We are presently talking about the military options for home schoolers. Not only are there a lot of great organizations like the Boy and Girl Scouts, as well as Civil Air Patrol, there are other great options if you are willing to look for them.


Junior reserve officer training corps - Another option that is not quite as accessible to home schoolers is Junior R.O.T.C. Each of the branches of the service has their own Junior R.O.T.C. Program. Most of these programs are organized by local high schools (public and private). Depending on your location, you may be able to contact a local school district office to see whether your children can participate in their program.


Starting a Junior R.O.T.C. apart from a local school district is difficult because the program demands hiring at least one retired military officer with a salary equivalent to what is offered at the active duty level. Except for the independently wealthy, this would be very difficult for a home school group to do on their own. 


Once again, the focus here is to provide opportunities for your young men and women to experience aspects of military life before taking the plunge on their own. The legitimate option is to find a local R.O.T.C. at a high school and see if you can tie in.


The Navy Sea Cadets (part of the Navy Reserve system) is another organization that may be of interest to home schoolers. It is similar to Junior R.O.T.C.  The Sea Cadets provide the opportunity for young people to join up and prepare for a future in the Navy in the same way that Junior R.O.T.C. prepares young people for the Army, Air Force, or Navy R.O.T.C. programs in college. The Sea Cadets usually meet and work with the local Naval Reserve base, so anyone within range of one of these facilities may be able to take advantage of it.


These groups all have a place for those who wish to give their children a chance to taste of what it means to serve "God and Country." There are many options as we have seen. Take advantage of them and help your home schoolers prepare for the future.


The real deal


In preparing this article, David went to the local U.S. Military Recruiting offices and sat down with the actual recruiters. He wanted to experience what many of you will, if you drop in to get information for your home schooler. It was a very revealing experience.


To understand the dynamics of what he went through, you need to realize what has happened in the last year or two with the home school recruitment process. Up until October 1998, home schoolers were considered "Tier II candidates" for admission into the armed services. Essentially, they were relegated to the same status as high school dropouts or those who have had to take the GED as an equivalent to a high school diploma. [To the armed forces, the GED is not the same as a high school diploma.  Keep this in mind as you assess the kind of completion standard you give to your own students.]