Joining the Navy



Joining the Navy can be a unique and invaluable opportunity for any American. With threats facing America all around the globe, the Navy has the resources and the skills to keep America safe. Through the application of state-of-the-art technology and dedicated service men and women, the Navy continues to function as a selfless service dedicated to protecting what matters most: the people. If you have thought about joining the Navy, but aren’t sure how or where to go about it, know that it is not as difficult as it might seem. Provided you meet the qualifications and have the determination to succeed, you may develop a successful career in the Navy. If you are interested in joining the Navy or know someone who might be, read on to learn more about joining the Navy.

Navy Requirements

The basic requirements for entry include age, citizenship, family, education and other requirements. Only US citizens may join the Navy as an enlisted officer. To join as an enlisted sailor, you must be 18 (or 17 with parental consent) and a US citizen, have permanent residence in the US or have a Green Card. Family requirements are also imposed. If you are a single parent with more than one child under 18, then you may not be able to enlist or join the Navy. On top of this the Navy will want to make sure you can meet your financial obligations, and that you meet their medical standards. Additionally, there is a zero-tolerance drug and alcohol policy.


  • Must be a citizen or have established permanent residence in the US
  • Must be 18 years old, or 17 with parental consent
  • Zero-tolerance drug and alcohol use policy

How to Join the Navy

Those who have never had experience in the military may be the most puzzled when it comes to recruitment. The best person to speak to for more information would be a professional Navy recruiter. The Navy recruiter will look at your qualifications and make you aware of your obligations as a Navy serviceman. You can find use the Navy’s official website to help you find a recruiting station close to you by entering your zip code.  After you have spoken to a recruiter, the navy encourages you to speak with friends and family, and even encourages you to bring them to meet a recruiter. From there you can put in your application and start processing. As part of processing, background screenings, career counseling, physical examinations and vocational aptitude tests will be performed.


  • Use website to find recruiter
  • Speak to a recruiter
  • Fill out application

Navy Obligations

The amount of duties required as an enlisted man or woman will depend on your personal background, interests, your position as an officer or enlisted sailor, as well as if you are engaging in educational opportunities provided by the Navy. Enlisted positions of the Navy generally require an initial service of 4 years. Officers generally have a requirement of 3 to 5 years in service. Enlisted basic training or officer training will also be required once you have enlisted.


  • Enlisted members generally serve 4 years
  • Officers serve from 3 to 5 years
  • Training required for enlisted sailors and officers

Navy College Options

If you’re still in school, you can still join the Navy, allowing you to be in the Navy while you go to college. With the Navy’s multiple scholarship opportunities, the Navy can actually pay your way through college. By entering one of the Navy’s scholarship programs, you can enter the Navy after college as a Commissioned Officer, provided you’ve had the training. Some of the programs offered by Navy include the Nurse Candidate Program, Financial Assistance Program, Navy Candidate Program and Civil Engineer Collegiate Program among others.


  • Will pay for college
  • Enter Navy as an officer
  • Different programs offered

Other Benefits

Joining the Navy comes with a ton of benefits. For one thing, the Navy pays well, offering a starting salary of around $1,566.90 and in 4 years as much as $2,614.20. As an officer, you can make over 3 times as much. Additionally, there are plenty of opportunities for advancement.  The Navy also provides comprehensive health-care coverage for sailors and their families. Of course, during your career in the Navy you’ll have plenty of traveling opportunities as you voyage around the world. Best of all, provided you have served sufficient time, you will have plenty of retirement benefits after your career in the Navy.


  • Great-paying job with advancement opportunities
  • Traveling
  • Retirement benefits


Joining the Navy is a unique opportunity with plenty of rewards. Even if you aren’t looking for a lifelong career in the Navy, having access to scholarship programs and an incredible experience in the Navy makes it an invaluable opportunity.