Learn How to Join
01

MEETING WITH A RECRUITER

The next step for eligible recruits who want to find out more is to sit down with a recruiter. Recruiters are the most qualified people to help you find out if the Army is right for you. 

Prescreening

Your local recruiter will conduct a prescreening to see if you qualify for enlistment. At the recruiting station, he or she will ask you about your:

  • Education level 
  • Criminal history 
  • Age 
  • Marital/dependency status 
  • Physical condition

Mini-ASVAB

The recruiter will have you take a shortened version of the ASVAB test (Army Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) on a computer, which is a good predictor of how you will score on the actual test.

Contact us

Army Entrance Interview

Think of this as a job interview like any other. Recruiters are looking for committed, focused, responsible people. The process includes a review of your previous employment, education, criminal history and character traits. A physical fitness assessment is then made, which does not necessarily eliminate potential recruits.

LEARN MORE ABOUT TALKING TO A RECRUITER

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR RECRUITER

Expand to see a list of commonly asked questions that will help you have a conversation with a recruiter.

General Questions

  • Please explain the recruiting process, start to finish.
  • Potential recruits: Why should I join the Army?
  • Do you have any special incentives to join?
  • What's the Future Soldier program?
  • Which option is best for me: Army Active Duty, Army Reserve or ROTC?

BASIC COMBAT TRAINING

  • What really goes on in Basic Combat Training?
  • What's the balance between classroom and physical training?
  • What kind of condition do you have to be in at the start?
  • What are the physical standards candidates have to meet?
  • What are training and drill sergeants like today?
  • What percent of people who start actually graduate?
  • Can two friends go through basic at the same time?
  • Women: Do women receive “military haircuts” too?

THE FIRST TERM

  • How long does the first term last? Do you have programs of different lengths?
  • Can an entrant choose the military job he/she wants? How is the job assignment made?
  • Can you describe a couple of jobs? I want to understand what people actually do in the Army.
  • Can a trainee choose to serve overseas?
  • How much does a new recruit get paid, and what are the benefits?
  • How often are service people promoted?

EDUCATION

  • What kind of training comes after Basic?
  • How good are your military job-training schools?
  • What are all the ways a service member can earn college credits during enlistment?
  • What are your tuition-support programs? How does an entrant qualify for them?

By answering seven basic questions, you can instantly see if you’re qualified to join the U.S. Army.


02

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS

Your local recruiter will help identify what documents are required for enlistment and will also help you get replacements or copies of any documents that will be needed.

Required Documents

  • Proof of citizenship (if you were not born in the United States)
  • Social Security card 
  • Valid driver’s license or current state identification card
  • A direct-deposit form from your checking account (signed by a bank official)
  • Original or certified copies of your marriage certificate, divorce decree or separation order (if applicable)
  • Original or certified copies of birth certificates of children under 18; affidavit of support from parents; court documents and direct-deposit forms if ordered to pay spousal and/or child support (if applicable)
  • If you are married to a service member in the military, you need to have the name, Social Security number and military address of your spouse
  • Copies of your lease agreement or rental contract for any dependents residing outside of government quarters (if applicable)
  • Original or certified ROTC documentation (if applicable)
  • Original college transcripts; GED or high school diploma

Background Check

The U.S. Army makes every attempt to assess the moral quality of potential recruits. To this end, a thorough background check is done on all prospects.

  • It is imperative that you disclose all legal offenses
  • Felony convictions will result in candidates being excluded
  • Drug and domestic violence charges will exclude candidates (Some minor drug offenses may be waived on a case-by-case basis)
  • Juvenile offenses will also exclude you
  • Certain Army jobs requiring higher security clearance may necessitate more thorough investigations

Ask us any question

By answering seven basic questions, you can instantly see if you’re qualified to join the U.S. Army.


03

ACADEMIC EVALUATION

After speaking to a recruiter, your next step will be to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). The ASVAB is a multiple-choice test designed to pinpoint your strengths and identify which Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) or Army job best suits you.

Understanding the ASVAB Test

The Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is a series of tests developed by the Department of Defense and is used by the U.S. Army to determine whether you have the mental aptitude to enlist. The ASVAB is required to enlist in the U.S. Army and is valid for two years. The ASVAB may be given in a computerized version at a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) or in a paper version at various Military Entrance Test (MET) sites around the country or at high schools and colleges. The test also helps determine which Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) you qualify for.

Take a sample ASVAB
Speak with us about the ASVAB

ASVAB TEST AREAS

  • General Science – measures knowledge of life science, earth and space science, and physical science
  • Arithmetic Reasoning – measures ability to solve basic arithmetic word problems
  • Word Knowledge – measures ability to understand the meaning of words through synonyms
  • Paragraph Comprehension – measures ability to obtain information from written material
  • Mathematics Knowledge – measures knowledge of mathematical concepts and applications
  • Electronics Information – measures knowledge of electrical current, circuits, devices, and electronic systems
  • Auto and Shop Information – measures knowledge of automotive maintenance and repair, and wood and metal shop practices
  • Mechanical Comprehension – measures knowledge of the principles of mechanical devices, structural support and properties of materials
  • Assembling Objects – measures ability with spatial relationships

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve collected a list of questions and answers commonly asked by prospects regarding the ASVAB test.

WHAT DOES THE ASVAB MEASURE?

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery measures your knowledge and ability in ten different areas. It is not an IQ test, but the ASVAB is one of the ways to help you decide what job areas in the Army would be best for you.

HOW CAN I PREPARE FOR THE ASVAB?

You don’t have to go through any special preparation to take the ASVAB. Getting a good night’s rest and arriving on time are the two most important steps you can take to prepare.

WHO GIVES THE ASVAB, AND WHERE CAN I TAKE IT?

The ASVAB is usually given in schools by test administrators from the federal government. Schools determine where and when the ASVAB will be given. See your academic advisor for more information, or if you’re not currently in school, contact your local recruiter.

WHAT CAN I EXPECT ON THE DAY OF THE TEST?

The ASVAB consists of ten short tests to complete during three hours. An ASVAB test administrator will give you instructions and tell you how long you have to complete each test. However, before you begin, you will have a chance to answer some practice questions and ask any questions about taking the test.

WHAT KIND OF QUESTIONS WILL I BE ASKED ON THE ASVAB?

The ASVAB tests cover General Science, Arithmetic Reasoning, Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, Numerical Operations, Coding Speed, Auto and Shop Information, Mathematics Knowledge, Mechanical Comprehension and Electronics Information.

HOW DO I FIND OUT WHAT MY SCORES MEAN, AND HOW ARE THEY USED?

No one passes or fails the ASVAB. However, to be considered for enlistment in the Army, you need to score at least a 31. Your scores will be provided to you on a report called the ASVAB Student Results Sheet, with additional information to help you understand your score.

Hear From Soldiers on Preparing for the Test

Other Resources

Check out other Department of Defense websites for more information about the ASVAB.

MARCH 2 SUCCESS

March 2 Success provides materials to help improve scores on the standardized tests, such as SAT, ACT, state exit exams and ASVAB.

https://MARCH2SUCCESS.COM/

ASVAB CAREER EXPLORATION PROGRAM

The ASVAB Career Exploration Program was developed with input from a panel of career-development experts and designed to encourage students to increase their level of self-knowledge and to understand how that information could be linked to civilian and military occupational characteristics.

http://www.asvabprogram.com/

TODAY'S MILITARY

The Today's Military website provides a section dedicated to exploring the ASVAB test and helping potential military candidates learn more about their skills and interests, helping match them up with possible career paths.

http://todaysmilitary.com/joining

By answering seven basic questions, you can instantly see if you’re qualified to join the U.S. Army.


04

PHYSICAL FITNESS EVALUATION

Your recruiter will help you schedule an appointment at the nearest Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS). At MEPS they will determine if you are qualified to serve and what jobs best fit you. This is also where you will take your physical examination.

Pass the Physical – MEPS

Your day at MEPS will be spent testing and screening to determine your qualifications for joining the Army. If you haven’t already completed the ASVAB, time will be set aside at MEPS for you to do so. Since everyone entering the armed forces must be in good health, you will have to go through the standard physical examinations. Once you’ve met the physical and ASVAB standards, a counselor will talk to you about job opportunities and the enlistment agreement.

LEARN MORE ABOUT MEPS

Learn about MEPS from a Soldier’s perspective

Body Composition

Body Composition is the amount of body fat a Soldier has in comparison to their total body mass. To be eligible to enlist in the Army, you must meet the height and weight requirements for your age and height.

If you are over the prescribed weight for your height, you can still qualify by being below the specified body fat composition for your age. A recruiter can help you with determining your body fat percentage, but you can also monitor your progress with the Body Mass Index calculator provided.

Improving your cardio and muscle stamina will have a positive impact on your body’s composition and will result in less fat. Excessive body fat detracts from the other fitness components, reduces performance, and negatively affects your health. But a person’s body fat depends on many factors, including body type, and you should not compare your body fat to someone else’s.

Good body composition is best gained through proper diet and exercise. Examples of poor body composition are underdeveloped muscle groups, or excessive body fat. Poor body composition causes problems for the Army and the individual Soldier. For example, Soldiers with inadequate muscle development cannot perform as well as those with proper development. When a Soldier is overweight, his or her physical ability to perform declines and the risk of developing disease and injury increases. Also, Soldiers with high percentages of body fat often have lower APFT scores than those with lower percentages. Poor body composition, especially obesity, has a negative effect on appearance and self-esteem, and negatively influences attitude and morale.

ARMY BODY WEIGHT RANGE CALCULATOR

Here is a calculator to monitor your progress as you prepare for Basic Combat Training.

Gender:

Prior Service:

Feet Inches
Yrs
NOTE: Height range is 5’0” to 6’8” males and 4’10’ to 6’8” for females. The minimum age is 17.

Reach your fitness goals with C.O.R.E. OPS

core-ops

C.O.R.E. OPS

Plug into an audio fitness experience that physically challenges your whole body by immersing you in the missions of an elite U.S. Army fighting unit deep in enemy territory.

GET FIT NOW

By answering seven basic questions, you can instantly see if you’re qualified to join the U.S. Army.


05

ARMY CAREERS

The Army offers over 150 different careers in a wide variety of categories. The key to your career path is your ASVAB score, which helps to identify the Army jobs that fit you the best.

Select an Army Job

During your visit to MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station), after you have met the physical standards and taken the ASVAB, a service liaison counselor will guide you through the available career opportunities and the enlistment agreement.

SEARCH CAREERS & JOBS

You can use the pull-down menu below to explore by career categories to find a job that matches your interest or experience.

Army Career Explorer

Take an in-depth look at the jobs and career paths that fit your future goals by creating an account and exploring your options. Part of the Army Career Explorer is a practice ASVAB test that will give you a general idea of your strengths and weaknesses before you take the test.

Visit Army Career Explorer

By answering seven basic questions, you can instantly see if you’re qualified to join the U.S. Army.


06

PREP FOR BASIC COMBAT TRAINING

Now that you have taken the ASVAB, passed your physical and chosen a career path, you are ready to move on to the important training necessary to becoming a Soldier: Basic Combat Training.

the swear-in

Soldiers are sworn into the Army with the official Oath of Enlistment. The Oath is administered at the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) prior to Basic Training. Every Soldier must adhere to the Oath throughout their military career. It’s a pledge to defend the Constitution.

SEE THE U.S. ARMY OATH OF ENLISTMENT

“I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God." (Title 10, U.S. Code; Act of 5 May 1960 replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective 5 October 1962).

SEE THE SOLDIER’S CREED

I am an American Soldier. I am a warrior and a member of a team. I serve the people of the United States, and live the Army Values. I will always place the mission first. I will never accept defeat. I will never quit. I will never leave a fallen comrade. I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills. I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself. I am an expert and I am a professional. I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy, the enemies of the United States of America in close combat. I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life. I am an American Soldier.

THE TEN-WEEK JOURNEY FROM CIVILIAN TO SOLDIER

Basic Combat Training – The Four Phases

Basic Combat Training (BCT) is a training course that transforms civilians into Soldiers. Over the course of ten weeks recruits learn about the Seven Core Army Values, how to work together as a team and what it takes to succeed as a Soldier in the U.S. Army. There are four distinct phases, each teaching you a very different set of skills.

red-phase

Red Phase

Upon the completion of Reception Week, recruits begin training and participating in field exercises while learning the importance of teamwork.

Learn More

white-phase

White Phase

Through marksmanship training and rappelling exercises, recruits learn new skills and develop the confidence it takes to become a Soldier.

Learn More

blue-phase

Blue phase

Soldiers continue with their weapon training and participate in the Night Infiltration Course, which prepares them for the next stage of training.

Learn More

graduation

Graduation

After completing Basic Combat Training, Soldiers graduate and embark on Advanced Individual Training (AIT).

Learn More

Straight From Basic Training

basic-webisode

WEBISODES

Follow a unit through its training, giving you an inside look at Basic Combat Training through the experiences of the trainees.

Watch The Webisodes

confidence

Basic Training Confidence Course

Get an inside look at the Confidence Course obstacles.

See the obstacles

What to Bring for Basic Combat Training

The following information will make your transition from civilian to Army Soldier life easier. It includes items you will need, along with those that are not permitted.

SEE WHAT TO BRING TO BASIC TRAINING

CLOTHING

  • One-day supply of casual, comfortable clothing (no halter-tops or ragged shorts)
  • Three sets of underwear (white)
  • One pair of white, calf-length athletic socks (no color bands, designs or logos). Additional socks can be purchased at the post exchange (PX)
  • A pair of comfortable shoes
  • Eyeglasses (no stylish eyewear)
  • Luggage should be limited to one small suitcase or gym bag

LOCK

  • One lock (combination or padlock with two keys). Additional locks can be purchased at the PX.

TOILETRIES

  • Disposable/safety razor with blades
  • Shaving cream (optional for women)
  • Toothbrush with case
  • Hairbrush or 6" black comb
  • One washcloth and towel (Additional items can be purchased at the PX)
  • Anti-perspirant
  • Shower shoes
  • Toothpaste
  • Dental floss
  • Shampoo
  • Soap and soap case

MONEY

  • $10-$50 in cash
  • Traveler's Checks or Money Orders (Personal checks are not recommended because of limited check-cashing facilities.)

DOCUMENTS YOU MAY NEED

  • Social Security card
  • Valid driver's license or current state identification card
  • A direct deposit form from your checking account signed by a bank official, or the name, address, account number and routing number of your financial institution (if applicable)
  • Original or certified copies of your marriage certificate, divorce decree or separation order (if applicable)
  • Original or certified copies of birth certificates of children under 18; affidavit of support from parents; court documents and direct deposit forms if ordered to pay spousal and/or child support (if applicable)
  • Proof of citizenship (if you were not born in the United States)
  • If you are married to a service member in the military, you need to have the name, Social Security number and military address of your spouse
  • Copies of your lease agreement or rental contract for any dependents residing outside of government quarters (if applicable)
  • Original or certified ROTC documentation (if applicable)
  • Original college transcripts; GED or high school diploma

YOUR ORDERS

  • Be sure to have all copies of orders and documents issued by your unit recruiter and/or MEPS. These orders must be delivered by you and by hand. Travel and meal tickets will be provided.

SEE WHAT NOT TO BRING TO BASIC TRAINING

  • Expensive personal items: cellphones, cameras, jewelry and expensive electronics are hard to safeguard during training.
  • Family
  • Pets
  • Privately owned vehicles
  • Nonprescription drugs or drug paraphernalia
  • Steel hair picks
  • Razor blades
  • Weapons of any type, including pocket knives
  • Obscene or pornographic material
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Playing cards/dice/dominoes
  • Cigarettes/tobacco products
  • Batteries (except size "D")

SEE CHECKLIST FOR WOMEN ONLY

ADDITIONAL ITEMS WOMEN MIGHT NEED OR DESIRE TO BRING TO BCT

  • Undergarments: Panties (cotton recommended), bras, and one full slip (all neutral shade), flesh-tone nylons or pantyhose.

APPROPRIATE HAIRSTYLES

  • Hairstyles not considered appropriate when in uniform: ponytail, extreme bouffant styles, exotic upsweeps and the corkscrew or "corn row" styles.

CLOTHING AND JEWELRY

  • Do not mix items of civilian clothing with your uniform and vice versa.
  • You may wear quarter-inch or less pearl, gold, silver or diamond spherical earrings with Army uniforms, except for the Army Combat
    Uniform (ACU) and Physical Fitness Uniform.

Locate and Talk to a Recruiter

The first step in becoming a Soldier in the U.S. Army is being armed with knowledge. Our recruiters are ready with the know-how to answer questions you have about the U.S. Army. And they're right around your neighborhood.

If you live within the United States, use the form below to select your area of interest and choose the type of recruiting officer you'd like to speak with. Then enter your ZIP Code or location of interest.

Contact a recruiter or on-campus advisor

Type of Recruiting Officer:

Active Duty Army Reserve

If you are a U.S. citizen living overseas, email us and a recruiter will get in touch with you.
EMAIL US


Privacy Act Notice: The above disclosure is voluntary. All information will be used strictly for recruiting purposes. The authority for the collection of this information is Title 10, United States Code, Sections 503, 505, 508, and 12102, and EO 9397. For more information, please review our Privacy & Security Notice.

By answering seven basic questions, you can instantly see if you’re qualified to join the U.S. Army.


By answering seven basic questions, you can
instantly see if you're eligible to join the U.S. Army