About the Army
Soldiers climbing an obstacle course

What Does Enlistment Mean?

Enlistment is the process of taking an oath of U.S. Army service and becoming a Soldier. During this process, you will talk to a recruiter, attend Basic Combat Training (BCT), and choose your Army job.

Recruits will generally take these five steps to become enlisted Soldiers:

  1. Take the Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). Your score on this test will determine which Army jobs you are qualified to hold
  2. Pass an Army physical
  3. Meet with a career counselor to discuss and accept your Army job
  4. Take an Oath of Enlistment
  5. Ship to Basic Combat Training

After you have completed Basic Combat Training, you will then attend Advanced Individual Training (AIT) for specialized instruction in the Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) you have chosen. Upon graduating AIT, you will receive orders to join your unit.

Your responsibilities as an enlisted Soldier will depend on your choice of career path. You will have many options from which to choose, including intelligence, combat support, law enforcement, arts and media, healthcare and aviation.


To become an enlisted Soldier in the U.S. Army, you must be:

  • A U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien
  • 17-34 years old
  • In good physical condition
  • In good moral standing
  • A high school graduate or equivalent

*Some positions may have additional qualifications.


After a recruiter successfully helps you enlist, you will enter Basic Combat Training (BCT) at the rank of Private. During Basic Training, you will learn the ins and outs of being a Soldier.


Recruiters are always available to answer any questions you may have about the Army and enlistment. Click here to find a recruiter near you.