- Operation Recognition: High School Diplomas for Veterans
The New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMAVA) and the Department of Education jointly launched Operation Recognition in October 2000 to honor World War II-era veterans who left school to join the military and never received a high school diploma. The program will award a state-endorsed high school diploma to any New Jersey veteran who left a New Jersey high school to enter military service during World War II. Because of the overwhelming success of this program, The program is being expanded to include veterans from the Korean and Vietnam wars. Programs similar to Operation Recognition have been established in other states, including New York, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and West Virginia.
Who is eligible?
The following veterans are eligible:
Diplomas may also be issued posthumously. Surviving family members of eligible veterans are encouraged to apply
- Current residents of New Jersey
- Veterans who left a New Jersey high school directly to join the military between:
- September 16, 1940, and December 31, 1946
- June 23, 1950, and January 31, 1955
- December 31, 1960, and May 7, 1975
- Veterans who were discharged honorably or under honorable conditions
- Veterans from all branches of service, including Merchant Marine and Coast Guard
- Veterans who have since earned a GED.
What information do I need to apply?
You will have to provide the following:
- A copy of your DD-214 or discharge papers. (Do not send originals!)
- The name and address of the high school you attended.
- The year you would have graduated.
- Your name, address, and daytime phone.
Where can I apply?
Send your request to Operation Recognition, New Jersey Department of Military & Veterans Affairs, P.O .Box 340, Trenton, NJ 08625-0340. For more information, call 609-530-6854.
- POW and MIA Tuition Benefits
Free undergraduate college tuition is available to any child born or adopted before, during, or after the period of time his or her parent was officially declared a prisoner of war (POW) or person missing in action (MIA) after January 1, 1960. The POW-MIA must have been a New Jersey resident at the time he or she entered the service or be an official resident of New Jersey. The child must attend either a public or private institution in New Jersey. A copy of DD-1300 must be furnished with the application.
- War Orphans Tuition Assistance
Children of those service personnel who died while in the military or due to service-connected disabilities, or who are officially listed as missing in action by the U.S. Department of Defense, may claim $500 per year for four years of college or equivalent training. To qualify, the child must be a resident of New Jersey for at least one year immediately preceding the filing of the application and be between the ages of 16 and 21 at the time of application. The veteran must have been a state resident.
- Vietnam Veterans Tuition Credit Program
The Vietnam Veterans Tuition Credit Program provides additional education benefits to veterans who are eligible for federally funded education programs and who served on active duty from December 31, 1960, to May 7, 1975. Veterans must have been legal residents of New Jersey at the time of induction into the Armed Forces, at the time of discharge from active service, or for a period not less than one year prior to applying. The amount of the award is $400 annually or $200 per semester for full-time attendance and $100 per semester for part-time attendance. For more information, contact your school official in charge of veterans affairs or call the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs at 609-530-6854. Deadlines for applying are October 1 and March 1.
For more information about your legal rights as a veteran, please contact the Veterans Legal Assistance Project at Legal Services of New Jersey by calling LSNJ’s statewide, toll-free legal hotline, LSNJ-LAW™, at 1-888-LSNJ-LAW (1-888-576-5529) Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Outside of New Jersey, please call 732-572-9100 and ask to be transferred to the hotline.
This information last reviewed 2/18/10.