JoinHow Long Does It Take To Join The Military

How Long Does It Take To Join The Military


Army Promotion Timeline For Junior Enlisted Ranks

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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.

Meet People From All Over The Us

The United States is a huge country, and the people that encompass it differ greatly depending on where theyre from.

When you join the military, youll meet people from big cities and towns of a few hundred.

People from the country, people from the suburbs. Some people that grew up poor and others that grew up rich.

Getting Fit With Fitt

As a rule of thumb, ease into your activities, gradually increase each element of FITT, and end each session with a cool-down. For example:

  • Begin with a 5- to 10-minute warm-up. Walking, biking or a slow jog will increase blood flow to the muscles and lightly increase your heart rate. Follow up with some light stretching of the muscles you will be using in your workout.
  • Improving your overall fitness is most effectively done through a combination of 20 to 60 minutes of aerobic and strength exercises. The two sample fitness sessions below are based on Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology guidelines.
  • A 5- to 10-minute cool-down helps return your body to its normal, pre-exercise condition. Suddenly stopping an intense workout can make you dizzy, nauseated or even faint. Walking, biking or a slow jog will gradually bring down your heart rate and relieve muscle soreness.

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Is It For You

All types of people are putting their spare time to better use as reserves in the armed forces. Being a reserve is as rewarding as it is challenging. Youll train and deploy alongside our regular forces, doing things you never pictured yourself doing, learning new skills and meeting people who, like you, want more from life. Read about it from others who have taken up the challenge: reserves case studies.

All the reserve forces are actively recruiting: follow the links to find out what opportunities are available to you and how to join.

You may also wish to consider becoming a Cyber Reserve

Join The Regular Force

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Members of the Regular Force serve full time protecting Canada and defending our sovereignty. They contribute to international peace and security, and work with the United States to defend North America. They are ready to respond at a moments notice to threats, natural disasters or humanitarian crises at home and around the world.

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Honor A Family Tradition

Maybe your Dad or Mom served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines, and you want to make them proud.

Sometimes, military legacies reach a few generations back. Following in the footsteps of a relative can instill a great sense of pride.

Additionally, your family members will be able to advise you on how to be successful while serving.

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.

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Enlisting In The Military

Once you have talked to a recruiter, youâll set a date to visit a Military Entrance Processing Station to finish the enlistment process.

The MEPS is a joint Service organization that determines an applicant’s physical qualifications, aptitude and moral standards as set by each branch of military service. There are MEPS locations all over the country.

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Sailors rotate between sea and shore duty. You may spend three years assigned to a ships command and then rotate to serve three more years at a shore command. You will not be at sea during your entire Navy career. During your sea tour, you may live off-base nearby, but must be available to travel with the ship for deployments or training.

A typical sea deployment on a Navy ship can last anywhere from six to nine months. Ships typically deploy once every 18-24 months. In preparation for deployment, Sailors should be prepared to go to sea for 10 to 14 days each month for training.

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Reasons To Join The Military

First: Think long and hard about why you want to join.

For some, joining the military is simply a smart way to get started in life: paying for college, having health insurance, or learning a trade are only a few reasons.

For many others, joining the military is a calling that they might find hard to describe. Maybe its the desire to become the toughest and most capable version of yourself. Maybe its a patriotic pull and a need to contribute to something bigger than yourself.

Whatever your reason , it is a huge decision, and it is one best made with as much information as possible.

Remember: The U.S. military is voluntary, and no one is twisting your arm to join it. Its very hard to turn back once you join, and there are serious consequences if you cant keep your commitment.

With that in mind, think about what is the most important thing that makes you want to join. Is it patriotism? Duty? Honor? Or is it that you need some help with getting on your feet after high school?

All are valid reasons, but only if you are ready to do the work once you start.

Whatever fears you have about joining the military, just remember this nugget of truth that my recruiter told me: You dont know anything about this life yet, and there is no way to know if youll enjoy it unless you really try!

How Long Is A Military Enlistment Contract

Regardless of what military branch you want to join, you must have a basic understanding about military enlistment contracts. How long is a military contract? There are five things you must understand before signing one.

A couple of weeks ago, my hometown had its homecoming football game. It is packed. I drop my son off at the football field. As I was leaving the parking lot, this young man waved me down. I quickly pulled over. The way he was acting I thought something was wrong with my car. Thank goodness it wasnt. He wanted to ask me something.

He asked how long he would have to join the military. It was a simple question and I gave him simple answer. I told him eight years. You should have seen the instant shock come over his face. He explained to me, he was told he would only have to serve three years. The question deepens.

Lets talk about the military enlistment contract. Here are five things you need to know:

I hope you found this information helpful. Please answer the question below. I would enjoy your feedback.

QUESTION: What are your thoughts about the initial eight year military contract?

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Submit Your Application 1submit Your Application

You will then need to present original copies of your birth certificate, government issued photo ID, transcripts from your highest level of education, proof of trade qualifications and professional licenses, and any additional forms required for the trade or job you selected. All overseas education must be presented with a Canadian equivalency from Alliance of Credential Evaluation Services of Canada

What Does The Promotion Board Consider

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The promotion board meets with soldiers and scores them based on personal appearance, the ability to communicate well, knowledge and awareness of both the military and world events, as well as their attitude.

Also, the members rate the soldiers as either average, above average, excellent, and outstanding.

The most points a board member can give is 150, which are added up and divided to an average score.

Afterward, these points add to the administrative points discussed above.

Therefore, the highest total is 850 points.

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Armed Forces Occupational Maternity Scheme

All servicewomen regardless of their length of service are entitled to 52 weeks of maternity leave. Eligible Servicewomen are also entitled to receive statutory maternity pay. The Armed Forces Occupational Maternity Scheme provides qualifying women with full pay for the first 26 weeks of ordinary maternity leave.

Servicewomen who have given birth are screened from deployment in the UK or overseas for at least 6 months after the birth of their child, unless they volunteer otherwise. The services also endeavour not to deploy both serving parents at the same time, where this does not compromise operational capability.

The armed forces occupational paternity leave scheme provides qualifying fathers with 14 days of ordinary paternity leave, instead of the statutory provision of 10 days, with 2 weeks full pay rather than the statutory paternity pay rate at the time of the birth of a child or a childs placement in the case of adoptions. Additional paternity leave was introduced for members of the armed forces in 2011 and this enables parents to share responsibility for looking after their children in the case of births and placements for adoption.

Transfer of leave between spouses and civil partners: this allows a service person to donate or receive up to 10 days of annual leave to their civil partner or spouse. This can be useful if one partner has used up much of their leave, or if a partner has more leave than they can carry over into the next year.

The Maximum Age For New Recruits

For people who have never served in the US Army before, the maximum recruitment age is 35. This is 34 for the Navy, 32 for the US Coast Guard, and just 28 years old for the US Marine Corps. The US Air Force has the highest maximum recruitment age at 39 years old.

There are also different maximum recruitment ages for special branches and specific positions. It is possible to join the Army Reserve and the Army National Guard at 42 years old.

The maximum age is reduced to 40 years old for the Air Force National Guard and 35 for the Air Force Reserve. The maximum age is 39 years old for the Coast Guard Reserve and the Navy Reserve, and 29 for the Marine Corps Reserve.

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The Army Recruitment Process

Joining the British army is an achievement that some people work towards for years and some will spend their careers working through the ranks. Before making the decision about whether this is the career for you, it is important that you understand what to expect when joining the army.

The recruitment process will depend on what level of education you have and the role you are applying for: either infantry soldier or officer. Both positions require an online registration of interest, and during this section of the application you will be asked a series of questions to determine your eligibility, such as age and nationality.

Requirements To Become A Sailor

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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.

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I Used To Be In The Army Can I Rejoin

As a former officer or soldier, you can rejoin the Army.

Experience is valued highly and pending your age, previous experience and former rank, rejoining the Army is very welcomed.

There are entry requirements, the same as current soldiers.

If you previously served as a Regular, rejoining as a Territorial may be possible.

With specialist skills to offer on rejoining, you may receive a bonus.

As before, a medical examination is required to assess your physical and mental health. Expect to do the physical and mental tests again.

See What Youre Made Of

The military has a limitless amount of challenges if pushing yourself physically and mentally interests you.

There is a myriad amount of schools that you can sign up for, like Airborne School, Air Assault School, or even Ranger School.

Additionally, there are always higher tiers of operations you can try out for, like Ranger Battalion, Navy SEALs, Green Berets, or even the top-secret Delta Force.

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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.

History And Current Medical Requirements

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Previously, any person with a history of asthma was immediately disqualified from joining the military regardless of age. However, in 2014, the Department of Defense revised its policy and only disqualified those who still have asthma beyond the age of 13 years.

An older study from 2008 proved that people with a childhood history of asthma did not contribute significantly to military attrition or hospitalizations due to asthma.

Although the requirements for waiver application are the same for all branches, below are some specific guidelines that each branch has set.

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Job Training College Benefits

The recruiter will probably emphasize the high-tech, state-of-the-art, sophisticated equipment that you will get to work with. True, some soldiers are trained for the highly skilled jobs. Generally, however, those jobs go to the soldier who was already trained, educated, and technically skilled before joining the military. Many of the high-skill jobs will go to soldiers who already have at least two years of college. And often the high-tech work is done by civilian contractors who have the necessary training and skills.

In reality, few military assignments could be described as high-tech, although many of the jobs sound high-tech. For instance, one U.S. Army brochure includes assignments with titles such as, combat engineering,general engineering,supply and service, and food service. These assignments, and others offered by the military, would likely offer little more than low skill, manual labor. The armed forces simply do not have the time, the need, or the resources to train many recruits for highly skilled work.

Becoming An Officer In The Military After College

While its common knowledge that basic training sets recruits on the pathway toward becoming an enlisted service member, those with a desire for leadership opportunities and a bachelors degree can take another route into a military career as a commissioned officer.

The Reserve Officers Training Corps program for college students and Officer Candidate School or Officer Training School for graduates are great options for those who want to earn a four-year college degree before joining the military. Each service branch offers both ROTC and officer schools as entry points to an officer commission.

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