Deadline extended to end of the week

By Riverside County Office of Education

They were away from home serving their country while classmates were marching in commencement ceremonies. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard veterans who missed out on their high school graduations due to military service can apply for a diploma through the 2019 Operation Recognition program. 

Individuals who were interned in a Japanese-American relocation camp during World War II are also encouraged to apply. 

The deadline to apply for the high school diploma program is Oct. 15 for veterans from World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War and for those who chose service to their country over graduation caps and gowns.

Chris Petinak, director of public relations and communications services for the office of the Riverside County Superintendent of Schools, wrote in an email “The deadline is tomorrow [Oct. 15], but we would probably accept someone if they let us know by the end of this week [Oct. 18].”

A total of 354 veterans have received a diploma through Operation Recognition since 2007. The diplomas are awarded as a joint-effort of the Riverside County Board of Education, the Riverside County Office of Education, and the Riverside County Department of Veterans’ Services.

The 2019 Operation Recognition ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 12 at the Moreno Valley Conference and Recreation Center, 14075 Frederick St., Moreno Valley.

In order to be recognized at the ceremony, individuals must currently reside in Riverside County. 

The application, forms, plus photos and video from last year’s ceremony are available online on the Operation Recognition website ( There is no charge to apply or participate. Applications can also be requested by telephone. Interested persons may contact Tracey Case at 951-826-6570 or [email protected].

Degrees can also be conferred posthumously. Education Code Section 51440 authorizes the granting of retroactive high school diplomas to eligible veterans. 

Section 51430 also authorizes the retroactive granting of diplomas to Japanese-American citizens whose internment by federal order in World War II prevented them from graduating from their hometown high school.