December 15, 2008

Army National Guard Opens Doors to Homeschoolers

In March of 2008, Senior Counsel Chris Klicka of the Home School Legal Defense Association, along with Will Estrada and Jeremiah Lorrig of HSLDA’s Federal Relations Department, met with Col. Mike Jones, head of all recruitment for the Army National Guard across the country. Col. Jones and his assistant, Cpt. Paul Douglas, are homeschoolers and wanted to help homeschool graduates get into the Army National Guard.

Klicka prepared a draft policy for them to give to local recruiters throughout the 50 states to streamline the process for the enlistment of homeschool graduates. Col. Jones indicated they wanted to give full benefits to the homeschool graduates who were accepted into enlistment as well. Many educational scholarships could be made available to homeschoolers to be used for college and graduates schools.

After several months, Klicka’s draft policy was accepted and implemented and is now online at our website. The new policy allows several options for homeschoolers to be admitted. Some of the benefits that homeschoolers are now able to get include up to $20,000 in enlistment bonuses. Other benefits include:

  • 100% federal tuition assistance to cover tuition and fees not to exceed $4,500 per year;
  • The Montgomery GI bill, which pays up to $11,124 for college or other approved technical training;
  • The National Guard GI Bill kicker, which provides additional funding up to $12,600 for enlisted soldiers, for college, or for approved technical training;
  • Leadership training and career skills;
  • Health and dental insurance.

The National Guard’s “Path to Honor” to enable homeschoolers to enlist states this on their webpage:

The National Guard will not treat you differently because of your homeschool education. The National Guard recognizes and values the unique skills, abilities, and character that homeschoolers can bring to our organization. Homeschoolers are known for their high levels of cooperation, assertiveness, and self control. The values young men and women hold will naturally mesh with the Army values. There are definite educational and personal benefits for homeschoolers who pursue a career in the National Guard.

The eligibility requirements for homeschoolers provide several options. A homeschooler needs to provide a homeschool diploma and transcript from the parent or guardian, accompanied by a third party verification memorandum. The examples the National Guard policy gives for this verification are described below:

1) A memorandum from a local public school district, verifying the homeschool’s compliance with the state law;

2) A memorandum from the Home School Legal Defense Association if the family is a member, verifying that the family was in compliance with the state law;

3) A memorandum from a private school program that sponsored the homeschool program;

4) A memorandum from a certified education consultant or private school teacher that verifies completion of the course work;

These and other options are listed in the National Guard’s official policy,

We are excited about these developments and opportunities for homeschoolers to continue their higher education, while at the same time provide service to their country.

 Other Resources

National Guard Homeschool Path to Honor: Eligibility Requirements

The official website of the National Guard