Enlist : Active Duty Requirements
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Active Duty

Army Reserve

National Guard

Prior Military Service

Special Operations


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The basic qualifications for enlistment in the U.S. Army include:

• being from 17 to 34 years old
• be a U.S. citizen or resident alien, (must have the I-551)
• have a high school diploma or equivalent (such as a GED)
• be single with no children or married with 2 or less children
• pass the ASVAB test and
• pass the physical

You can join as an Officer through

You should also not be undergoing any civil actions; certain law violations will disqualify you.

You are NOT required to have a High School Diploma. Click here for Education Credentials.

Success in any branch of the Military depends on a good education, and a high school diploma is most desirable. Candidates with a GED can enlist, but some services may limit opportunities. It is very difficult to be considered a serious candidate without either a high school diploma or accepted alternative credential. In any case, staying in school is important for entering the Military.

As part of the entrance process for any service, prior to Boot Camp, you will receive a physical exam. During that exam you will be asked about your overall health.

A criminal record may disqualify you from military service. If you have a criminal record you need to talk to a recruiter in order to evaluate your particular situation.

Non-citizens may enlist, but cannot reenlist (extend their enlistment beyond their first term of service) unless they become naturalized U.S. citizens. However, after service of three years, additional residency requirements for citizenship can be waived. The Military does not assist in immigration naturalization process. For enlistment purposes, the United States includes Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, The Northern Marianas Islands, American Samoa, Federated States of Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands. Citizens of certain countries may require a waiver to enlist. These include citizens of countries considered hostile to the interests of the United States. For more specific information on the current list of hostile countries, or for other specific questions, Contact An Advisor.

The Army has very specific physical fitness requirements. If you are thinking about joining and want to know what kind of shape you need to be in, these charts, weight and physical fitness , will tell you everything you need to know.

Active Duty Enlistment Requirements and Benefits
Age Requirements Be between the ages of 17-34 years.
Length of Service 2-6 year commitment/Serve a total of 8 years in the military
Retirement May Retire after 20 yrs. of qualifying service
Job Choices 200 jobs to choose from
Medical / Dental Benefits Medical and dental benefits
Job training opportunities Specialized job training (AIT)
Location of duty May be stationed at home or on foreign soil
Work Schedule Serve 5 days a week
Vacation & Leave 30 days military leave per year (paid vacation)
Social & Recreational Programs Unlimited access to all military Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) facilities or programs
Education Benefits Educational benefits
Commissary Privileges Unlimited post exchange and commissary privileges
Physical Requirements Physical training 3-4 times a week

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