A row of Soldiers in Army tee shirts waiting to take off for a run A row of Soldiers in Army tee shirts waiting to take off for a run

What to Consider

If you’re thinking about joining the Army, you may have questions or not know where to begin. Here are some things to consider to help you get started.

Before You Join

Understanding your options and all the opportunities available to you before joining the Army can help you achieve your personal and professional goals.

A soldier reads instructions during a land navigation qualification A soldier reads instructions during a land navigation qualification

Choose How To Serve

There are three components that make up the Army—active duty, Army Reserve, and Army National Guard. Each has a unique role in how you’ll serve your country.

Three Soldiers in combat gear hiking next to snowy mountains Three Soldiers in combat gear hiking next to snowy mountains

choose your path

Once you choose how you’ll serve, you’ll choose from three paths—enlisted Soldier, Army Officer, and Army civilian—to pursue your career in the Army.

A COMMUNITY THAT FITS YOUR LIFESTYLE

A Medical Laboratory Specialist looking at a sample through a microscope A Medical Laboratory Specialist looking at a sample through a microscope

Pursue A Career That Fuels Your Passion

Whether your focus is on following your passion into a specific career or advancing your skills, the Army has 200+ jobs, along with education and training opportunities to help you achieve your goals.

Hear It From The Soldiers

Your Decision Starts With Some Big Questions

Will I be deployed if I join the Army?

While there's no way to predict whether or not you will be deployed in your Army career, it is possible. You could be deployed at any time for a variety of reasons, such as your Army unit and skill sets.

Deployment is when Soldiers are sent to a specific location to carry out a mission and are unable to bring their families. The average deployment length is nine months to a combat region and can be longer for a non-combat region, depending on the mission.

How much do Soldiers make?

Your Army salary is based on your rank and years of service, and accounts for only part of your total compensation. We also offer bonuses, allowances, and other benefits that could contribute to your overall income.

What is it like to be in the Army?

The Army will push you mentally and physically. It takes hard work and dedication, but the rewards of that discipline will shape your future. Life in the Army is different for everyone. Like civilian careers, your days will be spent fulfilling your job duties, but you'll still have free time to do what you love.

How do I join the Army?

The first step to joining typically begins by talking with someone in the Army with no obligation to join and deciding whether or not the Army is a good fit. If it is, you’ll work together through the entire process to complete paperwork, schedule physical and academic tests, and find your future career.

I was not born in the United States. Can I still join the Army?

Yes. If you are a resident alien with an I-551 card or a citizen of the United States and meet the other requirements to join, you can serve in the U.S. Army.

English is not my first language. Can I still join the Army?

Yes, as long as you meet the language criteria and other necessary requirements to join. There is a course available to improve your English proficiency that you can take before you attend Basic Combat Training or any required initial training.

Is there diversity in the Army?

Yes. The Army not only strives to be representative of the people we serve, but we also have programs in place to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our Soldiers come from all different backgrounds, ethnicities, cultures, and communities. We believe that the variety of experiences, abilities, and ideas only make us stronger in our mission to serve the American people as one of the most diverse nations in the world.

Will I be able to see family and friends while in the Army?

Yes. The Army understands the importance of keeping in touch with family and friends. Soldiers can communicate with their loved ones via calls, emails, video calls, and letters. Once you complete your required training, like Basic Combat Training, your family can attend your graduation.

As a member of the Army, you can receive various benefits while you serve, like 30 days of paid leave per year. Depending on your personal situation, you can receive additional leave or passes such as Special Leave Accrual (SLA) or Military Parental Leave Program (MPLP).

Talk to a Recruiter

Don’t worry, there’s no obligation if you reach out.

Thanks for reaching out,

Here's What Happens Next

  1. You'll receive an email confirming your request

  2. We'll provide additional information about next steps

  3. You'll work with us to decide whether the Army is right for you

Questions you may have right now

Who will reach out to me?

One of our recruiters will either call or email you to set up time to talk.

Who will reach out to me?

One of our ROTC recruiters will either call or email you to set up time to talk.

What will you ask me?

Our conversation will likely begin with some basic qualifying questions, like your age and education level. From there, the conversation will be about getting to know you and your goals for the future. Expect us to ask about your interests and skills so we can suggest Army jobs that might interest you.

How can I prepare for the conversation?

While we'll ask you questions, this is your opportunity to ask some of your own. Here are a couple to get you started:

How can the Army help me pay for college?

Do I have to go to Basic Training?

How can I prepare for the conversation?

While we'll ask you questions, this is your opportunity to ask some of your own. Here are a couple to get you started:

How can the Army help me pay for college?

What is the time commitment for part-time service?

How can I prepare for the conversation?

While we'll ask you questions, this is your opportunity to ask some of your own. Here are a couple to get you started:

Can the Army help me pay for medical school?

Do I have to go to Basic Training?

How can I prepare for the conversation?

While we'll ask you questions, this is your opportunity to ask some of your own. Here are a couple to get you started:

How do I apply for ROTC scholarships?

How do I join ROTC at the college I want to attend?

Will I be expected to join if I talk to someone?

No. Our goal is to answer your questions and help you decide if the Army is a good option for you. We understand you may not be ready to join yet, or that we may not be the right fit, and that's fine. There's no obligation for talking to us.

Thanks for reaching out,

Here's What Happens Next

  1. You'll receive an email confirming your request

  2. We'll provide additional information about next steps

  3. You'll work with us to decide whether the Army is right for you

Questions you may have right now

Who will reach out to me?

One of our recruiters will either call or email you to set up time to talk.

What will you ask me?

Our conversation will likely begin with some basic qualifying questions, like your age and education level. From there, the conversation will be about getting to know you and your goals for the future. Expect us to ask about your interests and skills so we can suggest Army jobs that might interest you.

How can I prepare for the conversation?

While we'll ask you questions, this is your opportunity to ask some of your own. Here are a couple to get you started:

Do I qualify to join the Army?

Can I join as an Officer?

How can I prepare for the conversation?

While we'll ask you questions, this is your opportunity to ask some of your own. Here are a couple to get you started:

Do I qualify to join the Army?

Can I join as an Officer?

How can I prepare for the conversation?

While we'll ask you questions, this is your opportunity to ask some of your own. Here are a couple to get you started:

What type of health care jobs are available in the Army?

Can the Army help me pay for medical school?

How can I prepare for the conversation?

While we'll ask you questions, this is your opportunity to ask some of your own. Here are a couple to get you started:

Can I join ROTC at my age

Can I join as an Officer?

Will I be expected to join if I talk to someone?

No. Our goal is to answer your questions and help you decide if the Army is a good option for you. We understand you may not be ready to join yet, or that we may not be the right fit, and that's fine. There's no obligation for talking to us.

Thanks for reaching out, .

We admire you for considering such a big career decision at your age. Unfortunately, we're unable to directly reach out to you until you are at least sixteen years old and a junior in high school. However, the following ROTC info is something that may interest you now.

Questions you may have right now

How old do I have to be to serve in the Army full-time?

To become an enlisted Soldier, you must be 17 years old. To become an Army Officer, you must be at least 18 years old and have a college degree obtained either through ROTC, U.S. Military Academy at West Point, or from another college or university program. Learn more about Army Eligibility Requirements and how to receive Officer training while in college.

How can the Army help me pay for college?

There are a variety of options available to help you pursue education with flexibility, such as ROTC programs, the GI Bill, and other programs that help pay for college tuition, trade school, technical school, or trainings. View all of the Education Benefits available to you

How do I apply for ROTC Scholarships?

Army ROTC has several scholarships available for college-bound high school students. Review your options at ROTC Scholarships, or immediately apply by creating an account at my.goarmy.com to get started.

How old do I have to be to serve in the Army part-time?

To become an enlisted Soldier, you must be 17 years old. To become an Army Officer, you must be at least 18 years old and have a college degree obtained either through ROTC, U.S. Military Academy at West Point, or from another college or university program. Learn more about Army Eligibility Requirements and how to receive Officer training while in college.

What are the ways to serve part-time?

You can serve part-time as a Soldier in the Army Reserve or the Army National Guard. By serving part-time, you are able to continue your college education or work a civilian job, while earning an extra paycheck and maintaining many of the benefits of military service.

How can the Army help me pay for college?

There are a variety of options available to help you pursue education with flexibility, such as ROTC programs, the GI Bill, and other programs that help pay for college tuition, trade school, technical school, or trainings. View all of the Education Benefits available to you.

How do I become a health care provider in the Army?

You can serve part-time or full-time as you train in our health care program. Upon graduation of the program, you will enter the Army health care team as a Commissioned Officer.

What types of medical careers are available in the Army?

There are numerous health care careers available through the Army Medical Education Deparment (AMEDD), including physicians, dentists, nurses, veterinarians, and many more. View your career options.

How can the Army help me pay for college?

There are a variety of options available to help you pursue education with flexibility, such as ROTC programs, the GI Bill, and other programs that help pay for college tuition, trade school, technical school, or trainings. View all of the Education Benefits available to you.

What are the benefits of joining ROTC?

ROTC makes it possible to achieve your ambitions. Become a leader and serve your country in one of the nation's top leadership training programs. You can do this while maintaining your college curriculum and earning up to 100% tuition coverage. Upon graduation, you're guaranteed a career as an Army Officer.

How do I prepare to join ROTC?

When you're at least 16 years old and at least a high school junior, you can reach out to us, or even talk to your high school counselor. Together, we'll talk options and decide if ROTC is the right path for you.

Will I become an Officer if I complete ROTC?

Yes. After graduation, you are commissioned as a highly respected second lieutenant in the Army, entrusted with leading other Soldiers.

Choose the Army career path you're most interested in.

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