Posted: February 2, 2006
The DoD has been given a directive by Congress in the FY 2006 Defense Authorization Bill to write a standard to tell recruiters "what a homeschooler is," and DoD will write it with, or without, any input from homeschoolers.
I've established an ad hoc discussion list to try to wrie a reasonable document/packet to submit to DoD. Homeschool Military Enlistment
I've put together an FAQ concerning homeschooling, in reference to the Congressional requirement in Section 591 (not 522 -- it was changed in committee). The most reasonable policy, that I can think of to apply to everyone is that the applicant is, "in compliance with state regulations," and "passes entry test." Still, my language may need tweaking.
The list is set up to deliver the FAQ and the language of Section 591 to each new member upon subscription.
In the FAQ-language I have agreed with former DoD policy that homeschooled grads are Tier 2 recruits, because Tier 2 is the category for alternative diploma-holders, and homeschooling is an alternative to 'traditional' day-school. I understand this isn't in line with other recruitment/enlistment initiatives, but, from my point of view, it fits with the facts-as-we-know-them. Discrimination does not enter into it because other alternative-diploma holders (correspondence school grads, distance-learning grads, self-directed- school grads) are also Tier 2.
I do not intend to judge homeschooled recruits as not deserving as many 'bennies' as day-school recruits. I respect the homeschooled recruits who have completed their first terms of enlistment, and who continue to serve honorably. This is not about individuals, it is about statistical projections for a group, and the cost to the taxpayer of that group.
The Tier 2 categorization is based on the CNA report about the 5-year pilot program for Tier I homeschool enlistment, and on the fact that homeschooling is an alternative to the standard.
The group will not to take a position one way or the other on:
The Military Homeschoolers