Requirements To Become A Sailor
To join the Navy, you must:
- Be a U.S. citizen or Legal Permanent Resident
- Be between the ages of 17 and 39 to enlist or be between 19 and 42 to become an Officer*
- Have a high school diploma or GED equivalent or have a four-year degree from an accredited university
- Have a qualifying score on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test or the Officer Aptitude Rating and Aviation Selection Test Battery
- Pass the Military Entrance Processing Station medical exam
- Meet the physical, mental and moral standards of the Navy
*If you are not yet 18, you need parental consent to join.
Contact a recruiter to request more information about basic requirements.
What About My Hair And Beard
Grooming standards in the Navy exist to promote neatness, cleanliness and safety.
Men are expected to keep their hair short and neat.
A religious accommodation request can be submitted for personnel to wear a beard.
There is no requirement for women to cut their hair short. Short hair is permitted to be worn down if it falls above the collarbone. Long hair is expected to be pulled back in a bun, ponytail, braids or corn rows.
What Offenses Or Moral Behavior
- Individuals under civil restraint including parole, confinement, or probation are not eligible for waivers
- Individuals subject to civil court conviction or adverse disposition for more than one serious offense, or serious offenses with three or more other offenses will not be eligible for a waiver
- Anyone found trafficking, selling, or distributing narcotics, including marijuana, is not eligible for a waiver
- Anyone with three or more convictions related to driving while intoxicated, drugged, or impaired in the past five years prior to application will not be eligible
- Anyone convicted for five or more misdemeanors is not eligible
- Individuals who are unable to pass a drug or alcohol test or anyone with charges pending will not be eligible for a waiver
A Patriotic Way To Pay For School
Radio.comLooking for more military-related information?Contact a recruiterMilitary.comIf youre a military veteran, check out these Veteran Scholarships that will help you pay for school.Are you a spouse or child to a current or veteran military member?College Scholarships for Military Children & Spouses
Are You Eligible To Join The Military
Eligibility rules can be a little confusing. There are different rules for enlisting and for officer programs.
Enlisting: Enlisted members do the hands-on work of the military. They need at least a high school degree a GED may not suffice.
Officer: Officers are the managers of the military. Most officer programs require a college degree at minimum and are very competitive. Many officers have master’s or higher degrees.
Before you visit your local recruiter, be sure you meet the minimum qualifications for serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. Some qualifications are required by all five services:
- You must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien.
- You must be at least 17 years old .
- You must have a high school diploma.
- You must pass a physical medical exam.
For each branch, there are slightly different enlistment requirements:
|To join the…|
Also Check: What Do You Do In Navy Boot Camp
Can I Join The Military If I Am A Childhood Cancer Survivor
Exactly as the title says. Long story short, I had Acute Myeloid Leukemia when I was 8, but beat it and am now a completely healthy 22 year old man.
About a month ago, I went to talk to a National Guard recruiter about trying to join up with 25V to learn how to operate camera equipment, and to find purpose in life. However, the recruiter pretty much said that Cancer history is pretty much immediate disqualification. However, my friend who himself is in the Guard, said that it shouldn’t matter because it was so long ago. So I’m just confused on what to do considering I’m in perfect health, and have been for years. Any help would be appreciated, because I don’t want to give up on joining just yet.
Unrelated note, but I’d also be interested in the Navy if that’s possible
Have You Always Been Able To Get A Waiver For Asthma
Getting a waiver is a relatively recent development.
Before 2004, a history of asthma at any age could disqualify someone from military service. After 2004, the cutoff for asthma symptoms after 13 was made when a study of 587 recruits found that a history of mild asthma was not associated with excessive medical care or early attrition from military service.
The military has also acknowledged that the prevalence of asthma is increasing in the general public. By denying entry to a group of potential recruits, the military would be reducing the size of its recruitment pool.
In general, the waiver guidelines and requirements related to asthma are similar across all branches of the military.
Here are some specific rules that you may encounter across different branches of the U.S. military.
Read Also: Does Navy Federal Finance Mobile Homes
Different Categories Of Military Occupational Specialties
While all service members will eventually receive a specific MOS or AFCS such as a firefighter or artillery specialist many enlistees enter boot camp only knowing that they will receive a position within a broad category of MOS. That is, enlisted recruits may know they will get a job within the broad protective services or combat categories, but they wont know their particular military job code until after basic training or later.
Browse the categories below to see what range of military jobs interests you, and be sure to make your military career preferences known when asked by your instructors and other officers.
In addition to some of the common jobs held by service members, the military also offers unique career options that may not have crossed your mind. These include:
- Entomologists, who study, track and treat bug infestations at installations worldwide.
- Musicians, who play in service bands such as the The Presidents Own Marine Corps Band for both fellow service members and the general public on either temporary or full-time assignments.
- Multimedia illustrators, who design the graphics and illustrations used in military publications.
- Veterinarians, who care for the militarys service animals including horses, dolphins and dogs.
- , who record the events happening in military life both at home and abroad. In fact, some of the images youve seen on Military OneSource feature their work.
Military Entrance Processing Station
Once you make the decision to enlist, the Military Entrance Processing Station is the place where recruits go to finish the enlistment process. There are MEPS locations all over the country. Recruits officially complete the process of joining the Military once they meet all of the MEPS requirements. This process may take a few days.
Potential recruits must do the following at the MEPS:
Pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery
The ASVAB is a multiple-choice exam that helps determine which kinds of careers an individual is best suited for. There are questions about math, language, science, mechanical and electronic knowledge and more. The test lasts about three hours and is one of the factors used to determine which military specialties you’d be good at. You can take the ASVAB while at MEPS, but you can also take it at your school if it’s offered there, or at a Military Entrance Test site.
Pass the Physical Examination
Your recruiter will discuss physical requirements with you beforehand. While the physical examination varies from branch to branch, it typically includes completing a medical history questionnaire, taking basic blood, urine and flexibility tests, as well as hearing and vision exams.
Meet With a MEPS Career Counselor and Determine a Career
Along with your ASVAB results, a MEPS career counselor will take into account service needs, any prior experience and your wishes when helping you find a career.
Take the Oath of Enlistment
Recommended Reading: Can You Join The Army With Seizures
Can You Serve In The Us Military With Mental Illness
Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Verywell / Evan Polenghi
If you wish to join the U.S. military, be aware that people with current mood disorders or a history of certain mental illnesses cannot serve. The U.S. Department of Defense has a directive which provides a detailed list of the mental health conditions that prevent a person from being in the armed services.
Do Military Records Show Up On Background Checks
Documents and sources accessed during a background check include Social Security numbers, drivers licenses, vehicle registration, driving records, credit records, criminal records, education history, workers compensation records, bankruptcy records, character references, medical records, property ownership, military
Also Check: Can Diabetics Join The Army
Advancement Opportunities For Enlisted Personnel
Enlisted service members have ample opportunity to advance up the ranks. During their first four-year enlistment, service members are promoted a couple of times. There are also opportunities to become a noncommissioned or commissioned officer:
Becoming a Noncommissioned Officer
Noncommissioned officers are higher-ranking enlisted personnel who play a crucial role in day-to-day military operations and are often referred to as the “backbone” of the Armed Forces. Serving as the liaison between commissioned officers and lower-ranking enlisted personnel, they are responsible for providing advice and guidance to officers as well as leadership and training to lower-ranking enlisted personnel.
To become a noncommissioned officer , a service member must rise up through the enlisted ranks. A service member can only be appointed to noncommissioned officer if he or she is promoted by a higher-ranking officer.
Transitioning from Enlisted to Officer
Some enlisted service members make the transition into officer roles. Enlisted service members with the right qualifications may be recommended by their commanding officers for Officer Candidate/ Training School or Reserved Officer Training Corps . Most Services also have transitional programs that help service members make the leap.
Age Requirements Are Supplemented By Education Requirements
In most cases, the minimum age a new recruit may enter military service is 17 . However, a high school diploma or GED is usually required. Some branches of service may, depending on recruiting issues at any given time, offer alternatives such as allowing a new recruit who has a GED with college credits. Having a GED may subject the enlistee to additional standards not applied to those who have high school diplomas.
If the applicant does not meet the stricter standards for GED holders without college coursework, it may be possible to enroll in college to earn additional credit hours. This may be required by the branch of service applied for so you will need to try again under different standards.
Don’t Miss: Where Do Navy Seals Get Stationed
What Effects Decisions To Enlist In The Military
The period of drawing down the number of U.S. military personnel is over, and military recruiting targets are rising to keep the force from declining further. However, recruiting efforts must compete for resources within a smaller budget than in predrawdown days, and there have been reports that recruiters are having more difficulty in meeting their goals. Models that predict the enlistment probability of persons with different characteristics could help allocate current resources to target the most likely prospects. The most recent individual-level models of enlistment, however, were estimated using data from around 1980. Since then, many trends and events suggest that the enlistment likelihood of different types of individuals may have changed. These trends include an increase in college attendance, shrinking youth cohorts, rising youth aptitudes, and an increase in the number and scope of deployments. To improve the accuracy of recruiting-resource allocation, RAND researchers Rebecca Kilburn and Jacob Klerman have updated the principal economic model of enlistment decisionmaking with data from 1992 and 1994.
How Do I Apply For An Army Waiver
Applying for an Army waiver is as simple as requesting a form. However, it should be noted that the point of the waiver is for the applicant to prove they overcame a disqualifying issue that would otherwise prevent them from joining the Army. Once the waiver has been submitted, a comprehensive review will take place and it will be determined if the individual can join.
Don’t Miss: Where Is The Closest Military School
Disqualifying Mental Health Conditions
According to the Department of Defense, you’re disqualified from serving in the U.S. military if you have a current diagnosis or a history of most mental disorders. The presence of any disorder with psychotic features, such as schizophrenia or a delusional disorder, does not allow one to serve.
You’re also disqualified if you have bipolar disorder or affective psychoses. For depressive disorders , disqualification from the service occurs if a person had outpatient care that lasted for more than 12 months or any inpatient care. A person with a depressive disorder must be stable, without treatment or symptoms for a continuous 36 months, to be eligible to enlist.
For anxiety disorders , a person cannot enter the armed services if they needed any inpatient care, or outpatient care for more than 12 months cumulatively. They must not have needed any treatment for their anxiety disorder in the past 36 months. Other disqualifying mental health conditions include:
Disturbances of conduct, impulse control disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, or other personality or behavior disorders characterized by frequent encounters with law enforcement agencies, and antisocial attitudes or behavior also warrant disqualification from service. Likewise, a person may be disqualified from enlisting if their personality, conduct, or behavior disorder is believed to be a serious interference in adjusting to the military.
An Older Military Serving Longer
Young people still fight Americas wars. In 2009, slightly less than half of all active-duty military personnel were younger than 26 while about two-thirds were 30 or younger. Only about one-in-ten military personnel are older than 40.
However, the military has been getting older since the draft ended in 1973. In 2009 the age of the average enlisted personnel was slightly more than 27, up from 25 years old in 1973. Similarly, the average age of officers has increased from 32 to slightly less than 35 years.
Despite these changes, the age gap between officers and the troops they lead has remained largely unchanged. In 1973, the average officer was 7.1 years older than the average enlisted man or woman in 2009, the gap stood at 7.3 years.
Todays military also is serving somewhat longer than its counterparts a generation or two ago. The average officer in 2009 had been in the military nearly 11 years, slightly more than a year longer than the average in 1973.
The pattern among enlisted personnel is more complicated. The average length of service for enlisted personnel rose from 5.8 years in 1973 to a peak of 7.5 in 1994 and 1996, but then began drifting downward and now stands at 6.7 years.
Also Check: Does The Military Pay Your Mortgage
Can You Go To War At 16
The army states that it doesnt recruit children under the age of 16 and that soldiers must be 18 before they can be deployed to the front line. Parents are engaged throughout and must sign a consent form. But allowing 16-year-olds to enlist means end up with some really good, focused soldiers.
Can 18 Year Olds Drink On Military Bases
Defense Department rules require that all U.S. military facilities follow the 21 drinking age, but overseas bases can drop their drinking age as low as 18 based on their host countrys laws. Base commanders also can set the limit at 21, regardless of the foreign laws, at their discretion.
Read Also: What Military Branch Should I Join Test
Can I Join With Asthma What About Poor Vision Or Hearing
In some cases, yes. Asthma is only disqualifying if it occurred after an applicants 13th birthday. Hearing, vision, and asthma qualifications are typically determined by medical exams and are not service-specific. If a doctor denies an applicant, that applicant can still request an asthma, vision or hearing loss waiver.
Other Procedures And Considerations
When the military considers an applicants background, their review isnt limited to convictions. Instead, they also examine other charges and accusations, even if the court didnt rule that the defendant is guilty. Moreover, the armys recruiters will ask about attempted offenses, plea bargains, and punishments other than incarceration.
Also Check: How Much Is 100 Disability From The Military
How To Become A Commissioned Officer In The Navy Reserve
As a Commissioned Officer in the Navy Reserve, you must be a native or naturalized U.S. citizen. You must also meet the mental, moral and physical standards for Navy service. To join the Navy Reserve, you must be between the ages of 18-39 and be able to have 20 years of total service by age 60. You must pass a physical exam to qualify for entrance.