Operation Recognition: Diplomas for Veterans

In 2000, the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (NJDMAVA) and the Department of Education jointly launched a program to honor World War II era veterans who left school to join the military and never received a high school diploma. Known as Operation Recognition, the program was expanded to 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, Korea and Vietnam.

To date, more than 2,000 high school diplomas have been awarded to New Jersey veterans either by mail or at community ceremonies. 

Programs similar to Operation Recognition have been established in a number of other states including Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Nebraska, North Carolina, and West Virginia.

Who qualifies?

Any current New Jersey veteran who left a New Jersey high school to join the military between the dates of Sept. 16, 1940-Dec. 31, 1946, June 23, 1950-Jan. 31, 1955, or Dec. 31, 1960-May 7, 1975 and were honorably discharged. All branches of service including Merchant Marine and Coast Guard are eligible.

Those who earned a GED are also eligible. Diplomas may be issued posthumously. Surviving family members of eligible veterans are urged to apply. The paperwork needed:

– A copy of the veterans’ DD-214 or discharge papers,
– The name and address of the high school the veteran attended,
– The year the veteran would have graduated and
– The applicant’s name, address and daytime phone number.
– Send your request to:

Operation Recognition
New Jersey Department of Military & Veterans Affairs
Eggert Crossing Road
P.O. Box 340
Trenton, NJ 08625-0340

You may also fill out an application for award by visiting:

Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice is a “Four Star” – We Honor Veterans, organization. We Honor Veterans is a program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO)  in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)  and community Hospices. The program focuses on respectful inquiry, compassionate listening and grateful acknowledgment. If you need help filling out the form and/or mailing appropriate paperwork please contact us at 973-383-0115, ext. 145 we we would be honored to help.

Posted in Press Releases.