Navy has Enlistment Dependency Limits

Navy Dependency Waiver

If you are enlisting into the Navy with dependents (dependent definition) in an entry level paygrade (E-1 to E-4), historically some encounter family hardships due to financial situations soon after enlisting. Navy Recruiting Command wants to eliminate from consideration those who cannot balance the demands of family and service, or who would experience a financial hardship at the onset of naval service. You can use the chart below to determine your potential eligibility based on the current instructions.

Unmarried or Divorced
and PS)
No dependents Eligible No waiver required
Custody of dependents Ineligible No waiver authorized
No custody of dependents Eligible with appropriate level waiver 1 or 2= NRD CO
3 = CNRC
4 or more = Ineligible
(NPS and PS)
Spouse only Eligible No waiver required
(NPS enlisting in paygrades E1 to E4 and PS enlisting in paygrades E1 to E4 with broken service)
Minor/non-minor dependents Eligible with appropriate level waiver 2 = NRD CO
3 or 4 = CNRC
5 or more = Ineligible
(NPS enlisting in paygrades E5 and above and PS enlisting in paygrades E5 and above with broken service)
Minor/non-minor dependents Eligible with appropriate level waiver 2 or 3 = Eligible
4 = NRD CO
5 = CNRC
6 or more = Ineligible
(PS enlisting under continuous service)
Minor/non-minor dependents Eligible No waiver required
NRD – Navy Recruiting District; CNRC – Commander, Navy Recruiting Command; PS – Prior Service; NPS – Non Prior Service

If one is required, the dependency waiver process starts with the Enlistee Financial Statement (Enlistee Financial Statement Form 1130/13). Incidentally, everyone enlisting with dependents will complete an Enlistee Financial Statement, even if a waiver is not required, and you will be interviewed by a Navy Recruiting Division Chief or person higher in the chain-of-command prior to enlistment processing.

The interviewer will:

  1. Determine if you are handling present personal and financial affairs in a mature, competent, and responsible manner.
  2. Determine if you can meet current and expected financial obligations within the first six-months of naval service.
  3. Counsel you concerning potential problems that may be experienced at the onset of enlistment relating to financial matters and the assignment to possible dependent restricted tours.

NOTE: A prior bankruptcy is not by itself a disqualifier for enlistment eligibility; however, it may affect the job you are qualified for because of the various security clearance requirements.

During the interview, your Enlistee Financial Statement will be reviewed with you either face-to-face or telephonically. The interviewer and chain of command will become suspicious of entries that are missing or unrealistic. All questionable areas must be resolved.

You will not be enlisted if it appears they are unable to meet current and expected financial responsibilities within the first six-months of Naval Service.

Completing the Enlistee Financial Statement:
The Enlistee Financial Statement is for use by all applicants with dependents. Prior to preparation, you shall sign the Privacy Act Statement on the Enlistee Financial Statement. The financial statement will be prepared in your own handwriting.

No special criteria for the amount of monthly expenditures to be entered for housing, food, utilities, etc. can be established due to the variation in circumstances present in each individual case; however, for the benefit of those who must determine whether a dependency waiver is to be granted, questionable or unrealistic entries must be fully explained. An example of a questionable entry would be $100 per month for food when the applicant has three dependents. While use of food stamps could explain the low amount, this must be explained in detail and attached to the form.

A realistic breakdown of monthly expenditures for most families would include additional categories that are not indicated on the financial statement (e.g., clothing, automobile expenses that are not included in car payments [gas, oil, tires, tune-ups, insurance, etc.], entertainment, miscellaneous). Entry of these expenses are especially applicable when your income is reported at $500 or $600 per month or more, and monthly expenditures total $300 or $400 per month. The absence of these additional expenses is even more noticeable when little or no savings and/or checking account balances are indicated. In order for the total debt and total monthly payment data to have greater relevance for personnel reviewing the financial statement, each outstanding debt, and the monthly payment for each debt, must be indicated.

Signature of your spouse is mandatory, unless you are legally separated, spouse resides outside the geographical area or refuses to sign. If this is the case, note the reason in item 16 of the form.

Note: If you are in the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) over 90 days or you acquire dependents while in DEP, you are required to complete an updated Enlistee Financial Statement prior to shipping to boot camp. Changes in dependency status must be reviewed, and if necessary, waived by the appropriate authority.

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787 Responses to “Navy Dependency Waiver”

  1. Ashley says:

    Question. My husband just left for basic training at Great lakes. When he signed up for the navy, it was just myself and my son so he had 2 dependents. I just found out that I am pregnant 3 days before he left for basic. Can he get kicked out? Does me being pregnant already count as a 3rd dependent or is it ok now that he is already in training? I am very worried and do NOT want him to get kicked out as this is his dream.

  2. NCCM(Ret) says:


    First of all, congratulations!

    The only question I have is why he didn’t inform them before he left? That may be more an issue than the dependency waiver itself. I recommend that he inform them at the soonest so the waiver can be considered.

  3. ashley says:

    He didn’t because I haven’t seen a Dr yet and he’s terrified. We weren’t planning for that to happen. I don’t see a Dr for a few more weeks either.

  4. NCCM(Ret) says:


    You said you found out three days before he left — he doesn’t need to be terrified, he just needs to make sure they are aware.

  5. shamicka says:

    I am 25 and in college set to graduate May 2015. I want to join the Navy once I graduate. I am interested in the Physician Assistant program. I want to know the likelyhood of me getting into the program with the Navy and what I will be required to do as far as me being a single mother of one? Also how does FTS work?

  6. NCCM(Ret) says:


    There is no active enlisted program, including FTS (the Full Time Support are essentially active duty personnel in the Reserve), that you are eligible for as a single parent. You would either have to apply for the regular Reserve, or with your degree, apply for a commission. Talk to your local officer recruiter (they are not the same person that would discuss enlisted programs with you).

  7. Sheena says:

    I’ve been reading a lot of questions and answers/suggestions, and a lot have been helpful… but to fully understand, I would like to ask one with my exact situation. I am 24 years old and in college. I also have one child. I’ve been engaged for some time and we finally set a date to next month. He has 3 children from his previous marriage. 1 of those children, he does not have custody or placement. After marriage, would all 3 of his kids be considered dependents of mine? Would I have 3 or 4 dependents. I only claim my son every other year (his biological father and I have joint custody) and never intend to claim his children.

    I’ve been wanting to join the Navy since HS but was always discouraged because I was a “single” parent. It is still something I want to do very much!

  8. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Based on what you wrote, I count 5 dependents after marriage. The husband, his three children, and your child. The only time a child of his would not count is if he/she was legally adopted.

  9. Eric says:

    If my wife has debt will that affect me enlisting. I know I must get a dependcy waiver since we have 1 child

  10. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The entirety of you and your wife’s debt and expenses are considered.

  11. Yvonne. says:

    I’m 21 years old, married with three kids. What would I need to do to be able to enlist or am I automatically unqualified?

  12. NCCM(Ret) says:


    With 4 dependents a waiver is possible as long as your debt is not extreme compared to what you would be making in the Navy, and of course, as long as you are otherwise fully qualified. Go see a recruiter!

  13. Kyle says:

    Hi I am currently in the DEP program and I leave in september for boot camp. My wife has recently left her job for good reason and it pretty much lowered our combined monthly income. I have filled out the financial statement already and now I know I have to change it due to this reason. So pretty much we dont make too much monthly but me and my wife and our little girl are currently living with her parents who support us financially for everything basically saying we have no bills besides car maintenence and food but we get $400 a month for food stamps and we also have WIC for the baby as well. When I do another financial statement it will look unrealistic but absolutely true; so my question to you is since it looks unrealistic will I have to get another face to face or telephone interview due to this concern or is the navy going to hold me back from my ship date to investigate?

  14. NCCM(Ret) says:


    If your wife’s income was used to put you over the top to be waived, then it may be an issue — when the calculations are made, they use your projected base pay when you are on active duty — if your monthly bills do not amount to more than that amount, you should be okay.

  15. Shanae says:

    Update from May 21st….. I spoke to my recruiter and he still doesn’t know anything about my waviers. I’m fed up and want answers NOW. I’ve emailed the Congressman in the area in hopes of getting answers. If all documents are completed and I’ve been told that the waviers have been sent numerous times and pending then what else should I do?

  16. NCCM(Ret) says:


    You can try calling the chain of command via the “contact us” link on the NRD’s Web site (link to the Districts is in the navigation bar of this site), or you can call the phone number that should be on the back of your business card — it goes to the national headquarters. I highly recommend attempting to contact the local command first if your recruiter’s immediate supervisor proves to be no help.

  17. Shanae says:

    I’ve contacted the number on the back of the card multiple times and the only response was that they will contact the recruiter and he will contact me with the updated info.

  18. Travis says:

    Ok so I want join the Navy but I don’t want to leave my girlfriend soon to be wife before I apply, Now when I’m married and joining the Navy will I be able to move off of base into an apartment with my women right away or will it take a few days or how long will I be gone before we can move in together as a Family like how will all of this work?

    P.S. If you can give me every little detail it would be really helpful Thanks.

  19. NCCM(Ret) says:


    One of the things you will do while in the military is have periods of separation from your family — just know that.

    If you are married when you join, of course, your wife will not go to boot-camp with you, and she may not be able to follow you to whatever school(s) you may be attending. If the schools are less than 6 months long, you will be there in a temporary status, so there will be no funding provided for you to move her, and you will stay in the barracks while in school. If the school is longer than 6 months, then a PCS move may be allowed — the funding may be made available for your wife to move, and you would be provided the BAH for your pay-grade for the zip code that your school is located to use for an apartment — if you are provided a house on base, the rent is free, but you don’t get the BAH (each location’s options may vary).

    When you get orders to your first command, your wife’s move will be funded, and you will be provided base housing or BAH to live out in town.

  20. Travis says:

    So the Navy is the army? And even after I complete all of that will my girl be able to live with me in the process and if I’m on base rent free do I still get paid monthly?

  21. NCCM(Ret) says:


    If you live on base, you get your basic pay and other allowances, but you will not receive BAH (housing money) if the housing you and your wife is living in is provided for you. If she is not your wife, then you will receive no monies for her existence, and she will be provided no benefits. She cannot live in the barracks with you regardless.

  22. Travis says:

    So let me see I understand you correctly if I’m married before I join the navy starting off an e-1 my wife and I will be separated for a little while before she can finally come live with me once I complete my training like I can’t just train and go home to her on base?

  23. NCCM(Ret) says:


    When going to school, you will either be sent to school for temporary duty (normally schools less than 6 months in length) — for that you will not be bringing your wife — or, you will make a permanent change of station (usually for schools longer than 6 months), and for those, you can bring your wife — her move would be funded as part of your orders. The same would hold true for all services.

  24. Achilles says:

    Good day: I would like to join the navy and I have 3 dependent (wife and 2 kids) I’m done with all ASVAB, medical and other screening procedure the only thing missing is my dependent waiver. I have submitted all my requirements since April and its been 3 months and still no final response if I qualify or not. My financial status have changed, my wife lost her job, and we are now on welfare. Should I reapply with my current financial status? How long will it take?

  25. NCCM(Ret) says:


    No idea why it would take so long for a Dependency waiver to have a decision rendered, but yes, if your financial status has changed, you need to make your recruiter aware.

  26. Amanda says:

    My husband is a Navy Veteran. We have 4 children. My question is, since he is the only source of earned income while I am a full time mother and student would we be able to qualify with 5 dependants since our financial situation would not change with me going in. He would still maintain his job (lead diesel mechanic for a Chevy dealership) and his disability from the VA. Currently I do not contribute to our finances with the exception of child support from my previous marriage and that would continue without interruption while I am away. Ultimately, is there anyway at all that I could still enlisted with 5 dependants if I could prove that I would not cause ANY financial burden or hardship for my family?

  27. NCCM(Ret) says:


    With 5 dependents and the fact that your husband is not still currently active duty, you would not be eligible for waiver consideration.

  28. Amanda says:

    What if he rejoined as well?

  29. NCCM(Ret) says:


    If he is eligible (HYT considerations, billets, etc), then he would not count as one of your dependents for waiver purposes; that would leave you 4 dependents, and that could receive waiver consideration by CNRC.

  30. vigno says:

    my waiver package was kicked out by the MEPS for the third time because of some mistake of the recruiter. im very tired for this. now another recruiter have done the paper work for me and I have to go to the MEPS for the third time for medical inspection and waiver processing for my three dependents. My question is to know why it is hard to join the US navy with dependents?

  31. NCCM(Ret) says:


    All waivers are difficult, but poor application preparation is on the recruiter; hopefully, your new one will do a better job. Keep in mind, everyone who needs a waiver needs one because they are not eligible to enlist. The waiver provides for an exception to the standard.

  32. vigno says:

    please I want top know if a waiver is granted at this time to people wiyh three dependent?

  33. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Yes, dependency waivers are being considered.

  34. Jay says:

    I am married with two children will my waiver go through CNRC or NRD CO?

  35. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Three dependents requires a CNRC waiver.

  36. RAG says:


    I am a trained firefighter, 30 units of college credit and a wife who financially supports us and our 4 kids -
    (While I have been in school, etc.). I took ASVAB and scored well enough to be a firefighter in navy reserve but am now being told that I basically need to beg for a waiver from an admiral in order to enlist. Since my wife can financially support our family separate of any military income I could contribute, could I still be eligible despite the fact that I would have 5 dependents?

  37. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The instruction does not provide for waiver consideration for non-prior service applicants who have 5 or more dependents. It specifically states that those with 5 or more dependents are ineligible for waiver consideration. By instruction, the Admiral will only consider waivers for those with three or four dependents. The only advice I can give you is that you may want to send a letter addressed to the Commander, Navy Recruiting Command that outlines your case — I would ensure that you have a detailed account of your finances; start with the financial statement your recruiter can provide, and then expound on that. Make sure you detail how long your wife has been at her job, and go into the details of her family insurance coverage, etc. No guarantees, but the Admiral is the decision maker. Oh, and don’t beg.

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