U.S. Army Official Site

Prior Service Enlistment Criteria

You are eligible to join the Army National Guard if you meet the following criteria:

Meet citizenship requirements.

17 and less than 36 years of age, or individuals that are 36 years of age and older must have sufficient prior service time to attain 20 years of qualifying service for retired pay prior to age 60.

Non high school graduates must obtain a high school diploma or GED certificate within one year after the date of enlistment.

Must meet the Army physical fitness standards.

Must qualify for the MOS enlisting in.

Applicants, who may be otherwise eligible for enlistment options, monetary incentives, educational benefits, or any combination of these, must enlist for the periods stated by the program from which they desire to benefit.

*Not all of the enlistment criteria are shown here; call your local recruiter for exact details.


Non-Prior Service Enlistment Criteria

The Army National Guard has physical, academic, and legal qualifications that you must pass to join. You must be in good health and have no major physical handicaps. The minimum age to join the National Guard is 17. Persons under age 18 must obtain the consent of a parent or legal guardian. You must be either currently in high school or have a high school diploma or GED. You must also obtain a minimum qualifying score on the Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery exam (ASVAB). Soon after you contact a recruiter, they will administer this test to see if you are qualified. Your ASVAB score will also determine which job, known as a Military Occupational Specialty (MOS), you are qualified for. Your recruiter will provide you with more exact information and make recommendations regarding your qualification status.


Persons who were born in the 50 United States to include the commonwealths, Guam, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia are eligible for enlistment. Persons born abroad on a military installation, or born abroad of US parents who were citizens at the time are also eligible for enlistment. Persons considered to be aliens who have been lawfully and permanently admitted to the United States and requested permanent residence may enlist BUT not for any Military Occupational Specialty requiring a security clearance. These applicants will incur a Military Service Obligation (MSO) and they should apply for citizenship within four years after enlistment. Those who do not apply for citizenship by the end of their MSO will not be eligible for extension or reenlistment and will be discharged upon completion of their MSO. Aliens who have been admitted on a temporary basis are not eligible for enlistment. Nationals of the United States, such as the American Samoa" are eligible for enlistment.

Not all the enlistment criteria are shown here; contact your local recruiter for exact details.