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Tier One Military Education Status

DoD Tier I

Updated: January 12, 2016

06MAY2014 UPDATE There is NO LONGER a requirement to score 50 or higher on the AFQT in order to be considered as Tier I for ANY of the below credentials.

High School Diploma Graduate

A diploma issued to you after you completed a 12-year “traditional” graded (credit based) day program of classroom instruction; the diploma must be issued from the high school where you completed the requirements for graduation.

Minimum Requirements;

  • Classroom Instruction. You must have successfully completed four academic years of classroom instruction. An academic year is considered a minimum of 120 hours of classroom instruction per academic course to earn a full credit. To earn a half-credit, you must have completed a minimum of 60 hours of classroom instruction.
  • Credit Based. You must meet the minimum required credit requirements in all subjects for high school graduation as determined by the local school system. At a minimum, at least 75 percent of the credits earned towards high school graduation requirements, per academic year, must have been derived from a classroom based (student-teacher environment), instructor-led learning experience. An exception would be allowed in cases where 25% of credit earned through non-traditional instruction occurred in a single year excluding the senior year.
  • Graduation Credential. The graduation credential must have been issued by the high school in which you were enrolled and attending at the time you completed the graduation requirements.

Note: If you failed the school’s exit exam, you must have a letter from an authorized school official verifying that you met all the high school graduation requirements but failed the exit exam, and that is the reason you did not receive the high school diploma.

Adult/Alternative Diploma Graduate

New, as of Change Three – 27Jun12: A diploma issued to a graduate of a public or private non-traditional school using alternative methods of instruction to complete graduation credit requirements based on state law (i.e., all alternative, accelerated, or high school completion programs to include the GED (see note 1 for GED clarification).
A secondary school diploma awarded on the basis of attending and completing an alternative, continuation, adult or school/program. A diploma issued from a school/program whose course content and curriculum are similar to, but whose method of instruction is different from the traditional high school program. The diploma you received must have been issued on the basis of completing a classroom structured, (teacher-student environment) teacher-directed, credit-based program.

Minimum Requirements;

  • Must attain an AFQT score of 50 or higher. Classroom Instruction. You must have successfully completed four academic years of classroom instruction. An academic year is considered a minimum of 96 hours of classroom instruction per academic course to earn a full credit. To earn a half-credit, you must have completed a minimum of 48 hours of classroom instruction.
  • Credit Based. You must meet the minimum required credit requirements in all subjects for high school graduation as determined by either the local school system or state education board. At a minimum, you must have earned at least 1 credit towards high school graduation requirements, in each of the four academic years, from a classroom based (student-teacher environment), instructor led learning experience consisting of a minimum of 96 hours of instruction.
  • Graduation Credential. The graduation credential must have been issued by the high school in which you were enrolled and attending at the time he/she completed his/her graduation requirements.

Note 1: A traditional GED even with a 50 or greater ASVAB score is still considered a Tier II credential UNLESS the GED was received as a result of an alternative, accelerated school (not all states have this option) in which case the GED may be considered as a Tier I credential.

Completed One Semester of College

A non-high school diploma graduate who completed 15 semester hours/22 quarter hours of college level credit or 675 clock hours from an accredited traditional or on-line post-secondary institution. If you are a non-high school diploma graduate who attended and completed 15 semester hours of college credit or 22 quarter hours of college credit or 675 clock hours of classroom instruction from an accredited post-secondary institution, you can be classified as Tier I. Credit earned through testing, adult education, assessment, military training or high school equivalency preparation is not applicable.


Credits earned must be from an accredited institution listed in the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) website Credits earned must be from an accredited institution listed in the current or applicable American Council on Education (ACE) Accredited Institutions of Post-secondary Education (AIPE) Directory. Any credits earned from schools that are candidates for accreditation shall not be used towards this requirement. Signed and dated official transcripts from the issuing institution are required. If the transcript does not include credits from all other schools attended, then official transcripts from the other schools are required.

  • College level credits (100 series and above courses) earned through on-line Internet courses while enrolled and attending classroom instruction from the same AIPE institution are acceptable.
  • Combining semester credits with quarter credits, or combining clock-hour credits with either semester or quarter credits, are allowed. Use the following formula:
    • 45 clock-hours = 1 semester credit (1 trimester credit equals 1 semester credit).
    • 1.5 quarter credits = 1 semester credit.
  • Clock-hours from two or more accredited post-secondary vocational/technical schools may be combined for a total of 675 clock-hour credits.

Job Corps Programs

A Job Corps graduate with a General Education Diploma (GED) or an alternative high school credential high school diploma and a Job Corps certificate of completion from a vocational/technical program consisting of at least 675 clock-hour credits of vocational/technical education. The official document used by the Job Corps to report skill/trade training clock-hour credits is the Training Achievement Record (TAR).


Only On/Off-site Work Based Learning (WBL) clock-hour training credits documented on the TAR are acceptable towards the 675 clock-hour credit requirements. Employ-ability/Career/Social Skills Training, Orientation, GED Preparation, or non-skill/trade training clock-hours do not count towards the required 675 clock hours of skill/trade training. The Job Corps Certification Form must be included when verifying the educational standing of Job Corps applicants.

Note: If you completed 675 or more clock-hour credits but dropped out of the vocational/technical program before earning a certificate of completion, or failed to earn a GED, you are ineligible for Tier I status.

Home School Diploma with AFQT Score of 50 or Higher

A diploma issued to a graduate of a home school program in accordance with State requirements, administered by a parent, teacher/school district, or umbrella association. A home school diploma from the parent, guardian or home school association with certification and transcripts issued in compliance with applicable state laws. The curriculum must involve parental instruction and supervision and closely pattern the normal credit hours per subject used in the traditional high school. At a minimum the last academic year (9 months) must be completed in a home school environment. For applicable laws governing home schools, refer to

Note: DoD authorizes home school graduates with AFQT scores of 50 or higher to be enlisted with Tier I status. Applicants with AFQT scores below 50 are considered Tier II.


If you received a Homeschool Diploma, you must provide the diploma or certificate, and if available, the transcripts indicating that you completed four years of high school curriculum.

Home school transcripts must contain the following information:

  • Your name
  • Home address
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security Number (It is acceptable to have only the last four digits)
  • Date of home school enrollment
  • Date of graduation
  • Courses transferred from other educational institutions (if applicable)
  • Courses attempted/completed with start and completion dates of each course during each home school grade
  • Signature of your parent/guardian, date, and home telephone number

A letter from your parent/guardian describing the education process will suffice if it includes the same information as described in the above. You must also complete an Assessment of Individual Motivation (AIM).

Virtual/Distance School Diploma

A diploma awarded upon completion of an accredited Home Study, Distance Learning, Independent Study, Self-Study, Correspondence School, Cyber School or Virtual Learning Program.


  1. A secondary school diploma or certificate issued by an accredited program and AFQT score ≥ 50 is required to qualify for Tier 1 status.
  2. The Distance Education and Training Council ( is the authoritative source for accreditation of distance education.

Prior Military Service

If you are a prior service veteran who served a complete enlistment of four years or more in any Component of the Armed Forces of the United States, you are eligible to (re)enlist as high school diploma graduate.


DD Form 214 or other appropriate military service verification documentation.

131 Responses to “DoD Tier I”

  1. Timothy says:

    Curious, I’m currently attending college for my 15 credits to become a Tier-One status. I then came across this site and now I’m questioning the recruiter. I have a GED from Job Corps and have completed the whole course. Doesn’t this make me eligible as a Tier-One? Granted, I’m desperately trying for Army enlistment, and am not quite sure if this article pertains to my dilemma. I would love answers, I can not always believe everything the recruiters in my town say.
    Thank you for your time,
    Dream of enlisting as an 18Xray Army

  2. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The law just became effective today, definitely talk to your recruiter to see if your current credentials meet the new criteria.

  3. Timothy says:

    I have sent a portion of this article in question in an email to the recruiting Staff Sergeant with whom I had spoken to in previous visits…….awaiting reply. If anyone knows anyone enlisted currently in the Army and can have this verified it would be of great service :-)
    Thanks again,
    Timothy [last name redacted – privacy]

  4. Dan says:

    A Navy recruiter told me that my school will become tier one, I’m assuming that is this new thing, and I was wondering if my school would be considered tier one for the Air Force as well?

  5. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The new law that changed the education classification applies to all services.

  6. Chris says:

    I just went to North Valley Occupational Center and their i graduated on June 15th, 2012 on stage and recieved a High school diploma with my principles signature the President of LAUSD board of education and two others now isn’t that a high school diploma Tier 1? I even had to pass 5 classes. History 2, Life Skills, English Comp, us Gov, Algebra 1a. Graduated on stage with 30 other Adults i’m currently 26 years of age. Is there a website with a list of Teir 1 Schools. In Los Angles

  7. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Your local recruiter will have the district’s educational specialist evaluate the school – there is not a Web site that provides a list of every Tier I school in the country.

    I assume the North Valley Occupational Center used the credits you achieved while in your traditional high school to determine what classes you still needed for graduation. Based on my assumption, I think you have a good shot. I recommend that you take your diploma into a recruiter.

  8. Rick says:

    The School for Integrated Academics and Technologies [SIATech] operates fully accredited, dropout recovery high schools on 21 campuses in 5 states. SIATech instruction and credentialing is competency based. Seat time waivers facilitates accelerated education options. SIATech schools are open entry/open exit, and open year round. All 12,000 plus graduates from SIATech charter high schools have met state requirements for graduation, including passage of exit exams.

    Why are SIATech students subject to separate standards from traditional Tier 1 schools, especially in view of the equal treatment requirement of section 532, FY 2012 DOD Reauthorization Act?

  9. NCCM(Ret) says:


    A provision was added to the law (I’ll provide a link to the post that I cite the issue and discuss it) that allowed DoD to place “extra” requirements on such graduates.

  10. Joshua says:

    I have a ged but I scored an 83 on my asvab as well as having almost all the credits I required for high school, I had to drop out because of sickness in my family and having to take care of my brother and father. I’m trying to get into the marines and my recruiter is having me do my written statements and everything. I just wanted to know if there’s any real chance of me getting in. Thank you

  11. NCCM(Ret) says:


    If the recruiter is having you fill out statements, then you have a chance. If that opportunity does not present itself, then you must go finish your requirements for a high school diploma or get 15 college credits as explained above.

  12. RJone says:

    Is there a way i can get a Nuke rate(like an ETN) with a GED +15 college credits? Or is that rate only open to high school graduates?

  13. NCCM(Ret) says:


    You would require an education waiver because you did not complete traditional high school. How well you do on the NAPT, and your performance in recent math courses would be considered (among many other things) — minimally, to have any chance at the education waiver you need, I would think you would need to have at least 50 points using this chart.

  14. Don says:

    Hello, I actually have a high school diploma and an AA Degree in Liberal Arts. I am currently Majoring with a BS in Computer Information Technology planning to enlist in the Navy. I was gonna apply for Navy Officer but I recently found out I need 5 more courses to finish my degree and I am ready to start my Navy career asap. Considering I score a 50 on the ASVAB what are my chances of getting into either IS Intelligence Specialist, or IT? Also I want to know how long does it take to gain acceptance into OCS after you finish your degree in college?

  15. Don says:

    In addition to my previous post, what job IS or IT will give me the best career opportunities if I decide to not reenlist?

  16. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Whether you qualify or not for a rating depends on your line score in the categories required for the rating — follow the ASVAB Test link in the side bar as each rating’s line score requirements are listed.

    The chances of getting into one of those ratings, assuming you are test score and otherwise fully qualified, will depend on the rating’s availability (whether or not there are open positions).

    Once you finish your degree, you can apply for OCS — having a degree is just one of the many requirements for it; others are your overall GPA, the school you attended (a well known university is better than graduating from an online school based in Cuba), and many other factors. There are many folks with Masters degrees that do not get selected.

  17. Steve says:

    I am a graduate from a continuation school. I received my HIGH SCHOOL diploma by staying an extra year rather than being stuck with a GED (yes I am a super senior). I can’t even enlist because my school was a tier 2 at the time. Which is crap because I honestly and worked hard to gained my state required high school graduate credits. The DoD expects us to know more and achieve a higher school on the asvab but according to DoD tier 2 schools teach less. This law contradicts itself in more than one way. Depending on my schools status of accreditation does NOT show my loyalty and determination to this country or lower my ability to serve in the armed forces no matter what branch I choose. If I meet asvab requirements and physical requirements then let me in!!!!!

  18. Lisa says:


    Hello,I am writing you with a Tier 1 question. If I graduated a post secondary school with 675 clock hours.Is that considered to be equivalent to a high school diploma? Also, will I be required to have a 50 or better AFQT score in this situation?

    Thank you in advance for your help!



  19. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Yes, if you completed at least 675 clock hours at an accredited institution, then you would be eligible for Tier I status — you would not require a 50QT because of the education, but you may require one because of recruiting’s increased standards due to the economic downturn causing so many folks to seek enlistment. Contact your recruiter!

  20. Lisa says:


    I would like to know if a vocational,technical,or buisness school goes by credit hours,how is that determined for tier 1 status purposes? Are they converted into clock hours or will they be turned into semester credits or quarter hours?

    Thank you in advance for your help.



  21. mike says:

    i had a scholarship to a prep school which was a private school that wanted me to leave my home town school and play football for them. But once i was injured they denied me my diploma since i was useless and couldnt play for them which they forced me to pay my tution which was 35k which my family could not afford. But how ever they did give me a stamped letter saying I HAVE MET MY REQUIREMENTS TO COMPLETE HIGHSCHOOL is this enough for the US NAVY?

  22. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The letter would need to be reviewed by the local Navy Recruiting District’s Education Specialist (EDSPEC). The issue you will more than likely run into is that the EDSPEC — it may work if the right data is contained in the letter, but the EDSPEC will more than likely require transcripts that demonstrate the specifics have been met, and owing the school, it is unlikely they will give the transcripts up.

  23. Ethan. says:

    hello i am a ged holder and scored a 72 on my asvab and went to meps and passed everything but the aims to get in it was one year ago exactly im in the state of texas i was wanting to know if the tier status for ged holders has changed from 2 to 1 due to asvab scoring or is it still the same and would i have to go retake the aims?

  24. Ethan. says:

    im working on going into the army

  25. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Tier status remains the same for the GED.

  26. Ashley says:

    Good morning. I am a graduate of a home school high school program taught by my parents. I went to a public high school for two and a half years and then, when the high school refused to allow me to graduate in three years; my mother decided to pull me and finish my education via home schooling at home. (She is a licensed Sec. Ed. Teacher in the state). I am now trying to enlist in the Navy, which was always my goal. The EDSEC denied my enlistment, and told me I have to complete 15 semester hours of college. Everything that I have read though states that Home School programs (which are considered private schools in the state of Illinois) leading to a High School diploma are considered Tier I enlistment status under the new DoD laws. My recruiter had me take a practice ASQT in the office which I scored a 78 on. I have more than 24 credit hours of high school credit; 21 of which were earned at the public school and is more that what the State of Illinois even requires of a high school graduate from a public school. I was at the point of only having to take electives. Why is my home school not being treated as a Tier I? Can you recommend any documents or course of action that I might present to my recruiter? Is there another level above the EDSEC that I can request a review from? Honestly, when I first met with the Navy recruiter I was told my Home School diploma was an automatic Tier II, which obviously hasn’t been the case for over a year so I am very leery as to what I am being told. Since the rotation in to the Navy, dependent upon MOS choice can be between three to nine months, I am planning to take college courses until I ship; but at this point they will not even let me go to MEPS. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

  27. NCCM(Ret) says:


    I am not familiar with Illinois’ system — the local EDSPEC is, I am sure he has it right; the national EDSPEC would indeed side with the local one because of the familiarity the local one would have with local systems.

    That said, I assume that before you started your home school experience that you were enrolled as part of your state’s accredited home school program, and that documentation was also forwarded to the EDSPEC? If that is the case, I do not understand why you would not have been approved as Tier I — if it is not the case, then it makes sense that you are considered as Tier II.

  28. Kr.Ret says:

    Hi, I have a adult high school diploma which got it here in hawaii,after that I enrolled in the hawaii community college for the Electrical trade.
    I earned credits for three semesters an got a certificate of achievement, I wanna know if I would qualify to enlist for army national guard,also am I in category or( tier-1),or(tier-2). thanks,Kr.Ret

  29. NCCM(Ret) says:


    As it states in the post, it depends on whether or not you meet the minimum criteria for Tier I. Based on what you wrote, it sounds promising, so I highly recommend that you go see your recruiter so he/she can get and forward the education documents for a determination.

  30. Aaron says:

    I dropped out of high school my senior year. I had a child and started working. I was going to sign up for the Air Force but couldn’t get in because I don’t have a diploma. I’m 22 now and I’m going to an adult school finish my high school diploma. Does this make me eligible for teir 1? I’m not going for my GED but does the military consider it that since I did not finish at my home school? I have debt that will be paid off before applying and a couple of tickets but have never been arrested. I’m going to take care of this issues before hand. I’m meet all the other requirements and scored 90 on the asvab. I was already going to join before having a kid

  31. Aaron says:

    Im going to an adult school to finish my diploma I scored high on my asvab. do I qualify for teir 1?

  32. NCCM(Ret) says:


    I strongly advise you to check with your local recruiter to ensure the school that you are attending will result in a Tier I credential — they should be able to tell you specifically.

    As far as the child goes, you will need to ensure that you have court papers that show who has physical custody; while you are asking the recruiter about your school, I advise you to provide a copy of your documentation so he/she can tell you if it will be enough documentation.

  33. John [Last name redacted for privacy] says:

    I just recently graduated form a continuation school, I earned my freshman and sophomore credits from traditional high school , but i had to finish the rest of my high school career in continuation school because i was able to receive more help with my math than in regular high school. I went to meps and passed my physical and score a 31 on the asvab i was not informed that i had to take the tapas test or aims test i truly don’t know what they are exactly. I was told i had to retake the asvab and score above a 50 because i went to continuation school even though i passed the texas state test and recieved a diploma.

  34. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The Army has the AIMS test; the Navy does not use it, so I am not familiar with it. I hope it works out for you — keep pushing!

  35. Chris says:

    Hi, I got my GED at a job corps in Puerto Rico and I’m currently awaiting for my college transcripts (don’t remember how many credits I have since this was back on 2005) I’m I eligible as a tier one? My recruiter keeps telling me that I still need to score a minimum of 50 on my ASVAB to be able to enlist.

  36. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Your recruiter is going to be much more informed on the program you completed then I will. The Education Specialist for each local command will make a determination as to each program’s Tier status based on their visit and the school’s accreditation. If the recruiter said you need a 50QT, that would more than likely be based on the Educational specialist’s findings.

  37. Chris says:

    Oh I’m trying for the Navy

  38. Chris says:

    Wow!.. That was a quick reply.. Love it.. Thanks! :)

  39. Camerom says:

    I am currently wanting to enlist in the marines but not sure if its the fit for me I have a certificate of completion because I have not passed the FCAT in florida its a test required for you to graduate I’m currently studying for the asvab to retake but not sure if marines is right for me I need a 50 on asvab to enlist but I weigh 134 height 5’8 I want to enlist in the military but don’t know or don’t know if I can with my certificate of completion

  40. NCCM(Ret) says:


    In the post it states, “Note: If you failed the school’s exit exam, you must have a letter from an authorized school official verifying that you met all the high school graduation requirements but failed the exit exam, and that is the reason you did not receive the high school diploma.”

    If you have that documentation, then you should be fine.

  41. Antonio [Last name redacted for privacy] says:

    Need to know if the Navy will accept a Life Skills Diploma? The school told me that they are accredited and also the army would accept it.

  42. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The local Educational Services Specialist (EDSPEC) for the Navy would have to review the documentation to make a determination; bring your diploma to your local recruiter, and if the school has a possibility of being considered Tier I, then the recruiter will forward the documentation to the EDSPEC.

  43. Julie says:

    My 17-year old son just recently completed a diploma program provided by TAPES (The American Private Education Society), A Professional Home School Education Society. He scored a 56 ASVAB. He completed and submitted an application to the local recruiter, who says the application is being reviewed for acceptance. The recruiter has also indicated that upon acceptance, he could take 3-6 months before my son goes to boot camp. I do not want him sitting at home doing nothing. Would there be any benefit to him enrolling in community college and getting some hours this spring semester? The college counselor indicated that if he earns 12 hours, he could qualify for a higher rank. On this website, I see that 15 hours might be beneficial under some circumstances, but perhaps not my son’s circumstance. Please advise.

  44. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The waiting time to go to boot-camp has nothing to do with his education — the waiting time is due to the fact that all of the available jobs may be full (something may open up sooner, but it is likely that there are people already in the Delayed Entry Program waiting on that very thing to happen). Now, going to college while waiting to gain the credits for advanced pay grade may may be a good idea, but that would be a cost analysis you would have to make.

  45. Jarett says:


    I have been working with my Army recruiter for a while. I currently passed the ASVAB with a 41 and passed the physical, along with the personality tests; TAPAS and AIMS. My Recruiting office has had only 1 GED enlisted so far. I was informed that GED holder scores were lower than mine with the ASVAB, AIMS, and TAPAS. He/she hasn’t completed any college, but was able to enlist as a Tier I which is Active Duty. As far as my scores, I was classified as a Tier II which is Reserves. I wanted to become an Active Duty enlistee, but why am I different as to the other GED holder? Have the requirements changed for GED holders recently? My recruiter does not have the answer to the Tier status formula either. Much needed insight if someone knows these answers.

  46. NCCM(Ret) says:


    As it states in the post, not all GEDs are the same: “A traditional GED even with a 50 or greater ASVAB score is still considered a Tier II credential UNLESS the GED was received as a result of an alternative, accelerated school (not all states have this option) in which case the GED may be considered as a Tier I credential.”

    It depends on how you got yours, if it was strictly test based, it is a Tier II.

  47. Jarett says:

    Im assuming this is for ALL military branches, as it is a law passed through the DoD. Aside from that, I am still confused. Im also aware that you may not be familiar with the Army Regulations since this is a Navy based website. Furthermore, the situation with the Army GED enlistees are as followed. If you have a GED you are set into two categories. 1)Alpha & 2)Bravo which include the Asvab test scores. If you score 50 or higher you are an Alpha Category. If 50 or below you are a Bravo Category. From there you then are classified at MEPS as a Tier I or Tier II. At the same time, that still makes no difference depending on your ASVAB score according to what you stated. So 31-99 on the ASVAB, you are still, no matter what, classified as a Tier II for Reserves. Also a few weeks ago, the Alpha Category(testers with 50 or above on the ASVAB) was closed, meaning if you scored 50 or more on the ASVAB you cant enlist right now. But for the Bravo Category you can score a 31-49 and enlist. Im not sure what is going on with the Military, and I understand that ALOT of people are joining because of the economy, but It seems they contradict their law sometimes because with the GED, some have been able to go Active with a Traditional GED (Because I was informed that person got their GED from the same place as I did) but I am not able to go Active right now. I guess its a guessing game right now.

  48. Jarett says:

    To make sure their is no confusion. The statement above is soley on persons holding a TRADITIONAL GED. I understand some are able to be a Tier I status due to some states having an Alternative. So the statement above is directed to Traditional GED holders.

  49. NCCM(Ret) says:


    You are confusing a couple of things.

    For the ASVAB test, the scores have categories; CAT 1 is a 93-99QT, CAT 2 is a 65-92QT, CAT 3A (ALPHA) is a 50-64QT, and 3B (Bravo) is below a 50QT (there is a CAT 4 and 5, but for this discussion they are not important). Recruiters refer to folks by they test score because often times availability for processing is based on it. So to hear that you have to be an Alpha to join, that is what the recruiter is referring to — you need a 50QT or higher. Now, that is the test.

    For education; the United States Code (the law) states that the active duty military is capped at a total of 10% accessions for those who are Tier II education — the Army gets most of that share, but once it is full, they cannot put anyone else in, so you could very well have seen folks join active duty with a GED — they would have had to be an Alpha (50QT or higher).

    The Reserve is a different ballgame and does not come under the same scrutiny — based on what you describe, the Army is allowing those with a Tier II education with below a 50QT to join (Bravos).

  50. Jarett says:

    Sorry for the confusion, as I was not aware of the different categorized difference in the ASVAB. But please exscuse me if I come off hostile I am just trying to put the pieces together as are my recruiters. But here is our(the recruiters and I) but as I stated, they have had 1, just 1, enlistee with a GED (whom got his GED same school as I) with a 32QT score, and was able to enlist in Active Duty. But your statement claims ” you could very well have seen folks join active duty with a GED — they would have had to be an Alpha (50QT or higher).” That said enlistee did not obtain a 50QT or higher. Which Is my whole misunderstanding with all of this pertaining to a GED, because of that Individual falls under everything else as I, but was able to go Active Duty. Thanks for replying, no pun intended. Just putting pieces together.


  51. NCCM(Ret) says:


    I appreciate what you are saying, I have no explanation for you as to why the Army would enlist a Tier II applicant with less than a 50QT — that said, your recruiter should not be confused by it, he should be able to tell you exactly how it happened — somehow, their Education Specialist has determined him to be Tier I for him to be a Bravo and enlist active duty.

    How do you know the guy’s score? How long ago did he join? Unless he was part of some pilot program — Army ran a few of those a few years back when they had an extremely hard time finding people, or perhaps the MAVNI Program?

  52. Jarett says:

    Thanks for understanding where I am coming from, and I agree that my recruiting office should know this information as well. I think It was new to them and they were not familiar with this GED method, because they have had only 1 GED be able to enlist before as Active Duty. But as for your questions, I personally have not seen the answers with my own eyes, it was all hear say. How Do I know the Guys Score? I was informed through my recruiter that he had a 32 ASVAB QT Score. How long ago did he join? I was actually told yesterday, that he joined last year in 2013. And What was his MOS? Recruiter stated he wanted Infantry but he couldnt because of his line score CO which I believe has to be 90 if I am correct, but he enlisted as a Wheel Mechanic. I appreciate your time and quick responses, and I assure you, that you would be just as confused as I am if you or someone else was in my position. Thank you for your time, and I will dig deeper and pray harder :) If I can find out information I will gladly come back and inform you of them. But I am sure the Army is different from the Navy, which Is why I believe their is confusion here on this site. Again, thanks alot.


  53. Anna says:

    Hi there
    My son will be 17 in April. He is a US citizen altho he has been educated in the UK. He is interested in joining the US Marines. Do you know how they would verify the high school diploma equivalent? We have GCSEs at age 16 here (12th year of school), and he only passed 3 out of the more usual 8 or 10. These were English Lit, English and Maths. He is confident with the rest of the entrance criteria but fears the qualifications won’t be enough. If anyone knows the UK equivalent of a US HSD which has been accepted by the Marines, I would be grateful. Failing that, what would be the best way for him to attain a HSD if we moved to the US? Would it have to be a whole academic year at a high school, or can one access a suitable college for 1 semester to gain the 15 credits + GED? I hadn’t come across Job Corps before seeing this website so thanks for that info – perhaps this would be a better option.
    I appreciate any insight you have into this situation,

  54. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Being that you/he is still in the UK, I recommend highly that you make contact with the Navy Recruiting Station that is in Kaiserslautern, Germany. They are at the Pulaski Barracks, Bldg. 2915 Rm. 103 — call them at the office at, 063134064494. They can help gather all of your son’s education documents and they can then forward them to the Navy Recruiting District New England’s Education Specialist (EDSPEC – he is a great guy, BTW). Once the EDSPEC reviews the documents, he can make a determination as to the education tier level, and once that is done, the recruiter can provide specific guidance on how to proceed. Your son would not have to return to the states to enlist.

  55. Anna says:

    Thank you for the German contact details – I will give them a call and hopefully send the exam results info and see what they say. Thanks again for such a helpful and speedy reply :)

  56. Michelle says:

    The above information is very helpful. My son appears to be a tier 2 alpha. He is in need of 15 credit hours. Are there specific requirements for those 15 hours besides above 100 level courses or can he take whatever interests him to meet those requirements? Thanks in advance!

  57. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The courses can be anything he wants as long as they are classes that can contribute to a degree (the 100 level or higher — not remedial, etc.).

  58. Jake says:

    I currently graduated from an online high school. I’ve been told left and right that the only way I can join is if I go to college and get 15 college credits. Is that a must or can I score higher than 50 on the AFQT and still enlist? Or does the 50> on AFQT only available to those who make it in small percentage of 2 Tier students that enlist ( 10% or 5% I believe ).

  59. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The on-line school must be listed by the Distance Education and Training Council, and if it is, then your diploma can be considered Tier I when you score a 50QT. Otherwise, you would need to get the college credits or wait for a Tier II opening. The amount of openings is capped at 10% across all of DoD — the Navy uses it sparingly and rarely gets to even 5%, maybe less during these times of poor economy with numerous applicants that have the appropriate credential.

  60. Jake says:

    Thanks for quick reply!

    So basically as long as my school is listed by DETC, I’m good to go? I’ve been being told by so many people no matter what home school I graduated from, the Navy will not accept it and they will point me in the direction of 15 college credits. It’s weird because my school actually has tons of graduates who are attending West Point and other military academies. This whole situation can be super confusing, so thank you.

  61. calvin says:

    Hi I am 31 and I am trying to get into the military. I think that my only option is the navy. I have a GED. How would I know if my school is a Tier 1. They are a private school in south carolina and I currently live in Florida? I just not sure if I can afford the college credits at this time. So I was wondering if there is anything that I can do?

  62. NCCM(Ret) says:


    It doesn’t matter where you live, the local Education Specialist will contact the right people to verify your credential — Keep in mind, a vast majority of GEDs do not qualify as Tier I, but you should seek out a recruiter and try nonetheless because you never know.

  63. calvin says:

    ok thanks!! Do you know of any online schools that are accepted that aren’t too expensive. I have four kids so can’t afford the traditional college route.

  64. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Your recruiter may be able to point you in the right direction; however, if you are married with four children, you are not eligible for enlistment due to the number of dependents.

  65. V says:

    I have a GED I also went through job corps shouldn’t I have enough clock hours if I finished the program ?

  66. NCCM(Ret) says:


    It depends on the program and how many clock hours — not all are 675; if yours didn’t meet the clock hour requirement, or you were not issued the certificate of completion by Job corps, then you would be considered Tier II.

  67. Christina says:

    Hi, During my sons 12th grade year it was determined that he was short 4 credits to graduate and there would be no way he could make up those 4 credits in time to finish school before he was 21. The school enrolled him in their adult education course to get his GED at the schools cost which he completed and received. He spoke with a Navy recruiter who says he needs to get back into his high school for the other 4 credits or go to college and get 15 credits from there. Neither of which he can do as there is no income for either of us in the last 2 years that would help him get school loans and his school can’t take him back because of his age. Is it possible for him to get his last 4 credits through James Madison High School online program or should he take the whole required credit course through them to get his tier 1 diploma from a single school as his only receiving 4 credits through them would not cover the 75% or credits rule. I can afford the courses at James Madison but i’m concerned this still will not help him.


  68. NCCM(Ret) says:


    His recruiter would need to contact his local Education Specialist (EDSPEC) to find out if that school plus his current credits would equal a Tier I. It should be an easy call for the recruiter to make to the EDSPEC because they are normally very approachable and informative. That said, have you looked into FAFSA? FAFSA is federal student aid that does not have to be paid back, and it is usually more than enough to cover tuition and books at most community colleges.

  69. Christina says:

    He would still need to come up with about 12,000 a year applying through FAFSA. We have qualification issues simply because I am fighting for disability and we live rent and utility free in my mother in laws house as a service trade for me doing her clinic billing and rental property maintenance while she resides in another state. College of any kind is pretty much out of the question.

  70. Brittney says:

    Hello I’m a 21 y/o female I live in Ga and I was looking to join the Army . Just one problem I don’t have a high school diploma. I do have all my credits (23). I didn’t pass my exist exam. I can’t retake it because of my age and also I can’t get a GED because I have 23 high school credits. What steps can you give/ guide me into the right direction?

  71. NCCM(Ret) says:


    As it states in the post; if you failed the school’s exit exam, you must have a letter from an authorized school official verifying that you met all the high school graduation requirements but failed the exit exam, and that is the reason you did not receive the high school diploma.

    Otherwise, you need to go to college and obtain the required minimum 15 college credits or one of the other Tier I credentials.

  72. Dedrick says:

    I graduate from job corps and received a diploma and a diploma in the course I was taking does this consider me as a tier one credential.

  73. NCCM(Ret) says:


    As long as the course was a minimum of 675 clock hours and you gained a certificate from the program, it should count as Tier I.

  74. Dedrick says:

    So how does this work with the navy score wise

  75. NCCM(Ret) says:


    You would need to score the same minimum as any other Tier I credential (minimum of 35QT) to be eligible; however, most NRDs are requiring a 50QT for everyone — but stay with your recruiter because occasionally they do bring in those with less than the 50QT as long as you have good line scores.

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