CVN-71

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.

FOR ACTIVE DUTY
IF YOU ARE AND HAVE: THEN YOU ARE: NUMBER OF
DEPENDENTS AND
WAIVER LEVEL
Unmarried or Divorced
(NPS
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
Married
(NPS and PS)
Spouse only Eligible No waiver required
Married
(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
Married
(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
Married
(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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788 Responses to “Navy Dependency Waiver”


  1. Sophie says:

    Thank you very much for posting this information. I have one more question. I noticed a section in the enlistee financial statement that asked about dependents’ need for medical assistance. I have type 1 diabetes, will this hinder my husband’s chances of enlisting further?

  2. NCCM(ret) says:

    Sophie,

    As long as your condition is controlled, you shouldn’t have too much problem.

  3. Greg Showalter says:

    My step son would like to join the Navy, but he has been told by the recruiter that he is too old,(He is 28.) and that he has too many dependents, ( He is married with three daughters). If I and my wife take custody of the kids until he reaches E-4 or E-5, will he then be allowed to join with one dependent (his wife)? I am retired from the USN as well and am aware of the burden the girls will place on us but it is worth it if this will light a fire under his butt and get him going in life. He is extremely intelligent and I think would make an excellent candidate for the nuclear program.

  4. NCCM(ret) says:

    Greg,

    Sorry for the delayed response. The giving up of custody is not enough to reduce an applicants total number of dependents for waiver purposes. An actual adoption would have to take place. He is not too old to join active duty (before 35th birthday), but is too old for Nuke (before 26th birthday), and he should be able to receive waiver consideration (if considered best qualified) via CNRC for the 4 total dependents.

    An edit as I can not count. Ooops.

  5. Dale says:

    Hello I have another question!!!

    1.If I get married while in DEP will I have to get some sort of waiver?

    2.What will happen If I have a child while unmarried in DEP and have joint custody?

    3.Finally can a sailor with joint custody of a child add the child as a dependent?

    If I get in I will probably be an E-3, sorry for the confusion but I am trying to plan a family while attempting to get into the Navy as I am trying to explore all available options.

  6. NCCM(ret) says:

    Dale,

    The same rules and waiver matrix that apply to enlistment into the delayed entry program also apply to you when you are in the delayed entry program. So, the answers to your questions;

    1. If your wife is your only dependent, then no waiver is required.

    2. You must relinquish physical custody of the child by court order. Absent a court order, a child support order awarded by the state that the child resides in may be used.

    3. Any and all of your children, whether they live with you or not, will be considered your dependent for the purpose of enlistment (including any children your spouse may have that reside with you).

  7. Dale says:

    OK so if I have a child after I successfully enlist, after a year of service, without being married, will they kick me out?

  8. NCCM(ret) says:

    Dale,

    Before you can ship to boot-camp, all the regulations/policies must be settled. Once you have shipped to boot-camp, the enlistment eligibility requirements pertaining to dependency (except for the reclaiming of physical custody for a single parent) will not apply.

  9. Thomas says:

    Hello, me and my wife are considering divorce, I am currently on active duty after 2 years of service (E-4) and I have 1 child with her and another child by another women. Can I keep physical custody of my children and not loose rank? Can I also maintain my current BAH pay by having these kids as Dependants and no married spouse? Not sure if I am posting in the right place but i am desperate and would like a second opinion before me and my wife proceed.

  10. NCCM(ret) says:

    Dale (you used the same computer…),

    Once your waiver is sent to CNRC it could take a couple of weeks to hear back – depends on the workload of the waiver section and the Commander’s and Deputy’s schedule. As far as you getting a divorce sometime after you enlist, you will not loose rank, although you can ultimately be discharged if you fail to get a child care certificate – a document that describes who will be taking care of the children if you deploy.

  11. Thomas says:

    Hello sir, no what happened is my brothers are using my computer to ask questions that they are to scared to ask their recruiter. My name is Thomas and I am an E-4 in the Navy I am encouraging my 2 brothers to join too under the buddy program due to both of them having problems finding jobs in this tough economy. Both of them have gotten into trouble and will probably need a CNRC waiver based on the information in your chart. As for me i have always stayed out of trouble. However now I am having spousal problems with my wife. Dale asked me about staring a family in the navy and having kids and we searched the web a stumbled upon this site. Sorry for any confusion from now on I will tell them to use their own computers at their homes!!! lol

    However if me and my wife do divorce and I get a child care certificate as well as keep the children as Dependants will I still be able to maintain my current BAH allowance that I get for having my wife as a Dependant?

  12. NCCM(ret) says:

    Dale, Thomas, Terry, Whoever,

    I really do not care what your name is, nor am I here to judge you – I want to make sure I deliver the most accurate information about enlisting in the Navy I can based on the information you, or anyone else, provides. Any married Third Class in the Navy should already have a pretty good idea about the question you posed, nor would one think he/she would lose rank because of a divorce, and finally, one would not say “hello, sir” to an NCCM – retired or not, but I will answer it just the same;

    BAH is either with dependents or without dependents (unless you are married to another service member, but based on the information provided – that’s not the case), so if you maintain dependents, whether they live with you or not, you will receive BAH with dependents – if the dependents do not live with you, then expect a good chunk of the BAH to be sent to the dependents for their support – the amount to be determined by a civilian court during your custody hearings.

    I hope this information helps.

  13. shar says:

    I have been getting the run around. My whole family is military and I was told by an OSO that I can go AD and get a dependent waiver since I am a single parent as long as I have a parenting plan and a General POA, which will not be a problem to obtain. But I am also getting told from recruiters that I can only go in as a Reservist unless I give my child up and then the first part of my tour I won’t be able to get him back or have him live with me. I read the chart above but I just want to know if I was able to go AD or not? I was a DEPer but since I had a child I got out and want to go back pursuing the USN.

  14. NCCM(ret) says:

    Shar,

    Your Recruiters are correct. You cannot enlist on active duty as a single parent.

  15. Michelle says:

    My fiancé and I are considering getting married before I ship to bootcamp in June. I have discussed it with my recruiter and at first she said it was not a big deal; no affect on my job or ship date -even when I told her that he has 2 daughters which we do not have physical custody of. Then I get a phone call that I will have to get a cnrc waiver after we have the marriage certificate. She still says it won’t affect my job or ship date but I am scared that it will. What should I expect? Thank you :)

  16. NCCM(ret) says:

    Michelle,

    The waiver, if approved, should be back in plenty of time for June – but, before you follow through on your current marriage plans, I highly recommend that you fill out the financial statement as if you were married and have it reviewed for discrepancies that may keep you from having a waiver approved. CNRC will grant a waiver because you meet the requirements and are considered a good risk, they DO NOT approve a waiver because you already have a job and a ship date.

  17. susan says:

    30 year old female ged but 72 college hours and 57 asvab wantin to join the navy I have three children but i married a gentleman whose xwife gave up their 3 children now i have 6 children is it totally impossible to join the navy now.

  18. NCCM(ret) says:

    Susan,

    You would be considered to have 7 dependents – a waiver would not be considered.

  19. susan says:

    so not even for the reserves. Has the navy always been like that or could this change

  20. NCCM(ret) says:

    Susan,

    Both the Reserve and active duty have the same married with dependents restriction of 5 or more being ineligible. It has been that way for many years, if a change does occur in the future, I think it will be a change that makes it even more restrictive.

  21. Kim says:

    Hello I read all the comments but still getting different answers about this Dependency waiver. I’m married with two children, took the ASVAB and physical. Now Its been two weeks waiting on a waiver to pick a job and ship date. What’s the longest it can take? Why would it be denied? and would a recruiter actually lie to you and say they dont have it because of quotas? Im just sick of the run around of not knowing what’s going on so I can plan on being in the Navy Reserves or not! Thanks in advance.

  22. NCCM(ret) says:

    Kim,

    Waivers that go to CNRC for approval take time for the following reasons – first, before your waiver can leave the local command and head to Millington, TN, your medical labs must be returned to the MEPS – this can take anywhere from 3-4 work days – your package has to be re-looked for accuracy and the local command has to write a letter of recommendation based on the interview and supporting documentation. Once the package leaves the local command and makes it to CNRC, the CNRC waiver folks will log it in, and again re-look the package to ensure nothing is missing. Now, the package is at the mercy of the schedules of those who can approve the waiver at CNRC – from the Operations Department Head to the Admiral (depending on the waiver and if the authority can be delegated).

    Two – three weeks is about average, but again, could go as much as a month.

  23. Ieisha says:

    I have a question. I recently joined the marines but was discharged because of a dependent waiver gone wrong. I have one son and have joint custody of him with my mom, would that make me ineligible to join? and if not would i have to move out to join? The marines told me the reason i was discharged was because my mother and i share joint custody and i was staying in the same house as her and my child.

  24. NCCM(ret) says:

    Ieisha,

    The fact that you are a single parent and have joint custody – that makes you not eligible for active duty, it doesn’t matter where you live. You are eligible for the Reserve.

  25. Will says:

    I’m a Father of two, recently separated from the mother. She has custody of both children. I’ve been wanting to enlist for 4-5 years now, and watched friends without children go around me. My question is this – over everything I want to make sure my children are taken care of- how much money will my ex get to take care of my children and how much will I receive to live off of every month enlisting, and does testing extremely high on the asvab give me the posibility of regaing custody of my children, if not after how many years can I? Sorry for the format.

  26. NCCM(ret) says:

    Will,

    Before you can join, you need to have court ordered child support already in place, and you can not seek custody of your children during your first enlistment. I suggest you sit down with a recruiter and complete your financial statement, and have him/her review your current custody documents to ensure they are sufficient.

    You ASVAB score has absolutely no bearing on regaining the custody of your children.

  27. Betsy says:

    My boyfriend wants to joing the Navy I have a child of my own and we also have a child together we are planing to get married should we get married before he starts the elistment process or after? If we get married before how long would a waiver take to process?

  28. NCCM(ret) says:

    Betsy,

    Joining the Navy prior to getting married would require that he have court documents that define the child’s support, custody and a detailed financial statement – getting married after you get married, while it does require a CNRC dependency waiver, he will still be required to supply the detailed financial statement. I am of the opinion that if you plan on getting married, then get married and go through the waiver process – if you get approved, great! If you do not get approved, then it more than likely was better not to put you in the circumstance to worry about your finances, and perhaps become a burden on the command where you are stationed. In other words, don’t game the system because it is in place for a very valid reason.

  29. Shawn says:

    Iam married and my son is 17 years old now but will be 18 years old before I ship to basic do I still need a waiver to enlist? It just seems like a waste of time to do all the paper work when Im not even leaving until after he is of legal age. I want to enlist this week but cant leave until after mid August his birthday is in July.

  30. NCCM(ret) says:

    Shawn,

    If you do join before he is 18, you will require the waiver, but you only have 2 dependents so it is only a CO NRD waiver – the paperwork you have to provide is the same if you joined with just a spouse.

  31. Shawn says:

    Oh so its that financial sheet? Also is the CO NRD are they somewhere else or is it the recruiter? So will I do this paperwork before MEPS? Sorry IM just really excited. Also if I go active how long does it typically take before an enlistee can go back to college?

  32. Shawn says:

    Oh and thank you so much for answering!

  33. NCCM(ret) says:

    Shawn,

    Aye, all the paperwork will have to be completed before you go to the MEPS – if you have not yet seen a recruiter, I suggest you do that at your earliest convenience if for anything else, to get the specific answers to your questions, and the hundred others your will have :), and to also ensure you meet all the other qualifications for enlistment beyond dependency.

  34. Rod says:

    I’m married with 3 children and planning on going Active Duty. I know I’m going to need a waiver due to 4 dependents. Will it be difficult obtaining one since the Navy is pretty much overmanned now OR should I wait until October when the new FY starts and maybe have a better chance?

  35. NCCM(ret) says:

    Rod,

    The Navy is already recruiting into FY-12 seats. Your chances for a waiver would be more predicated on your financial status than seat availability.

  36. shar says:

    I am considering getting married to an AD service member and still want to enlist as AD in the USN as well. What is the special waiver that I keep seeing I will need? I have a child from a previous relationship. Would I be disqualified ?

  37. Christina Renee says:

    My boyfriend and I have a child together, and he wants to enlist in the Navy. He is on the birth certificate, and we are living together with our child. However, we are not married and are not going to get married. Does he have to give up legal custody of our daughter, and if so, what does that process entail? The recruiter cannot give him any information regarding this subject, but can any of you please share what you know on this matter? Your help is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  38. NCCM(ret) says:

    Christina,

    Active Component single applicants, (male and female), who have dependents must have relinquished physical custody of dependents by court order. Absent a court order, a child support order awarded by the state that the child resides in may be used to determine eligibility for enlistment. The court order or child support order (with appropriate official signature) is required prior to processing for enlistment. http://www.navycs.com/blogs/2009/01/24/navy-dependent-definition

  39. Justin says:

    i recently got married while in DEP, i gave all the needed paper work to my recruiter to process to change my dependency from single to married, i went to meps with him and ended leaving there with nothing accomplished, now hes telling me i have to bring all my paper work to boot camp for them to process because he cant do it. whats going to happen when i show up to boot and there is a change in my dependency and they have no records of it?

  40. NCCM(ret) says:

    Justin,

    As long as you filled out your financial statement and turned in a copy of the marriage license – and it is just you and your wife – besides turning in the paperwork – there is nothing else to do. That said, on the day you go to boot-camp, make sure that your dependency status is correct. MEPS will ask you to confirm everything again that morning, so have copies of the required paperwork just in case, but you shouldn’t have any problems.

  41. Melissa says:

    Good Morning,

    Several months ago I attempted to join active duty. Here’s my story: I sponsored my husband from abroad and he now here in the us; I have 3 children with 3 different men and my last one if for my husband; I have a court ordered child support for my 1st two children; my mother is power of attorney; and I scored 51. The 1st time I went in the office they said wait till he gets into the country. The 2nd time they said ” your mom needs to be POA”. The 3rd time they said ” Score higher on the ASVAB” and the 4th time, ” You have too many dependants, you will never be able to go active nor reserve”… I was discouraged… but after a year.. The light turned back on and i’m back in school working on my bach and hope to start my masters in a few years. Before i’m finished, i might attempt to try the navy again.. and maybe try to go for a E5 or above…. What do you think about my story?

  42. Kris says:

    My spouse is AD in the US Army, and together we have 5 kids. Is it unreasonable to think that I could enlist in the Navy as a dual-military family (we waivered into the US Army and since have added a child to our family while on an overseas tour).

  43. NCCM(ret) says:

    Because your husband is on active duty, he will be documented on your enlistment forms as a dependent, but he don’t count as a dependent for waiver purposes – but because you have dependent 5 children, you would not be eligible for a waiver.

  44. Jonathan says:

    Hello, I have been reading the previous posts and this is all very informative. I have a question of my own. I am about sign a contract with the Navy and be placed into the DEP program. I am currently married with 1 child and one on the way. Since my wife is pregnant when I will be signing my contract, will this adversely affect my chances of shipping out. I’ve told my recruiter numerous times, however he says to not worry about it, because there is no SSN to document the child. Shouldn’t the Navy consider 3 dependents vs 2 even if the child is not born yet?

  45. NCCM(ret) says:

    Jonathan,

    Yes, you must list your unborn child. Tell your Recruiter to read COMNAVCRUITCOMINST 1130.8J – VOLUME II, Chapter 2, Section 5, Page 3.

    It states;

    Unborn child(ren) of applicants that self-admit to being the father of an unborn child(ren) or for whom a positive legal/medical paternity determination has been made are considered to be dependent(s) for enlistment and affiliation purposes.

  46. Jaime says:

    I am unmarried, my girlfriend and I have a four year old son. I really want to join the Navy.

    From the looks of it, do I have to give up sole physical custody? I really don’t want to do this, in case anything happens to my relationship while I’m gone. Can I file for joint, and have my parents act on my behalf while I’m gone? As I said, I would really like to join, I’m only 22 and feel the Navy is a great opportunity, but I would like to explore every avenue possible before I decide to give up all my custody. :/

  47. NCCM(ret) says:

    Jamie,

    You cannot have custody of a child as a single parent when you enlist on to active duty.

    There is more information if you use the dependent definition link in the post.

  48. Red says:

    Hi i am married and had 1 child from previous relationship (child is living in the Philippines with my pArents and in the process of bringing him here in US by 2012) recruiter told me that makes 2 dependent and still qualify me for enlisting….i Am about go and take the asvab and meps. If i pass all the requirements and put into DEP before bootcamp…And let say my wife got pregnant before me shipping out…would I be Disqualifed from NAVY or would they give waiver for having 3 dependent (wife, child and unborn) Whats their policy for this? Recruiter said i might be DQ if this happen.

  49. NCCM(ret) says:

    Red,

    Any change in your status prior to going to boot-camp while in the DEP requires the same eligibility requirements and procedures as someone that is processing to join the DEP.

    With 2 dependents, your wife and child, you will require a waiver for enlistment – the level of the waiver is the commanding officer of the local district. If your wife becomes pregnant after that waiver, you are adding another dependent, with three dependents, you would then require a waiver from the Commander, Navy Recruiting Command – a more difficult waiver to gain approval. Follow your recruiters advice and do not get pregnant before you ship to boot-camp. As a matter of fact, I suggest you don’t produce another child until you are settled into your new profession.

  50. Joseph Braun says:

    This is the most informative information I have found in the last three weeks of attempting to talk to recruiters. Here is my issue. I have wanted to join the Navy for years…recruiter messed it up the first time when I was 17 and single (long story, not worth the effort here). Now I am married…I have 2 children biologically who do NOT live with me and I am currently paying child support (yes, a court order is in place). My wife has 3 children, only ONE of which we have custody. The other two, by court order, live with their grandparents. As far as I can tell, the Navy regs talk about stepchildren that live with the applicant (me) and natural children OF THE APPLICANT no matter where they live. Is this correct? Do I have 4 dependents or 6?

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