32 CFR § 66.6 - Enlistment, appointment, and induction criteria.
(a) General eligibility criteria -
(1) Entrance considerations. Accession of qualified individuals will be a priority when processing applicants for the Military Services.
(2) Eligibility determination. Eligibility will be determined by the applicant's ability to meet all requirements of this part, to include obtaining waivers. Applicants will not be enlisted, appointed, or inducted unless all requirements of this part are met.
(b) Basic eligibility criteria -
(i) To be eligible for Regular enlistment, the minimum age for enlistment is 17 years and the maximum age is 42 years in accordance with 10 U.S.C. 505. The maximum age for a prior service enlistee is determined by adding the individual's years of prior service to age 42. The Secretary concerned will establish enlistment age standards for the Reserve Components in accordance with 10 U.S.C. 12102.
(ii) Age limitations for appointment as a commissioned or warrant officer normally depend on the Military Service concerned. In accordance with 10 U.S.C. 532, most persons appointed as commissioned officers must be able to complete 20 years of active commissioned service before their 62nd birthday to receive a Regular commission.
(iii) In accordance with 10 U.S.C. 12201, a person will be at least 18 years of age for appointment as a Reserve Officer. The maximum age qualification for initial appointment as a Reserve Officer will not be less than 47 years of age for individuals in a health profession specialty designated by the Secretary concerned as a specialty critically needed in wartime.
(iv) In accordance with 32 U.S.C. 313, to be eligible for original enlistment in the National Guard, a person must be at least 17 years of age and under 45, or under 64 years of age and a former member of the Regular Army, Regular Navy, Regular Air Force, or Regular Marine Corps. To be eligible for reenlistment, a person must be under 64 years of age.
(v) In accordance with 32 U.S.C. 313, to be eligible for appointment as an officer of the National Guard, a person must be at least 18 years of age and under 64 years of age.
(i) To be eligible for Regular or Reserve enlistment, an individual must meet one of the conditions outlined in 10 U.S.C. 504(b); however, the Secretary concerned may authorize the enlistment of a person not described in this section if the Secretary determines that such enlistment is vital to the national interest.
(ii) To be eligible for appointment as a commissioned officer (other than as a commissioned warrant officer) in the Regular Army, Regular Navy, Regular Air Force, or Regular Marine Corps, the individual must be a citizen of the United States as outlined in 10 U.S.C. 532. The Secretary of Defense (or the Secretary of Homeland Security for the Coast Guard, when not operating as a Service under the Navy), may waive the requirement of U.S. citizenship with respect to a person who has been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence, or for a United States national otherwise eligible for appointment as a cadet or midshipman in accordance with 10 U.S.C. 2107(a), when the Secretary determines that the national security so requires, but only for an original appointment in a grade below the grade of major or lieutenant commander.
(iii) To be eligible for appointment as a Reserve Officer in an armed force, the individual must be a citizen of the United States or lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence in accordance with 8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq. (also known as the “Immigration and Nationality Act”) or have previously served in the Military Services or in the National Security Training Corps as outlined under 10 U.S.C. 12201.
(iv) To be eligible for enlistment in the National Guard, a person must meet one of the conditions in 10 U.S.C. 504(b); however, the Secretary concerned may authorize the enlistment of a person not described in this section if the Secretary determines that such enlistment is vital to the national interest.
(v) To become an officer of the Army National Guard of the United States or the Air National Guard of the United States, the individual must first be appointed to, and be federally recognized in, the same grade in the Army National Guard or the Air National Guard. In accordance with 10 U.S.C. 12201, the individual must be a citizen of the United States or lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence in accordance with 8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq. or have previously served in Military Service or in the National Security Training Corps.
(i) Possession of a high school diploma is desirable, although not mandatory, for enlistment in any component of the Military Services. 10 U.S.C. 520 states that a person who is not a high school graduate may not be accepted for enlistment in the Military Services unless the score of that person on the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) is at or above the thirty-first percentile. 10 U.S.C. 520 also states that a person may not be denied enlistment in the Military Services solely because he or she does not have a high school diploma if his or her enlistment is needed to meet established strength requirements.
(ii) Bearers of an alternative credential (e.g., General Educational Development certificates and certificates of attendance) and non-graduates may be assigned lower enlistment priority based on first-term attrition rates for those credentials. DoD Instruction 1145.01, “Qualitative Distribution of Military Manpower” (available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/114501p.pdf) identifies the authority for establishing the qualitative distribution objectives for accessions.
(iii) Educational requirements for appointment as a commissioned or warrant officer are determined by each Military Service. 10 U.S.C. 12205 establishes education requirements for certain Reserve appointments. Generally, and unless excepted under 10 U.S.C. 12205, a baccalaureate degree is required for appointment above the grade of first lieutenant in the Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps Reserves or lieutenant junior grade in the Navy Reserve, or to be federally recognized in a grade above the grade of first lieutenant as a member of the Army National Guard or Air National Guard. In addition, special occupations (e.g., physician or chaplain) may require additional vocational credentials as determined by the Secretary concerned.
(i) Overall aptitude requirements for enlistment and induction are based on applicant scores on the AFQT derived from the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. Applicant scores are grouped into percentile categories. Persons who score in AFQT Category V (percentiles 1-9) are ineligible to enlist. In accordance with 10 U.S.C. 520, the number of persons who enlist in any Armed Force during any fiscal year (i.e., accession cohort) who score in AFQT Category IV (percentiles 10-30) may not exceed 20 percent of the total number of persons enlisted by Service. DoD Instruction 1145.01 identifies the authority for establishing the qualitative distribution objectives for accessions.
(ii) For officers and warrant officers, no single test or instrument is used as an aptitude requirement for appointment.
(i) In accordance with DoD Instruction 6130.03, “Medical Standards for Appointment, Enlistment, or Induction in the Military Services” (available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/613003p.pdf), the pre-accession screening process will be structured to identify any medical condition, including mental health, that disqualifies an applicant for military service.
(ii) Individuals who fail to meet established medical standards, as defined in DoD Instruction 6130.03, may be considered for a medical waiver. Each Service's waiver authority for medical conditions will make a determination based on all available information regarding the issue or condition. Waiver requirements are outlined in § 66.7.
(6) Physical fitness.
(i) In accordance with DoD Instruction 1308.3, “DoD Physical Fitness and Body Fat Programs Procedures” (available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/130803p.pdf), all individuals must meet the pre-accession height and weight standards as prescribed in Table 1 of DoD Instruction 1308.3.
(ii) The Military Services may have additional physical fitness screening requirements.
(7) Dependency status.
(i) The Military Services may not enlist married individuals with more than two dependents under the age of 18 or unmarried individuals with custody of any dependents under the age of 18; however, the Secretary concerned may grant a waiver for particularly promising entrants. Waiver requirements are outlined in § 66.7 of this part.
(ii) The Military Services will specify the circumstances under which individuals who have dependents may become commissioned officers or warrant officers; variations in policy may be affected by the commissioning source (e.g., Service Academies, ROTC, or Officer Candidate School).
(8) Character/conduct. The underlying purpose of these enlistment, appointment, and induction standards is to minimize entrance of persons who are likely to become disciplinary cases, security risks, or who are likely to disrupt good order, morale, and discipline. The Military Services are responsible for the defense of the Nation and should not be viewed as a source of rehabilitation for those who have not subscribed to the legal and moral standards of society at-large. As a minimum, an applicant will be considered ineligible if he or she:
(i) Is under any form of judicial restraint (bond, probation, imprisonment, or parole).
(ii) Has a significant criminal record. 10 U.S.C. 504 prohibits any person who has been convicted of a felony from being enlisted in any of the Military Services; however, 10 U.S.C. 504 authorizes a waiver in meritorious cases. Except as limited by paragraph (b)(8)(iii) of this section, persons convicted of felonies may request a waiver to permit their enlistment. The waiver procedure is not automatic, and approval is based on each individual case. Waiver requirements are outlined in § 66.7 of this part.
(iii) Has a State or federal conviction, or a finding of guilty in a juvenile adjudication, for a felony crime of rape, sexual abuse, sexual assault, incest, any other sexual offense, or when the disposition requires the person to register as a sex offender. In these cases, the enlistment, appointment, or induction will be prohibited and no waivers are allowed.
(iv) Has been previously separated from the Military Services under conditions other than honorable or for the good of the Military Service concerned.
(v) Has exhibited antisocial behavior or other traits of character that may render the applicant unfit for service.
(vi) Receives an unfavorable final determination by the DoD Consolidated Adjudication Facility on a completed National Agency Check with Law and Credit (NACLC) or higher-level investigation, which is adjudicated to the National Security Standards in accordance with Executive Order 12968, during the accession process.
(A) An applicant may be accessed (including shipping him or her to training or a first duty assignment) provided that a NACLC or higher-level investigation was submitted and accepted by the investigative service provider (Office of Personnel Management (OPM)) and an advanced fingerprint was conducted, and OPM did not identify any disqualifying background information.
(B) If NACLC adjudication is not completed until after accession, any additional disqualifying information identified during the adjudication should be transmitted to the appropriate personnel or human resource offices, as determined by the Services, for appropriate action.
(9) Drugs and alcohol. A current or history of alcohol dependence, drug dependence, alcohol abuse, or other drug abuse is incompatible with military life and does not meet military standards in accordance with DoD Instruction 6130.03. Pursuant to DoD Instruction 1010.01, “Military Personnel Drug Abuse Testing Program (MPDATP)” (available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/101001p.pdf), the pre-accession screening process is structured to identify individuals with a history of drug (including pharmaceutical medications, illegal drugs and other substances of abuse) and alcohol abuse.
(i) Drug use (to include illegal drugs, other illicit substances, and pharmaceutical medications), drug abuse, and alcohol abuse may be self-admitted by an applicant, discovered during the medical screening process, or identified by the drug and alcohol test (DAT), which is administered at the Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS) or other approved military processing facility.
(ii) Current or history of alcohol dependence, drug dependence, alcohol abuse, or other drug abuse may be a medically disqualifying condition based on the standards in accordance with DoD Instruction 6130.03. The MEPS Chief Medical Officer or equivalent, when the physical is not performed at MEPS, will make that determination based on all of the information available on a case-by-case basis. These instances will be treated as a medical disqualification and handled in accordance with the guidance provided in paragraphs (b)(5)(i) through (b)(5)(ii) of this section.
(iii) Individuals who test positive for illegal drugs on the DAT, which is administered as part of the accession physical, will be disqualified. A waiver may be requested. Waiver requirements are outlined in § 66.7.
(iv) Service qualification standards, regarding drugs and alcohol, may be more restrictive.