How to Join the Army

Whether you are looking for money to pay for college, want a rewarding and challenging career path, or simply feel the need to serve your country – you probably want to know how to join the army.  The US Army is a key branch of the US Armed Forces which works in cooperation with the US Department of Defense.  The army is responsible for training Soldiers and leaders to respond whenever and wherever they are needed on land.  There are many different opportunities and career paths in the Army; here is what you need to know about how and why you should join the Army:

Become an Army Soldier

There is no doubt about it – becoming a soldier is extremely challenging, but it is also extremely rewarding.  You will not come out of the process the same person you were going in; you will change for the better!  There are three steps in the process for joining the United States Army:

1) Talk to a Recruiter

When you talk to an Army recruiter, you can talk about the specifics of your Army career.  You’ll figure out what length of army service you might be interested in, whether you are interested in Active Duty or the Army Reserve, and what type of military jobs best complement your skills and goals for the future.  During these planning sessions with a recruiter, you will learn about eligibility requirements for joining the US Army and whether or not you meet the criteria.

2) Attend Basic Combat Training (BCT)

Once you and your recruiter have figured out your path, you will begin your ten week Basic Combat Training course.  This is the process that will change you from an ordinary civilian into an Army Soldier.  It is during these intense weeks that you learn how to work together with your fellow soldiers, the Seven Core Army Values, and how to be successful in the US Army.

There are four main phases of BCT: Red, White, Blue, and Graduation.  The Red Phase begins right after reception week, with a focus on teamwork during beginning field exercises.  During the White Phase, new recruits begin developing the confidence necessary to be a successful Soldier and learn new skills involving weapons and rappelling exercises.  In the Blue Phase of Basic Combat Training, Soldiers further their weapon training and begin a Night Infiltration Course, which leads into BCT Graduation.

3) Attend Advanced Individual Training (AIT)

When your Basic Combat Training is complete, you will move on to Advanced Individual Training, which is basically college education and preparation for your Army job.  You will receive field instruction and hands-on training in the military job of your choice at one of the AIT schools.  By the time you complete your AIT, you will be an expert in your career field.

Requirements to Join the Army

If you want to join the Army, you will need to meet certain requirements for eligibility that include being over the minimum age and under the maximum age for enlistment, minimum education requirements, and citizenship requirements:

Age Requirements: For the Army, the minimum age to join without parental consent is 18 years old, with the maximum age for joining 35 years old.  If you have consent of your parents, you can enlist in the Army at the age of 17.

Education Requirements:  You will need a high school diploma to join the Army.  In some cases, a GED can be substituted for a diploma – talk to your recruiter for details.

Citizenship Requirements:  People who are US Citizens or Permanent Resident Aliens with a Green Card are eligible to join the US Military, but each branch has its own enlistment requirements regarding citizenship.  Your Army recruiter can help you determine your eligibility.

Should You Join the Army Reserve?

When you join the Army, you have the choice of choosing Active Duty or the Army Reserve.  Army Reserve Soldiers receive all the same training as our Active Duty soldiers, and a wide variety of benefits for education, retirement, health care and family life.  The Army Reserve trains close to home, continuing their career or education, so they are ready if they are called into service.

There are more than 150 military jobs (Military Occupational Specialties) available to The Army Reserve.  You can work in information technology, homeland security, law enforcement, psychological operations, and a variety of other fields that further both your civilian and military careers.

Eligibility for the Army Reserve is similar to that of the Army, including meeting minimum and maximum age requirements and citizenship eligibility requirements.  You will also need to be in good health and physical condition and good moral standing.  Some Army Reserve jobs may have additional qualifications for eligibility, which your Army recruiter will discuss with you during your planning sessions.

25 Responses to "How to Join the Army"

  1. Leonardo gonzalez  August 11, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    Is the high school diploma require..what is require to form part of the army?

  2. francis asiimwe  August 19, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    i would like to join the army

  3. victor honu broni  August 21, 2012 at 8:26 am

    my priority is to join the US army. i really need help/

  4. francis asiimwe  August 22, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    ineed ahelp because ineed to the us army and iam ready

  5. MASHOUD JALALUDEEN  August 29, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    I am a young Ghanaian of 30years of age with a high school certificate interested in joining the us army,could you please accept my application and give the necessary assistance.Hoping to hear from you sooner than soon.Thank you,yours faithfully

  6. Addai Debrah Martin  October 14, 2012 at 12:43 am

    I really want to join the us army

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  8. Asava  March 24, 2013 at 5:53 am

    I am 22 year old .I stay in kenya curently I am doing electrical engenering.I wa wondering how can I join the usmilitary?

  9. Joseph adjei danquah osei  March 27, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Am 30yrs,a ghanian and attended a technical school which i did plumbing and have been working on my own since.but i want to be enlisted in the us marine.what are my chance’s?

  10. Joseph adjei danquah osei  March 27, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    Am 30yrs ghanian and a plumber.want to know how i can be enlisted in the us marine

  11. daniel quaye  June 4, 2013 at 9:38 am

    am 28yrs, a Ghanaian with higher national diploma in purchasing and supply and want to join the us army.could u please give me the necessary assistance

  12. kalifa Nyandy  September 1, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    Hello, am a young Gambian eged 27 wishing to join the usarmy. How possible is that?

  13. felix festus o  August 11, 2015 at 9:11 am

    hello,am a young Nigerian aged 32 n ve been in nigeria mobile police for 10 years now.willing to join the Us posible is that?

  14. Abdulaziz AlAwaid  January 15, 2016 at 7:58 am

    Hello, I am 21 and I really want to join the US military .. I speak two languages Arabic and English .. I have some experience from valley forge military academy and college (Pennsylvania) in high school .. I am American and I lived my whole life in Dubai .. I will finish my bachelor in 2 years and once I finish, I really want to join the US military .. Hoping to hear from you soon .. Thank you, yours faithfully

  15. larryf  January 20, 2016 at 9:10 am

    Assuming you are interested in the Army. If so, with your excitement and because you’re already 21, why not call your local recruiter? He’ll offer you the latest and the greatest as of this moment. Good luck!

  16. Rene Espinosa  January 20, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    I want to join u.s military need help

  17. Ernest kofi  May 12, 2016 at 11:50 am

    Am Ernest kofi i live in Ghana and have study electrical installation and very interested to join the us army is it possible

  18. darwin  July 4, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    I want to join u.s army. I am 23 years old.

  19. Sam  July 30, 2016 at 5:28 am

    I’m from Togo And I’m 27 years old. I’m currently commercial in a firm of my homeland but I really want to join the US ARMY. Need help and I hope, I will hear from you very soon. Thanks

  20. larryf  August 1, 2016 at 9:56 am

    Hey Sam, do your research at and then contact your local Army recruiter. At 27, I would promptly do my research. Good luck.

  21. MORO RASHID BOLNABA  September 3, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    I am MORO RASHID BOLNABA. I live in outside the country and a Communication Design degree holder. It has been my greatest dream to serve the US MILITARY. I really need help on how go about it.

  22. larryf  September 13, 2016 at 8:57 am

    Simple. Do you research re what branch of the military that you’re interested, then contact a branch military recruiter.

  23. ohadomere Augustine .U  September 17, 2016 at 12:17 am

    Good Sir,
    I am a young man of 25 years of age am from NIGERIA i have interest in joining the US-ARMY how may i start.
    Ohadomere Augustine Uzoma

  24. Nana Kwasi Adjei Frimpong  May 23, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    Please I heard that there is an entry for interested people who wants to join the army but lives outside US during the month of June and July so please help me with that entry

  25. Demetrius Eisenberg  July 31, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    I want to serve in USA army,but i don’t have a us citizenship..Is it real?

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