View Full Version : Homeschool diplomas and the military

04-04-2016, 02:14 PM
Hi, everyone!

Nathaniel is trying to enlist in the military. His recruiter called me today with questions about his homeschool diploma. They're looking to see if it's an accredited diploma. I explained it's not accredited by the state but it is recognized as a valid diploma. He's going to have his education specialist contact me with further questions.

Anyone gone through this before? What kind of question should I be expecting? Any helpful hints or tips?


Hollie in SC
04-04-2016, 02:24 PM

But several of our moms can give you first hand experience. :) Eli is looking at National Guard so I'm interested in seeing what folks say.


04-05-2016, 07:05 AM
My son's recruiter had never met a homeschooler, and the poor guy was confused. :lol: That said, yes, it was a pain in the you-know-what to get the Marines to recognize my son's diploma and non-GED graduate status, even though he scored extremely well on the ASVAB.

I sent the recruiter a copy of the article that Hollie linked above, and other military-related articles on that website, saying that yes, the military does accept homeschoolers.
I had to supply a copy of the diploma.
I invited the recruiter to my son's graduation, and he came. :clap:
I supplied another copy of the diploma later when it had gone missing or something and they needed another one.
THEN, after all that and I thought my son was home free, the very night before he left for boot camp (he was already gone and headed to the hotel with his recruiter), they came back here because the recruiter had to get a list of "proof" of my son's education! :eyes: We sat at the kitchen table and I gave the recruiter a list of curriculum that showed my son had indeed completed high school coursework. I think this last-minute panic was because the diploma was NOT accredited and they just couldn't wrap their heads around that. I also gave his ACT score and GPA, but I'm not sure if that mattered. :unsure:

The good news is, after all that, it has totally been a non-issue. It hasn't affected him one bit in service, and in fact one of his best friends where he is stationed now is also a former homeschooler from Iowa.

So just be persistent and don't get discouraged. They just don't know what to do with homeschoolers, depending on the recruiter and whoever he reports to. Be prepared ahead of time with a list of the curricula you used, give them a copy of the diploma, and check in on it during the process to make sure that it's being accepted. I would go ahead and offer the coursework information and the HSLDA articles without even being asked, to show that you are aware of your son's qualifications and that the military accepts homeschoolers all the time (even if they're not aware of it!).

What branch is this?

04-05-2016, 11:12 AM
Well, it ended up working out, after some wrangling. So far... :eyes: They already had his diploma and transcript, turned in over a month ago. Then came the call about accreditation and a cover school. Then they sent me a state form to fill out, which really is a LOI(letter of intent) to be turned in for each year. Whatever. I had the actual LOI for his senior year(rest are in storage), but nooooo! :lol: I filled in the one they wanted as best as possible, stating the years he was homeschooled in this state, signed and dated it for yesterday and that was good. :eyes:

So, we are good to go until the next thing comes up. And I guess even at 21, almost 22, I should find all his homeschool paperwork and make sure it's accessible. :unsure: Ridiculous!

Oh, and small brag. He scored a 95 percentile on his ASVAB the first try. Obviously, he's not uneducated/illiterate/stupid. :p And he's already trained and working in his chosen field. He's a paramedic. He works as a paramedic. With his scores, they asked if he wanted to go for training to be a PS or nurse. I think he eventually wants to go into nursing.

Rebe, it's Army. Dh is trying to get him to go Air Force, but he's determined to go Army. :unsure:

Paige P
04-05-2016, 02:40 PM
Rebe, it's Army. Dh is trying to get him to go Air Force, but he's determined to go Army. :unsure:

Shay, there really IS a difference :yes: I'd pick AF, too. I actually have a friend (young man from a sister church) who is a nurse with the AF and is looking to be a PA or practitioner. They are currently stationed in TX and are moving to Alaska soon. If he wants to talk to someone, I'm sure I can connect them. Just let me know.

04-05-2016, 07:24 PM
Shay, that's great -- you are right, "until the next thing comes up." Don't be surprised! Keep calm and carry on. :lol:

My son got a 94. :D Yeah, I think homeschooling prepares them just fine for the military. ;)

I have to throw in my two cents on his decision -- although everyone's parenting style is different and feel free to ignore me if you want. :) I wouldn't try to "force" my son to do anything he didn't want to do, including which branch of service he chooses. You say he is determined. He has probably researched it like my son did and has his reasons for wanting what he wants. I have seen too many grown men still upset at their parents for not letting them do what they wanted (like enlisting) or make their own decisions. I'm not saying don't offer an opinion, but when you enlist in the military, truly, it's more important to have the 100% support of your parents for your decisions than anything else. It's hard. It's good for them to know you support them and aren't disappointed in their choices. My little military mom soapbox. :)

My son could have been an officer (they tried to convince him to do it based on his ASVAB scores), but he absolutely didn't want to go that route. He had his reasons. He doesn't regret it. With your son's score, they may also try to convince him to do intelligence work, languages, etc. Just a warning. My son turned them all down, and doesn't regret that, either.

04-07-2016, 11:55 AM
Rebe, I appreciate you sharing your opinion. We would never "force" him into our choice. I think we have a unique perspective as my dh has been military for longer than I've known him. He enlisted active duty Army, switched to ROTC while he went to college, attended the military medical school USUHS and then was AD Army officer for a decade. He separated after his commitment was done and within 4 months, went to the Air National Guard and has been ANG for 7 years, training with Air Force personnel on AF bases. He has seen both sides. DH knows the pros and cons of both.

He is pretty certain of what he wants for a MOS. He's wanted it since he was 16. :lol: It's only in the past year or two he's considered going into nursing. Trying to support a family as a paramedic in the private world is tough.

FWIW, he is at MEPS today. Enlisting in the Army. We obviously think AF would be better, but we are supportive of whichever his choice is. We are worried that in 6 months or a year he'll second guess which he chose. DH did very well in the Army, has no regrets about the Army, but is very blunt that is he knew then what he knows now, he'd have gone AF. :lol:

04-07-2016, 02:23 PM
Shay, I'm so glad you responded to my post! I never know if I'm being offensive or giving too much of an unsolicited opinion. ;) If I knew your dh was military, I totally forgot it. Of course, that would give him a unique perspective and certainly would matter that he gave his son his advice! So many parents who know very little about the military are (dare I say it?) just scared of it and talk their sons out of it or make it clear they are very disapproving of the choice. And the son regrets it for the rest of his life. I'm sure you know what I mean. I know your family isn't like that, and I didn't know about your dh having so much military experience.

My oldest was originally looking into Army ROTC but changed his mind after doing research. My middle ds was enthralled with the Marines when he was younger but now is in Civil Air Patrol and wants to be an Air Force pilot -- not sure if he will, since he's only 14, but he and his older brother are already razzing each other as to which is the better branch -- AF or Marines. :lol: And then we have cousins who are Navy, and my oldest son has to hold his tongue about Navy, too. There is a lot of (usually) good-natured competition and put-downs between the branches, for sure. Thankfully, they all pull together and know they are all on the same team when it comes right down to it. There's a lot of mutual respect there, which I love to see.

Exciting times for your son, being at MEPS today. Nursing is a great career. I wish him the best!