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Enlisting in The U.S. Military

Last updated June 5, 2024

If you're thinking of enlisting in the U.S. military, know that it can be a highly rewarding career that allows you to serve your country. We’re here to guide you through enlisting in the U.S. military with confidence!

What are the requirements to enlist in the military?

  • Be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident.
  • Speak, read, and write English fluently.
  • Live in the U.S.
  • Be in good health and pass a standard physical screening.
  • Be between 17 (with parental consent) and 39 years old. Different branches have specific age requirements.
  • Have a high school diploma or GED.
  • Pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test (ASVAB).
  • Take the oath of enlistment, which vows to defend the U.S. Constitution.

I meet the requirements. Now what?

There are six branches of the military: the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Space Force. Learn more about each branch of the U.S. military here to determine which is the right fit for you!

What should I do before meeting with a recruiter? 

After researching each branch and deciding which is right for you, schedule a meeting with a recruiter. Meeting with a recruiter can help you make a decision about where to enlist, but doesn't automatically make you obligated to enlist. Here are some tips for meeting with recruiters:

  • Write down any questions you may have.
  • Treat the meeting as if you were in a job interview. Check out our interview tips to prepare!
  • Meet with multiple recruiters to explore different branches.

What happens after I decide to enlist?

After you make the decision to enlist, your recruiter may give you a practice Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test. This test measures four critical areas: arithmetic reasoning, word knowledge, paragraph comprehension, and mathematics knowledge. You may also be asked to complete a medical questionnaire.

At this point, if you and your recruiter decide that your chosen branch is the right fit for you, you'll make a commitment to serve. Your recruiter will schedule you to visit a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS). There, they will measure your physical qualifications and aptitude over one or two days. Once you meet all the requirements for your branch at a MEPS, you have officially completed the process of enlisting in the military!

For more information about the military and other options after high school, text #Hello to 33-55-77 to chat with one of our advisors. If you're using a mobile device, click here to have the text message set up for you!

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