navy age limit

Navy Age Limits

HonorCourageCommitment. These are the three core values that guide the United States Navy. To join the Navy, there are specific requirements you need to meet including age, citizenship, physical, academic, and legal qualifications.

Today, we will majorly talk about the age requirement for the Navy.

Age Range for Applicants

Applicants who wish to join the Navy must be at least 17 years old. However, you can begin to ask and think about careers in the Navy earlier. Here is a breakdown of every age limit and the requirements.

17-Year Olds Joining the Navy

At this age, an applicant is considered a minor and thus there are special conditions that apply. Your application to the Navy must be voluntary and should be approved by your parents or your legal guardian. You should attach a certified or original copy of your full birth certificate.

The U.S. Navy abides by the Optional Protocol on rights of a child when it comes to their involvement in armed conflict. This means, minors are highly protected and not involved in armed combat. The Navy takes all realistic measures to ensure they are not anywhere near a hostile environment unless in situations they may have to.

Access to Information for Children Under 17 Years

At least 10 years of age

Kids of this age can receive information about different careers in the Navy. They can visit a recruitment base accompanied by their parent to get more information about careers in the Navy.

Over 12 years and 6 months

At this age, a kid can experience what it is like to be in the Navy by joining the U.S. Naval Cadet program. Here, you will develop survival skills, team-building, and leadership skills all while having fun.

Age Requirement for Applicants in Different Navy Jobs

For first-time applicants, you must be at least 18 years old or 17 years with your parents’ consent.

The maximum age for active-duty officers non-prior service Navy applicants is 39 years as of 2019. It was increased from 34 in 2018. The minimum age remains 17 with consent from parents or legal guardian.

The minimum age for Non-prior service applicants to the Navy Reserve is 18 years while the maximum age is 39 years.

To serve as a Navy Officer, you must be at least 19 years and not more than 42 years. However, this depends on your specialty. Waivers are granted for some positions, especially those in high demand.

For example, Navy SEALs require you to be between 17 and 28 years old before you reach BUD/S.

With that said, waivers have been granted for guys as old as 30 years old.

There have even been a few Navy SEAL candidates that have been even older.

For example, one guy who attended BUD/S graduated when he was 39 years old.

This is a BIG exception, however, and I would say the chances of you getting a waiver beyond 30 years old are slim to none.

That’s not all. To be eligible to serve in the U.S. Navy, you need to meet more than the age requirements.

Other Navy Requirements

Here are other requirements you need to fulfill:

Citizenship– To serve as an Enlisted Sailor, you need to either be a U.S. citizen or be a permanent resident with a U.S. visa, or have an Alien Registration Green Card. If you’re one of the later two you need to have an established bona fide residence or established a home of record in the U.S.

Learn more here.

* To serve as a Navy Officer, you need to be a U.S. citizen.

Family– one can enlist to the Navy if they are a single parent. However, you might be disqualified if you have more than two minor dependents.

Height and Weight – You need to meet the height and weight requirements to joijn the Navy.  See the exact standards here.

Financial obligations– in most cases, you have to prove that you can meet your financial obligations.

Education– You need to be a high-school graduate or have met high-school equivalency standards to enlist in the Navy as a Sailor. To become an Officer, you need a four-year BA or BS degree from a credited university.

Medical/legal/moral standard– you should meet the legal, medical, and character standards set by the Navy including clean criminal history, traffic offense history, citizenship status, etc.

Enlisted basic training– you will need to attend Recruit Training, also known as Boot Camp, if you have no prior military experience before becoming an Enlisted Sailor.

Grooming Standards – Once you’re in the Navy, you need to meet certain grooming standards.  Click Here to find out what they are.

Of course, there are many other requirements, but these are the major ones. You can speak to your recruiter to learn more about Navy requirements for applicants.

Learn how to join the Navy in the following article.

Bottom Line

In a nutshell, to join the Navy without parental consent as an Enlisted Sailor, you must be 18 years. The youngest you can to enlist is 17 years, but you will need consent from your parents or legal guardian. You cannot be older than 39 years.

Jacqueline P.
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