* Updated November 2015
When joining the Navy there are specific age, citizenship, academic, physical and legal qualifications that you must meet first! To qualify for enlistment into the Navy, you need to:
To serve as an Enlisted Sailor, you must be no older than 34 but at least 17 years old. If you are not yet 18, you must have parental consent. To serve as an Officer, you must be no older than 35 but at least 19 years old depending on the program desired. (Waivers may be granted for positions in high demand.) Read more on the enlisted requirements.
U.S. citizens or Legal Permanent Residents (people who have an INS I-151/I-551 Green Card) may join the U.S. Navy. For more information about citizenship, visit the U.S. Immigration and Nationalization (INS) website.
Properly documented noncitizens may enlist in the Navy. However, opportunities may be limited. Contact a recruiter for more advice on a specific situation.
For enlistment purposes, the United States includes Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Palau.
Generally speaking, you must be a high school graduate, have earned a GED or have met other high school equivalency requirements to enlist as a Sailor in the Navy. To become an Officer, you must have received a four-year BS or BA degree from an accredited university and have strong grades. Read more on the enlisted requirements.
You can enlist or join the Navy if you are a single parent; but note, the Navy will normally not allow you to enlist or join if you have more than two dependents under the age of 18. Read more on the enlisted requirements.
In certain cases, you must prove that you can meet your current financial obligations. Read more on the enlisted requirements.
The Navy has a zero tolerance drug/alcohol policy. Early in the enlistment or commissioning process, you will take two urinalysis tests. You’ll also be asked questions about prior drug and alcohol use. Answer honestly. If you have questions, contact a recruiter.
The Navy also applies medical, legal and character standards to your application, including traffic offense history, criminal history, citizenship status and more.
Because qualification and commitment details relate to your specific background and interests, you should contact a Navy Recruiter for details.
You must also obtain a minimum qualifying score on the Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery exam (ASVAB). The score for the Navy typically needs to be a 31 or better although rare exceptions are made. Read more on the ASVAB basics.
A criminal record may disqualify you from military service. If you have a criminal record you need to talk to a recruiter in order to evaluate your particular situation.
*Not all the enlistment criteria are shown here; contact your recruiter for exact details.