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Can a student who was homeschooled through high school have a successful career in the armed forces? Is he allowed to enlist on an equal footing with traditionally schooled graduates? Can she become an officer? Are these students prepared to serve their country with honor and distinction? The answer to all these questions is yes—but do your homework. Since military policy doesn’t always recognize the clear evidence of homeschooling’s success, it’s important to know all of the options open to him so he is prepared to demonstrate his aptitude to recruiters. Homeschoolers should not take the GED if they plan to enroll in the military, and they should not seek a diploma from an online school. HSLDA members may contact the legal department for additional advice prior to enlisting in the military.
Your high schooler’s academic preparation will depend on the type of military career he plans to pursue. Become familiar with the academic requirements for admission to the service academies. In addition, the academies seek well-rounded individuals who have participated in community service, and students applying to be officers must exhibit leadership ability. A strong college prep program will also prepare your teen well in qualifying for a ROTC college scholarship.
- Pays for college, requires 3-5 years of service
- Detailed information on various scholarships and how to win them.
- U.S. Air Force
U.S. Coast Guard
U.S. Merchant Marine Academy
In 2011, HSLDA worked with Congress to include an amendment in the National Defense Authorization Act to ensure that homeschool graduates could enlist in the military. Congress included the amendment in the bill it sent to President Obama for his signature, and it was signed into law in early 2012.
The military has new policies for homeschool graduates who seek to enlist. These are simply to determine if your child was actually homeschooled and not for any other reason. We are very pleased that the new law is leading to good policies for homeschool enlistment across the services.by William A. Estrada, Esq., HSLDA’s Director of Federal RelationsDetailed information on military scholarships.A basic history of homeschoolers and the military.Choosing the right path
Joining the military requires careful consideration of the many options available to your son or daughter. Your student must decide if he wants to enlist or become an officer, whether to obtain a college degree, how long he wants to serve, which branch he plans to enter, and whether he wants to join the reserves. Gather as much information as possible before making any firm decisions—and be sure to talk to as many people as you can who are in or have been in the military. They are your best source of military career advice!
Prior to military enlistment, you may want to provide your teen with the opportunity for further training in discipline, character, and response skills.
The following sites can help answer questions you may have about military careers, the various branches, and how to talk to a recruiter. The sites also contain information especially for parents and advisors.