Big Picture

How to Apply For The Armed Forces in the USA

US patch flag on soldier's arm

The army is one of those few jobs that give you love and respect along with money. It’s best for those who love thrill, challenges, and excitement in life coupled with a defined career and recognizable achievement. Army requires devotion and sacrifice and returns you prestige, doesn’t matter the country you are serving to. Every country has different norms and requirements for approving the joining of the Armed Forces. Let’s have a look at the requirements and procedure of applying for the Armed Forces in the USA.


There are different qualifications for enlisted soldiers and officers. For becoming an enlisted Soldier in the U.S. Army

  1. you need to prove that you are a citizen of the country or a permanent resident with a Permanent Resident Card (Also known as Green Card),

  2. your age must be between 17-32 years,

  3. you must achieve the minimum score on the ASVAB test,

  4. meet all the requirements (medical, moral, and physical), and

  5. you need to be a high school graduate or equivalent.

The general requirements for Officer level are:

  1. your age must be between 18-34 years,

  2. meeting all the requirements (medical, moral, and physical),

  3. you must be eligible for a secret security clearance, and

  4. be a college graduate.

For full requirements and to get in touch with a recruiter, fill the contact form will all the details like full name, date of birth, full address, etc.

  Procedure before Joining

  1. Do the research
    Research for the opportunities and service branches is a must; whether you do it online or offline, say via a friend or any family member who has spent time in the Army.

  1. Visit a recruiter
    After the research, you shall talk to a recruiter who can clarify all your doubts (regarding the information, your eligibility, or anything). Every recruiter can’t answer all your questions but he/she can help you out in the best way possible.

The Process of Enlistment
Go to the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) after deciding to enlist, complete all its requirements to complete the joining process. It takes a few days to complete so be patient. The following procedure is performed at the MEPS-

Pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB)
It’s a multiple-choice exam with questions about various fields, like math, science, language, mechanical knowledge, etc. It helps in determining the kind of career and field in the military you would be best suited for. This exam may be taken at MEPS, your school, or at a Military Entrance Test (MET) site.

Pass the Physical Examination
It generally includes a medical test (blood, urine, and flexibility tests), hearing and vision exams, and medical history questionnaire. The actual examination varies from branch to branch.

 Meet With a MEPS Career Counselor
You must meet a MEPS career counselor to determine your career, who can consider your service needs and prior experience.

This is the final step in the enlistment process. Taking the Oath of Enlistment in front of an American flag makes you a full-fledged member of the U.S. Military.

Now, what happens after the MEPS?
Either of the two options is considered and followed by the recruits:

  1. Direct Ship
    Basic Training starts in just a few days, and not months.

  1. Delayed Entry Program (DEP)
    It generally takes a year to commence Basic Training but the time between swearing in and commencement of Basic Training could be between a couple of days and a year that may vary as per the job assignment and the branch opted. A person can also opt to become a noncommissioned officer. A noncommissioned officer is higher-ranking enlisted personnel who handle the day-to-day operations. To qualify as a noncommissioned officer, the person needs to promote through the enlisted ranks.

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Ryan Miller
Ryan Miller is CEOWORLD magazine's executive editor of news, writing analysis, and long-form reporting. In his role, he coordinates and tracks the publication of special packages, magazine stories, and the publication’s signature lists. He's a somewhat long-suffering supporter of Manchester United F.C. and a genuinely long-suffering fan of the Los Angeles Clippers.