Monday, September 07, 2009

Patriot Academy Opens

Dropped out of high school - ages 18-24
Welcome to the Army National Guard Patriot Academy

Go through Basic Training - Earn your diploma - Be in the National Guard

The Patriot Academy is a new program from the National Guard Bureau open to candidates from all 54 states and territories who want to earn their high school diploma (not a GED - a Diploma!) and serve their country.

The first Patriot Academy is at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center in Jennings County, Ind. Renovation of the academy began in the fall of 2008 and the first students arrived in June.

There are currently 47 students enrolled in the academy from 16 states. The program will expand to 250 students in fiscal year 2010 and up to 500 students by 2011, according to National Guard Bureau officials.

The National Guard Bureau is also planning to extend the program to include a bachelor's degree completion program and add additional campuses nationwide.


The Patriot Academy is a new Army National Guard (ARNG) program launched on June 1, 2009 at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center (MUTC), a full-immersion 180-acre contemporary urban training center. The Patriot Academy program has Soldiers complete Basic Combat Training (BCT) and then perform Title 10 Active Duty for Operational Support (ADOS) while completing high school equivalency training, additional military training, and life skills training.

The ARNG has set up a Phase I with 60 Soldiers, a Phase II with 250 Soldiers, and a Phase III with 500 Soldiers. The basic concept for this program came from research that indicated 500,000 students dropped out of high school in 2006. These former students joined a group of over 3 million American youth between the ages of 16 and 24 without a high school diploma.

As the ARNG progresses through the program to Phase III, the ARNG hopes to graduate 500 Soldiers annually. Further expansion at MUTC or other locations is possible for the future. The price the program pays for investing in the future is better than absorbing the opportunity cost of ignoring a plentiful resource.

Research shows that the lifetime cost of dropping out of high school is approximately $260,000. A study in Illinois and Ohio indicated that the potential cost to a state government for a dropout is over $200,000. Extending this loss out, a Texas study indicated that a one year group of dropouts will cost the state about $19 billion over 50 years. A similar study in California estimated the lifetime loss of one year of dropouts will cost the state over $46 billion. From another sad angle, an Indiana article noted that about half of the adults on welfare lack a high school diploma and about three out of four unemployed adults have literacy problems. The high school diploma is also an indicator of success in the military -more valuable than the General Equivalency Diploma (GED). Focusing on potential loss, however, is not the bottom line. Tapping this 3-million strong pool of talent with a program that promises an education and a jumpstart on a career is a powerful formula.
This exciting program has started and is giving many young people a second chance. See the post below for a video!

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