Requirements to join the Army

If you are considering joining the US Army, here are some of the requirements and other things you should know. Always remember to talk to an Army recruiter for more info. Requirements change and an Army recruiter will have undated knowledge of those changes and may have ways to work with you on some areas where you might not meet the requirement.



  • You need to be a US citizen.
    • Green Card holders (must be able speak, read and write in English and live in the US) can join active duty but will require a background check and will not be able to start basic training until the background check has cleared. At this time Green Card holders can not join the Army reserve or National Guard. 


  • You must be between the age of 17 and 35. 
    • If you are trying to join at the age of 17 you will need parents consent and will need to turn 18 while in training (basic training or AIT) before you are sent to your duty station. 


  • You need to have a high school diploma.
    • You can join with a GED but that can restrict you from some careers in the Army. 


  • You will need to take and pass the ASVAB test. The test can be taken in high school or at an Army recruiting station. 
    • Based on how well you score will determine what careers you are eligible for. 


An example of things that might disqualify you from joining the Army are:
  • Criminal history – Drug charges, domestic violence and felony charges can prevent you from joining. In some cases you might qualify for a wavier like with minor drug charges and some other circumstances. 


  • Health problems depending on how severe they are


  • Being over weight or under weight. To review the weight standards click HERE.


  • Some careers require a security clearance. If your career of interest dose require one then things like a large amount of debt and criminal history can prevent you from obtaining that required clearance. 

Here are some documents you will need when joining the Army:
  • Proof of citizenship or green card if you were not born in the US
  • Social Security card
  • Drivers license or state ID card
  • A direct deposit form from your checking account (this is how you will receive your Army pay checks) 
  • If married you will need an original or certified copy of your marriage certificate
    • If your spouse is in the military then you will also need their full name, SSN and military address. 
  • If you have children under the age of 18 then you will need original or a certified copy of their birth certificate
  • If you have dependents that are not living on a military installation then you will need copy’s of the lease agreement or rental contract 
  • If you attended JROTC or ROTC you will need to provide documentation
  • Original or certified copy of high school diploma or GED and collage transcripts if applicable

If you are planing to join as an officer in the Army then be sure to check out my video that explains how someone can become an officer and the rank structure by clicking the link HERE.

Check out my video that also explains requirements for joining the Army.

You can also watch my video that explains what you might expect when attending Army basic training. Video is available HERE.






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