US military enlistment standards
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    US military enlistment standards

    There is no right granted to anyone to serve in the United States Military. The respective military departments do have the absolute right to reject you for any reason it deems appropriate. Regardless of how recruiting commercials may "sell" the military, it is not a "jobs program." It's serious business, involving the security of the United States of America, and our country's national interests.

    Congress and the courts have held that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which ensures all individuals are treated equally before the law with respect to civilian employment, does not apply to the military profession. No less than seven major Supreme Court decisions are distilled in the these words from Goldman v. Weinberger: [T]he military is, by necessity, a specialized society [separate] from civilian society.... ‘The military must insist upon a respect for duty and a discipline without counterpart in civilian life,’ in order to prepare for and perform its vital role.... The essence of the military service ‘is the subordination of the desires and interests of the individual to the needs of the service.’ The history of the courts deferring to the judgment of military leaders on matters affecting the Armed Forces is one of the most consistently upheld principles of constitutional law. Furthermore, serving in the military is a privilege and sometimes an obligation, conferring neither the right to serve nor the right to avoid service [see Kennedy v. Mendoza-Martinez 372 U.S. 144 (1963)].

    As such, the military doesn't accept just anyone who wants to join. You must be qualified, under current federal laws and regulations and/or you must receive an approved waiver for the condition which may make you disqualified.

    So, what are the general qualifications to enlist in the military? This can be a difficult subject, as -- within limits imposed by Department of Defense (DOD) policies and various federal laws, each of the services are allowed to determine their own standards. In this article, we'll try to cover the main standards, but -- without writing a novel -- it would be impossible to cover them all. For specific questions, it's always best to ask your local military recruiter.

    I want to mention right up front that it is a federal offense to provide false information or to withhold requested information on any United States Military Recruiting Document: WARNING - The information you provide on any recruiting document constitutes an official statement. Federal law provides severe penalties (up to 5 years confinement, a $10,000 fine, or both), to anyone making a false statement. If you are selected for enlistment based upon a false statement, you can be tried by military court-martial or meet an administrative board for discharge, and could receive a less-than-honorable discharge, which may affect your future. - WARNING.

    Age. One would think that age would be a simple category. One is either old enough, or too old, right? Unfortunately, it doesn't quite work that way. By federal law (10 U.S.C., 510), the minimum age for enlistment in the United States Military is 17 (with parental consent) and the maximum age is 35. This is to ensure than anyone who enlists on active duty can be eligible for retirement (20 years of service) at the mandatory age of 55 (60 in some cases). However, DOD policy allows the individual services to specify the maximum age of enlistment based upon their own unique requirements. The individual services have set the following maximum ages for non-prior service enlistment:

    Army - 34
    Air Force - 27
    Navy - 34
    Marines - 28
    Coast Guard - 27

    However, prior service enlistees can receive an "age waiver." In most cases, the amount of age that can be waived depends upon the amount of time the individual previously spent in the military. For example, let's say that an individual has four years of credible military service in the Marine Corps and wants to join the Air Force. The Air Force could waive the individual's maximum enlistment age to age 31 (Maximum age of 27 for the Air Force, plus four years credible service in the Marines). For the Marine Corps, the maximum age of enlistment for prior service is 32, after computing the prior-service age adjustment.

    Citizenship. While there is a statutory requirement that only a United States Citizen may become a commissioned officer, this is not true for enlistment. Certain non-citizens can enlist in the United States Armed Forces. To be eligible to enlist, a non-citizen must:

    (1) Entered the United States on a permanent residence visa or has an Alien Registration Receipt Card (INS Form 1-551/I-551 greencard or stamped I-94), and

    (2) Established a bona fide residence, and

    (3) Established a home of record in the United States.

    (4) The visa and/or "greencard" must have sufficient time remaining on it (expiration date) to be valid during the entire term on enlistment. While non-citizens may enlist in the U.S. Military, they are not allowed to reenlist (stay in beyond their first term of service), unless they first become U.S. Citizens. However, after serving for three years, any additional residency requirement for citizenship eligibility can be waived.

    I should note here that the United States Military cannot and will not assist in the immigration process. In order to join the U.S. Military, one must legally immigrate first, and then apply to join the military.

    For enlistment purposes, citizens of the United States include citizens of: Guam, Puerto Rico, The U.S. Virgin Islands,The Northern Marianas Islands, American Samoa, The Federated States of Micronesia, and The Republic of the Marshall Islands.

    Not all non-citizens may be eligible to enlist. Applicants who have been residents of countries considered hostile to the interests of the United States require a waiver. These countries include:

    Afghanistan Kurile Islands and South Albania
    Sakhalin (Karafuto) Angola
    Laos Gulgaria
    Latvia Cambodia
    Libyan Arab Republic China (Including Tibet)
    People's Republic of Lithuania Mongolian People's Republic
    Cuba Nicaragua
    Estonia Romainia
    Ethiopia Southern Yemen
    Hungarian Peoples Republic (Hungary) Syria
    Iran Commonwealth of Independent States (Former USSR)
    Iran Iraq
    Vietnam Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea)
    Former Yugoslavian Nation

    Note: The above list is subject to change at any time. One should consult a local military recruiter for the latest policies.

    While non-citizens may enlist, they will find their job choices extremely limited. DOD policy prohibits granting security clearances to non-U.S. Citizens. Therefore, non-Citizens. who enlist in the United States military will be limited to those jobs which do not require a security clearance.

  2. #2
    Registered User Free Member Barndog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    They forgot one thing Bones, my Brother.....

    The balls to stand up to the plate and earn the uniform, regardless of what the rest of that says.

    Semper FI

  3. #3

    hey Tony.

    So you noticed that kind of thing, too! LOL.

    It doesn't matter your MOS. You must be willing to fight. Never give up. Kill the other bastard before he kills you.

    It's called fighting spirit....I think I see another thread here! LOL

  4. #4

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