In March of 2008, Senior Counsel Chris Klicka of the Home School Legal Defense Association, along with Will Estrada and Jeremiah Lorrig of HSLDA’s Federal Relations Department, met with Col. Mike Jones, head of all recruitment for the Army National Guard across the country. Col. Jones and his assistant, Cpt. Paul Douglas, are homeschoolers and wanted to help homeschool graduates get into the Army National Guard.
Klicka prepared a draft policy for them to give to local recruiters throughout the 50 states to streamline the process for the enlistment of homeschool graduates. Col. Jones indicated they wanted to give full benefits to the homeschool graduates who were accepted into enlistments as well. Many educational scholarships could be made available to homeschoolers to be used for college and graduate schools.
After several months, Klicka’s draft policy was accepted and implemented. The new policy allows several options for homeschoolers to be admitted. Some of the benefits that homeschoolers are now able to get include up to $20,000 in enlistment bonuses. Other benefits include:
- 100% federal tuition assistance to cover tuition and fees not to exceed $4,500 per year;
- The Montgomery GI bill pays up to $11,124 for college or other approved technical training;
- The National Guard GI Bill kicker provides additional funding, up to $12,600 for enlisted soldiers, for college or for approved technical training; leadership training and career skills; and health and dental insurance.
We are excited about these developments and opportunities for homeschoolers to continue their higher education while providing service to their country at the same time.