- Homeschool Graduates and the Military/
by Nicole McGhee, Administrator of the Homeschoolers in the Military Facebook Page
If you are a current homeschooler or homeschool graduate who is interested in serving in the military, you probably have some questions about what you need to do to prepare. The following are answers to frequently asked questions about homeschoolers in the military.
Can a homeschool graduate join the military? The answer is yes! Just like other graduates, there are requirements that need to be met, but having been homeschooled does not disqualify someone from joining the military.
What are the requirements for joining? A homeschool graduate has to have a detailed and comprehensive transcript that meets the necessary legal and educational requirements. Basically, what each state requires for graduation, the military requires for enlistment. In addition to full and complete transcripts, the student must take the Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) and receive a score of 50 or above. The ASVAB is an important test and it’s a good idea to study and practice in advance. Practice tests can be found online. The score received on the ASVAB will determine enlistment bonus eligibility and job placement opportunities. A student interested in joining the military should contact a recruiter to find the closest testing facility. Sometimes the test is administered at the recruiting station but that’s not always the case.
What is a waiver? If the student does not meet the qualifications specified by the desired military branch, a waiver can be requested. However, waivers have become increasingly more stringent. Waivers for criminal charges are difficult to receive and sometimes won’t be granted at all. Waivers for drug offenses, including those found on expunged records, are also difficult or impossible to have granted. A recruiter would be able to answer any questions regarding waivers.
What can a student do to prepare? Aside from transcripts, tests, and waivers, there are other ways to prepare for a military career. There’s a new website called www.futuresoldiers.com that has a wealth of Army-related information. Some areas have recruiters who run Future Soldier programs. In the program, you’ll have regular meetings and participate in Army-style training including physical training, ruck marches, ceremonial discipline, etc.
There are also additional military programs available for participation. The Army offers JROTC (Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps) and the Navy has a program called Sea Cadets. Students interested in the Marines can look into a Young Marines unit and the Air Force offers the Civil Air Patrol. Each of these programs instills valuable skills such as self-discipline, leadership, and teamwork. By participating in one of the aforementioned units, a student can build confidence, increase physical fitness, and develop abilities necessary for success. It is not a requirement to participate in any of these programs and by doing so; a student is not committed to that branch of service or to the military. You will have to check with local units of each of these programs to make sure that homeschoolers are allowed to participate.
What about Physical Fitness? All branches of the military demand a high level of physical fitness. It’s imperative that the student understands the physical demands required of service members. Prospective military enlistees should acquaint themselves with the testing requirements and begin a similar physical regimen in order to prepare for the daily demands of physical fitness.
Most importantly, students should know that being a homeschool graduate does not exclude them from joining the military. Specific branch information and requirements are found at the nearest recruiting station, don’t hesitate to contact your local office.
Following this career path after high school holds tremendous opportunities and offers a life-changing experience to those who choose to join. The military currently employs many successful homeschool graduates who have served, and continue to serve, with integrity, pride, and honor.