The Army National Guard GED Plus Program was operational from 2006 through 2013 and it doesn’t exist in this form anymore.
Keep reading to find out what’s the alternative to the GED Plus program and how you can join the National Guard.
Applicants holding a GED® or high school diploma and who are looking to join the Army or the National Guard can certainly apply.
Today, the qualifications of people applying to enlist in the Army and the National Guard are higher.
All applicants must be between 17 and 34 years of age (more requirements are listed below) and pass the Armed Services Qualification Test (ASQT) with at least a score in the 31st percentile for GED holders.
National Guard enlistment requirements
Young adults looking to join the U.S. National Guard without any prior service, need to meet at least the following mandatory requirements:
- Be U.S. citizens or permanent residents
- Be in the 18-33 years of age-range
- Be at least juniors in high school or hold a high school or GED diploma
- Achieve minimum scores on the Army’s ASVAB test
- Meet moral, physical, and medical requirements
Students looking to enlist in the U.S. National Guard should first contact a National Guard recruiter. As said before, the Army GED Plus Program was ended in 2013.
But let’s take a closer look at what the National Guard GED Plus Program was all about.
The Army GED Plus program
The GED Plus Program was located at the National Guard’s Professional Education Center in Camp Joseph T. Robinson in North Little Rock, Arkansas.
For adults wanting to get enlisted in the Regular Army, there was also a GED Plus education site at Fort Jackson in South Carolina.
During the seven years it ran, the GED Plus Program graduated more than 12,000 recruits through basic military training and education in a well-structured academic environment.
The Army GED Plus Program allowed many American adults that never finished their regular high school curriculum to join the U.S. National Guard.
More than 30 million Americans lack a high school or equivalent diploma and programs like this are helping to raise the education level of the American workforce.
Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery
The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) exam is a timed, computerized aptitude test that is given at thousands of schools and MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Stations) across America.
GED students looking to enroll in the program needed to attain at least a score of 31 on this Armed Forces Qualification Test and meet enlistment requirements. This is higher than what high school grads are required to score and though a GED is not bad at all, high school grads are treated somewhat differently
Those who qualified, entered a 15- to 22-days long program, based on their test scores prior to enlisting. The program included academic preparation and basic military combat training. The program gave many students that dropped out of high school another chance to move forward positively with their lives.
Army GED Plus history
The Army GED Plus Program was introduced in 2006 and in its first year, graduated over 490 National Guard recruits. All graduates represent lives changed and positive opportunities for the future, not only for our national defense but also for our communities.
After completing their National Guard training, many students went on to college to continue their education and pursue college degrees. If you want to learn more about joining the Air Force with a GED, click on the link.
Students of the Army GED Plus Program had little time for distraction. The rigorous program was not only geared toward preparing students to pass the four GED subject tests but also toward basic combat training.
The students started out early every day, had no time for any distractions, and their days were full of education, physical training, and, of course, mentoring by the ever-present Army drill sergeant.
It is the role of drill sergeants not only to instill attention to detail and discipline but also to provide motivation. A drill sergeant oversees the students all the time when they’re out of the classroom.
During the first two days of the GED Plus Program, the students spend their time entirely in the company of their drill sergeant. Physical training is a daily activity and they are drilled in military ceremonies, customs, and courtesies.
The Army GED Plus Program was just one way for students to earn their high school equivalency diplomas. States use either the GED, HiSET, or TASC exams (or multiple of these options) as a way for them to earn a credential that’s equivalent to a conventional high school degree.
The GED Plus Program was not just about physical and mental readiness and toughness. These are the basic requirements. It was also about teaching students about commitment. Commitment to themselves and those around them. About the commitment to make a difference and help those who need it most.
The GED Plus Program taught them that it takes drive, the kind of drive that won’t be fading when incredible obstacles stare you right in the face. It takes teamwork, mitigation, and the will and spirit to achieve things bigger than you thought possible. Read more about GED prep resources here.
Today’s GED Plus programs
Today, many colleges offer GED PLUS programs that allow students to earn a GED diploma and a college certificate simultaneously. These programs will prepare students for workforce entrance opportunities at a much faster rate than usual. Today, an increasing number of institutions of higher education accept the GED in exactly the same way as a conventional HS diploma.
Studies have shown that many adults don’t feel like going to college because they think it will take too long and costs too much. If they can earn a GED and a college certificate in a short period of time and for free, that may well change their mindsets.
GED Plus programs will quickly prepare adults the workforce and are addressing the needs of many employers, especially in high-in-demand fields. If they follow a good online prep course at the same time, they’ll be perfectly prepared for the GED exam in no time.
Certificates can be earned in the professional fields of, for example, healthcare, logistics, transportation, advanced manufacturing, construction/trades, and business services and IT.
GED Plus programs are open to students who have not completed their high school education. Adults who have nor been in a classroom setting for a while often feel anxious to go back to college. The GED Plus programs aim to eliminate these concerns as students are getting one-on-one support from coaches and instructors.
Many states have made significant progress in their efforts to connect adults who lack a high school or GED diploma with certificate program opportunities. In the contemporary economy, holding a GED or HS diploma is not sufficient because most modern-day jobs require additional training and education.
Through the GED Plus programs, schools are able to connect their residents with the resources required to be successful in our nation’s current and future professional environment and become successful in the workforce.
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