Updated July 2019
Before you visit your local recruiter, be sure you meet the minimum qualifications for serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. Some qualifications are required by all five services:
- You must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien.
- You must be at least 17 years old (17-year old applicants require parental consent) to apply and in BMT before your 28th birthday.
- You must (with very few exceptions) have a high school diploma or meet the ASVAB qualifications to apply with a GED.
- You must pass a physical medical exam.
- Must meet specific scoring requirements on the ASVAB
Pursuing a career in the Air Force is admirable and will be incredibly rewarding, but it requires discipline even before you begin training. The Air Force maintains high standards, most of which are things within your control. If you aspire to be an Airman, ensure that you meet requirements now and make choices that will keep you eligible over time.
To enlist, you cannot be younger than 17 (18 for GED holders) or older than 39 years of age.
To join as an Officer, you cannot be younger than 18 or older than 39 years of age.
To join as a healthcare or ministry professional, you cannot be younger than 18 or older than 48 years of age.
Note: Prior service applicants should contact their local recruiter for age cut-offs.
If you wish to enlist as a non-citizen in the Air Force, you must be a legal permanent resident with a valid Green Card or a legal, non-citizen with a valid visa. These spots are limited. The requirements for being an Officer are a little more strict, and you must be a native-born or naturalized United States citizen.
Enlistment into the Air Force by citizens of countries other than the United States is limited to foreign nationals who are legally residing in the United States and possess a valid Permanent Resident Card (USCIS Form I-551), commonly known as a “Green Card”. More than two years of eligibility remaining prior to expiration of one’s Green Card is required. Applicants must be between 17 and 39; meet the mental, moral and physical standards for enlistment; and must speak, read and write English fluently. All lawful permanent residents must also complete a background investigation and receive a favorable military security suitability determination (MSSD) prior to entry into service.
Marriage and Children
Married individuals with legal, physical custody of up to two children under the age of 18 and/or incapable of self care may enlist.
Single, divorced or separated parents or those in common law marriages with legal, physical custody of up to three children under the age of 18 and/or incapable of self care may enlist.