What Military Recruiters are Looking for in Homeschoolers

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This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: What Military Recruiters are Looking for in Homeschoolers.

What Military Recruiters are Looking for in Homeschoolers

What Military Recruiters are Looking for in Homeschoolers

One popular career choice with homeschooling graduates is the military. When Vicki served for eighteen years as an upperclassmen advisor for the local homeschool community, she saw a number of teens prepare for and go into the military- some through the academies, some through ROTC, and some joined right after high school graduation. (There’s not ONE right way to serve in the military, just like there’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school!)

In this week’s episode, Vicki is joined by Nathan from the Homeschool Project Podcast. He works as a military recruiter and has worked with homeschoolers to help them explore military careers.

Nathan’s family started homeschooling when their kids were in the public school system and they realized that life was just too busy and crazy and never enough family time. They began researching how to start homeschooling and have never looked back.

Nathan has been in the military for twelve years. (After college, he worked in law enforcement for a while, then joined the military- so he can tell the benefits of a military career after having seen “both sides” of careers.)

There are a number of branches in the United States military:

  • Air Force
  • Army
  • Navy
  • Coast Guard
  • Marine Corp
  • Space Force

Here’s some food for thought from Nathan:

  • With the high cost of college education these days, the military is a good choice for financing that degree.
    • The GI Bill will pay for a college education at a number of colleges, along with a housing stipend…AND you can pass your GI Bill along to your kids, if you do not need it.
    • While you are in the military, the government offers tuition assistance for college courses.
  • Please don’t think of a military career as a last resort.
    • Last result is a terrible way to look at a career. The military is not a “last option”.
    • Instead, look at a military career as part of your Career Exploration.
  • The military can be a twenty year career. There is lots of room for growth.
  • The military offers leadership training and growth.
    • This looks great on a resume after a military career.
  • There are hundreds of kinds of careers in the military that offer real-world experience. Here are just a few:
    • Construction
    • Mechanics
    • Doctors and other medical personnel
    • Technical people
    • And MANY more
    • Employers are looking for real-world experience!
  • Military service offers a rite of passage
    • It gives young people a true sense of accomplishment. (For instance, military training is hard, so when they graduate, the feel SO accomplished.)

For homeschool high schoolers there are three paths to joining the military

If you have homeschool high schooler, it is a NOW is good time to discuss these three paths if they are thinking about military careers.

Path 1: Enlistment

Enlisted service members must be 17 years old, with parental consent (or 18 years old, on your own). Juniors and seniors can be thinking about enlistment. Begin the process during your senior year. Nathan recommends:

  • Researching each branch of the military: what jobs are available, requirements for joining, etc. (You might have an interest you think is not available in the military- but you might be surprised!)
  • Interview a veteran. (Call the local Veterans Administration- they will connect you or the local VFW.) Ask about the “goods and bads” of military life.
  • Talk to a recruiter. (You will not get tricked into joining or coerced into joining.) Bring a list of questions.
    • When you go to see the recruiter, they will prescreen you to see if you are qualified for military service. This will include:
      • If you have a criminal background or drug use.
      • If you have a medical background that precludes service.
      • They will run a background check and credit check.
      • After there is approval from the prescreen, your teen will take the ASVAB test. (It is a career interest/ability test designed specifically for the military.)
      • Your teen will have a physical with a military doctor.
      • They will check to see if you can do pushups, sit ups and can run.
  • If you are qualified, you decide if you want to join.
  • If you decide to join, you will begin to discuss jobs based on your ASVAB results. (You can prep for the ASVAB, if you wish.)
  • You teen could service as little as four years or a full twenty years.

Path 2: Officer Candidate School

Officer Candidate School requires a college degree and approval from a panel.

Path 3: Academy

The service academies are universities where students graduate as military officers and are automatically put into the fleet of their branch of the military’s service. This is the most difficult path and should be started in their freshman year of high school. The academies look at a student’s academic rigor, volunteer activities, athletic endeavors, and leadership experiences.

The military services are looking for homeschoolers

For homeschoolers here are some specific things military recruiters will looking for:

The military services are looking for homeschoolers. Nathan reports that homeschoolers get some of the highest scores on the ASVAB. They are often polite, have done good research and have a plan about what they want out of the military.

Feel free to ask Nathan and his wife more about military life and military families. Homeschool Project Podcast has an episode with even more details about military life, check it out.

And check out our interview with Gretchen Mahoney about preparing teens for military careers.


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