As the oldest branch of the U.S. Military, founded in 1775, the Army is a powerful fighting force defending and serving our nation by land, sea and air. Elite groups within the Army, such as the Army Rangers and Special Forces, receive specialized training for advanced combat situations.
In addition to domestic bases, the Army has permanent stations in Asia, Europe and the Middle East, as well as troops on the ground wherever there is a conflict. Length of individual service commitment varies, and in some cases may be as little as two years.
Before Serving in the Army
Before Serving in the Army
To enlist in the U.S. Army, you must be between 18 and 35 years old (17 with parental consent). You cannot be older than 35 years. You must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien. A high school diploma is preferred, but a high school equivalent such as the GED may be accepted. You must also pass the ASVAB test and a physical fitness exam. Some jobs may have additional requirements.
To serve in the Army, recruits must complete 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training, commonly known as boot camp. Eligible college students can participate in their school's ROTC program or attend a military academy to enter the Army as officers after graduation.
A competitive salary is just one of the benefits of Army service. All Soldiers receive health care, housing and food allowances, as well as educational opportunities. After 20 years of service, retirement pay is guaranteed as well. On top of that, there are special pays for deployment, medical training and flight status, along with diving and sea pay, depending on your job and location.
The Army offers over 150 career opportunities across various disciplines, including aviation, information technology, health care, aircraft maintenance and Special Forces. No matter what your specialty is, you'll receive top-notch training and the experience to handle whatever comes your way. Find out which full-time Army opportunities are right for you, or get information about part-time service in the Army Reserve or the Army National Guard.
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View answers to commonly asked questions about the Military.
The Next Step: Training
Once someone has committed to serving in the Military, it's time for them to get the training they need to succeed.
2nd Lt. Luis Gonzalez: You know, the Army and its training really does set you up for success in the civilian realm and civilian life.
Spc. Tiffany Dusterhoft: I had a really great recruiter; he made sure I was ready to go, he got me out running, and, you know, the push-ups and the sit-ups, told me what to expect when I first get in to Basic, and he was very informative.
Spc. Carmine Agrifoglio: It was definitely worth the experience, coming and joining the Military, to see what I’ve seen.
Capt. Paul Cheval: The fact that you’re serving is rewarding in and of itself. The fact that you’ll be working with people that are selfless in nature, that care about more than themselves, is incredible.
2nd Lt. Luis Gonzalez: I’m part of the force that makes our country safe, that provides us our freedoms, our liberties, and everything that we have. So, there’s definitely a lot of pride in it. I don’t regret my decision for a second.closeX