Can I Join the Military with a GED?
Answer: Yes, but your opportunity is limited in the military UNLESS you enlist with 15 college credits.
As a high school dropout (this is includes GED holders), military enlistment statistics have shown that this category of enlistees fail to complete their entire first term of military service at about twice the rate of those with a high school diploma or those with college credits.
Each of the services strictly limit the number of GED holders who can enlist each year. The Air Force is the most strict on this matter, only allowing up to up to 1% of annual enlistments to be recruits without a high school diploma. Following, the Marines allow up 5%, the Amy allows up to 10%, and the Navy allows 5-10% annual recruits to be GED holders.
In addition, you must score a minimum of 50 on the AFQT to even qualify (Note: The “AFQT” is the overall ASVAB score).
But don’t slack off at a 50 AFQT, because their are many many more GED-holders who want to enlist than there are available slots. So even if you score higher on your ASVAB, than a high school diploma recruit, and you meet or exceed all the other Military Enlistment Standards. then you will still have a hard time enlisting as a tier II recruit.
Note: If you’re planning to enlist in the the Coast Guard plan on even tougher restrictions. As a tier 2 candidate you can only enlist if you have prior military service, and even then you must score a minimum of 65 on the AFQT.
Question: How Can I Get 15 College Credits Fast?!
As a tier II recruit you will find it near impossible to enlist in the military. Especially with each branch starting to reduce forces anyway.
However, if you have 15 or more college credits, then you are “magically” considered a tier I recruit and in the same category as a high school diploma holder. Please note that the 15 college credits must be 100-level courses or higher (meaning no remedial courses) and you’ll want to aim for a C+ or higher.
15 college credits come out to about 5 classes at your local
community college or about one full-time semester. This is your best option, but if your time or money is limited, then CLEP will be the fastest way to earn 15 college credits.
Question: Does CLEP Credits Count
Towards Military Enlistment?
Answer: Yes, but you must challenge it.
Now the question of whether CLEP credits count towards military enlistment has been rehashed many times over the years on various forums. And there is no consensus, so most of it is personal opinion. Even if you ask several recruiters you’re going to get various answers, so this is also based on personal opinion.
Disclaimer: The below is my analysis on the subject matter after hours of research. The Military Entrance Processing Station, aka MEPS, ALWAYS has the final say!
If your recruiter or MEPS tell you CLEP doesn’t count, then request a copy of the regulation in writing. Most likely it just simply states college credit must be received from a recognized college. This leaves open for interpretation if that means a traditional “butts in the seat” college vs online colleges and credit-by-exam (ie. CLEP & DSST).
I would say if it does not explicated state in writing that CLEP/DSST are excluded, then challenge your recruiter for rejecting your CLEP credits. Because as long as you are able to present a valid college transcript from a recognized college (ie. your college is eligible for FAFSA from the Dept of Education, no “paper mill” schools) and your college recognizes CLEP/DSST credits on your transcript then you meet this qualifications. Now granted a college probably will not release a transcript with ONLY CLEP/DSST Credits, so you have to take at least one course directly through the college.
“Some feedback. I went with my nephew to the recruiters office today and when they mentioned the “rule” about DSSTs not being acceptable for college credit I did as was suggessted above, I asked to see it in writing. As others on the board have guessed, it’s not in there, in fact not one word about CLEP or DSSTs is even mentioned. But what **was** listed was the fact that Charter Oak State College is a fully accredited college and that their transcripts are to be considered as proof of having earned credit.”