How Does Enlisting In The Army Work

How Does Enlisting In The Army Work


Job Training And Experience

How enlisted rank works in todays Army

Todays Army has a dizzying array of jobs organized by military occupational specialty codes. For example, the Army needs infantry soldiers, scouts, telecommunications specialists, medics, cooks, electricians, police, firefighters, musicians, public relations specialists and much more. Army recruiters can explain options available in more than 200 career fields and discuss the qualifications needed for each job type, according to the U.S. Army.

Effort is made to match the interests and aptitudes of recruits with the needs of the Army. Consideration is given to how the desired Army job aligns with the recruits long-term goals for a military career or return to civilian life. Enlisting in the Army can help a young person jump into a career that is exciting, rewarding and meaningful. The Association for Career and Technical Education states that the Army is the only branch of the military that promises recruits their choice of an MOS. Recruits also reserve the right to switch jobs if their first choice doesnt work out as hoped.

Requirements For Joining The Military

The U.S. military has six branches of service: the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Space Force. The requirements to join are similar for all six. The main differences are in age limits, test scores, and fitness levels. Men and women meet different fitness standards. Besides the requirements listed here, a branch may have other requirements.

Age Limits for Enlisting

You must be at least 17 to enlist in any branch of the active military. The oldest you can be to enlist for active duty in each branch is:

  • Coast Guard: 31

  • Air Force: 39

  • Space Force: 39

Some branches have different age limits for their part-time Reserve and National Guard. Visit each service’s recruiting website for its part-time age limits.

Requirements for Enlisting If You Are Not a U.S. Citizen

You do not have to be a U.S. citizen to enlist in the military, but you may have fewer options. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you must:

  • Have a permanent resident card, also known as a Green Card

  • Currently live in the U.S.

  • Speak, read, and write English fluently

Educational and Testing Requirements for Enlisting

You must take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test. The ASVAB has 10 subtests.

  • Your scores on four of those make up your Armed Forces Qualification Test score. This score determines which branch you may join. Each branch has its own lowest score for joining.

  • Your scores on all 10 subtests determine which job specialties you qualify for.

What They Do About This Section

Members of the U.S. military service maintain the U.S. national defense. Although some service members work in occupations specific to the military, such as fighter pilots or infantrymen, many work in occupations that also exist in the civilian workplace, such as nurses, doctors, and lawyers. Members serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, , or Coast Guard, or in the Reserve components of these branches, and in the Air National Guard and Army National Guard.

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Speak With A Career Counselor

You’ll speak with a career counselor about the results of your ASVAB and your own personal career ambitions to determine which role will best suit you in the military. The career counselor will also review important documents related to your potential contract and help you complete the necessary paperwork for your enlistment.

Attend Virtual You Session

Military Enlistment Bonuses: What Are They?

Until recently, you would have been invited to attend a Your Opportunities Unlimited Session day at one of our local Defence Force Recruiting Centres. Due to the unfolding COVID-19 situation, we are now running this process virtually.

As part of the virtual YOU Session, you will:

  • Complete any outstanding forms from the Candidate Hub
  • Take an online aptitude test
  • Talk to a Careers Coach about the service and role you are considering

Please note, these activities may be run over a number of days whereas previously they would have all been done on a single day.

What to prepare for your YOU Session

In preparation for your YOU Session, log into your Candidate Hub and ensure you’ve completed the digital forms and uploaded copies of your relevant documentation.

You should upload the following documents into your Candidate Hub prior to your YOU session:

  • Original or certified copy of your birth certificate or passport
  • Proof of citizenship or permanent residency
  • Proof of secondary and tertiary education records and results
  • If relevant, details of employment history and any trade qualifications

If you are unsure of what to prepare for your YOU Session, please call . If in doubt about how to have documents certified, download our Certification Guidelines.

What to expect

Your virtual YOU Session will consist of:

1.Aptitude Evaluation

This online test will be sent to you via email and you will need to complete it before you can progress further with your application.

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What If I Never Received My Bonus

Several readers have left questions in the comments section, or have contacted me via email to ask what they should do if they never received their enlistment bonus or reenlistment bonus. This is not a common situation, and each case will be unique. Here is how I would handle this:

Visit your Personnel, Human Resources , or Retention Office. These are the units that handle the paperwork for enlistment and reenlistment bonuses. They should be able to give you an idea of whether or not you met the requirements for the bonus, and can help you make sure all your paperwork is in order. They may refer you to the Finance office if you have met the requirements, but the bonus hasnt yet been paid. Keep in mind there may be a delay from the time you earn the bonus until it is paid.

What if you have already separated from the military and you never received your bonus? This is a tricky situation, and one we have been asked about several times. The best I can say is to review your contract and verify you should have earned the bonus. Each contract is unique, so I cant offer much advice other than to review it thoroughly. From there, you should contact your main branch of service personnel section . Ask them to review your contract and see what you should do from there.

More reading:

Becoming A Civilian Army Engineer

Step 1: Create a USAJOBS Account and Profile

You must first create a USAJOBS account, which requires an email address, username, and password. To create your job profile you must enter contact information, citizenship status, and work experience. You may also upload your resume and cover letter to easily apply to available jobs.

Step 2: Search for Engineering Jobs

Searching for jobs is simple. Type in the job type, agency, and location in the USAJOBS search bar, and you’ll get a list of results matched to your query.

Step 3: Make Sure You Meet all Eligibility and Qualification Requirements

Before applying, you should ensure you meet both eligibility and qualification requirements. Eligibility does not entail your work experience, but typically refers to basic requirements such as needing to be a current or former federal employee to qualify for a role. Other eligibility requirements may require you to be a current student or recent graduate. Qualifications refer to your work experience, education level, and your overall knowledge or expertise in your field.

Step 4: Start Your ApplicationStep 5: Submit Your Application

Before submitting your application, you must certify that all information is complete, true, and made in good faith by checking the box and then click to continue to the agency’s site. Depending on the agency or position you’re applying for, you may need to complete additional steps in the application process.

Step 6: Interview

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Trust Your Recruiter To Guide You

If youre considering joining the Army, your recruiter will be there to support you throughout every step of the process. Recruiters know the Army well, so theyre qualified to help you determine if its the right fit for you. They can help you define your goals, plan for key steps in the process, and guide you in the right direction.

What Effects Decisions To Enlist In The Military

How to Enlist in the National Guard

    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.

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    How Does Dating Work In The Military

    By: Jason Lee

    Whether youre already in the military, looking to join, or youre interested in dating someone who is in the military, it can be a lot to process. Outside of keeping up with all the acronyms, jargon, and lifestyle changes, you may be wondering how exactly does dating work in the military?

    Some of the most common questions we get on the topic include:

    • How does dating work in the military?
    • Can a soldier date someone who is also in the military?
    • Is dating a soldier good or bad?
    • How does dating work during deployment?
    • Are soldiers good in relationships?

    If youve asked any of these questions of ones like it, were here to get you the answers. So, go ahead and grab your boots, strap on your Kevlar, and lets get into answer each of these questions by the numbers.

    Oh, and if youre looking for a place for military people to meet single women and men , check out the link weve got for you here.

    For you: The Best Dating Apps for the Military

    Attend Enlistment / Appointment Day

    If successful, you will:


    If you’ve reached this part of the application process you’ll soon receive your official ADF job offer along with your joining instructions.

    Your Enlistment Coordinator will organise your Enlistment / Appointment Day. The ceremony is a very proud moment as you become an official member of the Australian Defence Force, so we encourage you to invite friends and family along to watch you undertake the official oath or affirmation, to find out more about what lies ahead for you, and to say a proper goodbye.

    Before the day you must ensure that:

    • Results from any requested blood tests have been received by Defence Force Recruiting
    • If relevant to your position and included with your Letter of Offer, the Security Pack has been completed and returned

    Has anything changed?

    It’s very important to notify us if, since your interviews and fitness test:

    • You have suffered any illness or injury, or
    • There have been any additions or changes to prescribed medication, or
    • You have been involved in an incident with the police, or
    • You have an outstanding court action, or
    • You have received a conviction or penalty.

    A second Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check will be performed before the day of your enlistment or appointment.

    What to expect

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    What Happens After Meps

    After finishing at MEPS, candidates follow one of two paths:

    • Direct Ship – This means candidates report to Basic Training in a matter of days versus months after finishing their MEPS requirements.
    • Delayed Entry Program – This means that a recruit is committing to Basic Training at a time in the future, generally within one year. Candidates entering the DEP will be given further instruction, to be carried out at a later time.

    Its important to note that the time period between being sworn in and entering Basic Training could be as short as two days or as long as two years. It varies based on job assignment and branch of Service.

    The Military Ladder: Army

    SMA: New enlisted promotion policy in works

    In 1775, the first remnants of what is now known as the U.S. Army were formed by the Continental Congress in groups of riflemen. This group has fought in almost every single American war since the American Revolution, and it has, just like every branch of the military these days, a strict chain of command.

    When a person first joins the army, they typically start off at a pay grade of E-1 as a private, or PVT. The list then increases in rank as follows:

    Private 2 PV2

    General GENGeneral of the Army GA

    In the army, the buck stops at General of the Army, and this ranking of five stars is reserved only for war time.

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    Army Promotion Timeline For Junior Enlisted Ranks

    An E-1 is the lowest rank in the Army. E-1 is the initial rank for those just coming out of basic training.

    Also, to promote to an E-2, which is a private second-class, you need six months of service.

    Afterward, promotion to an E-3, or private second class, happens after 12 months as an E-2.

    Lastly, to continue to a Specialist , you will need two years of service and at least six months of time in pay grade.

    There are three levels of Noncommissioned officers in the Army.

    Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery

    The first step in enlistment is the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery . This series of tests helps the individual and military branch determine the right career path for the recruit. Computer-based and pen and paper exams are available, but most testing centers prefer to use computer-based versions.

    Recruits spend three hours taking the multiple choice exam and complete a variety of subjects similar to a high school curriculum. The branch of the military the recruit is interested in joining calculates scores and results.

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    Jobs In The Reserves And National Guard

    The Army National Guard and Air National Guard, as well as the reserve forces of all the branches, give guaranteed jobs to everyone who enlists. This is because unlike the active-duty forces, who recruit for available slots all over the world, the Guard and Reserves recruit for specific unit vacancies in their local areas.

    Enlisted & Officer Experience & Training

    How To Join The Army ( The Enlistment Process, Recruiter, ASVAB, MEPS, DEPS )

    Enlisted Personnel Experience & Training

    In order to become an enlisted service member in the U.S. military, it is required that applicants have completed their GED or high school diploma. Once enlisted, many enlisted service members will train for jobs and learn skills and get hands-on experience in fields of employment such as transportation, human services, office administration, or mechanics. These skills learned during their time in the military will usually prove to be an asset to veteran job seekers as this experience transfers well to civilian employment.

    Officer Experience & Training

    Officers in the U.S. military are almost always required to possess a four-year degree or equivalent. Many colleges and universities have Reserve Officer Training Corps programs on campus, which allow cadets to have the benefit of receiving a paid college education in exchange for their commitment to serve as officers in the Military after they graduate. Within the military, Officers act as managers and are placed in leadership positions that involve making tactical decisions, planning and directing operations.

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    Benefits Of Being An Army Engineer

    A career as an Army engineer comes with several benefits. The benefits available to both civilian and non-civilian employees extend beyond healthcare or vacation and include unique job opportunities in exciting locations around the world. The benefits available to civilian and non-civilian Army engineers may vary.

    Some benefits available to only enlisted members may include an additional stipend for housing, education, and access to family and soldier services. Some benefits available to all employees of the Army Corps of Engineers include healthcare, paid vacation, sick leave, retirement plans, and bonuses for exceptional job performance. The exact benefits such as number of vacation days or retirement plans may vary depending on an employee’s experience level and position. In general, the Army offers a competitive salary and benefits package.

    Racism In The Military

    The military has policies to overcome racism in its ranks. Despite its authoritarian structure it has not succeeded.

    During the current wars, Arabs have been labeled towel-heads or sand-niggers, while there were reports of cross burnings and KKK gatherings on military grounds. During the Persian Gulf War, for example, half of the troops deployed were black while white soldiers were more likely to remain in the U.S. or be stationed elsewhere.

    The few opportunities that exist in the military benefit primarily educated, white soldiers. While one-third of the enlistees are people of color, only 11 percent of the officers are. Non-white enlistees tend to get low skill, combat-related jobs. Disproportionate numbers of African-Americans and Latinos face courts martial and receive bad discharges. One out of three black GIs will get a bad discharge.

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    Becoming An Enlisted Soldier Or Army Officer

    Enlisted Soldiers are the backbone of the Army, responsible for carrying out orders and ensuring the success of each mission. Army Officers are important leaders in the Army, tasked with making critical decisions and being responsible for the safety of Soldiers. Depending on the path you take, there are a few things you must do to get started.

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