I recently visited recruiters for the Army, Navy, and Marines. I gathered as much information as they had to offer, and I will be adding it to this post as I process all of it. While I was there, I asked if they would like to be informed of any homeschool events that might yield some recruiting opportunities, and they were all receptive to the idea. I exchanged business cards with all of them and look forward to keeping in touch. I will be visiting the Air Force recruiter in the near future.
For now, I will try to summarize the information I got from the three branches I visited:
The recruit must have a minimum score on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB).
The recruit must have a copy of high school transcripts.
The recruit must have a signed letter from the parent/instructor stating what methods of instruction were used, etc.
I received a checklist from the Army recruiters, and here are some things that are required:
1. Transcripts from all schools attended during the 9th-12th grade. This means that if your student has attended public or private school, you must contact those schools. For the time spent homeschooling, you must write a transcript. If the parents have kept good records per their state’s requirements, this should not be too difficult.
2. The homeschool graduate must have completed at least 9 months of homeschooling. This means that the student cannot drop out of school during his or her last semester and claim to have been homeschooled.
3. If the recruit has not graduated, he or she must have completed 6 months of homeschooling. This means that the recruit cannot drop out of school and enlist in the Delayed Entry Program while claiming to be homeschooling.
4. If your state requires it, you must have the required documents stating that the recruit is/was homeschooled.
5. The parents must write a letter stating that they did indeed homeschool the recruit, describing the curricula, and stating the number of hours per week. The letter must contain a valid phone number.
6. All documents will need to be reviewed by the Education Specialist.
I got the impression that it can do more harm than good for the homeschool student to pursue a GED prior to joining the military. Recruiters tend to view GED recipients as drop-outs. Therefore, some branches require college credit in addition to the GED. It would also seem that the military favors more traditional classroom-type teaching methods rather than self-paced, video, or online methods. It is preferred that the parent be heavily involved in the actual instruction. The reason recruiters typically do not target homeschoolers is because they are more difficult to enlist than the recruits from public and private schools that are accredited.
My advice, then, is to keep good records and to be very proactive in your homeschool student’s education. Get as much paperwork together as possible before starting the recruitment process.