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Operation Recognition

Certain Veterans who left high school without graduating are eligible to earn New York State high school diplomas. Operation Recognition, created by Section 305 of New York’s Education Law, recognizes the devotion and sacrifice of World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam Era Veterans who left school early by presenting them with a high school diploma.

To be eligible, a Veteran must meet the following requirements:

  1. Be a New York State resident.
  2. Engaged in active duty service for at least one day during one of the following wartime periods:
    1. World War II: December 7, 1941 - December 31, 1946
    2. Korea: June 27, 1950 - January 31, 1955
    3. Vietnam: May 1, 1961 - April 30, 1975
  3. Received a satisfactory discharge from military service.

Deceased Veterans can receive a diploma. The child or spouse of a deceased Veteran who met the criteria listed above may apply and accept a posthumous diploma on the Veteran’s behalf.

Qualifying Veterans or their family members must present evidence of the Veteran’s military service, including dates of service and discharge status. Acceptable verifying documents include a DD Form 214 (the Department of Defense discharge form), a WD AGO Form 53-55 form (Enlisted Record and Report of Separation), an Honorable Discharge Certificate, or a Special Discharge form from the Coast Guard or Merchant Marines.    

Need more help?

For assistance, schedule an appointment with a New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs (NYS DVA) State Veterans Counselor. Please provide the name of the high school that the Veteran attended. Call the DVA Help Line at 1.888.838.7697, or contact the DVA by email. Veterans and family members can also obtain Operation Recognition information by contacting the New York State Department of Education at (518) 474-8940.

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