You can join the Coast Guard with a GED. Is it as easy to join the Coast Guard with a GED as it is with a high school diploma? No, it is much more difficult to join the Coast Guard with a GED compared to a high school diploma.
As of 2015, when you apply to join the Coast Guard, your education qualifications will determine if you are a Tier 1 candidate or a Tier 2 candidate. Applicants with a high school diploma fall into the Tier 1 category as long as they are in the 31st percentile or above on their AFQT (Armed Forces Qualification Test). Applicants with a GED automatically fall into the Tier 2 category and must score in the 50th percentile or above on the AFQT to qualify. Just because you qualify doesn’t necessarily mean there will be an opening for you. However, if you have a GED and have earned 15 semester hours or more of college courses you can obtain the Tier 1 status. Tier 1 candidates get first pick on open positions, while Tier 2 candidates can apply for any open positions that are left.
The military is not allowed to accept more than 10 percent of individuals with a GED, and each branch of the military sets its own limit, which is generally less than that 10 percent. Military statistics have shown that people who dropped out of high school tend to drop out of the military in their first term at a higher percentage than those with a high school diploma.
So, don’t give up on joining the Coast Guard if you have a GED, but you can increase your chances to join significantly if you can obtain your high school diploma or some college credit hours.
Good luck to all!