Three women Soldiers in uniform stand together outdoors Three women Soldiers in uniform stand together outdoors

Eligibility and Requirements

From your physical fitness to your personal background, we’re here to help you navigate what it takes to join the world’s greatest team as an Officer or enlisted Soldier.

What to Know Before Joining

Male Soldier in uniform stands outside Male Soldier in uniform stands outside

Enlisted Soldiers

Enlisted Soldiers are the backbone of the Army, responsible for carrying out orders and ensuring the success of their unit's mission. Here are the requirements to become an enlisted Soldier:

  • Age: Between 17-35 years old
  • Medical, Moral, Physical: Medically and physically fit, and in good moral standing
  • Citizenship: A U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a valid Green Card
  • Education: A high school graduate or equivalent
  • Test Score: A minimum score on the Army’s placement exam

A studio portrait of a female Officer in uniform A studio portrait of a female Officer in uniform

Officers

Army Officers are the leaders of the Army, tasked with making important decisions and being responsible for the safety of Soldiers under their command. Here are the requirements to become a commissioned Officer:

  • Age: At least 17, but under 31 in the year of commissioning as an Officer
  • Medical, Moral, Physical: Medically and physically fit, and in good moral standing
  • Citizenship: A U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a valid Green Card
  • Education: A college graduate by the time you’re commissioned as an Officer
  • Security Clearance: Complete a background check, fill out a questionnaire, be interviewed, and provide records

COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT ELIGIBILITY AND REQUIREMENTS

AGE

The age requirements for joining the Army depend on the path you take, and they exist mainly to ensure you’re able to succeed in a challenging environment.

Can I join the Army if I’m older than the maximum age requirement?

The maximum age to join the Army as an enlisted Soldier is 35, while Officers must accept their commission before age 31. However, the Army can lift some restrictions based on the need for certain roles to be filled. It’s possible to receive an age waiver if you retire with 20 years of military service by age 55.

MEDICAL & PHYSICAL

Maintaining physical, mental, and emotional health helps you succeed in the Army. These requirements are established to make sure you’re prepared to carry out your duties.

Can I join if I have a medical disqualification?

You can still join with a medical disqualification as long as you get a medical waiver, which is issued on a case-by-case basis.

Are there any restrictions around tattoos?

You can have tattoos if they aren’t visible above the collar or below the wrist. Tattoos anywhere above the neckline or on the head, including in the mouth, ears, or eyelids, will disqualify you from joining. You can get a waiver if you have a disqualifying tattoo, but any tattoos that are extremist, racist, sexist, or indecent are not allowed anywhere on a Soldier’s body, without exception. View all hair and appearance guidelines.

Can I still join if I have asthma, poor vision, or poor hearing?

Asthma will only prevent you from joining if you were diagnosed with it after your 13th birthday. Hearing, vision, and asthma qualifications are usually determined by medical exams and are not service-specific. You can still request an asthma, vision, or hearing loss waiver if a doctor denies your application.

Can I join if I have ADHD?

Yes. It will only prevent you from joining the Army if you’ve been treated with ADD/ADHD medication within the last year, or if you display obvious signs of the condition.

Will my height or weight prevent me from joining?

Height and weight restrictions vary by age and gender, and you can find your height and weight requirements by checking the table below.

Are there any physical fitness requirements to join?

You won’t need to meet any physical fitness requirements before joining the Army as an enlisted Soldier. There are requirements if you join through ROTC or another Officer path—your recruiter will provide the details. Everyone will need to pass the Army's fitness test after joining, and again every year of service.

EDUCATION

Enlisted Soldiers need to have a high school degree or equivalent to join, while Officers need a college degree by the time they are commissioned. To enlist, you’ll also need to meet a minimum score on the Army placement exam, the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). It’s recommended you check the requirements of your preferred job, since some specific jobs also require minimum scores.

Can I no longer join if I score too low on the ASVAB placement exam?

Not necessarily. The Army understands that some circumstances can impact your ability to score well, and a waiver can be requested in those situations. View all details about the ASVAB placement exam.

VALUES & CHARACTER

Candidates will be expected to follow and uphold the Army’s code of conduct if they want to join. These include the Army’s seven values: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage.

If I have a previous felony or a conviction, can I still join?

Generally, felons and those with several convictions can’t join the Army, but moral waivers or felony waivers are available in some cases.

What offenses or moral behavior-related issues can’t be waived?

The offenses and moral behavior-related issues that cannot be waived include:


  • If you are under civil restraint, including parole, confinement, or probation
  • If you are subject to civil court conviction or adverse disposition for more than one serious offense, or serious offenses with three or more other offenses (apart from traffic)
  • If you are found trafficking, selling, or distributing narcotics, including marijuana
  • If you have three or more convictions related to driving while intoxicated, drugged, or impaired in the past five years before joining
  • If you are convicted for five or more misdemeanors
  • If you are unable to pass a drug or alcohol test, or if you have current charges pending against you

CITIZENSHIP

Although the Army wants people from all different backgrounds and experiences, all candidates must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a valid Green Card, (officially known as a Permanent Resident Card).

WAIVERS

What can I do if I don’t meet the eligibility requirements to join?

The Army has a waiver process that you can take advantage of to prove you overcame a disqualifying issue that would otherwise prevent you from joining the Army. After submitting a waiver, a review takes place to make sure you can join. If your waiver is denied, you can also look into pursuing a civilian career within the Army.

A Soldier working in cyber sits in front of multiple computer screens A Soldier working in cyber sits in front of multiple computer screens

Eligibility for Specific Careers

If there’s a specific job or opportunity you’re interested in, there might be certain requirements for you to meet that are unique to the job itself. These requirements can include previous education and training, a minimum score on the placement exam, and more.

Take the First Step

Your recruiter will be your go-to resource on questions about eligibility and requirements.

Height and Weight Requirement Details

Find your height and weight requirements below.

Men’s Height and Weight Requirements

Height In Inches Minimum Weight Age 17-20
Maximum Weight
Age 21-27
Maximum Weight
Age 28-39
Maximum Weight
Age 40+
Maximum Weight
58 91 N/A N/A N/A N/A
59 94 N/A N/A N/A N/A
60 97 132 136 139 141
61 100 136 140 144 146
62 104 141 144 148 150
63 107 145 149 153 155
64 110 150 154 158 160
65 114 155 159 163 165
66 117 160 163 168 170
67 121 165 169 174 176
68 125 170 174 179 181
69 128 175 179 184 186
70 132 180 185 189 192
71 136 185 189 194 197
72 140 190 195 200 203
73 144 195 200 205 208
74 148 201 206 211 214
75 152 206 212 217 220
76 156 212 217 223 226
77 160 218 223 229 232
78 164 223 229 235 238
79 168 229 235 241 244
80 173 234 240 247 250

Women’s Height and Weight Requirements

Height In Inches Minimum Weight Age 17-20
Maximum Weight
Age 21-27
Maximum Weight
Age 28-39
Maximum Weight
Age 40+
Maximum Weight
58 91 119 121 122 124
59 94 124 125 126 128
60 97 128 129 131 133
61 100 132 134 135 137
62 104 136 138 140 142
63 107 141 143 144 146
64 110 145 147 149 151
65 114 150 152 154 156
66 117 155 156 158 161
67 121 159 161 163 166
68 125 164 166 168 171
69 128 169 171 173 176
70 132 174 176 178 181
71 136 179 181 183 186
72 140 184 186 188 191
73 144 189 191 194 197
74 148 194 197 199 202
75 152 200 202 204 208
76 156 205 207 210 213
77 160 210 213 215 219
78 164 216 218 221 225
79 168 221 224 227 230
80 173 227 230 233 236

Get in Touch.

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