Military Qualifications needed to Join

Can you believe it? I was just informed by an ROTC instructor that now up to 70% of military applicants do not have the military qualifications needed for entrance today.

It seems like only a few years ago that the military was every high school students ‘back up’ plan. Meaning if a high school graduate could not get into the right college or that high paying job that he or she wanted, then grudgingly the military would become their last career option.

Those days are long gone. With the raging high unemployment hitting 20% and higher for young adults, the military now has its choice of the ‘cream of the crop.’ The days of ‘left overs’ are far gone! Not only that, but military prospects are standing in line just to get an interview with Uncle Sam. If this is you, do your homework and study below the leading reasons keeping military prospects out on the curbside today.

Let’s look at some of the Military Qualifications 1) Are you a US citizen? You must be a United States citizen or a legal permanent immigrant. (Must have a green card and living in the U.S.)

2) Age. The minimum age for enlistment is 18 (exception is 17 with parental consent) for active enlistment without prior service. Standard maximum age is 35, however, individual branches have their own maximum ages relative to quotas:

Army: 35 (must leave for basic training before 35th birthday)
Navy: 34
Marines: 28
Air Force: 27
Coast Guard: 27

3) Pass The ASVAB. The ASVAB is a required test for all military enlistees. It is largely a recruiting tool used to test military prospects for their abilities and measure their general learning abilities and vocational apititude. It’s important to do well on this test for highly desired military schools. The good news is that there are several quality ASVAB preparation guides out there today and online practice tests as well.

4) Education. The military breaks this into several categories (called ‘tiers’). However, 90% of today’s enlistments are within Tier 1.

Tier 1: High school diploma or at least 15 college credits. This does not include a GED certificate. Home study classification varies from one state to another.
Tier 2: GEDs, home study in some states and other home study certification. Each branch limits the number of tier 2 it will allow to enlist each year along with minimum scores on AFQT test.
Tier 3: Have no high school diploma or GED. These candidates are rarely accepted.

5) Drugs. Expectations are that if you have ever used hard drugs and used marijuana more than 15 times you may not be qualified without a waiver.

6) Alcohol. If you’re dependent or have a history of alcohol dependence then you may not be qualified. Keep in mind that selected jobs may be restricted to any military prospect who has any past experience with illegal drug use and/or alcohol abuse.

7) Weight Restrictions. Each branch requires your weight to be in proportion to your height. Needless to say, the military wants its prospects to be fit and ready for boot camp.

8) Arrest record. Each branch requires its applicants to meet rigorous character standards and each must adhere to federal regulations when it comes to accepting prospects with a criminal record.

Moral standards for enlistment deal generally with the acceptability of persons with records of court, convictions or adverse juvenile judgments. Moral character screening is the process by which recruiters review applicants’ credit and criminal backgrounds. The standards screen out persons who may become serious disciplinary cases and who could bring harm to the military mission. In addition to the initial screening, recruiters conduct interviews of applicants with criminal backgrounds. If you do have a criminal background or arrest record, I would strongly recommend checking out the standards for your branch of interest ‘before’ meeting with your recruiter. The good news is that the military can issue a waiver, however, the more severe the crime it’s obviously less likely that they’ll issue a waiver. Not only that, but if you’re interested in a military career requiring a secret or high level security clearance then your chances for such a selected career are reduced.

In summary, like any worthwhile promising career, do your homework and know the military qualifications. Be prepared. Be smart. Talk with other military service people.

The military can provide you with a long lasting promising career with many benefits beyond the obvious monetary, educational and retirement benefits.

You see, providing it’s your heartfelt passion to serve in the United States military, I can promise you that the ‘pride’ of serving your country and keeping it free will never fade… but only grow brighter with each remaining generation.




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