Requirements To Join The Army: Do You Have What It Takes?

Joining the Army can be an exciting process, however potential soldiers don’t just get to decide to join on a whim. Instead, there are specific requirements to join the Army that must be met before you raise your hand and take the oath of enlistment. Knowing what the requirements to join the Army are before you meet with a recruiter can help make the process a much smoother one.

General Requirements To Join The Army

First and foremost, you need to have a high school diploma. In some cases, the Army will accept potential recruits with a GED, however these soldiers will likely be kept from promotions. However, soldiers with a GED and at least 15 college credit hours will be treated the same as any other soldier with a high school diploma.

Secondly, potential soldiers need to be in good physical condition. They need to pass a standard physical, be in good health and have good physical conditioning. Contrary to common belief, soldiers do not have to have perfect eyesight, even to work in aviation.

Lastly, there are age requirements to join the Army. Potential soldiers need to be at least 18, though it’s possible for 17 year olds to join with permission from their parents. To join as an active duty soldier, recruits need to be between 17 and 42. Reservists need to be between 17 and 40 and guard soldiers need to be between 17 and 35.

What’s Not Required?

Many people believe that they need to be a citizen of the United States to enlist in the U.S. Army. However, this is untrue. While most soldiers are citizens, it’s possible to join the Army as long as the potential soldier has a legal permanent resident alien card (commonly called a green card). These resident aliens may be restricted from performing some Army jobs, unless they apply for citizenship. Non-citizen U.S. nationals are treated the same as citizens for enlistment purposes.

How ASVAB Scores Affect Army Jobs

ASVAB scores are another of the requirements to join the Army. Before you know what Army jobs you’re qualified for, you’ll need to take the ASVAB. Once scored, your results are broken down into the following categories:

  • General Science
  • Arithmetic Reasoning
  • Word Knowledge
  • Paragraph Comprehension
  • Numerical Operations
  • Coding Speed
  • Auto and Shop Information
  • Mathematics Knowledge
  • Mechanical Comprehension
  • Electronics Information
  • Sum of Word Knowledge and Paragraph Comprehension

Different Army jobs have different requirements for ASVAB scores. For instance, a machinist will need to score well in General Science, Auto and Shop Information, Mathematics Knowledge and Electronics Information. However, an accounting specialist will need to score well in the sum of Word Knowledge and Paragraph Comprehension, Arithmetic Reasoning and Mathematics Knowledge. If you’re interested in finding something in particular on the Army jobs list, there are study guides that can help improve ASVAB scores in particular categories.

Learning about the requirements to join the Army before you meet with a recruiter can help ensure that you’re ready to enlist. Doing this can help know what ASVAB scores you need, which is especially important if you want to perform specific Army jobs during your time in service.

25 Responses to "Requirements To Join The Army: Do You Have What It Takes?"

  1. Jesus Zamora  January 7, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    I am not a US citizen, nor do I have a green card. But have been here for about 17yrs now. MDOF 10/24/88. Is there anyway i can enlist?

  2. frank uwakwe  January 15, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    i am not a us citizen and i also do not have a green card.i am a Nigerian and also a final year student in the there any way i can enlist for the us army.

  3. Christopher  January 30, 2013 at 9:14 am

    am a member of NIGERIAN army but wants 2 know if I can work with the us army

  4. Phagoe Ramotar  March 7, 2013 at 6:51 am

    I am not a US citizen or do I have a green card and also never went to the US but I have relative in the US army who advise me of this career. I am living in guyana for about 20years am wondering if I am qualify to join the US amry

  5. joseph kiuru  March 28, 2013 at 5:47 am

    Am a kenyan and i have never been in America bt i would like so much to join U.S Army how can i apply or join the army.? please asist mi to knw how.

  6. w nzan odyuo  April 5, 2013 at 4:46 am

    I am an Indian and presently serving in Indian paramillitary force. I want to serve in US ARMY but i am not a citizen of US nor i have that green card… So, please give me some guidelines..

  7. Jeffrey bleakmore  April 5, 2013 at 6:13 am

    Would u be considered eligible if you have a felony

  8. Chinedu chinwuba  April 6, 2013 at 12:50 am

    I am not US citizen but i want to join US army i don’t a greencard but i love US army i want join please anything possible to join US army this my number 08175917968

  9. Holima Abu A.  April 11, 2013 at 8:45 am

    I am not a us citizen, but want to be a member of the us army and i live in Liberia how do i apply?

  10. Emmanuel Mtambo  May 20, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    I am a Malawian currently living in South Africa and i posses a Malawi School Certificate of Education. I would like to join the US.Army, let me know if i am qualified to apply.

  11. Roderick Pelaez  May 30, 2013 at 8:30 am

    I live in Guatemala, I am 20 years old now but I was borned in USA in 09/11/1992 and I will like to join the US ARMY so can you please send some information please

  12. Ernest Nyarko  June 14, 2013 at 4:02 am

    My name is Ernest and i am 25 years old, am from Ghana in the western part of Africa who has intrest in joining the US army can you please give me some guildlines…!

  13. prince sarpong  July 5, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Im from ghana and want to join the US army.I have it takes .

  14. I'm a sergent in the Nigeria& I have been part-taking several foreign peace-keeping mission in Africa, I want to join the us army, is it possible for me.  July 8, 2013 at 1:15 am

    I’m so much desired to be a personel of the us Army, I would be grateful if I would enlisted

  15. Anthony  August 10, 2013 at 9:56 am

    Hi,my name is Akor Anthony,am nigerian.but reside in the us…i have green card and am interested of joining the us army..i want to pursue for (Rn) registerd nurse carreer in the us army university so what are the requirement? does (Rns) in the army go to war? thats my question thank you so much as you give a good reply,,

  16. charles  September 20, 2013 at 6:24 am

    Hey,Thank you for the submission of the above information about the U.S Army.Am aKenyan male aged 28yrs with no citizenship in America and have no permanent resident alien card but want you to help me how to join the U.S Army.Iwill be glad to hear from you.

    Yours sincerly

  17. Brian Kipsigei  September 28, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    First,iwould like to thank u for the information uve shared with concerning what is reguired for one to join the US ARMY.
    My name are Brian Kipsigei.Im akenyan citizen aged 23 years old and ive adesire to join the US ARMY.Im not a US citizen neither do i possess aGreen card.My question is,what am i surpose to do to join the forcez???
    please do advice me…thankz

  18. Okafor francis  October 21, 2013 at 2:43 am

    Am Okafor francis,am from Nigeria pls i want 2 join US Army and dat’s my phone number 08038818351. Thnks

  19. Kyeremateng Kwasi  October 30, 2013 at 1:06 am

    Please I am 30 years old and native of Ghana. I have the desire to join the us not in us but still have the mission so assist me to enter.

  20. NDAHURA MUZAFARU  January 5, 2014 at 3:50 am

    im a uganda im now working in dubai as a security guard i have worked with the us army in iraq as a security guard for four year but all my dream is to join and work with in the us army how can you help me or what do i need to do

  21. Adeniyi babatunde  August 25, 2015 at 7:49 am

    Please I am 30 years old and not US Citizen. I’d love to join the usmilitary army. Please provide info. Thank you.

  22. SAMUE OKUMU  September 27, 2015 at 4:36 pm


  23. Frank Gonzalez  November 16, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    Please contact me as soon as possible. Have some questions?

  24. Raphael  July 9, 2016 at 8:22 pm

    I am a Kenya and i want join the US army which one i my eligible for

  25. Akhil T Mohanan  January 26, 2017 at 9:29 am

    I’m Indian citizen. I want to serve U S Army . I’m graduated. I am 25.
    Please contact me as soon as possible
    Yours faithfully Akhil

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