How to Join the Army

Four Methods:Joining the United States ArmyJoining the Canadian ArmyJoining the British ArmyJoining the Australian Army

Joining the Army is a noble career. Keep reading to learn more about how to do it in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia.

Method 1
Joining the United States Army[1]

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    Know the eligibility requirements.[2] Before you join the US Army, you first need to make sure that you meet the requirements for age, citizenship status, education, health, and legal status.
    • If you are between the ages of 17 and 18, you can join as long as you have documented parental consent. You can join without consent if you are between the ages of 18 and 35.
    • You must have a legal name and valid Social Security number.
    • You must be a legal citizen of the United States.
    • You will need a high school diploma or GED. You will also usually need 15 college credits.
    • You must be literate in the English language.
    • You must be able to pass a physical exam. Note that women are not permitted to serve in combat jobs regardless of this exam.
    • You must have a normal body weight for your gender, age, and height. To learn more about these requirements, click here:
    • You must not use drugs or abuse alcohol.
    • You must not have any recent, repeated criminal offenses or any violent sexual criminal convictions.
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    Apply online, if desired. The easiest way to apply for the U.S. Army is to complete an account online.
    • Click on the "Create an Account" button on the following website:
    • Answer all questions about your background, interests, and abilities as accurately as possible. Afterward, you will receive a list of jobs suited to your needs and abilities.
    • Indicate the time frame you will be applying in. This will give you a list of currently available jobs.
    • Review the jobs and select any you might be interested in. Mark your order of preference, as well.
    • Answer any remaining questions and submit the application.
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    Contact a recruiter. If you applied online, a recruiter will contact you. Otherwise, you will need to go to a recruitment center and schedule a meeting with a recruiter on your own.
    • Contact a recruiter through the following link:
    • A recruiter will ask you questions about your goals, reasons for wanting to join, and qualifications. He or she will try to match you to a position you are well qualified for within the Army.
    • You should also be prepared to ask questions of your own. Ask about the process, combat training, incentives for joining, how the first term will be, and what kind of education opportunities are available.
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    Take the ASVAB test. The ASVAB is a multiple-choice test that will allow you to reach an understanding of your own strengths and abilities. It is designed to help you determine which Army jobs you are most suited for.
    • The test is usually given by federal test administrators in various schools. Talk to your academic adviser or local recruiter for more information.
    • The test will measure your ability with general science, arithmetic reasoning, word knowledge, paragraph comprehension, mathematics knowledge, electronics information, auto and shop information, mechanical comprehension, and assembling objects.
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    Visit the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS). At the MEPS, you will have your physical qualifications, aptitude, and moral standards formally evaluated.
    • If you have not done so already, you will need to complete the ASVAB at MEPS.
    • You will have a head-to-toe physical exam. Your exam will include height and weight measurements, a hearing test, a vision test, urine and blood tests, drug and alcohol tests, muscle group and joint maneuvers, a complete physical exam, a medical interview about your medical history, and any specialized tests needed for your proposed position within the Army.
    • You will also complete a final interview and fingerprinting for an FBI background check.
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    Enlist. At MEPS, you will form an enlistment agreement with a service liaison counselor. After signing the agreement, you will be given a pre-enlistment briefing.
    • From this point on, you will be directed to take the oath of enlistment. Your family can watch you take the oath.

Method 2
Joining the Canadian Army[3]

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    Know the eligibility requirements. In order to join the Canadian Forces, you must meet certain requirements in terms of age, citizenship, education, and health.
    • If you are 17 years old, you must have parental consent. You do not need consent if you are older than 18. You must also be able to complete any required training and at least one term of service before the compulsory retirement age of 60.
    • You must be a Canadian citizen.
    • You must have completed at least Grade 10 education or Secondaire IV in Quebec. Certain positions will require higher levels of education.
    • You must be healthy enough to meet the medical standards for your chosen position at the time of the medical assessment.
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    Create an online profile. It will usually take about 20 to 30 minutes to set up an account online.
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    Send photocopies of your documents. Once the Canadian Forces Virtual Recruiting Centre receives your online application, you will receive an email asking you for photocopies of important documents.
    • You will need to send a copy of your birth certificate, a government-issued photo ID, educational transcripts, proof of trade qualifications and professional licenses, and any additional forms indicated needed for the job or program you applied for.
    • The address you need to send the documents to should be provided in the email you receive.
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    Pass the reliability screening. You will need to have your personal information, education qualifications, professional credentials, criminal record, credit history, and employment history verified.
    • You will need to fill out authorization forms and provide five personal references.
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    Take the aptitude test. The Canadian Forces Aptitude Test (CFAT) assesses your verbal, spatial, and problem-solving skills.
    • The test can be completed by hand or on a computer. You will have 45 minutes to complete 60 multiple choice questions.
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    Pass the medical exam. The medical exam consists of a health questionnaire that you must fill out about your medical history as well as a physical exam. This will all be followed by a review of your medical files.
    • During the physical exam, you will have your vision, color perception, and hearing tested.
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    Interview with a military career counsellor. Once you pass the aptitude and medical tests, you will need to meet for an official job interview.
    • Be prepared to explain why you want one of the jobs you marked on your application and why you are qualified for it. Understand that some jobs are more competitive than others.
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    Wait for a job offer. If you are selected, you will receive a formal job offer from the Canadian Forces.
    • You have 10 days to accept or reject the offer.
    • Upon accepting the offer, you will be given instructions on the enrolment ceremony, final paperwork, travel arrangements, and basic training start date.

Method 3
Joining the British Army[4]

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    Know the eligibility requirements. Before you can join the British Army, you must meet certain requirements in terms of age, education, residency, and health.
    • You must be at least 16 years old and in Army phase 1 training before you turn 33 years old. If you are under the age of 18, you will also need parental consent.
    • You can join if you are a British citizen or British subject under the Nationality Act of 1981. You can also join if you are a British Protected Person or citizen of the Irish Republic, but certain restrictions may apply. You might also be able to join if you are a citizen of a commonwealth country, but you should check with a recruitment officer about restrictions.[5]
    • You will need to be in good enough physical health to complete a static lift, Jerry can test, and 2.4 km (1.5 mile) run.[6]
    • You must not have any medical conditions that would prevent you from performing your job.
    • You must check with a recruiter if you have had a past criminal offence to determine if that offence can change your eligibility status.
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    Fill out an application. You can fill out an application by registering for an account on the British Army website or by contacting a recruitment officer directly.
    • When you apply, you should have a general idea of the role you want to fill within the British Army. These roles include: combat, engineering, logistics and support, intelligence, IT and communications, HR and finance, medical, and musical and ceremonial.
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    Schedule an interview with an Army Careers Adviser. Take this opportunity to ask any questions you have about joining the Army. The adviser will also check your suitability and offer you any necessary advice about preparing for your Army career.
    • You will be asked about your physical fitness, achievements, and interests. Answer all questions fully and honestly.
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    Take the British Army Recruit Battery Test (BARB). This test evaluates your mental ability to solve problems and understand information.
    • The test consists of five sections: reasoning, letter checking, number distance, odd one out, and symbol rotation.
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    Pass the literacy test. The literacy test evaluates your reading and writing abilities.
    • You are allowed to complete the test in as much time as you need. There are no time limits for this exam.
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    Take the numeracy test. This test evaluates whether or not you are able to accurately and quickly complete basic mathematical tasks.
    • If you do not pass this test the first time, you can take it a second time.
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    Visit the Army Development and Selection Centre (ADSC) for your final round of assessment. If you meet all the basic standards, you will need to stay at the ADSC for two days to go through a medical exam and to have your fitness, memory, and teamwork abilities tested.
    • Go through the fitness test. You will need to complete a 1.5 mile run and several strength tests.
    • Take a memory test. You will participate in a memory lesson, and the following day, you will need to demonstrate how much of the information you can remember.
    • Pass the teamwork test. You will be put through a basic teamwork exercise, through which you must show that you can respect and motivate others in your team while remaining calm.
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    Attend a final interview. During this final interview, the results of your exams will be discussed and you will be asked any questions that linger about your ability to perform well.
    • Dress respectfully and speak with confidence.
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    Head off to Initial Training once the time comes. You will receive a grade after leaving the ADSC, and this grade determines how long you will have to wait before beginning your Initial Training.
    • Your final role within the Army will vary depending on the number of positions available in each trade.

Method 4
Joining the Australian Army[7]

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    Know the eligibility requirements. You must meet the necessary requirements in terms of age, behavior, citizenship, and health.[8]
    • You can join if you will be at least 17 years old by the time you enlist, and anyone under the age of 18 must have parental consent. The maximum age is three to six years before the compulsory retiring age for the position you are aiming for.
    • You must be a legal Australian citizen. You might, however, be able to join on a temporary waiver if the position you are applying for cannot be filled by an actual citizen, but even then, you must be a permanent Australian resident.
    • You must have a Body Mass Index of 32.9 or lower.
    • You must not have any medical conditions or diseases that would prevent you from doing your job.
    • Drug use and alcohol abuse are prohibited, and any piercings or tattoos you have must be non-offensive and able to be hidden.
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    Submit an application. Search for an Army job you would like to apply for on the website. When you find one that matches your abilities and interests, click on the "Apply Now" button to get started.
    • You will need to enter personal details, contact details, education information, and service history.
    • You will also need to complete a job preference list and select a YOU Session to attend at your nearest Defence Force Recruiting Centre.
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    Attend a Your Opportunities Unlimited (YOU) session. This session involves an aptitude evaluation, medical interview, and career interview.
    • You will receive a packet of forms before the session begins. These forms should be completed by the time you go for your YOU session.
    • Bring your Photo ID and Consent to Test Form to the YOU session. You should also have your birth certificate, education results, employment history, trade qualifications, proof of citizenship, and any supporting documents that relate to medical conditions you have.
    • The aptitude evaluation will consist of a reasoning test and mathematical ability test.
    • The medical interview will be with a nurse, and it will include a colour perception eye test and a measurement of your height and weight.
    • The career interview will be with a careers counsellor (CC) and you will need to discuss your education, fitness level, sporting history, and leadership experience. By the end of the session, the CC will give you a list of jobs you might be eligible to apply for.
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    Complete a formal assessment. Your formal assessment will include a medical assessment, psychological interview, and defence interview.
    • The medical assessment tests your ability to perform certain military duties. You will receive a head-to-toe examination and you will need to complete flexibility tests and other basic exercises.
    • The psychological interview will evaluate your ability to live within a military environment. You will be asked questions about your education, employment, family, social activities, sporting activities, and interest in joining.
    • The defence interview allows you to defend why you want to join. You will also discuss which jobs you would like and how suitable you are for them.
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    Meet with the Officer Selection Board, if necessary. This step only applies if you are applying for entry as an Officer.
    • Expect to complete written exercises, oral presentations, group exercises, practical exercises, and a panel interview.
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    Pass a fitness test. If you have made it through the process so far, the next thing you will need to schedule is a Fitness Test or Pre-Entry Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA). You will be assigned a date, and this date will land out four weeks before your target enlistment or appointment.
    • For the Army, you will need to complete 15 push-ups for males and 8 push-ups for females. You will also need to complete 45 sit-ups and a Beep Test to Level 7.5.
    • A Beep Test, also called a shuttle run, consists of a certain number of 20 meter (65.6 ft) sprints or shuttles.
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    Go to an Enlistment/Appointment Day. If you pass all the exams and evaluations, you will receive an official ADF job offer along with joining instructions for the Army.
    • On the day of the enlistment or appointment, you will complete a final medical check and final administrative procedures.
    • From there, you will take part in an enlistment or appointment ceremony.
    • Head to initial military training as soon as the ceremony ends.

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Categories: Careers in the Military