Want to Enlist in the US Military? What You Need to Know

By Will H

The Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force and Coast Guard are all of the branches of the U.S military. But what does it take to get into all of them? Well it’s not as easy as signing some papers and boom you’re in, you have to go through training and you have to be examined to get in.

The Army

To get into the army, enlisted soldiers need to have a high school diploma or equivalent to join, while officers need a college degree by the time they are commissioned. To enlist, you’ll also need to meet a minimum score on the Army placement exam, the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB).

The Marine Corps

To join the Marine Corps you will need a high school diploma, and be a legal U.S resident. You must be 17-28 years of age. To be a marine officer, you have to be a U.S resident between 20-28 years of age and have a high school diploma and a Bachelor’s degree  Both enlisted and officer candidates must pass a criminal background check and have no felony convictions. New recruits must pass the Initial Strength Test, or IST, to demonstrate their physical fitness. The IST consists of pull-ups or push-ups, plank pose, and a 1.5-mile timed run.

The Navy 

To join the Navy you have to score at least a 31 on the ASVAB, but in some cases a 26. Armed Forces Qualification Test, or AFQT, you have to have a score of 50 or higher. If you don’t have a high school diploma, you can still enlist. 

The Air Force 

To join the Air Force you have to be 17-24 years of age and be a current U.S citizen, and have a high school diploma or a GED applicants can’t have any serious law violations or drug use or serious health problems. And you have to pass the ASVAB test and a physical.

The Space Force 

To qualify you have to be 17-24 years of age, a U.S citizen, a high school diploma or a GED with 15 college credits. To apply you can do it through an Air Force recruiter via telephone, once you see that you meet the requirements you can go to testing. For your testing you will have to take the ASVAB test. The ASVAB assesses your capabilities in four critical areas: arithmetic reasoning, mathematics knowledge, working knowledge and paragraph comprehension. These determine your strengths and your ability to withstand the demands of service and aptitude for specific career areas.

The Coast Guard

To join the Coast Guard you have to be a U.S citizen and between 17-42 years of age. Sometimes GEDs are accepted but a diploma is preferred. But you still need to take the ASVAB test to get in.Those interested in becoming officers may apply to the Coast Guard Academy or talk to their local recruiter about other options.

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