join the army

How to Join the Army: All Army Requirements You Should Know

If you are about to join the Army, there is a specific set of requirements that you will need to meet. This post will show you all the Army requirements!

January 1, 2022

If you want to join the Army, you must meet some special requirements. The Army has established an Army Enlistment Requirements page that outlines the requirements for joining the Army.

The Army is the most powerful branch of the United States military. Army Enrollment Requirements include a variety of duties that must be completed before joining the Army. These limitations are in place to screen out individuals who may not be capable of coping with basic army life and to give recruits more time and opportunity to decide whether or not this is the right career path for them.

What to know about the U.S. Army?

The U.S. Army is one of six branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. It is a strategic instrument of national policy that has served the country well in peace and war for more than two centuries so far. Soldiers help the U.S. pursue its world leadership goal of safeguarding national interests, preventing global calamity, and helping make the world a safer place. The Navy does this by finding peaceful solutions to the conflicts occurring between nation-states, figuring out the problems of human suffering, and being ready to fight and win the nation’s wars when necessary – like some kind of commitment to the country of America.

Well, if you’re about to join the Army, you may have a lot of questions. One of the first may you might ask is this: How long does it take to get sent to basic training after enlisting? The answer to that depends on the terms of your enlistment.

How to Join the Army?

Army Requirements

To qualify for Army service, you must meet a variety of such requirements as being at least 17 years old, having graduated from high school (or obtained a GED certificate), or having scored well enough on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test to warrant consideration as an Officer candidate. You also must be able-bodied and qualified under current medical standards through a military entrance processing station before being enlisted into any branch of the Army.

Going into detail, the following are the basic requirements for those who want to join the Army:

  • Citizenship Requirements: You must be a U.S. citizen or a legal resident alien to enlist in the Army.

  • Age limits: Be 17-34 years old. Seventeen-year-olds need the consent of their parents.

  • Education standards: You must either be currently in high school or hold a high school diploma or GED certificate but applicants with a GED may limit some opportunities.

  • Have no more than two dependents.

  • Pass the ASVAB test. Army recruits must get a minimum of 31 ASVAB scores. The Army accepts more recruits with a GED than any other branch. The Army even has an Army Prep School that allows recruits with no high school diploma or GED to enlist. Candidates with a GED, TASC, or HiSET must score at least 50 to join the Army.

  • Pass a Military Entrance Processing Station medical exam.

  • Pass a background check

Once you decide to enroll, the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) is the place you need to visit. This is the place where recruits go to finish the enlistment process. There are MEPS locations available across the country.  

Applicants officially complete the process of enlistment only when they meet all of the MEPS requirements, which include passing the ASVAB Test.

The ASVAB is a multiple-choice test that measures your aptitude and helps determine which types of careers an individual is best suited for. It’s an important test that is required if you want to pursue any military dreams. And what can help you better than a comprehensive practice test? Fortunately, we provide one of the best platforms to practice including the best Army ASVAB practice test. Let’s check it out!

Once you have completed all of the testing requirements, have determined your career path, and have taken the oath of enlistment, you are ready for basic training. Your report for 10 weeks of basic training, either directly or within a year.

If you enlist under the military’s Delayed Entry Program(DEP), you commit to basic training within one year of enlisting. This is common for recruits who enlist before graduating from high school. You can live at home until you get shipped out.

Basic Training to Join the Army

Basic Training, known as boot camp, is an intense program that introduces recruits to military service life and trains a person into a soldier.

You may only have a short time for your new career path preparation depending on when you leave for the boot camp. That means you should organize everything in order to get ready before the Army boot camp. Think of heading out for the boot camp as any other move. You’ll need to put into storage such items as mail forwarding, your car, and packing items. If you even have a pet, you’ll want to find someone to take care of it while you’re gone or find another home.

When you join the Army,  you are provided a list of clothing and toiletries to bring, so make sure you find time to prep those items before leaving. You’ll also want to make sure you have any needed documents, such as your Social Security card, birth certificate, and bank information. These may take some time to get if you don’t already have them, so don’t leave this until the last minute, if possible.

Basic Training Locations

After enlistment, you will do basic training at one of several locations around the country. Army basic training locations are:

  • Fort Benning, Ga.

  • Fort Leonard Wood, Miss.

  • Fort Sill, Okla.

  • Fort Jackson, S.C.

Basic training doesn’t stop due to the weather, so get ready for weather conditions that you may not be used to. The places holding Boot Camp aren’t always located in temperate places, the weather may range from freezing during winter to intense heat in the summer. When you become deployed, you may need to adjust to any inclement weather, so it’s a good practice for the future.

Read more >> New US Army Height And Weight Standards

Benefits of joining the Army

There are numerous reasons why joining The Army is a great deal. You may be surprised by the list of advantages you’ll receive in the Army such as 30 paid vacation days annually, comprehensive healthcare, housing, cash allowances to cover the cost of living, money for education, family services, and even career support after you serve.

Army Salary

It’s said that the military’s benefits and pay are not competitive with the civilian sector. On top of career training and other benefits packages, you’ll earn a salary known as Army Basic Pay. The longer you serve and continue to grow with rank, the more you’ll earn. It also depends on your Army Ranks.

Some statistics have shown that a new second lieutenant starts at around $36,000 per year along with full benefits and an enlisted recruit may start at over $20,000 per year with full benefits. You are paid twice every month based on your pay grade and service requirements.

Promotion: When you join the Army, you would be promoted based on your job knowledge, your performance, and time in your pay grade as well as service requirements

Other insurance and allowances

A Soldier may get paid more than just a salary. There are various benefits like total free healthcare, housing, subsidized food, travel, and money for education all add up to cover a majority of your living expenses.

You’ll receive tax-free money for the basic allowance for housing (BAH) and the basic subsistence allowance (BAS) as well; along with a uniform allowance only for enlisted recruits to help maintain your uniform.

Health care: While on active duty, you will receive complete medical and dental care at no cost. There’s also medical care for your families.

Educational benefits for your future

One of the most crucial benefits of joining the Army is the opportunity to go to school without the crushing debt burden of student loans. Whether you want to attend college, pay off existing student loans, or pursue certifications and training, there are countless benefits available to you. In fact, on your first day as an enlisted Soldier, you’ll get $250 per credit hour each semester, additional tuition money after you serve five years with the GI Bill, and dozens of other financial aid programs to help you achieve success.

GI Bill: The GI Bill helps pay for college education or vocational training. In most cases, soldiers receive full tuition for their programs. A soldier qualifies for 100% full tuition if they spend 36 months in the Army.

Tuition assistance: While on active duty, you can continue your education and get help in defraying the cost of college-accredited courses.

How to Join the Army – FAQs

What can disqualify you from joining the military?

To be eligible to enlist, you must be qualified under current federal laws and regulations or have an appropriate waiver. So, as we know, there appear to age, citizenship, physical, education, height/weight, criminal record, and medical, and drug history standards can exclude you from entering the military including the Army.

How long does it take to enlist in the Army?

There’s a fact that most Army jobs require a commitment of a minimum enlistment period of 4 years, while some Army jobs require a minimum enlistment period of up to 5 years.

Do I get paid while in basic training?

To get paid, your military pay records have to be established, and the “being get paid” thing won’t happen unless you’re in process during the first few days of basic training.

How long is Army Basic Training 2021?

about ten weeks

Army Basic Combat Training consists of three stages and lasts approximately 10 weeks, depending on your military occupational specialty (MOS). Following basic training, you will go through two more phases of training known as Advanced Individual Training, during which you will learn the work skills required for your MOS.

Hope that this post helps you understand all the essential information for joining the Army.

    Author Details
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    Marvin Shaw - ASVAB-Prep Writer

    Marvin Shaw is a homeschooling high school teacher and an ASVAB tutor. He's one of the creators of our ASVAB question collection. With his broad knowledge and a big love for the U.S. military, he's mentored hundreds of students to successfully enter the military.

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