Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA)

Army National Guard: Retired

Benefit Fact Sheet

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The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) is responsible for planning, directing, coordinating, and managing prekindergarten through 12th grade educational programs on behalf of the Department of Defense (DoD).


DoDEA determines the enrollment and eligibility policy. Dependents of Army retirees are not eligible to participate in DoDEA schools, but may be eligible to participate in some schools on a tuition paying, space available basis.

If Army Retirees are full time employees of the Department of Defense, they may be eligible to participate in DoDEA schools based on civilian eligibility. For more information on civilian eligibility for DoDEA schools, visit DoDEA's website:

Benefit Highlights

DoDEA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Defense, headquartered in Alexandria, VA, that serves as an umbrella agency to monitor DoDEA EuropeDoDEA Pacific and the DoDEA AmericasEach area is managed by an area director. Within each area, the schools are organized into districts headed by superintendents. DoDEA currently operates 160 schools in eight districts located in 11 foreign countries, seven states, Guam, and Puerto Rico. There are nearly 900,000 military connected children of all ages worldwide, of which more than 66,000 are enrolled in DoDEA schools and served by more than 8,000 educators.

Children sitting on the steps of a school

Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Americas Within the United States, DoDEA schools provide tuition-free education for the dependent children of military members occupying (or within 90 days of being provided) permanent living quarters on any military installations with a DoDEA school program. For DoDEA schools on U.S. territories, base housing is not a requirement for enrollment. DoDEA Americas provides comprehensive educational programs on military installations located in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Puerto Rico, and Cuba that are competitive within that of any school system in the United States. DoDEA Americas provide K-12 education, but not all levels are available at every location. Where the grade level program is not offered, dependent students living on the military installations attend schools operated by the Local Education Agency in the civilian community. DoDEA Americas operates 50 schools at 17 locations, in seven states, Puerto Rico, and Cuba, serving nearly 20,000 students.

Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Overseas: Offers comprehensive educational programs for military family members, grades K-12, in overseas locations. DoDEA-Europe operates 64 schools in three Districts located in eight countries across four time zones throughout Europe. Their footprint consists of the following countries: Germany, Belgium, Netherland, United Kingdom, Bahrain, Italy, Spain and Turkey. DoDEA-Pacific operates 45 schools at 21 locations across Guam, Japan (including Okinawa) and South Korea. Enrollment is guaranteed for "command-sponsored" children, those officially approved to relocate overseas at government expense. Children without command sponsorship may enroll on a space-available basis. DoDEA determines the enrollment policy, which will fall in one of four categories:

  • Category 1

    • Space-Required, Tuition-Free

    • Space-Available, Tuition-Paying

  • Category 2

    • Space-Available, Tuition-Paying (Federally Connected)

  • Category 3

    • Space-Available, Tuition-Free

  • Category 4

  • Space-Available, Tuition-Paying (Non-Federally Connected)

Authorized command-sponsored family members of soldier assigned to overseas areas where no DoDEA schools are available, the Non-DoD Schools Program has the responsibility to support educational services at government expense. Prior approval must be gained from DoDEA before.

Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Virtual School: DoDEA Virtual School (DVS) provides interactive and engaging instruction that prepares students to learn, work, and serve a global society. DVS is DODEA Virtual Schoolcomprised of these programs: DoDEA Virtual High School (DVHS) Supplemental, DVHS Expanded Eligibility Pilot Program (E2P2), Non-DoD Schools Program (NDSP), and the Domestic Transition Program. 

Additional Information

For more information about the schools, employment, and other topics, please visit the website maintained by the Department of Defense Education Activity:

DoDEA Americas:

DoDEA Europe:

DoDEA Pacific:

Non-DoD Schools Program (NDSP):

DoDEA Virtual School:

DoDEA AI 1344.01 - Eligibility and Enrollment Requirements for DoDEA Schools:

Document Review Date: 31 January 2024