JoinWhat Documents Do I Need To Join The Military

What Documents Do I Need To Join The Military


Military Entrance Processing Station

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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

Can Active Duty Members Work Part

About Ryan Guina

Ryan Guina is the founder and editor of The Military Wallet. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. He served over 6 years on active duty in the USAF and is a current member of the IL Air National Guard.

Ryan started The Military Wallet in 2007 after separating from active duty military service and has been writing about financial, small business, and military benefits topics since then. He also writes about personal finance and investing at Cash Money Life.

Ryan uses Personal Capital to track and manage his finances. Personal Capital is a free software program that allows him to track his net worth, balance his investment portfolio, track his income and expenses, and much more. You can open a free Personal Capital account here.

Featured In: Ryan’s writing has been featured in the following publications: Forbes,, US News & World Report, Yahoo Finance, Reserve & National Guard Magazine , Military Influencer Magazine, Cash Money Life, The Military Guide, USAA, Go Banking Rates, and many other publications.

Enrolling In The Army

Prepare for your interview with a military career counselor. A military career counselor will invite you to an official job interview after they receive your test results. To prepare for the interview, review the job description, and reflect on why you want to join the Army. Be prepared to talk about your experience and education.

You can also look up practice questions on the Application Process section of the website.Practice questions include things like, What do you like about the jobs you listed on the application? or Why do you want to join the army as a foreigner?

Interview for your desired job. On the day of your interview, style your hair neatly and wear professional clothes, like trousers, a button-down shirt, and a tie. You will answer questions on your knowledge of the Canadian Armed Forces and the job you applied for. Prove to them that you are the right fit for this role!

Stay calm and act confidently. Youve done a ton of preparation for this, and now you can show them what makes you great!

Pass the reliability and security screenings. After your interview, your recruiter will contact you and let you know which documents to submit for a security check. They will help you collect and mail in documents that will determine your security clearances.

You will then be mailed joining instructions and information about your enrolment ceremony as well as basic training.

Job Title

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Can I Join The Army With Tattoos Are There Restrictions

Yes, you can join with tattoos, as long as they are not visible above your collar or below your cuff. The Army does not typically accept individuals with tattoos on their hands, wrists, face, or neck. Tattoos anywhere above the neckline or on the head, including in the mouth, ears, or eyelids, disqualifies a candidate. A tattoo waiver is available for candidates who have disqualifying tattoos. However, tattoos that are extremist, racist, sexist, or indecent are prohibited anywhere on a Soldiers body, without exception.

Requirements To Join The Army

Information About Military Enlistment/Reenlistment

Education Level

A high school diploma or G.E.D. are required for military service.

If you have a college degree and hold the necessary amount of college credits you may be eligible to start your enlistment at a higher rank above Private, and may even be eligible for a commission.

Felony convictions, or even a DUI, can present some problems as well.

Previous offenses such as violations or minor misdemeanors may be waived if all other requirements are met.

An Army recruiter will be able to answer any and all questions on that.


The youngest age that is eligible for enlistment in the US Army is 17-years old.

If you are enlisting at 17 and are not already emancipated, then permission is required from a parent or legal guardian and will need to be a part of the enlistment process.

If you are over the age of 40-years old your are ineligible for military service. It is possible to have your age waived if all other requirements are met.

If you are married and or have children and other individuals that qualify as a dependent, then their information will be included in your enlistment.

Your family and/or spouse is entitled to several benefits if you are enlisted and will be considered in the care of the Defense Department during your time in service.

Physical Condition

It is not expected that you will be able to meet the Army physical standards of fitness at the time of enlistment thats what Basic Combat Training is for.

There is an interview process when joining the Army.

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Where Does Basic Training Take Place

For all full-time regular force candidates, basic training takes place at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec.

All part-time candidates joining their local Primary Reserve unit will undergo similar basic training objectives. Reserve units will conduct their Basic Training either at the local reserve unit location or at a Canadian Armed Forces training centre. Locations vary depending on units. Talk to a Primary Reserve unit recruiter for more information on their Basic Training program.

Some Basic Misconceptions And Myths:

Before we examine the legitimate ways of de-risking your chances of being conscripted, lets look at some misconceptions about what gets you exempted.

  • Myth 1: Dual citizen children are not eligible for conscription
  • Myth 2: Not speaking Thai exempts you from selection
  • Myth 3: Children who arent ethnically Thai arent eligible to be conscripted and
  • Myth 4: Becoming a monk automatically exempts you.

Having read the rules from start to finish, there is nothing in the regulations that refer to these factors as exemptions. Dont be caught out by rumours to the contrary!

The Thai language one is often cited to me, however the fact is there are loads of kids from Khmer, Malay or Lao speaking regions of Thailand whose central Thai may not be terribly strong let alone literate but they are as eligible as a Thai male who only fluent in a European language.

Indeed, English language skills are useful to the military, particularly for intelligence related roles. Though it isnt unknown to find those who have been exempted because of their lack of Thai speaking skills do not rely on this as a general rule!

The ONLY impediment for Thai males with a foreign parent is that they are ineligible to become an officer in the Thai armed forces. While other areas of Thai law have mainly removed discrimination based on parents nationality , this rule remains firmly on the books of the Thai military for the time being.

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United States Military Enlistment Standards

Enlisting in the United States military is very different than applying for any other job. Not everyone will qualify, and there are strict rules which would never apply to civilian employment. Congress and the courts have held that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which ensures all individuals are treated equally before the law with respect to civilian employment, does not apply to the military profession.

The military doesn’t accept just anyone who wants to join. To enlist, you must be qualified under current federal laws and regulations or have an appropriate waiver. There are age, citizenship, physical, education, height/weight, criminal record, medical, and drug history standards that can exclude you from joining the military. Statistically, this past decade, a majority of recruits fail to meet the height/weight standards of the military as the number one reason why people cannot immediately sign up for service. Here is a look at some of the basic qualifications to enlist in the military.

Joining The Canadian Army

5 Mistakes People Make When Joining The Military
  • 1Know the eligibility requirements. In order to join the Canadian Forces, you must meet certain requirements in terms of age, citizenship, education, and health.
  • If you are 17 years old, you must have parental consent. You do not need consent if you are older than 18. You must also be able to complete any required training and at least one term of service before the compulsory retirement age of 60.
  • You must be a Canadian citizen.
  • You must have completed at least Grade 10 education or Secondaire IV in Quebec. Certain positions will require higher levels of education.
  • You must be healthy enough to meet the medical standards for your chosen position at the time of the medical assessment.
  • 2Create an online profile. It will usually take about 20 to 30 minutes to set up an account online.
  • Access the online application.
  • You will need to fill out your biographical information and information indicating your understanding of the eligibility requirements and responsibilities.
  • Alternatively, visit a recruitment centre and set up an account with their help. You must contact a recruitment centre, in fact, if you plan on joining the Army Reserves instead of the normal forces.
  • 3Send photocopies of your documents. Once the Canadian Forces Virtual Recruiting Centre receives your online application, you will receive an email asking you for photocopies of important documents.
  • The address you need to send the documents to should be provided in the email you receive.
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    Volunteering After Graduating From University

    Following graduation, a university graduate is allowed to volunteer to join the armed forces prior to or on conscription day, and as a result only serve 6 months. This is common for many Thai families who do see some merit in undertaking a short stint of Thai military service.

    A word of warning though, if you decide to try your luck with the lottery, and pick the red ball, do note that youll have to serve to full conscription period, university degree or not.

    Not Moving Back To Thailand Until You Are 30 Years Of Age

    All Thai males who report for conscription at after age 30 are automatically released from duty. At this point, according to section 39 of the Military Service Act once you register for military duty you will be put into the second division of the army reserves, which is an inactive register .

    As such, particularly if you are an overseas born Thai, it may be worthwhile staying unregistered in Thailand no ID card and staying off the house book or tabien baan and only formally registering yourself for Thai military service with the district office when you are past thirty years of age.

    After age thirty, so long as you voluntarily report, you will be released from your obligation with a small payment of a fine at the police station. The fine for reporting late ranges between 100 and 300 baht and a fine at the lower end of that range is usually granted for voluntary reporting.

    Strictly speaking, the above process leaves you still open to be considered an absconder in the event of being caught before you voluntarily report. For overseas born Thai dual citizens who want to avoid this small risk , there is a belt and braces approach to stay totally on the right side of the law.

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    Do You Need My Complete Medical And Legal History

    Recruiters need to know your complete medical history and information about all legal infractions, including traffic tickets, misdemeanors, felonies, etc. The recruiting commander may grant a waiver or overturn many legal issues that are disqualifying initially. If your recruiter does not have this information, he or she can’t help you with the process.

    Disclosing your medical history and getting supporting documentation for medical issues will give you the best possible chance of qualifying for the military. Law violations work pretty much the same way. Disclosing them upfront will give the recruiter the best opportunity to run a waiver, if applicable.

    Remember, there are many questions you need to ask your recruiter and many things you will need to tell them. Write down your questions. I had a recruit come into my office with a list of about 75 questions. After we spent about an hour going over her list, she felt much better about the process because she was informed. This is a job interview, so make sure you are involved and informed.

    Becoming An Officer In The Military After College

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    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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    Tattoos Brands And Piercings

    Airmen are subject to strict requirements and restrictions pertaining to body modifications. If you plan to get a tattoo or other body modifications, carefully consider placement, size and content before you proceed.

    Tattoos, brands or piercings anywhere on the body that are prejudicial to good order and discipline, or of a nature that may bring discredit upon the Air Force, are prohibited both in and out of uniform. This includes modifications that are obscene or advocate sexual, racial, ethnic or religious discrimination. Even if rectified, excessive scarring resulting from tattoo removal may also be disqualifying.

    Tattoos are not completely disqualifying, however. There are no size or area limitations for authorized tattoos on the chest , back, arms, and legs. Tattoos, brands, and body markings are prohibited on the head, neck, face, tongue, lips, and scalp. Hand tattoos are limited to one single-band ring tattoo, on one finger, on one hand.

    Does The Army Check Medical Records When Enlisting


    Joining the U.S. Army offers an opportunity to proudly serve your country while attaining valuable job skills. But first you must make it through the Armys tough vetting process. Contrary to what some people think, enlisting is not simply a matter of signing papers at an eager recruiters office.

    Your physical and mental health will be carefully evaluated. The Army may check medical records if there are red flags about the recruits fitness for duty. The Army often turns away individuals based on military disqualifications: mental health disorders, hearing and vision loss, underlying health conditions, poor physical fitness and obesity.

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    How To Enlist In The Military

    Enlisting in the military involves a few key steps. The first is with basic eligibility, which requires you to be:

    • A U.S. citizen or resident alien
    • At least 18 years of age

    Assuming you are eligible, your next step is to call your local branch recruiter and start asking questions to ensure you are qualified. Or, if you are interested in joining as an officer, call or visit your local officer recruiter or Officer Selection Office , or call a local recruiter and ask to be directed to an officer recruiter.

    When you establish contact with a recruiter, youll be given a full questionnaire to ensure you qualify. This is also the time you should use our questions to ask a recruiter.

    After you are qualified, you will then sign a contract for a term of service. This will usually be an eight-year agreement, with all or part of requiring you to be on active duty, unless you are joining the Reserves or Guard.

    After your contract is signed, you will be directed to a Military Entrance Processing Station where you will receive a full physical examination, drug screening and aptitude testing.

    After you are cleared by MEPS, you will await shipping to your basic training!

    The Military Entrance Processing Station Process

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    Once you have been thoroughly screened and have decided your potential future MOS your recruiter will send you to the nearest MEPS, the Military Entrance Processing Station.

    At MEPS you will undergo several tests to confirm you are physically qualified for armed service.

    You conduct eye-exams, color blindness tests, hearing tests, and go through additional interviews.

    You will have a complete head-to-toe physical to determine your health and conduct two physical fitness tests.

    The first test will exam your ability to move and your range of motion by stretching and moving your body in various ways, such as the duck walk, low crouch, prone crawl, and exercises like the supine bicycle, the push-up, the jumping-jack, and others.

    Next you will be subjected to an APFT or Army Physical Fitness Test.

    This test is the standard Army fitness test that you will conduct throughout your career.

    If you pass this test and meet the Army standards then you will qualify for more MOSs and be in good standing as you are sent to BCT, or Basic Combat Training.

    If you fail this test, you are not disqualified from service in the Army, it will however limit possible MOSs.

    The MEPS process is very thorough and will take approximately two days to complete.

    Once you have been cleared by the MEPs command staff you will swear-in to your first oath of loyalty to the United States Army.

    Upon completion of MEPs you are officially a United States Army recruit.

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