Army GED 2021: Will the Army Help You Get a GED?

The United States Armed Forces and the GED have a long history of working together, and they've created many programs to help applicants achieve their high school equivalency credentials. While the National Guard GED Plus and Army GED program have been discontinued, there are many paths for getting a GED for anyone who wants to join the United States Armed Forces.

Can you join the Army with a GED?

Yes! All branches of the military will accept applicants with GEDs. Earning a GED is an important step to joining the military if you don't have a high school diploma. High school graduates may qualify for more roles within the military, but a GED is the next best thing.

Each branch of the military has different requirements. There are three tiers for recruitment. Your level of education may determine what tier you qualify for. No matter what, you must have a high school diploma or GED to join.

Will the Military Help Me Get My GED?

The GED was created in 1942 to help people join the armed forces, including the U.S. National Guard. To help applicants meet qualifications, the military created a High School Completion Program (HSCP) called the Army GED Plus Program.

The GED Plus Program helped army and national guard applicants earn their GED by providing classes and paying for GED testing. However, they discontinued this program in 2013 after helping over 12,000 people earn their credentials.

GED Plus programs still exist, but it's no longer affiliated with the army. Instead, you can take GED classes through colleges or other adult education programs. These programs will sometimes pay for testing or provide other free resources.

What Do I Need to Join the Military With a GED?

Earning your GED is only one of the requirements for joining the United States armed forces. With a GED, you can enlist in the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, Coast Guard, and National Guard.

To join the united states armed forces, you must meet these minimum requirements:

  • Be at least 17 years old
  • Be a citizen OR a legal resident of the United States
  • Hold a high school diploma or GED
  • Meet physical fitness and health requirements

Some requirements differ depending on the branch and the position you're hoping to apply for. And not all GED graduates are accepted. Be sure to contact an army recruiter for more details about requirements.

An important part of qualifying for specific positions within the military is the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test. This test will determine your potential as a recruit, and your score is part of what helps you qualify for the different recruitment tiers. Recruitment tiers are a designation given to applicants based on their qualifications and will determine whether they are accepted.

There are three recruitment tiers:

Tier 3 recruits are rarely accepted into the armed services.

  • Tier 3 recruits usually do not have a high school diploma or a GED. The chances for tier 3 recruits to join the military are extremely low. It is recommended that all applicants work to meet the requirements for tier 2.
  • Tier 2 recruits hold a GED and must score well on the ASVAB. Tier 2 recruits can meet requirements to join; however, it is still rare for tier 2 recruits to join. For example, only 1% of air force recruits come from tier 2. Scoring 50% or above on the ASVAB will improve those chances immensely.
  • Tier 1 recruits hold a high school diploma or 15 college credits. Tier 1 recruits do not need a GED and only need a 31% or higher on the ASVAB to qualify for the armed services.

If you don't meet the requirements for tier 1 or tier 2, that doesn't mean you can't join the armed services. Earning a GED is the first step, then preparing for the ASVAB or attending a community college to earn enough credits to qualify for a higher tier.

How do I Get Started?

To enlist in the United States Army, you will need to contact a recruiting officer, but that's not the first step. Before you officially apply, you'll need to get your GED.

There are two steps for getting your GED:

  1. Study and prepare for the test
  2. Take the test

Preparing for the test can be easy. With online classes, you can study on your schedule with personalized classes and step-by-step instruction.

With GED Academy, we've made the process simple. We'll make sure the program targets your specific strengths and weaknesses to make the process meet your needs. Your online homeroom is easy to access on a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Plus, get live online coaching sessions for free! You'll be ready for the test in no time. Learn more.

Author

Aliza Mandelbaum, Educator