2nd annual all-Ohio U.S. Armed Forces Commitment Celebration: Ohio Department of Education celebrates new graduates headed to U.S. military

3/18/2019

The Ohio Department of Education welcomed more than 326 students from several dozen high schools around the state to celebrate their commitments to serve in the U.S. military. Representatives from the various branches spoke at the Columbus event last week in support of Ohio’s new recruits. Watch the ceremony here.

High school juniors and seniors who are entering service academies or have committed to serve as active duty, Reserve or National Guard members were invited to take part in the Armed Forces Career Commitment Ceremony. The students signed commitment letters, received red, white, and blue cords from the USO, and celebrated with their families and members of the military and education communities.
 
In Ohio’s five-year strategic plan for education, Each Child, Our Future, serving in the military is one of four pathways for high school graduates identified in the state’s goal.
 
“I am grateful to the teachers, educators and families who prepared these students for future success,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria. “Along with college and career-tech education programs, military service is a postsecondary pathway that offers meaningful, rewarding, lifelong career experiences and opportunities.”
 
The Ohio Department of Education supports the state’s military families and veterans in several important ways. Veterans with honorable discharges and current service members pay no fees for educator licenses. Additionally, the Troops to Teachers program helps transitioning service members and veterans begin new careers as teachers in Ohio schools.
 
Ohio also is one of 50 states involved in the Interstate Compact for Educational Opportunities for Military Children, which works to ensure military children are properly enrolled in schools, are eligible for school activities and receive help meeting graduation requirements.
 
To recognize schools that have made major commitments to serving military families, the Department created the Purple Star designation. Purple Star schools receive special Purple Star banners to display in their buildings. So far, the Department has recognized 142 schools. It will recognize more Purple Star schools next month.
 
The Ohio Department of Education also launched the Ohio Network for Military Families and Veterans. The network provides an online hub where principals, counselors, teachers and families can find the tools and information they need to ensure military children have a seamless educational experience.
 
Click here for more information about how Ohio is supporting its military families.