Enlisting In The Military? What You Must Know…

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While the US Army, US Navy, US Marines, US Air Force, Coast Guard and National Guard each have similar entrance requirements, they all have varying admission standards based on their own specific enlistment agenda and quota. Due to the 2012 unemployment rates and the current political climate, the needs for each branch may vary. Naturally, it is always best to contact your area recruiter.

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Age Requirements

The Army, Navy, Marines, National Guard, Air Force and the Coast Guard have varying age requirements. The minimum age for each military branch is currently 18, however you may enlist at 17 with a parental approval. It is always best to confirm with your local military branch recruiter. The maximum age may vary but currently the US Army is age 35, US Marines maximum age is 28, the US Navy maximum age is 34, the US Air Force maximum age is 27 and the US Coast Guard maximum age is 27.

Educational Requirements


A high school degree is normally a requirement for enlistment in all the US Military service branches. A GED may qualify… you need to confirm with your local military branch recruiter. Regardless of the documented educational requirement, remember you’re potentially competing with many others for a specific military school. With that, your education level may give you a ‘competitive’ edge in getting your desired military ‘school’ training. With the high US unemployment rate, competition may never has been as high.

Citizenship Requirements

U.S. citizens or Permanent Resident Aliens (people who have a “Green Card”) may join the US military. However, due to pending Dream Act legislation in selected states and other pending local, state and federal legislation, each service branch may ultimately have its own 2012 enlistment requirements. It is always best to call your military recruiter for more advice on a specific situation.

Bottom line… Want to enlist? Get active and learn all that you can about the military branch which you’re interested. Learn about all the specific branch jobs that you may desire ‘before’ talking with your recruiter. In other words, don’t be ‘sold’ on a job that the military has a great need… but get the job that best benefits ‘you’. Not only that, be wise with an eye for the future and consider the jobs that leads to an attractive ‘career’ long after your military service. Check out military.net for individual military jobs for all the branches.

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74 Responses to “Enlisting In The Military? What You Must Know…”


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military dot image russell smulders    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Hi happy new year, i am an australian 17 just about to leave high school i want to live in the US i want to be a part of the navy, what do i need to do to apply to join the US navy, i can pay my own way over to the US, can you please give me some tips thank you.


military dot image kof    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

l was in 01/01/1976 and l wanna joint the army. when l met the recruiter about ,he told me ”you too old”. But according to information online the age limit is 42.
What to do at this point?
thank you


military dot image Amir Khan    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

I am just told by an army recruiter that the age limit for the army reserve is 35!!! but here and other online site, the age limit is mentioned as 42, not sure which one is accurate, leaning towards recuiters but hoping for these sites


military dot image Deez    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

I am wondering the same as above. I will be turning 37 in August and am considering joining the ARMY. If you have any insight on age requirements first hand, please share.


military dot image DeSco    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Can a recruiter clear this up. I just tried and was told the age limit is 35. But here it says 42. I am 39.


military dot image robert    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

hey it true that it 42 or 35 iam confuse


military dot image larryf    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

We have updated the article to reflect the maximum age for the Army at 35. However, please validate with your Army recruiter as the Army has the option to change the minimum/maximum ages at any time. Thank you.


military dot image Mary    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

The Navy Reserve limit is 41 1/2. The army and air force is 35, unlesss you are prior service for whcih your previous years can be taken off your age. the marines is like 27.


military dot image Papalote    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

As of April 1, 2011, applicants with no prior military service must have taken the oath of enlistment on or before their 35th birthday. It used to be 42 before. However, certain states have different age limits. There is an exception for qualified non-prior service applicants assessing into the MOS 09L (interpreter/translators specializing in Dari, Farsi and Pashto). Contact your recruiter to see if you qualify in your state. I hope this can help!


military dot image Claude Inniss    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Could it be possible to join the US Army from overseas.


military dot image jo    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Hello, we were just informed that the Navy and possibly the Army are not taking any new recruits at the moment, is this true ? Thanks


military dot image Tony    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Yeah their not taking anyone till they reset the enlistment list for the year and they do espect a working your way up from t he crappiest job.


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military dot image Bambata Skosana    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Greetings Im a south african High schooler. I’ll be done with H.S in 2 years, how would I go about joining the U.S army after H.S? If there is a way please notify me A.S.A.P thank you.And note that I have no citizenship in the U.S or a green card.Please try as hard as possible to get me in thank you.


military dot image Brittany M. Scott    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Hello, there. I started the enlistment process to join the U S Army from the state of Missouri in St. Louis city but have past history of depression caused by unhappiness and feelings of personal insecurity with family relationships at home in August 2007 to November 2008 and took an antidepressant. In November 2008, I got permission from my family care doctor to discontinue the antidepressant. So I slowly weaned myself off the medicine from late February 2009 to August 2011 to avoid the risk of relapse or withdrawal symptoms, which would be a very unpleasant exprience to put myself through. Antidepressants are strong medicines. Even the smallest dosage can have strong side effects while taking the medicine or discontinuing it. Side effects may be increased sadness, suicidal thinking/attempt, nausea and vomiting, fatigue, or dizziness, and in some cases, become habit-forming. That’s why it is never a good idea to quit an antidepressant cold- turkey or stop the medicine unsupervised without first notifying the doctor. Therefore, I simply refused to risk of possibly making myself sick. Then one night my family and I sat down and had a real good long talk about how I was feeling. When we talked, I learned that they do care about me and love me. I was even told on more than one occassion that I had to be more optimistic about most things in my life. I was in my early twenties and in college at the time. And from that night on, I got tired of
feeling unhappy about my family relationships at home and decided to change the way I felt and thought about things in my life and that helped out a lot. I know personal growth did not just happen to me overnight; it took me lots of time to break that vicious circle of pessimism and overcome it all as I got a bit older into late 20’s. I do not display past suicide attempt/thoughts, harm to self/others,


military dot image Brittany M. Scott    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

(continued), I had never been admitted to a hospital or residential facility for depression in my lifetime, and I do not have a history of substance use/dependency or distribution. I have been medicine-free for 1 yr and 3 months and hold a steady job with no problems with coworkers and supervisors. In fact, I never was hospitalized, ever, before. My character is of good moral standing and displays no past criminal history. I graduated from a 4yr university with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. I am aware that military service is a privilege and not a right and that some people get kicked out of the service for various reasons like fraudulent enlistment, medical discharge, desertion/dereliction of duty, Absent Without Leave (AWOL), physically/verbally assaulting a superior or fellow soldier, criminal mi misconduct, and other things that jeopardize a servicemember’s military career. None of those apply to me because I am all about showing up to work early and on time, which makes me less likely to do any of these things because I care about my job and employment history and future. I really want to know if I still have a secure chance in still being able to enlist in the military if I can prove that I can be a good soldier in the U S Army by providing the educational and decent moral background and letter of recommendation from my current employer, and even an essay of why I want to join the military to back back me up, despite the fact that I took an antidepressant in the past. And there has never been any incidents of violence on the job/college campus done by me towards a supervisor, coworker, teacher,


military dot image Brittany M. Scott    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

(continued), I had never been admitted to a hospital or residential facility for depression in my lifetime, and I do not have a history of substance use/dependency or distribution. I have been medicine-free for 1 yr and 3 months and hold a steady job with no problems with coworkers and supervisors. In fact, I never was hospitalized, ever, before. My character is of good moral standing and displays no past criminal history. I graduated from a 4yr university with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. I am aware that military service is a privilege and not a right and that some people get kicked out of the service for various reasons like fraudulent enlistment, medical discharge, desertion/dereliction of duty, Absent Without Leave (AWOL), physically/verbally assaulting a superior or fellow soldier, criminal mi misconduct, and other things that jeopardize a servicemember’s military career. None of those apply to me because I am all about showing up to work early and on time, which makes me less likely to do any of these things because I care about my job and employment history and future. I really want to know if I still have a secure chance in still being able to enlist in the military if I can prove that I can be a good soldier in the U S Army by providing the educational and decent moral background and letter of recommendation from my current employer, and even an essay of why I want to join the military to back back me up, despite the fact that I took an antidepressant in the past. And there has never been any incidents of violence on the job/college campus done by me towards a manager, coworker, teacher, or another student. I am not that type of person, which also makes me 100% less likely to endanger the lives of fellow soldiers in my unit, including myself and 100% less likely to neglect my duty and sabotage my military career…if I ever get accepted into the military ( sigh). Plus, I heard that the army has suspended enlistment waivers on the national guard website due to the tougher requirements to join the services at this time. The military is an important dream to me
that I will work hard to make happen the legal way and doing whatever is required of me
like a psych consult required by MEPS and hope to God that I’ll still get to join the Army. MEPS is reviewing my medical records and said that my past history of “depression” might be an issue but I still have hope because it is not official and might is a maybe/maybe not. It is obvious that I truely want to be a soldier because I was honest and disclosed my
medical history to the recruiter in the very beginning of the Army enlistment.since I have enough sense that honest enlistment secures a rewarding military career with no worries of getting caught in a lie and dishonorabley discharged from the military and imprisoned and owing thousands of dollars for enlistment fraud when a concealed history of a medical condition is discovered during a background check for my chosen MOS. I am still anxiously waiting for more MEPS news from my recruiter. It’s a tough fight for me right now. How can I prove that I won’t become a basket case in basic training or during my military career? I am not joining just for money. I know military service will have a strong impact on my lifestyle but I am positive that a military life is what I really want to do. I am looking for adventure and willing to be exposed to the unknown. I am constantly longing for secured hope to enlist in the army.


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military dot image Jude Ichudi    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Hi, am a Kenyan by nationality.I have longing to join the US Army since my childhood.I have completed my high school education just this year.Am 19 years old.Please give me directions.


military dot image weight loss diet breastfeeding moms    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Thanks for the good writeup. It if truth be told was a leisure account it. Look advanced to more added agreeable from you! By the way, how can we keep in touch?


military dot image John    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

I’m 32 years and I wanted to join the Air Force. The Air Force requires only max of 27 years old can enlist. Any age waive in this branch?

Thanks
John


military dot image Brittany M. Scott    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

It is January 2013 and I am still waiting for MEPS results on my enlistment fate since September. I wonder if the military is still not taking in people with medical blemishes in their past?


military dot image taaron hassell    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

can I join any branch of military if I don’t have my second Amendment anymore?


military dot image does not matter    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Educational Requirements: “….With the high US unemployment rate, competition may never has been as high.” (last sentence) – That’s a shame. It seems that the person who typed that up skipped out on education. – Come on now!


military dot image Innocent    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

I’m 36 and I really want to join any of the US Military branches. I think I met other requirements. Can I be considered?


military dot image gabriel    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

I’m from Ghana and have completed senior high school 2008. Is been my desire to join the us Marines since childhood. I coming to the states soon nd don’t have a green card with process again can I use to join?


military dot image David    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

These postings sound like a bunch of desperate people. This is sad, but I know these are the reasons why a lot of young and older people join. I am a veteran and know what I am talking about. All I ask of you people is to do the best you can for yourself while your in the military and take care of the people you serve with. Serve with honor and be very professional. It will take you a long way in the service. You will find that there is a lot of garbage in the military just like in the civilian world.

Take care all, and good luck.


military dot image kelvin dodzi aloryi    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

please, i am a ghanaian 22 completed high school i want to live in the US i want to be part of the army, what do i need to do to apply to join the US army, i can pay my own way over to the US, can you please give me some tips i would, therefore be glad to be given the opportunity to explore the given talent and potential i have in me. thanks


military dot image Johnny MacDonald    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

I am a diabetic and i was wondering why cant i join any part of the military i want to be a tank engineer but i am a type 1 diabetic i was diagnosed in 2010 and i am now 15 i was wondering why i cant join the military please reply i am also doing a history report on this and thank you for your time


military dot image Festus Kotobridza    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Am festus a Ghanaian citizen. born on the 3rd, november 1988. really want to join the US Air force. how do i go about it.Am having Electrical Engineering Technician Part2 certificate. please i needed a directives as what to do.
hope to hear from you.


military dot image larryf    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Hi Festus, the Air Force is pretty picky. No doubt, you need to call your local Air Force recruiter. Don’t trust any other source, ok?! Requirements and waivers change from day to day all based on the needs of the military. Good luck. Thank you in advance for your service. Larry


military dot image roy davids    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

i m an Indian citizen willing to join the US army. Is this possible????


military dot image larryf    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

HI Roy, do you have a green card? Regardless, to be sure I would call/contact your local Army recruiter. There are waivers and who knows what the latest requirements are. But keep in mind that the Army is cutting manpower.


military dot image Anthony    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

t has been dream to join the u s navy, but I’m not a u s citizen. I need direction.


military dot image larryf    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Hi Anthony, do you have a green card? Appears that the ‘Dream Act’ may be at hand and providing opportunities. Check in with your area Navy recruiter to determine if you’re qualified to join the us navy. Good luck.


military dot image ryanlang    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

I am 15 years old joining the army is something i really want to do i turn 16 in september am i able to sign with parents permission and take the asvab?


military dot image larryf    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Mr. Lang, first of all… do you have a high school degree? If so, then you need to talk to an army recruiter. Many questions remain regarding your success in the us army.


military dot image Brian Justice Shibalilah    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

hi,am brian and not us citizen. I had applied for the US army last year and am still waiting for there response I wanted to know if my name is there and when exactly will the letters of recruitment be submitted to Kenya ,please write as soon as possible


military dot image larryf    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Hi Brian, no doubt… you need to call your designated US Army recruiter. He/she is the only one that can provide you with the accurate info that you want. My best!


military dot image ian    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Hi, am Ian and a Kenyan citizen, I wanted to apply to join tha u.s navy, I have no greencard but I have a certificate in culinary arts, I completed my high school education,Am 21 years old.Please give me directions.


military dot image Isaac Cobbinah Jnr    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Hi,I’m Isaac a ghanaian who wants to join the US air force.Pls any help


military dot image Yvonne    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

hi,am Yvonne from kenya aged 21 and am interested to join U.S Airforce.please reply.


military dot image MESHACK    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

I would like to know whether it is possible to join the us army yet I am not a US citizen


military dot image Ethan    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Why can’t I be under 18 or 17 with parent approval and still enter the military?


military dot image Michael    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

I didn’t do high school in the US, am I eligible to join US Navy


military dot image Nath. Victor.    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

I’m a graduate from University of Jos, Nigeria. I’m ready to enroll in the US Military or even prepare for admission into the US Military School to study Computer and IT so as to attain realiable educational-format. Hope to get your favourable reply.


military dot image larryf    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Do you have a green card? American Citizenship? I would recommend contacting your designated branch recruiter… thank you for your interest!


military dot image Nath. Victor.    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

I’m 23 of age with a BSC/ed in Rehabilitation sciences. I’ve an Inlaw in USA and I dnt have a green card. I’ll love it if I can gets some clue on how to enroll in the USMA or the Military.


military dot image larryf    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

SUre Nath, for this moment, you do need a green card. However, the laws are every changing. Call your branch recruiter for the latest. My best.


military dot image Nath. Victor.    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

I don’t know my branch recruitor. Pls can you help me?


military dot image larryf    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Just call the toll free operator (800-555-1212) and ask for your branch (Army, Navy, etc.) recruiter. They will give you a phone number that will automatically route you to your designated recruiter. My best, lf


military dot image jeshrun    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

I was in 02/02/1984 and I wanna join the army.I’m a Filipino.,I want to be apart of the us military,what do I need to do yo apply to join the us miliray…thanks and godbless


military dot image mike    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

im mike age 27 years of age from kenya and eagerly longing to join the USA navy please call me on this number for more infomation +254735241950


military dot image NOSA    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

I AM 17 GOOD TO GO BUT I NEED A SENIOR OFFICER TO HELP ME AND I LIVE OUTSIDE THE US AND I DON’T HAVE TO COME TO AMERICA I WANT TO FOLLOW MY DREAMS AS A US MARINE


military dot image larryf    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Not sure of your question or comment… are you saying you want to become a United States Marine but not come to America?


military dot image Samuel ngugi    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Hi, can i apply for US navy while still in kenya coz my dreams have been to join us navy plz help me on this


military dot image larryf    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Are you a US Citizen?


military dot image Anthony Alphonse    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

I am a Ghanaian by nationality. I want to join the US army any suggestions on how I can do so? I have completed Senior high school. And I am 21 years of age. 6.2ft and don’t have any clinical issues.


military dot image elijah    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Hi,am a kenyan citizen 30yrs of age and i want to join the US military. I have finished my high school and have a certificate in ICT. Please help me out


military dot image Antwaun Willis    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

I’ve been suspended all together 13 times from high school,and I have two charges 1 being a 20 dollar larceny and one a disorderly conduct that was dismissed ,what are my chances of being able to successfully enlist


military dot image Vincent Ezeoke    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Hi,i am serving in Nigerian Army and 33years of age.Please i want to quit and join the US Army,what should i do and the procedures?


military dot image larryf    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Hey Vincent, are you a US Citizen? Have a green card? Many politics now involved, you need to speak to a branch recruiter.


military dot image Vincent Ezeoke Simon    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Sir,for a very long time (age of 10years),i developed passion to serve the world most experienced Army but have never made my dream come through.I love working with the US Army to secure people’s life and properties more especially joining hand in combating crimes and terrorism that has been in the height of outdistancing the effort of the US Government to combat crimes and clean our environment of further criminal activities that is going around the world now.I am not US Citizen neither do i have a green card,thank you,Vincent.


military dot image Vincent Ezeoke Simon    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

But if their is anything i will do to fulfill my dreams please,i am ready to comply with the rules and regulations that will accompany me to join the US Army sir thank you sir,Vincent.


military dot image larryf    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Hey Vincent, love your vigor! Call you local Army recruiter. He has all the latest recruiting info. And only him. Good luck.


military dot image larryf    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Continue reading. Don’t get lost in distractions like social media, too many video games, peer approval and all that mess. Maintain balance in all things. Study hard and focus on school. Listen to your parents. DO all these things and the Army would love to have you, as any employer. Good luck!


military dot image Faithful    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

i started having a dream of becoming a U.S soldier at the age of 11, i dont have any clinical problem or neither enroll into any illegal act, i have graduated from high school since 2010, since then i have being trying to travel to U.S to join the U.S millitary. borrowed a huge. sum of money to pay in 3years so to pursue my dream. last month i was not giving a visa when i went to the U.S Embassy For my interview but was not issued a visa for no reason, she only asked me where i was going actually i was going to visit a family memeber, which i told the consulate. my plan was if come over to U.S then i will have to apply for an extension of visa and my passport is a virgin paasport cos its my first time applying for a visa i wanted when i come over i will apply for extension of visa then pursue my dream to join the military in the U.S which has being my dream and I’m jst a fresh person haven’t travel and has never had any case that will restrict them from giving me a visa nd all they did was give me a pink paper. they also denied a family of 6 that want to go for a holiday after so much spending and paying for a hotel they were denied all the money was all wasted with a pink paper, and now I’m still fighting to apply for visa but the money isnt enough and i cant borrow cause i havent paid off the one i borrowed being browing all day to see if i can apply but all to no bt waste of time going through the net and couldn’t find what I’m looking.


military dot image Faithful    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Can I have any assistant from the U.S Army to achieve my dream of becoming a U.S Army, can any help be given ?


military dot image Jeff    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Hi,I am in africa 19 years old.I have a desire to join the US army. Finished my high school .how can I do so?


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