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Requirements to Join the Army

Requirements to Join the Army
There are several requirements that the individual must meet before he can be considered to be selected in the army. In this article, we will take a look at the necessary requirements for enlisting in the army.
CareerStint Staff
Last Updated: Feb 24, 2018
The US Army is one of the most prestigious defense organizations in the world. Its history dates back to 1775, when the Continental Army was created to fight against Britain in the Revolutionary War. The prowess of the US army was portrayed to the world in World War II as American troops had a major role in defeating Nazi Germany. After the end of World War II, the US army has been involved in several wars, notable among them being the Korean, Gulf, and Vietnam War. The army is still fighting hardliners in Afghanistan and Iraq.

To enlist in the army, there are certain requirements that an individual has to meet. One important point aspirants need to remember is that unlike other civilian jobs - governed by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act 1964 - which mandates every employer to treat potential employees equally, the army is not obliged to recruit anyone who applies to them. Even though a person may meet all the desired requirements, the army may decide to reject that person's candidacy based on certain grounds. The job of a soldier in the US army is very different from a regular civilian job, and due to this fact, not everyone can enlist.

Essential Requirements

Age
The minimum age for joining the US army is 17 years (with parental consent) and 18 years (without parental consent). The maximum age to join the US army is 35 years. An individual must start his basic training before his 35th birthday. Individuals who are on active duty or have previously served in the armed forces, and want to join the army may get a waiver on the age limit.

Citizenship
Individuals who are US citizens, or legal permanent immigrants with a green card can join the army. The citizens of US include individuals from:
  • Guam
  • Puerto Rico
  • U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Northern Marianas Islands
  • American Samoa
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Republic of the Marshall Islands
Dependents To join the army, an individual should have no more than two dependents. In case, an individual has more than two dependents, he needs to procure a waiver. If the individual's spouse has legally separated from him, the spouse is not considered a dependent.

Finances
Individuals who have a history of debts and bad credits can expect rejection for enlistment unless they are able to show that they will be able to meet their financial obligations with the salary they receive for their services.

Education
To enlist in the US army, a minimum of high school graduation is necessary. Applicants who have a General Equivalency Degree (G.E.D.) may also be accepted, however, they must score well in the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test. This test covers a variety of topics, and checks the aptitude of an applicant. Some of the topics that are a part of this test are mathematics, comprehension, grammar, reasoning, general knowledge, general science, mechanical knowledge, electronic application, and coding speed. These topics are extremely vast, but being a soldier, one needs to know all these things. The test scores are divided into 3 sections - verbal, math, and academic; a candidate's final score is made up by these individual scores. The test itself contains 200 multiple-choice questions, and needs to be completed in 180 minutes. Individuals with a score of 31 or higher are considered further. One important thing to remember here is there are certain high schools that offer the ASVAB to their students. If you have taken one, not very long ago, you can inform your recruiter about it to know whether you need to take it again.

Height and Weight Standards

Male:

Height Weight (Max./Min.)
Age Group (17-20) Age Group (21-27) Age Group (28-39) Age Group (40+)
58 NA/91 - - -
59 NA/94 - - -
60 132/97 136/97 139/97 141/97
61 136/100 140/100 144/100 146/100
62 141/104 144/104 148/104 150/104
63 145/107 149/107 153/107 155/107
64 150/110 154/110 158/110 160/110
65 155/114 159/114 163/114 165/114
66 160/117 163/117 168/117 170/117
67 165/121 169/121 174/121 176/121
68 170/125 174/125 179/125 181/125
69 175/128 179/128 184/128 188/128
70 180/132 185/132 189/132 192/132
71 185/136 189/136 194/136 197/136
72 190/140 195/140 200/140 203/140
73 195/144 200/144 205/144 208/144
74 201/148 206/148 211/148 214/148
75 206/152 212/152 217/152 220/152
76 212/156 217/156 223/156 226/156
77 218/160 223/160 229/160 232/160
78 223/164 229/164 235/164 238/164
79 229/168 235/168 241/168 244/168
80 234/173 240/173 247/173 250/173
(Weight is in pounds and height is in inches)

Female:

Height Weight (Max./Min.)
Age Group (17-20) Age Group (21-27) Age Group (28-39) Age Group (40+)
58 119/91 121/91 122/91 124/91
59 124/94 125/94 126/94 128/94
60 128/97 129/97 131/97 133/97
61 132/100 134/100 135/100 137/100
62 136/104 138/104 140/104 142/104
63 141/107 143/107 144/107 146/107
64 145/110 147/110 149/110 151/110
65 150/114 152/114 154/114 156/114
66 155/117 156/117 158/117 161/117
67 159/121 161/121 163/121 166/121
68 164/125 166/125 168/125 171/125
69 169/128 171/128 173/128 176/128
70 174/132 176/132 178/132 181/132
71 179/136 181/136 183/136 186/136
72 184/140 186/140 188/140 191/140
73 189/144 191/144 194/144 197/144
74 194/148 197/148 199/148 202/148
75 200/152 202/152 204/152 208/152
76 205/156 207/156 210/156 213/156
77 210/160 213/160 215/160 219/160
78 216/164 218/164 221/164 225/164
79 221/168 224/168 227/168 230/168
80 227/173 230/173 233/173 236/173
(Weight is in pounds and height is in inches)

Body Fat
Sex Age Group (17-20) Age Group (21-27) Age Group (28-39) Age Group (40+)
Female 30% 32% 34% 36%
Male 20% 22% 24% 26%

Apart from these requirements, aspirants undergo tests for hearing, vision, blood, and urine. Aspirants are also asked about their history to ascertain if they have a drug- or alcohol-related issue. The army carries out intensive drug and alcohol tests, and in case an individual is addicted to certain substances, he will be rejected.
Benefits of Joining Many people wish to make a career in defense for the sole purpose of serving their country. This is a noble concept and one that is highly appreciated. Along with being appreciated by his/her countrymen, a soldier receives many other advantages and benefits of joining the army as well. There is a good scope for career advancement. The career path of a person can be chosen based on his/her own preferences, and the positions are open to everyone. Life insurance and health care are also taken care of by the army, and this is a great boost for people from less affluent backgrounds. There are also, certain tax advantages and other additional benefits of joining the army.
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