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Operation Recognition 

The Chicago Public Schools Operation Recognition program honors veterans of foreign wars by awarding diplomas to those who left high school to join the armed forces. 


In January 2002, a law was established to authorize Illinois school districts to award honorary high school diplomas to honorably discharged veterans of World War II and the Korean Conflict, as specified in Public Act 92-446.


In July 2009, the law was revised to further authorize school districts to award honorary high school diplomas to honorably discharged Vietnam veterans, as specified by Public Act 96-0088.


The Chicago Public Schools encourages all qualifying veterans to apply for a high school diploma through the Operation Recognition program. 


Diplomas may also be posthumously awarded upon application by next of kin.


To receive a diploma through the CPS Operation Recognition program, a veteran must have: 


1.     Resided within the City of Chicago at the time they left high school

2.     Left high school before graduating to serve in the armed forces

3.     Not received a high school diploma; and

4.     Served in the United States armed services during World War II, the Korean Conflict, or the Vietnam Conflict 

Application process

To apply, download the PDF icon. CPS Operation Recognition application. Once completed, submit the application along with a copy of your Honorable Discharge to:


Tom Pas

Chicago Public Schools – Operation Recognition Program

125 S. Clark

9th Floor

Chicago, Illinois 60603


Please note: To obtain a copy of your Honorable Discharge, contact your local VA office Opens in a new window icon. .


If you have questions about the CPS Operation Recognition Program, contact Tom Pas at (773) 553-1985.


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