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Joining the military and a home school high school diploma


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My youngest (turned 13 yesterday) has brought up a few times the military. Specifically, the Marines. He'd be really good at it (dh is active duty Army, I am a vet) actually. He isn't Naval Academy material, and probably not even college right from high school material, as much as it pains dh who did ROTC. He could certainly enlist though, do some years, do college later.

 

I have heard or maybe read its tough to get into the military with a home school diploma? Is this true? And that Marines don't take a GED? I have done zero research and obviously this is just a passing fancy maybe, but he starting 8th grade next year so it's something to consider. We could do an accredited program (keystone, American school, etc) for him as a just in case.

 

Any words of wisdom or info from you smart ladies?

 

I can't tell you how proud it made us he has considered the military, I was surprised how much it affected me that one of my boys might follow in the footsteps of their dad and I. So I don't want to screw things up for him if he does really want to do that.

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My youngest (turned 13 yesterday) has brought up a few times the military. Specifically, the Marines. He'd be really good at it (dh is active duty Army, I am a vet) actually. He isn't Naval Academy material, and probably not even college right from high school material, as much as it pains dh who did ROTC. He could certainly enlist though, do some years, do college later.

 

I have heard or maybe read its tough to get into the military with a home school diploma? Is this true? And that Marines don't take a GED? I have done zero research and obviously this is just a passing fancy maybe, but he starting 8th grade next year so it's something to consider. We could do an accredited program (keystone, American school, etc) for him as a just in case.

 

Any words of wisdom or info from you smart ladies?

 

I can't tell you how proud it made us he has considered the military, I was surprised how much it affected me that one of my boys might follow in the footsteps of their dad and I. So I don't want to screw things up for him if he does really want to do that.

 

Check out this article (and others) on HSLDA's site. :-)

 

As far as I can tell, though, an accredited program makes no difference, and HSLDA strongly recommends NOT doing the GED. :-)

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Congrats on having a student who wishes to serve! There are several parents on this Board with students in the military, so you are sure to get some great first-hand advice -- Margaret in CO has a Navy helicopter pilot DD, and another DD in the midst of Army ROTC, and a just-graduated son heading for Airforce ROTC.

 

 

Do NOT go for a GED if heading towards the military. All branches are making cut-backs for recruiting, and accept far fewer applicants who have a GED. Federal rulings in the past few years have ensured that homeschool graduates with a parent-awarded diploma are treated the same as those high school graduates with school-awarded diplomas. Here is more info on enlistment:

 

Educational requirements for the 3 tiers of entry in the armed services:

Tier 1 = high school diploma

Tier 2 = GED or correspondence course equivalency of diploma

Tier 3 = no high school credentials

 

Before 2009, homeschoolers were considered to fall under Tier 2; now, Federal law counts parent-issued diplomas as valid diplomas, allowing homeschoolers with parent-issued diplomas to enter as Tier 1. However, anyone with a GED is still automatically enlisted at Tier 2.

 

As of 2013, the Dept. of Defense requires 90% of new enlistees to be Tier 1. Even more stringent:  the Army is no longer accepting anyone with a GED as a new enlistee. The upshot: if you have a GED, getting into the armed services has become MUCH more competitive for the many fewer spots available.

 

The second qualification is the ASVAB score. As of 2009, those holding a GED must score higher on the ASVAB than those with diplomas in order to enter several of the armed forces branches. (For example, to enlist in the AF: GED holders need a minimum score of 65 on the ASVAB; high school graduates with diplomas need only a 36.)

 

A further discouragement to GED holders: as Tier 2 enlistees, they have a much reduced list of positions they may apply for. In contrast, Tier 1 enlistees (who also scored high enough on the ASVAB) are eligible to apply for any open position.

 

Here are some links:

Homeschool Graduates and the Military -- helpful FAQ with links by a homeschooler

Military Enlistment Requirements

Army bonus for homeschool graduates

US Bureau of Labor: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Military Careers

 

 

A way of raising your chances of entering the military is to earn a Bachelor's degree, either through a college with an ROTC program, or through one of the military academies. DS might consider a "stepping stone" route to a 4-year degree and ROTC: first going through the local community college in a field that would be desirable in the military (computer science, information technology, emergency services, etc.) and earn an Associate's degree, then transfer applicable credits. That allows more time for maturing, and practice for university classes in the community college setting -- often a few of those classes can be taken as dual enrollment while a junior/senior in high school

 

Other career areas similar to the military:

- Fire / Police / Paramedic

- Border Patrol

- DEA Agent

- Reserves: Air Force, Army, Coast GuardMarine, Navy

- Coast Guard

- Merchant Marine

 

Something to heavily consider now as a teen is involvement in one of the military cadet programs, which can lead to enlisting at a higher rank, or even potential scholarships for college:

Sea Cadets (Navy)

Navy Junior ROTC (Navy)

Junior ROTC (Army)

Civil Air Patrol (Air Force)

 

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A GED was never in the plans, but some reason I thought most services preferred it to a home school diploma, I don't know why...

 

… We could do an accredited program (Keystone, American School, etc.) for him as a just in case.

 

There was a time in the 1990s/early 2000s when homeschool diplomas were not accepted, and a GED was the only other option if you didn't have an accepted diploma. But that has not been the case now for almost a decade.

 

Going with an accredited option would be a way of covering all your bases. Some offer more choice in curriculum than others. Some are better options for Military than others. So that may be your next step, is to post some specific threads about "high school and prep for military enlistment", and, "accredited programs and military enlistment".

 

Even more accepted by Military is having a minimum of 15 college credits at time of enlistment -- so doing 4-5 classes of dual enrollment in the junior and senior year would be an excellent option, and would probably be a better use of money spent than paying for an accrediting agency.  :) That would work out to just 1 class per semester in the junior and senior years, with 2 classes in the last semester of the senior year. And, of course, those classes count as BOTH high school credit AND college credit… The added bonus is that some states and school systems offer FREE tuition for dual enrollment of high school students at the local community college.

 

 

BTW -- You may also want to consider having your student take some SAT Subject Tests (also known as SATII tests), which are a way of "verifying mommy grades", and are required by some schools. SATII tests are different from the standard SAT (also known as the SAT Reasoning Test), which is used most frequently for college admissions and scholarships.

 

SAT Subject tests show understanding of material covered in specific high school subjects. You register/pay online in advance for up to 3 tests in a single day; they are each 1 hour long, and offered on the same days at the regular SAT. Not all subject tests are offered on all test dates.

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