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Serving in the military is another pathway for students after graduation that will provide life experience, on-the-job training, and opportunities for professional and personal growth. Parents might feel anxious and overwhelmed about this option. Hearing from other parents who have gone through similar situations can help reduce your worry. Visit the Today’s Military: For Parents website to read stories and suggestions for support and guidance.

What are the eligibility requirements to serve in the military?

  •  Age: Must be 17 with parental consent or 18 without parental consent
  •  Health: Must be in good physical condition, of appropriate weight, and able to pass a standard physical screening
  •  Education: Must have a high school diploma or GED
  •  Citizenship: Must be a US citizen or legal permanent resident

What should your child do if they are interested in serving in the military?

  1. Take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) (English only). The ASVAB is a multiple-choice exam that helps determine the careers for which your child is best suited.
  2. Pass a physical examination. A recruiter will discuss physical eligibility requirements with you and your child before the exam.
  3. Meet with a service enlistment counselor, and determine a career. The counselor will help you and your child find the right job specialty.
  4. Take the Oath of Enlistment. Once your child has determined their career path, your child is ready to take the Oath of Enlistment, which is a promise to defend the Constitution of the United States.
  5. Visit a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS). Depending on the terms of the enlistment, your child will either report to basic training shortly after completing MEPS testing requirements or commit to completing basic training at a future time, usually within one year.4

What questions should your child ask the recruiter?

  • What ASVAB scores are needed?
  • How long is the enlistment period?
  • Are there any special enlistment programs or signing bonuses?
  • What types of jobs specialties are available?
  • How much money for college can you earn based on the programs under which you enlist?
  • What are the travel opportunities available?
  • What is the promotion rate based on the type of job specialty?

For more questions, review the article, "Play 20 Questions with the Recruiter".

4 “Enlisting in the Military,” Today’s Military, accessed January 26, 2022,