1. Home
  2. /
  3. Politics
  4. /
  5. Slideshow
  6. /
  7. Navy Personnel Chief Says...

Navy Personnel Chief Says Removing Diploma Requirement Carries Risk

The U.S. Navy has recently made a pivotal change in its recruitment policy by eliminating the requirement for a high school diploma or GED certificate.

This strategic move is aimed at addressing the Navy’s recruitment challenges and expanding the pool of potential recruits.

Vice Admiral’s Insight

Credit: DepositPhotos

In an interview, Vice Adm. Rick Cheeseman highlighted the dual purpose of this policy shift: providing more Americans with the opportunity to serve and boosting recruitment numbers.

The Navy announced on January 26 that applicants with high AFQT scores could enlist without a diploma.

Expanding Eligibility

Credits: DepositPhotos

The Navy is broadening its scope for enlistment eligibility, insisting that this change does not equate to lowered standards.

Cheeseman emphasizes that the Navy’s focus has shifted to recognize potential beyond traditional education credentials.

A Different Perspective

Credits: DepositPhotos

Cheeseman stated, “The Navy is a different place than it has been in the past, and we know through data that your education credential may not be the front and center thing that predicts your success in the Navy.”

This reflects a modern approach to evaluating potential sailors.

High Standards for Entry

Credits: DepositPhotos

The new policy requires potential recruits without a diploma to score 50 or higher on the AFQT, typically indicating suitability for technical roles.

Cheeseman believes this ensures that the Navy attracts highly qualified individuals.

Beyond Academics

Credits: DepositPhotos

Navy officials acknowledge that there are various reasons why people might not complete high school.

They argue that academic credentials alone should not hinder capable individuals from serving.

Projected Impact

Credits: DepositPhotos

The hope is that this change will result in thousands of additional recruits.

In 2023, over 2,400 individuals without formal education approached Navy recruiting stations, now potential candidates.

Recent Recruitment Changes

Credits: DepositPhotos

This policy is part of a series of adjustments in Navy recruitment, including accepting older recruits and those with lower AFQT scores for specific roles.

These changes reflect the evolving landscape of military recruitment.

Encouraging Data

Credits: DepositPhotos

Recent data shows a decrease in boot camp dropout rates, suggesting that these recruitment changes are effective.

Cheeseman notes a significant drop from the average rate to just under 10% last year.

Category IV Recruits

Credit: DepositPhotos

Even among recruits with lower AFQT scores, the dropout rate was only slightly higher than the average.

This success rate reinforces the value of diversifying recruitment strategies.

Building Trust

Credit: DepositPhotos

Cheeseman highlights the importance of building trust from the initial recruitment stage, through processing, and into boot camp.

He believes in investing in recruits as individuals, which is critical for their success.

Calculated Risk

Credits: DepositPhotos

While acknowledging the risks of the new policy, Cheeseman views them as minimal.

He draws on historical precedents and current data to justify this innovative approach.

Historical Context

Credits: DepositPhotos

The Navy has previously allowed enlistment without high school diplomas.

This approach aligns with broader trends in military recruitment, including a brief similar policy by the Army in 2022.

Broad Support

Credits: DepositPhotos

The policy development involved extensive collaboration and has garnered support from various levels of the Navy, Congress, and the public.

This collective effort underscores the commitment to this new recruitment strategy.

Positive Community Response

Credits: DepositPhotos

The reaction on social media, especially LinkedIn, has been largely positive, with many sharing personal success stories in the Navy.

Cheeseman finds these stories affirming, as they reflect the policy’s positive impact on individuals and the mission.

Read More From The Stock Dork

Credit: DepositPhotos