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.