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Requirements to Join the Air Force

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

Age
Non-prior service applicants must be at least 17 to apply and in Basic Military Training before their 28th birthday.

Officer Training School (OTS) applicants must be at least 17 to apply and commissioned before their 35th birthday.

Physician, Nurse and Allied Health applicants need to contact a recruiter, as the age criteria may vary by profession.

Note: Prior service applicants should contact their local recruiter for age cut-offs.

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Citizenship
Enlistment into the U.S. Air Force by citizens of countries other than the United States is limited to those foreign nationals who are legally residing in the United States and possess an Immigrations and Naturalization Service Alien Registration Card (INS Form I-151/551, commonly known as a "Green Card"). Applicants must be between 17 and 27; meet the mental, moral and physical standards for enlistment; and must speak, read and write English fluently.

Furthermore, in order to be commissioned an officer in the U.S. Air Force, one must be a native-born or naturalized United States citizen.

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