2015 Operation Recognition


Meet a few of our Class of 2015 World War II Veterans

Ruben Peters

Ruben Martinez Peters

From Omaha Beach to All 50 States: World War II Veteran Set to Receive Honorary High School Diploma at Age of 92

James Lenon Jr.

James Lenon, Jr.

Patriotism Before Pomp and Circumstance: 89-Year Old U.S. Army Veteran Set To Receive High School Diploma


Benjamin Cusumano

Family and Country First: World War II Veteran Set To Receive Elusive High School Diploma

Operation Recognition is a program of the Riverside County Office of Education, with assistance from the Riverside County Department of Veteran’s Services, that presents diplomas to residents of Riverside County who missed completing high school due to military service in World War II, the Korean War, or the Vietnam War, or due to internment in WWII Japanese-American relocation camps.

Riverside County’s Operation Recognition is modeled after programs implemented in other states.  Numerous county offices of education and school districts throughout California operate similar programs.  Operation Recognition high school diplomas are authorized by the California Education Code.  Education Code section 51440 authorizes the granting of retroactive high school diplomas to eligible veterans.  Education Code section 51430 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 home town high school.

Riverside County residents who left high school to serve in the U.S. military during World War II (December 7, 1941 – December 31, 1946), the Korean War (June 27, 1950 – January 31, 1955), or the Vietnam War (August 5, 1964* – May 7, 1975) (*or from February 28, 1961 for veterans who served in country before August 5, 1964) may apply to receive their diplomas through Operation Recognition. Applicants must provide proof of Honorable Discharge from U.S. military service.

Operation Recognition also awards diplomas to Japanese-American citizens who did not complete high school due to internment in a WW II relocation camp. Applicants must show proof of internment during the period of December 7, 1941-December 31, 1946.

Diplomas are awarded through the Operation Recognition program at ceremonies held periodically throughout the year. Family members may submit an application to recognize a qualifying individual posthumously. There is no charge to participate in Operation Recognition. (Press release, video, and photos from November 12, 2014 ceremony)

Individuals interested in applying for a diploma through Operation Recognition may download the application below, or contact the Riverside County Office of Education at (951) 826-6570 to request an application.

In order to be recognized at the next Operation Recognition ceremony in November 2016, completed application forms and supporting documentation must be completed and received by 5:00 p.m. on October 6, 2016.

An application may be submitted by a family member of a qualifying individual, living, or deceased.  Persons who meet qualifications, but earned a GED, are eligible.