• Join the MilitaryRequirements for Joining the U.S. MilitaryTo join the enlisted ranks, in general you must:
    • Be a U.S. citizen or Green Card holder
      • Non-citizens must speak, read, and write English fluently.
      • Non-citizens must currently live in the U.S.
    • Be in good health
    • Be 17 to 40 years old (different branches have different age requirements). 
    • Have a high school diploma (some branches will accept a GED)
    • Pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test
    Here are a few things a recruit should keep in mind when preparing to visit a recruitment office:
    • Bring a Social Security card, birth certificate and driver's license
    • Remove piercings, and do not wear clothing with obscene images
    • Bring glasses or wear contacts, and bring along an eyeglass or contact lens case and solution
    • Get a good night’s sleep, and arrive early

    What are the different types of military service?

    Air Force
    Air Force Reserve
    Air National Guard
    Army
    Army Reserve
    Army National Guard
    Coast Guard
    Coast Guard Reserve
    Marine Corps
    Marine Corps Reserve
    Navy
    Navy Reserve
    Texas Army National Guard
    Texas Air National Guard
    Texas State Guard

    ​STEP 1: TAKE THE ARMED SERVICES VOCATIONAL APTITUDE BATTERY (ASVAB)

    The ASVAB is a multiple-choice exam that helps determine the careers for which an individual is best suited. Both traditional pen-and-paper exams and a computer-based version are available. The ASVAB takes approximately three hours to complete and has questions about standard school subjects like math, English, writing and science. Each Service uses a custom combination of ASVAB results to produce scores related to different career fields.

    ​STEP 2: PASS THE PHYSICAL EXAMINATION

    A recruiter will discuss physical requirements with recruits beforehand. The physical is a regular medical exam, similar to one completed at a family doctor.
    Examinations include:
    • Height and weight measurements
    • Hearing and vision examinations
    • Urine and blood tests
    • Drug and alcohol tests
    • Muscle group and joint maneuvers
    • Specialized test if required (pregnancy test for women, body fat percentage test for those who are overweight, tests relating to any unusual medical history)

    ​STEP 3: MEET WITH A COUNSELOR AND DETERMINE A CAREER

    At this point, a service enlistment counselor meets with each recruit to find the right job specialty. A few different factors contribute to career selection:
    • Needs of the Service
    • Job availability
    • ASVAB score
    • Physical requirements (for example, a recruit needs normal color vision for some careers)
    • Recruit preference

    The service enlistment counselor will also go over the enlistment agreement with the recruit. It is important to understand this fully before signing. When a recruit signs this agreement, he or she is making a serious commitment to the Military!
    At this time, recruits are also fingerprinted for their files, which are required for background checks and security clearances.

    STEP 4: TAKE THE OATH OF ENLISTMENT

    Once the recruit’s career has been determined, he or she is ready to take the Oath of Enlistment. In this statement, the recruit vows to defend the U.S. Constitution and obey the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Family members are invited to watch and take photos.

    ​STEP 5: AFTER THE MILITARY ENTRANCE PROCESSING STATION (MEPS)

    The new recruit now does one of two things, depending on the terms of his or her enlistment:
    • Direct Ship – The recruit reports to Basic Training shortly after completing MEPS testing requirements. (It varies based on job assignment and branch.) A recruiter will provide instructions on transportation to Basic Training at this time.
    • Delayed Entry Program (DEP) – The recruit commits to Basic Training at a time in the future, generally within one year. Most recruits enter DEP before shipping, including recruits who enlist before completing high school.  Recruits enrolled in DEP may return to their homes until the time comes to report for duty.