year, approximately 40,000 young men and women ship to Marine Corps recruit training and go through the 13 weeks of grueling training that tests their honor, courage, and commitment each and every day. Once they complete the training and earn the title Marine, they have the self-respect, pride, confidence, and leadership skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

Unfortunately, less than 1% of those future Marines are homeschool graduates. In fact, during 2006 only 209 enlistees with a homeschool diploma shipped to Marine Corps recruit training.

It is a challenge for Marine recruiters to present the opportunities available in the Marine Corps to homeschool students. There is no school campus to visit or public roster of homeschool student names that recruiters have access to.

“It’s not that our recruiters aren’t interested in homeschool students,” said Master Gunnery Sgt. Patrick S. Arbec, Operations Chief, Marine Corps Recruiting Command, Quantico, VA. “If they don't come to us for information or if one of our recruiters doesn’t run into them in the local community—we don’t have a chance to present our opportunities to them.”

Homeschool graduates are afforded the same opportunity to enlist as graduates from public and private schools. They can sign up for all enlistment programs, as long as they are mentally, morally, and physically qualified for enlistment and score appropriately on the required Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery Test (ASVAB). And they can often receive an enlistment bonus.

“We have recruiters in every community across the nation, whose sole mission is to screen potential applicants and present the opportunities available in the Marine Corps to interested individuals,” said Arbec, who has been a Marine recruiter for more than 20 years. “Marine Corps standards are very stringent and we have a very effective and comprehensive screening process because we want to ensure we are sending the most qualified individuals to recruit training.”

All applicants attempting to enlist into the Marine Corps are required to go through the detailed recruiter screening process and a thorough medical examination at a Military Entrance Processing Station.

There are no unique restrictions that apply to homeschool applicants who have a diploma, or are currently enrolled in a homeschool program and are expected to complete the curriculum and attain a diploma. Just like high school seniors in the public education system, 17-year-old homeschool students in their final year of school can enlist in the Marine Corps Delayed Entry Program (DEP) with parental consent. These applicants still must receive their diploma prior to shipping to recruit training.

The purpose of the Marine Corps DEP is to prepare applicants for recruit training. Marine recruiters assist applicants with physical conditioning, they teach the basic customs, courtesies and traditions of the Corps, and they prepare applicants for the mental and physical challenges that lie ahead.

If you are up to the challenge, are a home school graduate, or will graduate this year and would like to learn more about opportunities in the Marine Corps, visit your local Marine recruiter, call 1-800-Marines, or visit www.Marines.com.