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Find Your Path

No matter your current experience, the Army will give you the tools to get you on the path you want to be.

The Army Puts You in Control of Your Future

If you’re considering joining the Army, it’s important to understand the two primary ways you can serve. Everyone has the ability to become an enlisted Soldier or an Army Officer and provided the opportunity to lead in some way. The path you take just depends on the future you see for yourself.

Pinning Ceremony Pinning Ceremony

Enlisted Soldier

Enlisted Soldiers train in their chosen career and are the doers making a difference every day. They make up 82% of the Army and are the backbone of total Army strength.

This path is for you if:

  • You have a high school diploma, GED, or plan to
  • You want hands-on training
  • You want to specialize in a career field

Two soldiers stand in front of American flag. Two soldiers stand in front of American flag.

Army Officer

Army Officers make up 18% of the Army and are experienced leaders who plan and guide missions to success. Commissioned Officers make up 15% and are the leaders of the Army, and 3% are Warrant Officers, who act as tactical experts.

This path is for you if:

  • You have a college diploma or plan to
  • You have or want to have advanced skills and knowledge
  • You want to plan and lead a mission

Comparing The Enlisted And Officer Paths

No matter the path you take, each comes with its own considerations, but both share many of the same benefits.

Doctor examines computer screen Doctor examines computer screen

Army Civilians

Army civilians provide mission-essential support to Soldiers and a great service to the nation.

This path is for you if:

  • You're a high school graduate
  • You want a career that supports Soldiers
  • You want a career similar to one in the business world

Common Questions About Career Paths

What are the main differences between enlisted Soldiers, Army Officers, and Army civilians?

Enlisted Soldiers make up the majority of the Army. They have specific roles and specialties within a career field and unit. Officers act as leaders of enlisted Soldiers and other Officers. They may plan missions, give orders, and assign Soldiers to various tasks. Army civilians are a workforce of talented, qualified people who work alongside Soldiers. They bring expertise and a unique capability to the Army that it may not already have or that may be in high demand.

Can I go from an enlisted Soldier to an Officer?

Yes, an enlisted Soldier can become an Army Officer with further education, training, and by meeting specific requirements. A bachelor’s degree is the most basic requirement needed to become an Officer. Another way to earn a commission as an Officer is through the Green to Gold program. To become a Warrant Officer, those who serve as the tactical experts and advisors, enlisted Soldiers must first serve two years and demonstrate unparalleled technical skills to earn a place in Warrant Officer Candidate School (WOCS).

If I become an enlisted Soldier, can I choose what I want to do?

Yes, as an enlisted Soldier you’ll take an aptitude test called the ASVAB which helps provide insight into the area of work you’re most qualified. You’ll work closely with a recruiter to discuss your personal preferences and interests, the current needs of the Army, and any additional factors to find the right fit.

Curious what career is best for you? Discover opportunities you never knew existed with Army Career Match.