Today's Military:

Entering the Military

There are, of course, many different ways to become part of the Military. Most people, however, start by choosing between two types of service – enlisted or officer. The careers available to a servicemember will differ depending on which of these he or she selects.

Enlisted Servicemembers

Enlisted servicemembers make up the majority of the Military and perform much of the hands-on work. To enlist, an individual must be 18 years old, or 17 with parental consent. He or she must also have graduated from high school, although a General Education Development (GED) certificate is sometimes acceptable.

More about the enlistment process


Officers are the managers of the Military, planning and directing operations or acting in professional roles in fields such as law and medicine. Officers have generally completed a four-year college degree or greater before serving, though it is possible to advance through the enlisted ranks and complete officer training later.

More about the officer commissioning process


Next Steps

Contact a Recruiter

Ways to Enter the Military

Enlistment Process
Officer Commissioning Process

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