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What is the Maximum Age Limit for Each Branch of the Military?

July 2012

It truly depends on whether or not you are a non-prior or prior service member, looking at enlisting into the active duty or reserve components, etc. In the United States military system, you may enlist into any branch at the age of 17 years old with parental consent, or 18 years old without parental consent.

Age waivers, although rare, are possible. Usually happening if one cannot be sent to basic training by their birthday, thus making them ineligible to enlist if they are then past the required ages, age waivers can be received for just a few months easily.

Branch Age
Army 35
Army Reserve 35
Navy 34
Navy Reserve 39
Air Force 27
Air Force Reserve 34
Marine Corps 28
Marine Corps Reserve 29
Coast Guard 27
Coast Guard Reserve 29
Army National Guard 35

In the United States Army, Army Reserves, and Army National Guard, the maximum age allowed to enlist and ship to basic training is 35 years old. The Army experimented for quite some time allowing anyone up to the age of 42 years old to enlist and complete basic training. On April 1st, 2011, they reverted this to the lower age limit.

In the United States Air Force, the maximum age allowed to enlist and ship to basic training is 27 years old. In the Air Force Reserves, the maximum age is 34 years old. In the Air National Guard, the maximum age is 40 years old.

In the United States Navy, the maximum age allowed to enlist and ship to basic training is 34 years old. In the Naval Reserves, the maximum age is 39 years old.

In the United States Marine Corps, the maximum age allowed to enlist and ship to basic training is 28 years old. In the Marine Corps Reserves, the maximum age is 29 years old.

In the United States Coast Guard, the maximum age allowed to enlist and ship to basic training is 27 years old.¹ In the Coast Guard Reserves, the maximum age is 39 years old.

In the United States Coast Guard, those selected to attend A-school directly upon enlistment may be up to 32 years old; mainly for prior service members.

For prior service members looking to enlist back into the military, they can use their prior service basically as an age deductable when reenlisting. For example, if one has 4 years of credible service in the Army and if they are looking to join the Air Force, but are past the age of 27 but are not more than 31 years old, they can have their prior service years deducted from their age.

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