Below are the basic requirements to join the army, but individuals can be assessed on their own merits and waivers are sometimes provided.
The best way to determine if you are eligible to join the army is to contact a recruiter. The recruiter will know how to access each individual and help you through the process. The recruiter has probably heard stories and handled concerns just like yours. A recruiter will also be your best way to see if you qualify for a bonus or other incentive. Contact a recruiter to start the process.
What is the Age Requirement to Join?
The army requires you to be 17 years old or older and not have reached your 35th birthday.
Do I Need Permission from Parent?
If you are between 17 and 18 years old you must have both parents consent. There are some exceptions, contact a recruiter for more information.
What Disqualifies Me from Joining?
Typical disqualifiers are drug use, alcohol abuse, recent repeated criminal offenses, and any violent sexual criminal convictions. Contact a recruiter for your specific concerns.
Are There Education Requirements?
The requirement is you must be able to read, write and speak English well enough to understand the oath of enlistment and complete the pre-enlistment interview and you must be able to score high enough on the ASVAB for the MOS or job you enlisting for. To actually meet these requirements, the army is currently only accepting recruits with a high school diploma or a recruit with a GED and 15 college credits in classes numbered 101 or higher. You will not typically be eligible to join without the above.
How am I Verified?
Your social security card or equivalent will be used to verify your name and social security number (SSN).
Do I have to be a Citizen?
You must be a legal citizen or legal alien. There are some exceptions, contact a recruiter for more information.
Is a Physical or My Health an Issue?
You will have to pass a physical exam. Some medical conditions that you had in the past may be waived. Asthma when you were young is a good example. If you are overweight but can otherwise qualify you may still be allowed to join. Contact a recruiter to discuss your concerns.
What if I have Committed Crimes?
During enlistment you will be required to document every legal infraction you have had. Parking tickets or speeding is probably not an issue and you may be able to get a waiver for more serious driving infractions or misdemeanors. You will have to be convincing that your life of crime is over. Contact a recruiter to discuss your concerns.
What if I have Dependents?
If you have dependents then the restrictions can be complicated. For specific information, contact a recruiter to discuss your individual case.