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When it comes to high school dropouts, often times there are greater circumstances that prevent these individuals from obtaining their high school diploma. This is different than US Army’s Army Prepartory School (APS) launched in August of 2008 where select recruits are trained to obtain a GED. Even those that were careless often realize their mistakes; however, the lack of a high school diploma or an actual chance at success is something they end up being punished for throughout their professional lives. The National Guard is trying to extend a second chance to these individuals through the Patriot Academy, located in Muscatatuck Urban Training Center in Jennings County, Indiana. The Guard is recognizing that education is the greatest asset they can offer someone; through this high school program they are allowing individuals to have another chance to meet their goals.
This alternative high school is a new program started by the National Guard Bureau which allows high school dropouts that want to serve in the Guard a chance to earn a high school diploma. This program is open to candidates from all 54 states and territories who want to serve their country; currently, there are 47 students enrolled in the academy from 16 different states. These students come straight from basic training and already have basic soldiering skills. The Academy will allow them to hone in on those skills, but most importantly obtain a high school diploma, not a GED. Another important aspect is the focus on community service. Students at the academy are expected to partake in the Jennings County (Indiana) community through activities such as assisting the elderly to helping out with little league games.
This high school program is not only going to produce better soldiers, but it is also giving a great chance for success to those that may feel as if they are out of options. Progressive programs such as this high school alternative provided by the National Guard are just one of the examples of today’s military showing a commitment to improving skills of its force. The focus on engaging communities where bases are located, improving family strengthening activities, and providing more training options for military personnel are just a few things that the services are doing to create a well balanced force that makes an impact outside of its traditional military duties. Having military personnel that are well trained and that have satisfied families is crucial when it comes to making the necessary security objectives. Let’s not forget, giving someone a second chance can often produce a citizen that can truly make a big impact. The National Guard is recognizing that, and taking a chance on those that most of us have discredited. With the opportunities open to these individuals, they are bound to be on the road to success.