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Military Enlistment Information


The requirements for enlisting in the United States Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, National Guard, and Navy are described below. A printable version of the requirements is available at

This summary contains general information as of February 4, 2011. For specific information, contact your local recruiting office. 

High School Diploma

Air Force: A standard diploma is required. A GED could be accepted with a 65 on the ASVAB and 15 or more semester hours of qualifying college credit.

Army: A standard diploma is required. A GED may be accepted with 15 college credits. Applicants with Certificates of Attendance or Completion can join only after a 6 month waiting period and passing the ASVAB.

Coast Guard: A standard diploma is required. A home school diploma with a passing score on the AMES test and an ASVAB score of 50 is also accepted.

Marines: A standard diploma is required. A GED could be accepted with 15 college credits.

National Guard and Navy: A standard diploma or GED is required.

Health Restrictions

All branches of the military have height and weight restrictions and require a military medical examination. The Marines also require a physical fitness test. Other health restrictions apply.

For information on specific disabilities or medical conditions, consult the following resource and your local recruiting office:

U.S. Department of Defense. (2010, April). Medical standards for appointment, enlistment or induction in the military services. (Instruction No. 6130.03). Washington, DC: Author. Available at

Page references for IDEA disability categories are: autism, page 42; deaf-blindness, pages 11-15; deafness, pages 14-15; emotional disturbance, pages 42-44; hearing impairment, pages 14-15; mental retardation (other mental disorders) page 44; orthopedic impairment, pages 31-32; specific learning disability, page 42; speech or language impairment, pages 16 and 43; traumatic brain injury, pages 39-40; visual impairment/blindness, pages 11-13.

See individual listings for information on multiple disabilities and other health impairments such as asthma, ADD, ADHD, diabetes, epilepsy, heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, sickle cell anemia, Tourettes' syndrome, etc. 

Training Program

All branches of the military require completion of basic training.

Age Requirement

Army, Marines, and National Guard: 17-42 to enlist

Air Force:  17-27 to enlist

Coast Guard: 17-29 to enlist

Marines: 17-34 to enlist


Army and Marines: Single parents are not eligible. Married applicants with more than two dependents are not eligible. Three or four dependents may be accepted with a waiver.

Air Force: Single parents are not eligible. Married applicants with more than one child are not eligible.

Coast Guard: Single females with dependents are not eligible. Single males with one dependent may be eligible if someone has custody while enlisted. Married applicants with more than two dependents are not eligible.

Navy: Single parents and those with more than one child are not eligible.

National Guard: Not known.


The Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is a norm-referenced, timed test. No accommodations are permitted.

Air Force: Minimum score of 36. Minimum score of 65 for GED recipients.

Army: Score must be in the 31-99 range.

Coast Guard: Minimum score of 31. Minimum score of 50 if home-schooled.

Marines: Minimum score of 31.

National Guard: Minimum score of 50.

Navy: Minimum score of 35.


All applicants must be a United States citizen or permanent alien resident of the United States.

Background Check

Applicants must complete a full background check.

Recruiting Websites

United States Airforce:

United States Army:

United States Coast Guard: 

United States Marines:

United States National Guard:

United States Navy:





The development of this website was funded by the University of South Florida St. Petersburg
through a grant by the Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services,
Florida Department of Education (2010 - 2011, 291-2621A-1C008).

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