Alliance for Adult Education Foundation

How adult online high school options can help close the gap for military recruitment challenges


As the U.S. military faces a growing enlistment shortage and pressure to increase recruitment, a new source of educated high school graduates can help address the issue

The U.S. military is grappling with a record-low recruitment problem. According to, the Army—along with other branches of the military—is facing myriad headwinds in its efforts to enlist new soldiers.

Compounding the crisis, non-high school graduates are excluded from the Tier 1 qualified pool of candidates for enlistment. A recent temporary change to the educational credentials requirements for enlistment in the Army for the balance of FY22 waived the requirement for a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent. That change, however, was met with immediate concern and was reversed.

With the education requirement intact, the military must continue to come up with creative solutions to its recruiting challenges.

Adult online high school programs provide one such solution.

“Earning a diploma creates pathway to the military,”  said Dr. Howard Liebman, Alliance for Adult Education Foundation’s Executive Director. “Adult education options provide a way for aspiring service members to earn their high school diploma—and qualify for Tier 1 enlistment,”

Earning a high school diploma creates pathway to the military 

For some recent graduates of online adult high school programs, earning their diploma expedited their enlistment eligibility:

“I wanted to earn my diploma earlier so I could leave for the military soon and not have to wait the three years to finish,” said Ruby Perez from Doral, Florida. “I learned a lot, and now I can join the Marines and take college courses while I serve.”

For others, like Sanam Gauli of Erie, Colorado, and Moet Williams from Newport News, Virginia, the Army’s education requirement motivates them to earn a high school diploma in the first place.

“I wanted to finish my high school diploma so I could join the Army; that was one of the few requirements from the recruiting officer that I didn’t already meet,” said Gauli.

“It’s thanks to earning my high school diploma that I am now able to enroll in the military,” shared Williams.

Still others—like Paul Mcelmore of Washington Court House, Ohio, who’s currently earning his diploma as a prerequisite to joining the Marines—plan to enlist after graduation.

These success stories demonstrate how high school education options serve adults in not only earning their high school diplomas, but also helping them plot a course toward—and achieve their career goals of—joining the military.

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