August 19, 2003

Military Enlistment Program for Homeschoolers Likely Extended

The 5 year pilot program, that allows homeschooled graduates enlist in the military at the highest enlistment status, is scheduled to end in October. Home School Legal Defense Association has received word that the current program will be extended for at least one year to allow for further study.

In the past, HSLDA has explained the success of the pilot program which allows homeschool graduates to enlist in the military under "Tier 1" status. Many thousands of homeschoolers, as a result, have gained entry into the four Armed Services. Hundreds of them have served the United States in Iraq with great courage and distinction.

The 5 year pilot program, however, is coming to an end this October. HSLDA Senior Counsel Chris Klicka has been in communication with the Recruiting Command of the four Armed Services to discuss the extension of this program. Presently, the Army has the best policy with the most options for parents to establish that homeschool graduates are truly homeschoolers and not dropouts. HSLDA is working with the Recruiting Command to develop a policy for all four Armed Services that would reflect the Army's appropriate policy.

However, HSLDA received word that some in the Defense Department were concerned about extending the pilot program. Mr. Klicka contacted a White House official about the matter, who has since made contact with the Defense Department to ensure that the military pilot program for homeschoolers is extended.

Some homeschoolers recently received information from local recruiters that they will be relegated to "Tier II," along with high school dropouts, because the pilot program will end. All information we have received would indicate otherwise. The pilot project will continue without interruption so that homeschoolers will be able to gain entrance into the military by providing their homeschool high school diploma and four year transcript. They must also pass the military's aptitude test and provide verification from a third party.

Once we receive the formal new policy we will make that available.