ACTIVE DUTY ENTRY REQUIREMENTS FOR NEW SERVICEMEMBERS
To join the Navy, you must meet basic entry and program-specific requirements, and you must commit to serve a defined amount of time. If you’re new to the military, you must meet the following Active Duty service requirements:
To serve as an Enlisted Sailor, you must be between the ages of 17-39. If you are not yet 18, you must have parental consent. To serve as an Officer, you must be at least 19 and less than 42 years of age (depending on Officer specialty). Waivers are sometimes granted for positions that are in high demand.
To serve as an Enlisted Sailor, you must:
- Be a U.S. citizen
- Or have entered the country on a permanent residence visa or have an Alien Registration Green Card and have:
- Established a bona fide residence
- Established a home of record in the United States.
To serve as an Officer, you must:
- Be a U.S. citizen
You can enlist or join the Navy if you are a single parent; but note, the Navy will normally not allow you to enlist or join if you have more than two dependents under the age of 18.
In certain cases, you must prove that you can meet your current financial obligations.
Typically you must be a high school graduate, have earned a GED or have met other high school equivalency requirements to enlist as a Sailor in the Navy. To become an Officer, you must have received a four-year BS or BA degree from an accredited university and have strong grades.
The Navy has a zero tolerance drug/alcohol policy. Early in the enlistment or commissioning process, you will take a urinalysis test, you’ll also be asked questions about prior drug and alcohol use and you must answer honestly.
The Navy also applies medical, legal and character standards to your application, including traffic offense history, criminal history, citizenship status and more.
When deciding whether to serve in the Navy, you should consider some basic obligations, such as time commitment and training.
The amount of time you are required to serve on Active Duty depends upon many factors, including your interests, background, pursuit of an Officer or Enlisted position, or whether or not you are taking advantage of Navy education opportunities.
- Enlisted positions typically require an initial service commitment of four years, but positions involving longer-term training may involve longer service obligations
- Officer positions typically require an initial service commitment of three to five years, but positions involving longer-term training may involve longer service obligations
ENLISTED BASIC TRAINING
If you’ve never served in the military before and are entering as an Enlisted Sailor, you will need to first attend Recruit Training, which is also known as Boot Camp.
Unless you’re entering as an Officer through certain college programs – specifically the Naval Academy or NROTC – you will need to attend an Officer training course, known as Officer Candidate School (OCS) or Officer Development School (ODS). Depending on your career path, you may also attend additional specialty schooling.