The entire enlistment process takes around 1-2 days to complete with food and accommodations provided and consists of various tests to determine where you stand in the following key areas: Your physical, moral, mental and emotional fitness, your education level and your overall set of strengths, talents and skills. On condition that you pass the tests, they are designed to put you in one of the six factions that suits you best – The Army, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the Coast Guard, the Air Force or the Space Force. Military service often leads to close bonds with fellow recruits that last a lifetime.
Listed below are the eligibility requirements and the 5 steps of the US military recruitment process.
In order to be eligible for recruitment, you must meet the following conditions when you meet your recruiting officer.
A. You must be at least 18 years of age, or 17 years old with solid parental / legal guardian consent. Also, service academy applicants must meet this age requirement as of July 1 of the year of entry.
B. Physical exams greatly vary, depending on the branch that the applicant wishes to join. But no matter what, you need to be in satisfactorily good physical condition, within a reasonable weight, and able to pass a standard physical screening.
C. You must possess a complete high school diploma or fully accredited equivalent.
D. You must provide proof that you’re a full US citizen via birth certificate, social security card and valid form of ID, or that you’re recognized as a Legal Permanent Resident. These are people who have a valid alien registration form, I-551 or green card from the US Immigration and Citizenship services.
E. Last but not least, if you are a male U.S. citizen or male alien living in the United States aged 18 – 25, you must first be registered with the Selective Service.
The ASVAB is a multiple-choice exam that determines the types of military careers that would best suit the applicant. Both the traditional pen-and-paper and computer-based versions are available and treated equally. The pen-and-paper version of this exam takes about three hours to complete, while the computerized ASVAB only takes roughly one and a half hours. Both versions contain a number of questions regarding typical school subjects, such as Math, English, Writing and Science. Each Service uses a special combination of ASVAB results to produce scores related to different career fields.
Alternatively, if needed, recruits may take the less stressful Pending Internet Computerized Adaptive Test (PiCAT) instead, which is an untimed and unmonitored version of the ASVAB that can be taken online.
Your recruiter will likely discuss physical eligibility requirements with you beforehand. The physical is much like a standard medical exam that you would receive from your family doctor.
These examinations include:
● Height and weight measurements
● Hearing and vision tests
● Urine and blood tests
● Drug and alcohol tests
● Muscle group and joint maneuvering exercises
● Specialized tests if required, such as pregnancy test for women, Body Mass Index (BMI) test for those who are overweight, and tests relating to any
unusual medical history
If you’ve made it this far, a service enlistment counselor will then meet with you to find the right job specialty for you. Several factors contribute to career selection:
● Needs of the Service
● Job availability
● ASVAB score
● Physical requirements of the job
● Recruit’s personal preference
The service enlistment counselor will also go over the enlistment agreement with you at this time, so don’t hesitate to ask any questions if you have any. It is of utmost importance to fully understand the entire document before signing it, as you are making a very serious commitment to the Military. Any violations can have significant and detrimental consequences. You will also be fingerprinted for your file, which is required for background checks and security clearances.
Once your Military career has been determined, you will then be ready to take the Oath of Enlistment, which your recruiter will teach you. In this statement, you confidently vow to defend the United States Constitution to the best of your ability and to fully obey the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Family members are invited to witness the proud moment and take photos.
Lastly, after the above process, you’ll be directed to do one of two things, depending on the terms of your enlistment:
1. Direct Ship: (DS) You’ll report to Basic Training. A recruiter will provide instructions on transportation and how to get there.
2. Delayed Entry Program (DEP): You’ll commit to Basic Training at a certain time in the future, usually within one year. Plus, recruits enrolled in DEP are free to return to their homes temporarily until they must report for duty.