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New Program Enables Army Recruits to Earn GED

In response to the declining number of High School graduates eligible for military service, the Army has created the Army Prep School (APS). The pilot program, which began operations on August 4, 2008, will provide up to 240 recruits the opportunity to earn a General Equivalency Diploma (GED) before beginning Basic Combat Training (BCT).

Eligible recruits will attend up to 4 weeks of instructor lead classes. Soldiers can test out at anytime by passing the GED test. Each participant will be pretested to allow instructors to focus on the Soldier’s specific needs. Those who pass will immediately begin BCT; those who don't will be discharged.

Note: This new GED completion program is restricted to Army recruits who are not eligible to return to High School and have scored in the top fifty percentile on the ASVAB test.

If successful, the APS may be expanded to a battalion at Fort Jackson or APS companies could be established at other Army Training Centers. The Army says that their next step is to develop a High School diploma producing school in conjunction with APS. This school would allow Soldiers to earn a High School diploma before moving directly into BCT. Several alternative courses of action are being evaluated for the High School diploma option.

Once fully operational APS will process 60 new Soldiers a week and based upon a similar program used by the National Guard, the Army is expecting an 85-90 percent success rate. The Army projects that APS will yield nearly 3,000 Soldiers a year.

The new program will create another recruiting resource by giving those who would otherwise not be eligible for service - due to not passing the GED - the opportunity to enlist. According to the Army "the nation will benefit by having a more intelligent Army and citizenry."

If you think you may be eligible for this new GED completion program, take the next step and contact an Army Recruiter to learn more about Army Prep School.

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