How to Join the United States Navy

The US Navy makes it extremely easy for qualified individuals to join. Most areas have recruitment offices where interested parties can receive more information about opportunities in the Navy. Before contacting a recruitment officer, though, you might want to learn some of the basics to help you decide whether you want to pursue a career in this branch of the armed forces.

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Fill out this form to learn more about joining the United States Navy.

An Introduction to the US Navy

The United States Navy is the largest naval force in the world. This not only means that the US Navy has an incredible amount of power, it also has a large number of jobs that might appeal to qualified recruits. Joining the United States Navy doesn’t necessarily mean that you will spend months at sea. It doesn’t even mean that you have to specialize in anything related to boats. In fact, you might already have skills that make you an excellent addition to the Navy even if you have never set foot on a ship.

Requirements for Joining the Navy

You must meet certain requirements to join the United States Navy. If you don’t meet one or two requirements, though, you should still contact your local recruitment office. In some cases, they can waive or find alternative ways of fulfilling requirements.

To join the US Navy, you must be a citizen of the United States or a non-citizen with an Alien Registration Card or permanent residence visa. Undocumented non-citizens are not allowed to join the Navy. They must participate in a citizenship or visa program to qualify.

US Navy applicants should be between 17 and 34 years old. 17-year-olds, however, need parental consent to join. Those with previous military experience might join the Navy even if they are older than 34. This largely depends on one’s experience and physical condition.

Recruits should, at the very least, have a GED or high school diploma. Anyone who wants to enter as an officer should have at least a bachelor’s degree.

The Navy requires high moral and ethical standards of its sailors and officers. Recruiters, therefore, examine each applicants history. Each person has his or her own circumstances that can affect whether a recruiter accepts an application. Applicants should know that a criminal history, and even driving record, can have a negative impact on his or her acceptance. Navy officers and sailors are also expected to abstain from all illegal drugs and use alcohol responsibly.


Finding a Recruitment Office

If you meet those qualifications, then you should contact your local recruitment office to discuss your future career plans. The US Navy needs all kinds of people to fulfill job openings. If you are willing to work, then there is likely a position available for you.

Your recruiter should be able to explain the Navy’s compensation package. The amount that you are paid depends on your rank and amount of time in the service. That means you will regularly receive raises as long as you stay in the US Navy.

You can find a recruitment office near you by using the Navy’s website or a local phone directory. Many schools can also connect you with a Navy recruiter.

Benefits of Joining the Navy

Joining the Navy offers many, many benefits. Those just beginning in the Navy might think that the pay is rather low (those just starting earn just over $1500 a month). Don’t balk at the pay rate, though, before considering the other benefits that the Navy offers.

The Navy provides additional stipends for housing, clothing, and food. That makes each pay check go a lot further than one from a private sector company. The US Navy also provides medical coverage for you and your family. This can drastically reduce the amount of money that you spend on hospital stays, medications, dental work, and other medical items.

A career in the Navy also provides you with an excellent retirement package. Those who retire after 20 years receive 50 percent of their highest monthly salary every month. Those who retire after 40 years receive 100 percent of their monthly pay.

Salaries in the US Navy can rise quickly. An O-8 with more than 16 years of service currently earns more than $12,000 per month. Not everyone can reach such a high level of success in the Navy, but this shows that there is plenty of room for income growth.

Becoming an officer dramatically increases one’s pay, but even sailors without officer status can eventually earn over $6,400 a month. Considering the benefits and retirement packages offered by the military, most people are unlikely to find such excellent compensation in the private sector.

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4 Responses to “How to Join the United States Navy”


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