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How to Join the Military of the United States of America (USA)

The United States Military

The United States of America, known to be the world’s power, is indeed robust in all aspects of the human race In the economy, technology as well as the military structure. The country indeed has the most dominant power in the economy and military in the world.

This content has been created to guide you on the path to becoming a US soldier. At the end of the content, you will find a link to get you connected with recruiters of the different military branches in the US.

Military Branches of the United States

It will be important to know the six branches of the US armed forces so you can decide which of the military branches you want to join.

The US military has six service branches, which are:

The U.S. Air Force (USAF)

The United States Army (USA)

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)

The U.S. Marine Corps (USMC)

The U.S. Navy (USN)

The U.S. Space Force (USSF)

The US Air Force:

Join US Air force

The air force forms the major structure of the US military. It is made up of the Department of Defense in the United States, with primary functions of air defense, aerial military operations, and warfare, as well as the development of rigid military space research.

The US Army

Join US Army

The US Army, which is the largest and oldest of all branches, was founded in 1775. It was formed to protect the freedom of the 13 colonies. “Our mission is enduring: to provide necessary forces and capabilities to the combatant commanders in support of the national security and defense strategies.” The US Army is also part of the Department of Defense (DoD).

The US Coast Guard


The USCG is the branch within the US military that is charged with the responsibility of maritime law enforcement. According to Britannica, it consists of approximately 35,000 officers and enlisted personnel, in addition to civilians. The USCG is part of the Department of Homeland Security. Some service members work as coast guardsmen and are dubbed “COAties.”

The US Marine Corps


The USMC, founded in 1975, is part of the Department of Defense and a department within the Navy. According to Britannica, UMSC is charged with the provision of marine troops for the seizure and defense of advanced bases and with conducting operations on land and in the air incidental to naval campaigns. Here is a brief history of the United States Marine Corps.

The US Navy

JoinUS Navy

The US Navy, which is also part of the Department of Defense, is the largest and most powerful navy in the world. Their mission is to “maintain, train, and equip combat-ready naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression, and maintaining freedom of the seas.”

The US Space Force

Join US Space Force

The US Space Force is the newest of the six branches and was created from the former Air Force Space Command in the year 2019. The US Space Force is charged with the responsibility of helping facilitate federal and commercial rocket launches; operating Department of Defense (DoD) satellites; monitoring for threats; tracking space debris; and much more.

Cadres in the US Military

The US military has two major cadres. People join the US military either as enlisted members or as officers. Most of the workforce is occupied by enlisted members, while the officers are like managers who plan and direct operations.

Requirements for Joining the US Military

The requirement to join the US military is the same for the six arms of service. The main differences are in age limits, test scores, and fitness levels.

Age Limits for Enlisting

You must be at least 17 to enlist in any branch of the active military. The oldest you can be to enlist for active duty in each branch is:

  • (31) Coast Guard personnel
  • Marines: (28)
  • Navy (39)
  • Army: (35)
  • The Air Force (39)
  • The 39th Space Force

Some branches have different age limits for their part-time reserves and National Guard. Visit each service’s recruiting website for its part-time age limits.

If you are not a citizen of the United States:

You do not have to be a U.S. citizen to enlist in the military, but you may have fewer options. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you must:

  • Have a permanent resident card, also known as a “green card.”
  • Currently, I live in the U.S.
  • understand, read, and write English fluently.

Educational and Testing Requirements for Enlistment

You must take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test. The ASVAB has 10 subtests.

  • Your scores on four of those make up your Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) score. This score determines which branch (es) you may join. Each branch has its own lowest score for joining.
  • Your scores on all 10 subtests determine which job specialties you qualify for.

You can prepare for the ASVAB by taking practice questions.

You must have a high school diploma or a GED to enlist. The services accept only a small number of people with GEDs each year. You can increase your chances of qualifying with a GED by:

  • Earning some college credits and
  • Scoring well on the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT)

Health and Fitness Requirements for Enlisting

You must pass a military entrance medical exam. This includes a physical exam, a hearing test, a vision test, and height and weight measurements.

Each service has its own physical requirements and fitness standards. These depend on the demands of its mission. Even within the same branch, some jobs have tougher or extra requirements.

Contact a Recruiter Online and Apply

Below are six different recruiters you can contact online to begin your application process. Kindly stay in touch with them for guidance on the application process. Click on the link in the branch of your choice to contact the recruiters directly online.

Air Force



The Marine Corps:

Coast Guard

Space Force

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