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At what age should I enlist for the Army?

I am thinking about taking on the Army as an early career for me, but I'm not sure when would be the ideal time to enlist.

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Subject: Career question for you

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Michael’s Answer

Hi Cadence,

As indicated earlier, the minimum age to enlist in the Army is 17 years old. Depending on the branch of service, the maximum age to enlist in the military service is 35 years old with 31 years old being the cutoff date for a Commissioned Officer.

As with every branch of military service, there are two options to serve: Enlisted and Commissioned Officer. Requirements to become a Commissioned Officer are earning a four year degree at a college or university along as being enrolled in ROTC (Reserved Officers' Training Corps) or graduating from one of the military service academies (the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, the U.S. Military Academy, and the U.S. Naval Academy.)

With the Enlisted track, one can still become a Commissioned Officer via Officer Candidate School (OCS) or Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) if he or she plans to go back to school.

Here are the age ranges for each branch of military service:

- Army: 17 to 35
- Navy: 17 to 39
- Air Force: 17 to 39
- Marine Corps: 17 to 28
- Coast Guard: 17 to 27

As far as a military service career, is there any particular job avenue that you want to pursue? Front Lines? Medical? Legal? Etc.?

Here is a link for various careers in the Army:

https://www.goarmy.com/careers-and-jobs/career-match.html?iom=BNK1-22-NMTFOPT1_N_PSEA_71700000101747236_700000002644556_43700073874375534_58700008128801908_go%20army%20career

Here is a list and a link for benefits in the Army:

- Enlistment bonuses of up to $50,000.00
- High quality, low or no cost health care
- Better rates on home loans
- Retirement and pension plan options

https://www.goarmy.com/total-benefits.html?iom=BLTB-22-NMTFOPT1_N_PSEA_71700000101747230_700000002644556_43700073863793716_58700008130072974_benefits+of+joining+the+army&gclid=Cj0KCQiA6LyfBhC3ARIsAG4gkF9tZYQV1ohF0UTf-LOyGQL_zcl7K7s26m4DxG9o5PBAOWuYviImDvMaAhm0EALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

Best wishes for your military career and thank you for your future military service in the Army!
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Adrian’s Answer

As a current service member in the Marine Corps, the age in which you join is not necessarily relevant to what you want to do in life. Younger individuals who enlist offer more dedication and purpose while older and wiser individuals give leadership qualities that they have learned from the civilian sector. Ask your self if you join, what are my intentions to get out of 4 years of military service? Good luck!
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! And thank you for your service :) Cadence
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Fred’s Answer

This would depend in part on what country you live in, as each would have their own requirements. Assuming the USA, the minimum age is 17. Much more information can be found here: https://beta.usa.gov/military-requirements

Nobody can say what the "ideal" age is for you. There are too many factors, and everyone would weigh them differently.
Thank you comment icon Thank you, Fred! Cadence
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Blanche’s Answer

Hi Cadence - First think about why you want to join the Army. Then think of what you have to do academically, physically and emotionally to enlist in the Army. Then consider what career you'd like to do while you are in the Army. Then talk to someone who is in or retired from the Army that is NOT a recruiter. Give it a lot of thought before you "enlist" but to answer your question. I believe 18 :)
Thank you comment icon You rock! This advice is very helpful. Cadence
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Kim’s Answer

Cadence,

If you have a degree of emotional maturity and know what you are getting into, I would go as soon as you finish high school. Why?

Because otherwise, life can get in the way. You can start enjoying the freedom of being done with school, and being an adult. You can fall in love. All sorts of things start surfacing as "reasons" why you cannot enlist.

And, after a certain age, you really don't want someone younger than you "barking" at you, because, honestly, you might break out laughing! And have to do extra pushups.

If you enlist at 18, do 20 or 25 years and retire, you still have time for a 2nd career. And, if you only stay 4 years, you are waaayyyyy ahead of your peers who do not enlist, as far as your maturity and responsibility go. Employers easily see that, and like to hire vets for that reason.

Thank you for wanting to serve your country, wishing you the best!
Kim
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