ARMY ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
ARMY QUALIFICATIONS FOR ENLISTING AS A SOLDIER
The Army gives you the opportunity to travel the world, define your career, and achieve greatness. But like any great job, there are some basic requirements to join. From your physical fitness to your personal background, learn what it takes to be a part of the greatest team in the world. To become an enlisted Soldier in the U.S. Army, you must:
• Proof you are U.S. citizenship
• Be between 17-32 years old
• Achieve a minimum score on the ASVAB test
• Meet medical, moral, and physical requirements
• High school graduate or equivalent
ARMY QUALIFICATIONS FOR ENLISTING AS AN OFFICER
Becoming an Army Officer is different from enlisting as a Soldier. Officers are responsible for leading Soldiers and planning missions. Training and initial requirements for accepting a commission as an Officer vary, but generally, to qualify you must:
• Be a college graduate by the time you are commissioned as an Officer
• Be between 18 and 34 years old
• Meet medical, moral, and physical requirements
• Eligible for a secret security clearance
STEP 1) MEET WITH A RECRUITER – Your first step in the enlistment process is to meet with a recruiter.Army recruiting offices are located in all major U.S. cities. You can find them listed in the telephone book in the white pages, under "U.S. Government." You can also locate your nearest recruiter using the Recruiter Locator on the Army Recruiting Web site. The recruiter will conduct a "pre-screening" to see if you are qualified for enlistment. The recruiter will ask you about your education level, your criminal history, your age, your marital/dependency status, and your medical history. The recruiter will weigh you to ensure you meet Army accession weight standards. The recruiter will have you take a "mini-ASVAB" on a computer, which gives a pretty good idea of how you will score on the actual test.
De'kaia once you have talked to a recruiter, you’ll set a date to visit a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) 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. You’ll officially complete the process of joining the Military once you meet all of the Service requirements assessed at the MEPS. The process typically takes one to two days, with food and lodging provided.
STEP 2) MILITARY ENTRANCE PROCESSING STATION (MEPS) – MEPS is not owned by the Army. It's not owned by any of the branches. MEPS is a "joint-operation," and is staffed by members of all the branches. There are 65 MEPS, located across the U.S. Usually, the MEPS process takes two days. Depending on how far the nearest MEPS is from where you live, you may have to stay overnight in a contract hotel. Unless you already have a valid Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) score, you'll usually take the ASVAB on the afternoon you arrive. The next day, the real fun begins -- and it's a long, long day. Your day will start at about 5:30 AM, and you won't finish until about 5:00 or 5:30 that evening. Your day will include a urinalysis (drug test), medical exam, eye test, hearing test, weight check, body-fat measurement (if you exceed the weight on the published weight charts), security clearance interview, meeting with a job counselor, reviewing enlistment options and possible enlistment incentives, taking the enlistment oath, and signing the Delayed Enlistment Program (DEP) contract. Oh, yeah, intermixed in between all of this you'll fill out lots of forms and do lots and lots of waiting.
STEP 3) ARMEND SERVICE VOCATIONAL APTITUDE BATTERY (ASVAB) – Is a multiple-choice exam that helps determine the careers for which an individual is best suited. Both traditional pen-and-paper exams and a computer-based version are available. The ASVAB takes approximately three hours to complete and has questions about standard school subjects like math, English, writing and science. The Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery, more commonly referred to as the ASVAB is used by the Army primarily for two purposes: (1) to determine if you have the mental capability to be successful through basic training and other Army training programs, and (2) to determine your aptitude for learning various Army jobs. The ASVAB consists of nine subtests: General Science, Arithmetic Reasoning, Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, Mathematics Knowledge, Electronic Information, Auto & Shop, Mechanical Comprehension, and Assembling Objects. The ASVAB comes in two flavors: The pencil and paper version, and the computerized version. If you're taking the test as part of your enlistment process into the Army, you'll most likely take the computerized version during your trip to MEPS. The Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT), often mistakenly called the "overall score," is comprised from only four of the subtests (Arithmetic Reasoning, Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, and Math Knowledge). The other subtests are used to determine job qualifications.
STEP 4) PHYSICAL EXAMINATION – The largest portion of your day at MEPS is taken up by the medical examination. You'll start by completing a detailed medical history. Your blood and urine will be taken and examined for this and that (including drugs and blood-alcohol level). Your eyes and hearing will be checked. You'll have to do some stupid-sounding things, such as walking while squatting (this is commonly called the "duck-walk.") Medical Standards for enlistment are set by the Department of Defense, not the Army. The doctors at MEPS will medically disqualify you if you fail to meet any of the standards. There are two types of disqualification: temporary and permanent. A temporary disqualification means you can't join right now, but may be able to, at a later time. For example, if you just had an operation the week before. A permanent disqualification means that you failed to meet the published standards, and that won't change with time.
STEP 5) SECURITY INTERVIEW – Many Army enlisted jobs and assignments require a security clearance. To obtain a security clearance, one must be a U.S. Citizen. You can still enlist without U.S. Citizenship, but your job choices and assignments will be limited to those which do not require a clearance. Of course, nobody can tell for 100 percent certain whether or not a security clearance will be approved, and the process can take several months. It is where the Security Interviewer comes in. He/she will ask you a whole bunch of questions about your past (drug use, alcohol use, mental health treatment, finances, criminal history, etc.), and is pretty good at making a prediction as to whether or not you're a good candidate for security clearance approval. It, in turn, will affect which Army enlisted jobs you are eligible for.
Good luck with your Army career De'kaia! The Army has more than 200 enlisted jobs to choose from. The Army is unique among all of the active duty services, in that every single enlistment contract includes a guarantee for training in a specific MOS (job). The other services have "guaranteed jobs," as well, but also enlist many recruits into "guaranteed fields," in which they won't find out their specific job until basic training.
John recommends the following next steps:
Mark recommends the following next steps:
Start working out. You will be expected to do A LOT of running so get in shape now. Start small and work your way up. Start with a mile, then go to 2, then 3. Try and do as much running as you can. Try and push yourself to run it without walking or stopping. Work on your strength and core. Do a lot of push ups, sit ups, pull ups, crunches, lunges. There are a lot of military workouts you can find out there by just a simple Google or YouTube search.
Study for the ASVAB. Visit your local library or check with your schools library. They should have study materials and books. You want to try and aim for the highest score you can get. The higher the score the more possibilities of careers you'll have, and there's jobs you probably didn't even know existed that are out there. A recruiter will be able to give you a list of careers and the scores required for each of them
Speaking of a recruiter visit your local recruiters office. Each city should have one and like was suggested above talk with your school guidance counselor. They should have connections as well. Your not the first student with military aspirations and you won't be the last.
Everyone has different reasons for enlisting in a certain branch. If your Dad was in the Army and that's why you are considering Army then go for it but if not consider visiting the other branches as well to see what they have to offer. Each of them will have different careers options so you never know what you may find. No matter what you score on the ASVAB it will cover all the military branches.
I'm wishing you nothing but the best of luck De'kaia and hope for a bright and successful future for yourself
Darin recommends the following next steps: