JROTC for Homeschoolers

Q: Can my homeschool son or daughter participate in the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) at a public school?

A: Yes! JROTC is now available to homeschool students in grades 7 through 12.

HEAV began working on homeschool access to JROTC in 2018 and introduced a bill in 2019. In 2020, the federal National Defense Authorization Act modified its language to state that public high schools must include homeschoolers in JROTC:

“Each public secondary educational institution that maintains a unit under this section shall permit membership in the unit to homeschooled students residing in the area served by the institution who are qualified for membership in the unit (but for lack of enrollment in the institution).” Section 2031 of title 10, United States Code, (h) (1).

If your student is interested in JROTC, first contact your local high school to see if they offer the program.

If a school does not provide the program or does not include the branch of service in which your student is interested, the student may be able to participate in another school’s JROTC or a nearby district’s program. 

First, you may be connected with the school counselor, who may or may not be familiar with the federal law change allowing homeschool participation. Second, ask to speak with the local JROTC officer who will provide enrollment information. Enrollment qualifications and documentation should be the same for both public and homeschool students. If you have any difficulty or if the school contact is not familiar with the law change, please contact HEAV at 804-278-9200 and ask to speak with HEAV’s homeschool military contact, Sheri Payne. 

Regardless of your future military plans, JROTC provides training and experience in leadership skills, self-confidence, discipline, communication, collaborative skills, college financial planning, community service, accountability, time management, and problem-solving. Participants in JROTC can qualify for significant school-specific, full college scholarships that do not require service commitment, or ROTC tuition assistance scholarships to any school that does require a service commitment.

Learn more about homeschooling and military families.

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