Joining the Military With a GED—Is it Possible?

The GED and the military have a closer relationship than you might think. In fact, the GED was originally created in 1942 for veterans and members of the military to find good jobs. So if you’re interested in knowing if, and how, you can get into a branch of the military with a GED, keep reading to find out more.

Can You Join the Military With a GED?

Yes! You can join the military with a GED. The military often requires a high school diploma, but it is still very possible for you to become a member of the armed services after you earn a GED

No matter which branch you are looking to serve in, you still must meet the age, citizenship, height and weight, and legal requirements in order to join the military. 

Each branch of the military has tiers for recruits and classifies all of their recruits into one of three categories. Tier 1 recruits have earned a high school diploma or have completed 15 credits (one semester) of college. Tier 2 recruits have a GED. Tier 3 recruits have neither a GED or high school diploma. 

Tier 3 Recruit

There are almost no Tier 3 recruits. It is rare for Tier 3 recruits to join the military. If you are looking to join the military and you do not have a GED, it is highly recommended that you study and pass your GED exam. 

You can get help with earning your GED with practice tests online. They can help you feel prepared for earning your degree so you can have a better chance of entering into the armed forces. 

Tier 2 Recruit

If you have a GED and are looking to get into the military, you have to know that each branch sets its own limits. For example, less than 1% of the annual recruits for the air-force are Tier 2, while roughly 5% of the USMC are Tier 2. One of the biggest ways to help you get into that small percentage of Tier 2 recruits, is to score well on your ASVAB. 


The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is key for a Tier 2 recruit to make it into the military. Tier 1 recruits only have to score 31% or higher on the ASVAB. Tier 2 recruits have to score 50% or higher. The ASVAB also provides grounds for what you are qualified to do in each branch. If you score well enough in certain areas and show knowledge or talent in those areas, you can be recruited to fill a specific job, which pretty much guarantees your recruitment. 

Tier 1 Recruit

It doesn’t matter if you have a GED or not if you have either a high school diploma or 15 college credits. You are considered to be a Tier 1 recruit, and Tier 1 recruits get first pick for any open positions.

If you have a GED and want to become a Tier 1 recruit, you need to earn 15 college credits. These credits do not have to be at a large university or state-run school, but can be earned from vocational, community, or business colleges. Before you apply to colleges to get 15 credits (which can be completed in one semester of school), double-check with your recruiter to make sure you are applying to a school that is recognized in programs that will count towards your 15 credits. 

If you’re looking to enlist in the military but need your GED, get GED Ready the official GED practice test. This practice test can help you know where your strengths and weaknesses are within the GED and let you know if you’re going to pass or not. Not only does it show your progress on GED topics, but it can help you create a custom study plan to work on areas that you need to improve, with exact chapters and pages to study that will directly improve your score



    1. Hi Victoria! Due to the current situation many testing centers are closed. We’re monitoring the situation as much as possible and are following state health and safety guidelines. We will inform our students as soon as it is safe to start testing again. Thank you and please email with further questions.

  1. Hi. Can you help me out with GED information please in Sugar Grove, Aurora IL ? I need to get my GED to go to the Army.

    1. Hi you can get started by creating a free account at Once you’ve set-up your account you’ll find all of the information you need!

  2. Will GED.COM offer proctored tests to get your GED online? My 18 yr old needs to test but no schools are offering inhouse testing

  3. What if you get your GED then go to college and get your 15 credits will you s t.c ill qualify as a tier 2?

    1. Hi Jack. We suggest contacting the branch of the military you’re looking to enter to get the exact information you need. Thank you!

    1. Hi Dylan. We suggest checking with your local testing center to see if they’re open. You can also try scheduling your tests through and see if there are any local testing centers listed as open. Unfortunately South Carolina does not participate in online testing.

  4. Hello! I’m a 24 Y.O. Male who has gotten his HISET in 2019, and am interested in joining. Where do i go about this? Thank you.

  5. I joined the US Marines in 2003 (and still I’m on active duty) without a GED or high school diploma. There is a way to accomplish it without either and a recruiter can work through the process with you if you are eligible (there are other requirements)…

  6. I am 15, and I have been doing homeschool all my life. With no idea of what I want my future career to be, I am wanting to join the Army. What would you recommend me to focus on to have the best career forward in the Army?

    1. Hi Brandon my name is SFC Shumaker, I am an Army Recruiter in Columbia, MO. Homeschooling is no obstacle when joining the Military, so long as you follow your states requirements (Missouri is really easy). As far as best career forward in the Army, the ASVAB or PICAT is going to determine a lot. Also some jobs require you to have at minimum a B or C in subjects like English, Math and Science. Your best bet is to talk to a Recruiter in your area (most won’t start taking actual steps with you until you are a Junior and 17). We can still help you and your family with info however

    *G.E. D applicants must complete 15 College Credits to qualify to enlist – *Tier 1.
    E-2/Airman 21 College Credits ARMY/NAVY E2 – 36 College Credits
    E-3/Airman 1st Class 45 College Credits ARMY/NAVY E3 – 48 College Credits
    Step 1: Go to the American Council on Education (ACE) and Create a Free account at:
    *ACE CREDIT | Registry and Transcript System | Create an Account
    Step 2: Go to the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service and take the following:
    *FREE College Credit Courses:
    1) Cyber 101 for Everyone – 2 Credits.
    2) Cyber 201 for IT Professionals – 2 Credits
    3) Cyber 301 for Business Professionals – 2 Credits **Total of 6 College Credits. (FREE)
    Step 3: Go to Study.Com College Accelerator and enroll in the College Accelerator Program
    College Courses: *Cost $ 199 mo.
    This program allows you to complete up to 2 college courses per month- Total of 6 credits.
    The courses are broken down into 8–12-minute Short Video Sessions followed by short quizzes, tests, and a final exam for 3 college credits that you take via your home computer.
    *Start with the courses that you feel may be the Easiest to complete.
    Example: Business 109 – Intro to Computing, Education 101 – Foundations of Education, Sociology 101, or Psychology 101, Total 12 College Credits.
    *ALL COURSES ARE: Pass 70% or Fail. No Grades or Grade Point Averages are listed the official transcripts.
    Step 4: After you have completed the desired number of college credits – Log on to the
    American Council on Education Course Search and ADD your completed courses to create to your ACE transcript
    *It takes ACE up to 72 hours to verify with TEEX or that you have passed a course!
    *You MUST have ACE send a copy of your transcript to Thomas Edison State University or Excelsior College, or Your current college or Make sure your current college accepts ACE credits!!
    *ACE List of University and Colleges Partnerships:
    ** Both Thomas Edison Sate Univ (TESU) and Excelsior College partner with the Military. **
    Step 5: Submit an application for an “INDIVIDUAL LEARNING ACCOUNT” with TESU
    Cost $300
    *TESU will accept your ACE transcript and furnish you a *CERTIFIED OFFICIAL TESU Transcript*
    *Cost $35. or *EXCELSIOR COLLEGE – “ONE TRANSCRIPTt” Application *Cost $270.
    Transcript $30.
    Step 6: Submit the TESU or Excelsior College “Certified Official Transcript” to your Recruiter!
    *TESU and EXCELSIOR are Regionally Accredited by the Middle States Commission on
    Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (267-284-5000).


    if you took any of the below BCIS (Basic Computer Information Systems) courses in high school and you received a *CERTIPORT Certificate*, have those courses added to your ACE Transcript.

    The American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT®) has evaluated and recommended college credit for the following *Certiport exams:
    MOS – Microsoft Office Specialist certification exams
    1)MOS: Microsoft Office Word 2016
    2)MOS: Microsoft Office Excel 2016
    3)MOS: Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2016
    4)MOS: Microsoft Office Word 2013
    5)MOS: Microsoft Office Excel 2013
    6)MOS: Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2013
    Total 6 CREDITS

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