Army Preparatory School

Monday August 4, 2008

What is it?

The Army Preparatory School (APS) pilot program, which begins operations today, has the mission of providing otherwise-qualified recruits without high school diplomas the opportunity to earn a General Equivalency Diploma (GED) before basic training.

What has the Army done?

The Army has established a preparatory school at Fort Jackson, S.C. to help recruits get a GED. The APS will accept 60 Soldiers per week (240 total attendees) for a four-week academic program. Recruits who pass the GED go on to basic combat training; those who don't are discharged.

The program also immerses recruits in fitness, discipline and life skills. Those completing the program will have a foundation for learning and core values for success in the Army and in life.

Recruits chosen for the APS are select individuals. They have achieved above average scores (in the top 50 percentile) on the military's vocational aptitude test and meet or exceed the physical and character standards for becoming high-performing Soldiers. Recruits who needed a waiver to enlist aren't eligible for the APS.

Why is the Army doing this?

Despite the most challenging recruiting environment since the all-volunteer force was established 35 years ago, the Army is committed to maintaining a quality all-volunteer force and will not lower recruiting standards. But high school graduation rates across the nation aren't optimal; they're below 50 percent in some areas. The Army took an action-oriented and creative approach to the problem by establishing the APS.

How does this benefit the Army?

The APS helps sustain the all-volunteer force by addressing the needs of those who meet all requirements but education and deserve an opportunity to serve their country.

Because the program also immerses recruits in fitness, discipline and life skills, they should do well in basic training. The program also may eventually strengthen re-enlistments of Soldiers completing their first terms of service.

What's the way ahead?

If the pilot program's first year results are favorable, it could expand to the basic training installations at Fort Benning, Ga.; Fort Sill, Okla.; and Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

The Army also is evaluating ways for the APS to become a full-fledged high school diploma program by around mid 2009.


Army opens Prep School at Fort Jackson

Army opens prep school for dropouts to fill ranks (updated on Aug. 27, 2008)

Army Posture Statement:
Information paper on Army Prep School


- 2008 Strategic Communication Guide - Read the 2008 Army Strategic Communication Guide for key messages and updates

- Strategic Communication Coordination Group (SCCG) Workspace

- Army Public Affairs Portal

- Stories of Valor

- Speaker's Toolkit

- Information Papers with " 2008 Army Posture Statement"


The Army Community Relations Calendar

Bloggers Roundtable

The Surgeon General's Blog

Soldiers, Iraqi doctors provide medical care to Baghdad residents



  • Anthrax blend led FBI to Ivins (LAT)
  • Anthrax evidence is said to be circumstantial (NYT)
  • Researcher kept security clearance as FBI closed in (WP)
  • Mega fish scales inspire future of body armor at MIT (PM)
  • Exclusive: Gangs spreading in the military (CBS)
  • Army changes direction with MV-22 Osprey (LN)
  • Army resumes weapon destruction in Anniston (BN)
  • Army holds family day for Soldiers heading to Iraq (ET)


  • Iraqi leaders fail to reach election deal (HC)
  • U.S.: Soldier dies in vehicle accident in Iraq (WT)
  • Bombings persist across Baghdad (WT)
  • Iraq calls on doctors to return home as violence diminishes (SDT)
  • Ragtag Taliban show tenacity in Afghanistan (NYT)


  • Deployments stress kids, too (HA)
  • A trip to New York gives wounded veterans a break from a patient's dull routine (NYT)
  • Sexual assault in military 'jaw-dropping,' lawmaker says (CNN)
  • Three lives lost: That's the real story (FO)


  • Defence groups turn focus to security at home (FT | Story)
  • Doubts arise on FBI anthrax suspect (SMH | Story)
  • Middle East: Israel's secret police pressuring sick Gazans to spy for them, says report (GRD | Story)
  • 'Fitness pill' being developed (BBC | Story)
  • Beijing Olympics security fears as terror attack kills 16 Chinese policemen (LDT | Story)


  • Related to article under Army: Death by anthrax (RR)
  • Social media in the military: Insight into the future of social networks (RWW)
  • Reclaiming our citizen-Soldier heritage (WS)
  • Is the Afghan army standing up? (RS)

External Links Disclaimer ARMY SPORTS

Sports at a glance

2008 National Veterans Wheelchair Games

Soldiers prepare to bolster team USA at Olympic Games

Subscribe to STAND-TO! to learn about the U.S. Army initiatives.


July 28 - Aug. 3, 2008: 50th Anniversary of NASA

Aug. 6, 2008: Anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Aug. 16, 2008: 25th Anniversary of Army Family Action Plan


" also have to understand that the people of Iraq are just tired of the fighting, and it doesn't matter if you're Sunni, Kurd, Shiia, Christian or Syrians -- you're just sick of this unbelievably bad organization called al-Qaida, which continues to do dastardly things..."

-Army Maj. Gen. Mark P. Hertling, commander of Multinational Division North

Variety of factors contribute to progress in Iraq, general says

Stand-To! Archive

Most Recent Focus Topics


STAND-TO! is an information paper-based web platform that supports the U.S. Army’s strategic communication objectives.

The information papers -- written, approved and submitted by the Army agencies -- provide a broad, objective view of the Army’s current operations, doctrine and programs. The "Today’s Focus" topics highlight Army Staff initiatives and support Army wide strategic-level issues.

All published editions are sent to subscribers via email and archived daily in the STAND-TO! Archives.

STAND-TO! falls under the management of the Online and Social Media Division (OSMD) in the Office of the Chief of Public Affairs (OCPA).

Subscribe to STAND-TO! to learn about the U.S. Army initiatives.