In this article, we have discussed military enlistment age limits and more about other requirements.
We all know that the military consists of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Space Force, and Air Force. Generally, there is a basic requirement for anyone who wants to join any branch of the military.
The training comes after, a person is qualified to enlist. Of course, there are enlistment age restrictions and guidelines in every military branch.
In the United States, each branch of the military has its enlistment age limits. One can be too young to join the military or can be too old for enlistment.
So, what age is too young to enlist and what age is too old to join the military?
The answer to that question you can in this guide and more qualifications and requirements. We have discussed military enlistment age limits and more.
Why are there Military Enlistment Age Limits?
If there were no age limits, perhaps we could have seen teenagers as young as 14 joining the military. A kid that young has no place yet in the military until they come of age.
These military enlistment age limits are there for a reason. Before young patriots decide to join the military, they must acquire the minimum education requirement.
The minimum and maximum enlistment age limits are to ensure that enlistees are in good physical condition before joining the military. The least qualification to join the military is a high school diploma or its equivalent.
The military intends to recruit young patriots who are educated and in good physical condition. The ultimate goal is to get physically and mentally prepared enlistees.
The United States federal laws set the maximum military recruitment age limit at 42. But that does not prevent each service branch to establish its age limits below 42. It could be less than 42 in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps.
Now, if you are wondering what could be the age limit for the U.S. Army. They set their maximum age limit at 35. According to reports, the United States Navy and Air Force accept enlistees above 35.
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The U.S. Army and Navy
At age 39, the U.S. Air Force and Navy will accept qualified enlistees. On the other hand, the U.S. Marine Corps has the lowest maximum enlistment age in the military.
According to USA.gov, the U.S. Marine Corps sets its maximum enlistment age at 28, while the Coast Guard and Space Force set theirs at 31 and 39 respectively.
For young patriots, they have to be up to 17 of age with parental consent. At this age, enlistees must have graduated from high school and obtained a diploma or its equivalent.
From age 18, an enlistee can join the military without parental consent. The minimum age limit to join the U.S. Navy Reserves is also 18. The U.S. Navy Reserves also require a high school diploma or GED.
Military Age Requirements by Branch of Service
Below are the enlistment age limits for Active Duty Personnel and Reservists by military branch.
|Branch||Active Duty||Reserve||Guard||Service Academies|
|Space Force||Contact an Air Force recruiter for eligibility requirements|
The Minimum Age Permitted to Join the Military
At age 17, anyone can join the military provided they have parental consent in writing. The Navy Reserve however requires all enlistees to be 18 and above without parental consent.
The Navy Reserve does not accept enlistees who are not up to 18.
Age Requirements Are Supplemented by Education Requirements
Generally, the minimum required age to join the military is 17. At this age, an enlistee must have acquired a high school diploma or GED as it’s required.
In some cases, a service branch may offer alternatives like allowing a new recruit with GED and college credits. This may happen depending on recruiting issues at that given time.
An enlistee with a GED may be subjected to additional standards, which do not apply to those with high school diplomas.
In a situation where an applicant does not meet the standard for GED holders without college coursework, enrolling in a college to earn more credit hours may be the best option.
Generally, each branch of service has the authority to restrict the number of new recruits entering the military service annually without a high school diploma.
According to recent reports, the military has seen a higher number of unsuccessful basic trainees emerge from a background that does not include a high school diploma.
Those in a hurry to serve in the military should know that it takes more than a good physical condition to represent the stars and stripes of the United States.
A basic education qualification is required to serve in the military. Ambition to serve in the military may not be enough. Without a high school diploma, young patriots may have their applications moved to the following year if the quota for non-diploma holders has already been met.
GED Holders Need a Higher Score on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB)
If you want to serve in the U.S. military and you are a GED holder, here are things you must know.
Without a high school diploma, you will need a higher score on the ASVAB test. You are expected to get a high score irrespective of your desired branch of service.
Most enlistees with GED will have to take the ASVAB test first. Now, if a GED holder does not get a high score on the ASVAB test, there is an alternative.
A GED holder with a poor score on the ASVAB test can take a specific amount of college credits before taking the ASVAB test for the second time.
This is because those with GED and college credits are placed in the same Armed Service Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) scoring category as those who have a high school diploma.
Select Service System
The military enlistment age limits differ for each branch of service. Getting into the U.S. military requires certain standards.
Firstly, you must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident with a valid Green Card.
All male U.S. citizens and male permanent residents in the country who are between the ages of 18 and 25 can register with the Selective Service System. Keep in mind that there is a basic requirement just to register.
Prior Service Enlistment
Every branch of the military has an enlistment option which allows those separated from active duty, reserve or the guard to enter full-time back into service.
Additionally, if a person who has five years of military service in the U.S. Army wants to switch over to the Navy, the Navy could waive its maximum enlistment age above 39.
Five credible years in the U.S. Army plus the maximum age limit of 39 equal 44. So even at an age above 39, there is a chance.
The county’s maximum age for prior service enlistment in the Army and Air National Guard is 59. That of the Marine Corps and the Marine Corps Reserve is 32 after adding the prior service age adjustment.
Joining the Military Out of High School without Earning a Diploma
It’s unwise if anyone who intends to join the military does not complete high school. It’s essential young patriots complete their high school education with a diploma before enlisting in the military.
There is something called the Delayed Enlistment program in the military. The program allows those who are technically inedible to serve due to education status or age to enter a provisional agreement with their desired branch of service.
With the Delayed Enlistment, enlistees may have the opportunity to learn more about military life, procedures, training, etc. The program helps those who desire to serve their country but faces the challenge to become real military recruits.
Health and Fitness
If you are interested in joining the military, enlistment age limits should not be your only concern. Health and fitness test are essential for anyone who want to serve in the military.
The Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Space Force requires enlistees to be physically fit.
Generally, enlistees are required to pass a military entrance medical examination. The test includes a physical examination, a vision and hearing test, as well as an assessment of weight and height.
Keep in mind that each service branch in the military has its health and fitness standards. In the Air Force, it’s required that an enlistee must have a good vision. They conduct eye tests for pilots to check how good their vision is.
They are called privates in the Army, a seaman in the Navy, and airman basic in the Air Force.
Enlisted personnel in the Army carry out orders given by their superior. The requirement to enlist in the United States Army are as follows:
- The age limit is between 17-35 years old
- Medically and physically fit and must show good moral standards
- A high school diploma is the standard qualification
- A United States citizen or a permanent resident in the country with a valid Green Card
Education Requirement by Service Branch
Below are the standard minimum education requirement needed by each service branch in the United States Armed Forces.
|Branch||Minimum Score for High School Graduate||Minimum Score for GEd|
Why Does the Military Impose Age Enlistment Limits?
Military enlistment age limits are essential when you look at the age and education requirements involved. A 15 years old whose family have a long history of serving in the United States military may decide to join.
At 16, the kid may have the required height and weight but still needs to graduate from high school. This is why military enlistment age limits are essential.
Now, we can all agree that the human body tends to be less active once we get to a certain age. A 50-year-old man should in no way be enlisted into the military that’s wrong.
This is why the federal law sets its maximum age limit to join the military at 42. That is a fact, but each service branch in the military has its specific maximum age limits.
Will Age Affect How I Am Treated in Any Service Branch?
We can’t tell you that there will be no jokes regarding your age once you are in the military. Guys in the military will likely say “Hey old guy” if you are a bit older.
A young patriot in the military should also expect a few jokes and roasts more often.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are frequently asked questions on military enlistment age limits.
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Can I join the military if a have a medical disqualification?
Yes, you can join the military even if you have a medical disqualification. You need to get a medical waiver to make that happen.
Are there any restrictions concerning tattoos?
Tattoos are not banned in the United States military. Although there are a few exceptions and you cannot have tattoos on visible areas such as your head, neck, hands, and behind your ears. Tattoos encouraging racism, extremism, and sexism are banned.
Can I join the military if I have asthma, poor vision or poor hearing?
If you were diagnosed with asthma after your 13th birthday, you will be unable to join the military. Vision, hearing, and asthma disqualifications are determined through a medical examination.
If your application is denied, you can request an asthma, hearing, and vision loss waiver.
Will my weight or height prevent me from joining the military?
Generally, height or weight restrictions vary based on age and gender.
Military enlistment age limits are essential when it comes to recruiting those with standard education qualifications. The military needs the best-qualified persons with proper qualifications and those who are physically fit.
The military requires several qualifications for each service branch. The goal is to protect the sovereignty of the nation and the best men and women are required.
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