To become an enlisted soldier, you must pass the ASVAB test and meet the height and weight requirements. A recruiter can help you determine if you meet these qualifications. To join as a commissioned officer, you must graduate from college or attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. You must also meet the AFQT and Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) requirements.
Each branch of the military has different educational requirements. Generally, a high school diploma or GED certificate is required for anyone hoping to join. Individuals who have been convicted of felonies or who have multiple convictions may be disqualified, although waivers are sometimes granted on a case-by-case basis. Those who wish to become enlisted soldiers must pass a background check and medical exam at a military entrance processing station.
After passing the background and medical exam, potential recruits will take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test to determine what field of work they are best suited for within the Army. Those who wish to be officers will have to go through a more rigorous training and education program, such as ROTC or West Point.
The Army offers a number of benefits for its members, including free or reduced-cost health care, food, housing and education. Those who wish to pursue an academic degree while on active duty can do so by using the Tuition Assistance program, which pays for up to $250 per credit hour for college courses and covers fees for professional training. The Army also offers loan repayment and cancellation programs to help members pay off existing student loans. The Army’s benefits also extend to the families of its service members. In addition to the financial perks, service members receive training and opportunities to travel around the world.
The physical requirements for joining the military vary by branch. Generally, a prospective recruit must pass a physical fitness test and fall within certain height, weight and body fat standards. Recruits also must complete the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery and meet a minimum score. Contact a military recruiter for more details about the specific requirements of each branch.
The Army uses a physical fitness test called the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT), which includes maximum push ups, maximum sit-ups and a two-mile timed run. However, the Army is currently transitioning to the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT), which includes a three-repetition maximum deadlift, standing power throw, hand release push up-arm extension, sprint-drag-carry and leg tuck.
Aspiring soldiers must also pass a medical fitness exam to spot health problems that may prevent them from serving in the military. For example, the Army can reject aspiring soldiers who have hernias or gastrointestinal disorders, such as gastrointestinal ulcers or acute pancreatitis, that could interfere with their ability to feed themselves in combat. The Army also requires aspiring soldiers to have good vision and hearing.
To graduate from basic training, a soldier must earn at least 180 points on the end-of-cycle APFT. To achieve this, a person must earn at least 60 points in each event of the test. In addition, a potential soldier must be within the body composition and height-weight-height standards set by the Army.
If you are male and 18 years of age or older, you must register with Selective Service. The age requirements for men and women are different, so talk to your recruiter about specific situations. If you are not a citizen, you must be properly documented to enlist, though exceptions do exist. If you have prior military experience, your age bar may be lowered. All new enlistees are screened against the National Sex Offender Registry.
The minimum age for joining the Army is 17 for non-officer roles and 19 for officers. Those interested in becoming officers must attend their school’s ROTC program or a service academy. For those who want to be commissioned, a bachelor’s degree is required. Civilians with professional degrees can also join as commissioned officers through the Army’s direct commissioning programs, but this usually requires a minimum of three years in the regular Army or six years in the Reserves.
All soldiers receive health care, housing and food allowances. Part-time pay is based on rank and service time, and bonus payments are available for high-demand or low-density skills. In addition to monthly drill, most soldiers participate in annual training. These activities are often conducted away from base, and may last up to a week or more. Soldiers are expected to be active for at least 20 years, though some can opt out of the mandatory retirement age of 60.
Military Experience Requirements
To join the Army, you must be a United States citizen or a permanent resident alien and meet height, weight and age requirements. You must also pass a physical exam and get a high enough score on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test to become an enlisted soldier. Your recruiter can help you set up a time to take the ASVAB.
The Army is looking for individuals who are highly motivated to serve their country and are dedicated to a cause greater than themselves. The Army offers career training, a competitive salary, medical and dental care, housing, food allowances, education opportunities and a variety of other benefits.
All enlisted soldiers receive hands-on military job training and are assigned a Military Occupation Specialty or MOS, which is their career field. The Army also has officer positions, which allow individuals to plan missions, lead troops and make important decisions.
Individuals who want to be officers must complete a four-year college program, earn a degree and then go through an officer training school. Each branch of the military has a number of service academies that offer full scholarships to students, but acceptance into these schools is extremely competitive. Other officers can join through a direct commission program after earning a professional degree, such as a law or medical degree.