For the very latest information, especially policies on waivers, you should fill out this form and click the Submit button to have someone contact you and answer all your questions.
But if you want some information now, below is a summary of the US Army's enlistment rules. Click on a subject area below to go to a page with more details.
- Age and Parental Permission
- To join the US Army you must be 17 years old or older and not have reached your 35th birthday.
- Name and SSN
- You must have a name and a valid Social Security number that goes with your name.
- You must be a born, naturalized, or otherwise legal citizen of the United States.
- You usually must have a high school diploma or GED along with 15 college credits (classes numbered 101 or higher). To learn how you can earn the 15 college credits to be able to join and have Uncle Sam pay for that education, you should fill out this form. You must also be able to read, write, and understand English well enough to understand the oath and qualify on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test. Your score on the ASVAB test will decide which jobs (Military Occupational Specialties or MOS) you can apply for.
- Drug use, alcohol abuse, recent repeated criminal offenses, and any violent sexual criminal convictions will prevent your enlistment.
- Physical and Health
- You must pass a physical exam.
- Women are not allowed to serve in combat jobs.
- Some medical conditions that you had in the past but not in years (such as asthma when you were a kid) may be waived.
- Pass the Height/Weight and Body Fat standards. If you are overweight but can qualify otherwise, the Army may still allow you to join through the Assessment of Recruit Motivation and Strength program. But you WILL have to lose the weight and keep it off.
- Army policy now allows you to enlist with tattoos as long as any on your hands and neck are tasteful and non-offensive.
Fill out this form to have someone contact you to answer any questions you may have about your specific physical and health situation.
- Legal and Moral
- You will be required to document every infraction you have ever had. A couple of parking or speeding tickets are probably no big deal. More serious traffic offenses and misdemeanors can receive a moral waiver if you can convince someone that your life of crime is done. Felonies will not receive a waiver.
- Dependent Restrictions
- You are qualified if you have never been married and have no other dependents OR are married with two or fewer children or dependents. If you have more dependents than that or questions about your situation, check the Dependent Restrictions page for more details.
- Bonuses and Incentives
- There are many bonuses and Incentives you may be eligible for if you successfully join and serve in the US Army. Click the link for this section to find out some of the enlistment possibilities available to recruits.
IMPORTANT: Most of our information comes from Army Regulation 601-210, Active and Reserve Components Enlistment Program, Effective 7 July, 2007. We try to keep this information current with recent changes. However, what is posted here should be used only as a guideline. Your best source for current information will always be a US Army recruiter. Fill in this form to have someone contact you.