Age and Parental Permission

You must be one of the following:

  • 18 years old and and not reached your 35th birthday.
  • Between 17 and 18 years old and have a completed DD Form 1966, parental/guardian consent for enlistment form. The following rules apply in this case:
    • Parental consent may not be obtained more than 30 days prior to the 17th birthday; applicants must be 17 years of age at time of the test, physical, and contracting into the DEP/DTP. This consent of parents or legal guardians must be in writing before physical examination or enlistment. Enlistment is not authorized if either parent objects. However, if only one parent is entitled to legal custody of the applicant (for example, by reason of divorce decree), then only that parent’s consent is required. The recruiter will identify any supporting document used and indicate its identifying marks, such as petition, file, or docket number in DD Form 1966 remarks section.
    • Both parents must generally sign the DD Form 1966 and their signature must be notarized or witnessed by a commissioned officer, warrant officer, or noncommissioned officer (NCO), or civilian recruiting specialist. If only one parent signs, the reason will be explained in the remarks block.
    • Exceptions to the "Both parents must sign" rule include:
      • If the other parent is deemed incapacitated, or absent at an unknown location for an indefinite period.
      • If the other parent is incarcerated and will not be released prior to your 18th birthday.
      • If you are a ward of the court or under State or Federal law you have been placed in the control and custody of other than your natural parents(s), then the agency (normally a case worker) or the court appointed custodial agency will be required to complete the DD Form 1966 parental consent section and provide a certified copy of the court document awarding such custody.
      • If you are emancipated, you may enlist without parental consent, provided you provide a certified court document declaring your emancipation.
    • One parent is required to sign the medical prescreen form for medical examination.

All Regular Army and Reserve applicants must enlist and ship prior to their 35th birthday and be eligible for regular or non-regular retirement by age 62.

Documents and procedures used to verify your age may include:

  • Birth certificate
  • INS Form N–550/551/570 Naturalization Certificate
  • USCIS Form N–560 or N–561 (Certificate of United States Citizenship)
  • U.S. passport
  • DD Form 372 (Request for Verification of Birth)
  • Department of State (DS) Form 1350 (Certification of Birth)
  • Foreign Service (FS) Form 545 (Certification of Birth Abroad of U.S. Citizen)
  • FS Form 240 (Counsular Report of Birth Abroad)
  • Tribal card (not expired) or letter from tribal council for American Indians born in Canada under the Jay Treaty
  • Foreign Passport (unexpired)

All Regular Army and Reserve applicants must enlist and ship prior to their 35th birthday and be eligible for regular or non-regular retirement by age 62.

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