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  • THE HOMESCHOOL OPTION

    Filed at 7:20 am under by dcobranchi

    Is this why (alleged) HEKs have been faring so poorly in the military?

    The premise was simple: McSwane would try to join the Army as a high school dropout with an insatiable fondness for marijuana and psychedelic mushrooms. No matter how stoned and stupid McSwane acted, a pair of recruiters wouldn’t wouldn’t let him go.

    McSwane insisted to the recruiters that he couldn’t lick his drug habit, but one recruiter told him to take some “stuff” that would “clean you out.” It turned out to be a detoxification kit the recruiter said had worked with other applicants. McSwane said the recruiter even offered to pay half the cost of the kit.

    McSwane’s claim of being a dropout didn’t discourage his recruiters either. He was encouraged to take a high school equivalency diploma exam, which McSwane deliberately failed. That’s when he said one recruiter introduced him to the “home-school option.”

    McSwane was told to order a phony diploma and transcripts from an online diploma mill.

    4 Responses to “THE HOMESCHOOL OPTION”


    Comment by
    Valerie
    May 20th, 2005
    at 10:42 am

    I’ve seen this before — a few years ago? — even before the recruiting slump. This is apparently why the documentation standards are (apparently) strict.

    An About.com article (tranlation: popups) article about recruiting.
    usmili..._4.htm

    The homeschooled kids who didn’t complete their initial enlistments wouldn’t have been in the group of ‘fakers.’ I’ve heard (but can’t confirm) that they get weeded out in the recruiting process.

    Also, people who don’t complete enlistments aren’t just the dirtballs. I remember that the acting jack (a person of one rank/paygrade who is designated a higher “acting” rank for training/management purposes; in this case the platoon leader) of one of our sister-platoons in my basic training company was ‘recycled’ (a term used _way_ before the environmental movement picked it up) back to start basic all over again. Scuttlebutt had it that she was eventually discharged. It was pretty tough on her because her older brother was a lieutenant (a mini-scandal because she’d hugged him in public instead of saluting) and she’d really wanted a career.

    Attrition happens.


    Comment by
    Daryl
    May 20th, 2005
    at 11:20 am

    I’m not sure I buy that ALL fake HEKs are caught. How would the military know? Not all states have some kind of registration process for HEKs.


    Comment by
    Valerie
    May 20th, 2005
    at 4:27 pm

    Given the bureaucratic processes, and the differences between the services, you’re probably right as to whether dropouts-posing-as-homeschoolers are all found during in-processing.

    The survey results from the Tier I pilot program,
    cna.or...A2.pdf ,
    states on PDF-page 37:

    “In the case of the 540 recruits who indicated on the survey that they were homeschooled, more than half (56 percent) are listed as traditional high school graduates according to DMDC’s records. Twenty-seven percent are actually listed as homeschooled. This proportion varies somewhat by Service, as figure 5 shows. Homeschooled recruits in the Navy are most likely to be listed as homeschooled on their official records, but only 7 percent of Air Force recruits who indicated on the survey that they were homeschooled are officially listed as homeschooled recruits.”

    But what’s the alternative? Even stricter enlistment requirements for homeschooled kids? (remember that homeschooling status doesn’t affect officer appointments since those candidates must have post-secondary schooling) All the states keeping closer tabs on homeschooling families?

    Is the possibility of recruiters coaching a dropout through the homeschooling-documentation process (whatever it is — probably service-determined) just the risk that has to be accepted in return for the present state of affairs?


    Comment by
    Valerie
    May 20th, 2005
    at 6:07 pm

    This just showed up in my inbox:

    defens...1.html
    Presenter: Major General Michael D. Rochelle, U.S. Army Recruiting Commander
    Friday, May 20, 2005 1:32 p.m. ED

    Army Recruiting Commander Briefing