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United States Navy Enlistment Eligibility

Basic Requirements for Navy Enlistment

Updated: July 4, 2017

Applicants wanting to enlist in the United States Navy must meet specific eligibility requirements to be considered qualified. The following information is segmented into the various types of things that are required, and each of those paragraphs have links to the specific pages that may answer your questions. There are a few hundred pages of information regarding enlistment eligibility available, not to mention the thousands of informative comments. Please ask any questions you may have on the most appropriate page, or use the “Contact Me” link to communicate privately via email. Please keep your comments anonymous as your privacy is paramount.

A short note to keep in mind as you read this and any attached pages: When filling out your application to join the Navy, all your historical information (residence, education, and employment) must be listed for at least the last seven years; however, any prior military service, health issues, police involvement (tickets, citations, arrests, etc), drug, alcohol, and financial information must be included since your date of birth. For example, if you are 25 years old, and you received a ticket for jaywalking at 12 years old, the ticket must be listed in your application.

So, first let’s talk about how old you have to be to join the Navy. The days of being 15 years old and lying about your age to get in are long gone. You have to be at least 17 years of age (17 with parents signed permission that is) and not older than 34 (if you have reached your 35th birthday, your ship has sailed as it were) for service in the active Navy, you can be anywhere from 18-39 years of age for service in the Navy Reserve.

Update as of April 13, 2011: 17 year old applicants may enlist into the Delayed Entry Program but may not ship prior to their 18th birthday, unless their 18th birthday will occur no later than 60 days from date of shipping. All other notes regarding enlistment of 17 year old applicants still apply.

You need to be a United States citizen, permanent resident alien, or U.S. non-citizen national and possess a Social Security Card. You can’t join if we can’t tax ya! (Detailed citizenship requirements)

Non-prior service applicants must be a High School Diploma Graduate (DoD Tier I) and be able to achieve a minimum of a 35QT composite score on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). If you do not have an approved Tier I credential, then a Tier II credential, like the General Education Diploma (GED) may be used, but a minimum ASVAB score of 50QT is required. Tier II applicants must be advised that the openings available for Tier II credentials are very limited.

English doesn’t have to be your first language, but you must be proficient in reading, speaking, writing, and understanding English to enlist.

You can have no more than one dependent although dependency waivers may be granted if you have more dependents when you can prove that you are a financially responsible human being. Note: If you’re single, you must not have physical custody of a dependent if you are processing for enlistment in the active Navy.

Whether you are enlisting or seeking a commission, you must pass a physical examination. This isn’t your everyday physical and it must be completed by a doctor at the Military Entrance Processing Station (good ol’ MEPS). You must be within the Navy height and weight standards. The physical not only checks your current status but reviews your past medical history as some ailments can cause long term issues that you may not feel any effects from today. Some disqualifying medical conditions can be waived and some are normally disqualifying altogether.

You can not be under civil restraint to include, but not limited to, probation or incarceration nor have a pattern of minor convictions or any non-minor misdemeanor or felony convictions; although, Conduct Waivers may be granted depending on number and severity – your personal conduct and accomplishments are just a couple of the factors used to determine your waiver (remember: if you get to the point where a waiver interview will be conducted, be respectful and polite!). Special circumstances for domestic violence charges and convictions.

You can not be a substance abuser to include prescription drugs, alcohol, and/or illegal drugs. The Navy has a zero tolerance when it comes to drug usage, it is a ONE strike and you’re OUT.

A six minute video that describes a regular visit to MEPS – your individual experience may vary depending on the need for medical consultations and the processing of any waivers that may be required.

Keep in mind this post is very general and is intended to give you a basic overview of enlistment requirements. Make sure you discuss any and all information with your Recruiter and ensure ultimately the information is documented in your enlistment application.

2,199 Responses to “Basic Requirements for Navy Enlistment”

  1. Muscle MIA says:

    I’m looking at joining the Navy but I have a rare disorder where I have a missing muscle. I still have a few years before I can join, but I still want to know if putting in the extra work I’d need to do to build up my upper body muscular system to meet the qualifications for the Annapolis.

  2. NCCM(ret) says:

    @Muscle MIA

    I have recruited an individual who was missing a muscle in his chest, he was able to join after a waiver was approved. Each situation would be case by case, ensure you maintain copies of all relevant medical documentation and any letters from coaches of sports you may have played referencing your physical ability.

    Hope everything works out!

  3. Tomeka says:

    I am 32 single mom. I would like to join the navy. I was in the navy reserves for a few years. My father is willing to help me with custody. My question is will I still be able to receive bah and benefits with my father helping me with custody. Thanks.

  4. NCCM(ret) says:


    I think your custody question can be this way, “If you are single, you must not have physical custody of a dependent if you’re processing for enlistment in the active Navy.” You may still be eligible for re-enlistment into the Navy Reserve.

  5. bxfx29483 says:

    I have taken the ASVAB and scored an 86 and all my paperwork has been turned in and now I’m just waiting to go to MEPS to receive my physical. My only issue is that when I was 6 years old I had an odd illness called Cat Scratch Disease and it caused a single lymph node to be inflamed, resulting in its removal. One of the side effects of the illness was that I had an extremely high fever resulting in a seizure. Once my infected lymph node was removed and the doctors stabilized me, I never had any issues concerning this illness again. The seizure that I experienced was the only one I ever had and it occurred when I was 6 years old (20 years ago). Does this seem like this would be an issue to the doctors at MEPS resulting in a DQ?

  6. NCCM(ret) says:


    Your medical records from the event will be required, I assume your Recruiter has already submitted them. The MEPS doctor will be looking at two things, one will be the biopsy results of the node removed and the time frame of the events. The fact that you have been asymptomatic for the last 20 years suggests to me you should not have any issue. There is a 5 year minimum waiting period for seizures, you have well surpassed that.

    Good luck and let us know how it all turns out!

  7. CAST Question says:

    Are the scores generally received on the practice ASVAB tests at the recruiters pretty close to what most people get on the actual CAT-ASVAB?


  8. NCCM(ret) says:

    It is a pretty good indicator, usually within +-10 points

  9. Don says:

    Hello there,i have been really thinking about joining but my question is i know it is always more favorable and possibly a must to have a high school diploma or even GED but thought i would ask anyhow,is it a must to have graduated high school to get in the navy?

    Another question if i were to get in what are the chances of being sent to war? and what type of warfare would it be,mostly aboard a ship? I am really interested in helping out over there.

  10. NCCM(ret) says:

    Don, Where some Navy jobs require a high school diploma or equivalent, it is possible to get into the Navy without a HS diploma or GED. You must score well on the ASVAB test – see your local Recruiter for details.

    We currently are a country at war – everyone serving our country has a “chance” of serving in the war zone. The platform you serve on, ship, aircraft, land base, submarine, etc., will be determined by your job and the needs of the Navy.

  11. kb says:

    So here is one for you. I was in the navy active duty from 1995-1999. Got out, RE-R1. Joined the Army in 2000. Will ETS (EOS) in nov 2010. I am looking at going back to the Navy active duty to finish out my 20, or more. I assume this will be an availible billet question, but what are the odds i could be accepted back in? I will be 35 when i am released from the Army.

  12. NCCM(ret) says:

    You are right, it will depend on the billets available according to the rating’s community manager you will be applying for, and at what pay-grade. I do know prior service billets are hard to come by – check with the local Navy Recruiter when you get closer to your date (it is in the next FY and final end strength numbers/requirements for FY 2011 won’t be figured until that budget is released/signed.) Your age will not be an issue.

  13. kb says:

    Thanks for your reply Master Chief. I do appreciate the help.
    regards, GM2(SW), SSG B

  14. Amy says:

    I have a tough question for you. I keep getting bounced from recruiter to recruiter and have been for a year so far. I joined the Navy Reserve in 2003 under the APG program. I had 1 year to complete 15 days of boot camp. I never got there due to my weight. Now I have lost it and want to join (prefer Active Duty). The recruiters are not sure how to classify me. I drilled for 1 year, but never went to boot camp. Do I qualify as prior service, or non-prior service? I have attempted to find out from several recruiters and have driven as far as 3 hours away only to be told they do not know. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

  15. NCCM(ret) says:

    You are considered non-prior service as you do not have the required consecutive active duty service days. You will require a release (DD-368) from the reserve unit in order to process for active duty; your recruiter would need to accomplish this. Good luck!

  16. Nathan says:

    I am an intelligent man(now 26),and would excel in the Navy and score high on any test. In High School I aced my Sat’s, and I have completed nearly 100 credit hours at my university with a high G.P.A. Also I am in great physical condition. However, while I have never had a felony; over five years ago I was arrested for class a burglary of a motor vehicle and trespassing in the same year. I plead guilty and spent a few days in county jail. I have led a good life since then as I have matured.
    What are my chances of joining?

  17. NCCM(ret) says:

    The devil is in the details. The Navy will not only consider the crimes, but will also consider the positive things you have accomplished. You should be fine, but you will be limited to jobs that do not require an extensive security clearance. Be truthful with the recruiter and demonstrate that you have excepted responsibility for your prior indiscretions (I always had problems hearing people say things like; “It was my friends fault… The cops arrested all of us, but blah blah blah…” —Man-up!).

  18. teshauna says:

    Hi I just took the asvab test and made a 34 I was going for the army but I want to do the navy. Can I join with a 34 on the asvab test?

  19. NCCM(ret) says:

    Current Navy minimum AFQT score for enlistment of non-prior service (NPS) applicants is 35.

  20. Daniel says:

    I am 26 years old and really want to enlist in the active Navy. I am a little worried about my credit. The only thing that messed my credit up was having my car reposessed which I owed like $7,000 on. Would this disqualify me from enlisting?

  21. NCCM(ret) says:

    Bad credit is not a dis-qualifier by itself. If you have dependents, your finances and ability to pay your bills will be considered heavily. Bad credit may also restrict the jobs you may qualify for (security clearance jobs will be difficult to get).

  22. James says:

    I have a hard one for you. I have a pacemaker. I have spoken to recruiters and they disqualified me based off of the false pretenses of me being on medication. I have never been on medication in my life, I have told the recruiters this. I have been told from someone who is an active duty sailor that all i need is a waiver. So I asked my cardiologist to write me a waive stating that I have no physical restriction and he had no reason to doubt I would get accepted. I just keep running into recruiters who think I take medication. I took the ASVAB and got a 86. I a U.S born citizen with weight and height requirements. Im at a loss because I have a waiver and no one is giving me the time of day. I need incite on the matter.

  23. NCCM(ret) says:

    Your disqualification isn’t due to medication – it is because you have a condition that requires you to wear a pacemaker. There is no waiver authorized for those wearing a pacemaker.

  24. Lazarus says:

    Hello, I’m 24 years old with a Bachelor’s college degree, and have scored an 84 on the EST…however, I’ve made silly mistakes in the past, as far as simple possession of marijuana (although the arrest report never stated actual marijuana found) and petty theft (served probation, which I completed)..these charges are now dismissed due to the fact that I went under the diversion program and I currently have no ties with the court system …what is the chance of enlisting into the Navy and any chance for OCS possibilities?

  25. tadaka says:

    I am looking to join the navy. When I was 18 I went in to the army at the pushing of my family. I did not want to be there and dropped out after 3 weeks. 11 years later I have decided Navy could be a good option for me. From my understanding I will need 2 wavers. One I have a wife and 2 children. I have a solid credit score and only debt is 1 credit card for about 1k and we recently bought a car. Also my code for leaving the army was a 3. My understanding is it was listed as failure to adapt. I have spoken to the recruiter and he tells me he can’t say if I will be able to get the wavers or give me any idea how good my chances are at getting in. Any idea if I have a decent chance at getting in. I need to lose like 30 pounds before I can go down to process. I know that seems like a lot but I have all ready lost about 26 pounds. I would just hate to do all this work and be told I have no chance.

  26. NCCM(ret) says:

    You are within waiverable limits based on what you describe. Lose the weight and give it a shot; worst case, you would have lost the weight.

  27. NCCM(ret) says:

    For the purposes of enlistment, if your charges are disposed with ANY condition, it will be considered a guilty finding and will be subject to, if otherwise qualified/required, a waiver by the proper approval authority. Example – even if a prosecutor tells you your charges will be dropped if you write a “letter of apology”, the condition requirement of having to write the letter is considered an adverse adjudication and will require a waiver. All the facts of your cases will be considered during the process – the best advice I can give you today, added to the advice I gave you back in July, is to fully accept responsibility for your actions and get the process started. Based on what you tell me, you are waiverable for enlistment provided all your probation periods are completed satisfactorily; I do not think OCS would be an option for you, but check with an officer recruiter for a definitive answer.

  28. SAM says:

    I am 35 years old. I have 2 DUI’s. I am finishing up on the second but still have 2 1/2 years of probation left. I talked to navy recruiters last year and was told to get the probation dropped. I asked the courts but they denied it. I have 5 more month’s left to finish my treatment program, at which time I would like to ask the courts to drop my probation so I can join the Navy. After completing my treatment program how do i go about getting the informal probation dropped so I can join?

  29. NCCM(ret) says:

    You had to join and get to boot camp prior to your 35th birthday. You are now too old to join active duty Navy.

  30. angel says:

    hello! i really want to join the navy but i’m wondring if i still could cuz i had a 4th misdemeanor case being dismissed and never been charged at all, please help me, will i still be able to join the navy?

  31. NCCM(ret) says:


    You need a recruiter to review your actual police records to evaluate each charge and disposition.

  32. PetraPantra says:

    I have some questions about being a non-citizen and joining the Navy. I have been researching but I get mixed answers. I have been in the US since August of 2004 as a student. I completed a Bachelor’s degree in 2008 and I am currently working legally as a Non-Resident Alien. I have an EAD card and US SSN but not a green card. Can I join the Navy?

  33. NCCM(ret) says:

    You must have a USCIS I-551 (Permanent Residence Card) for enlistment.

  34. Anthony says:

    Hi, my name is Anthony. I’m 23 years old college student pursuing an AA degree (I have 28 college credits at the moment). I recently moved to another city and I’ve been having financial issues and its making my college life terrible. I also have a sister who I look after because shes always in trouble. At the moment, I feel like my life is not going anywhere and I want a life challenge and an adventure. I’ve thought about enlisting in the NAVY since I was 20. I really want to enlist but my age tells me I should get my bachelors and join the NAVY as an officer. If I enlist, I’ll get out by the time I’m 27 or 28. If I go to college after the enlistment for my 4 yr degree, Ill be 30-32 and have my financial situation a little more at ease with the GI Bill and other benefits. I’m mentally ready to enlist but I just need to hear some opinions….

  35. NCCM(ret) says:

    You do have a lot to consider.
    First, you cannot join the active Navy as a single parent/guardian (with physical custody; shared or sole).

    The officer route; you would need at least a 3.0 GPA in challenging discipline to be competitive. Just having the BS/BA isn’t going to get it. You will also be approaching the upper limits of age for some programs by the time you do graduate. Call an Officer Recruiter and answer his questions so he can provide you with an outline that would suit your circumstance more clearly than I would be able to provide in this forum.

    The enlisted route; 30-32 years old is still young from a whole life perspective; moreover, your resume will be much more competitive than those coming right out of college without the military experience.

  36. mike says:


    I am 24 and I’m in my junior year of college for international business. I have a good GPA, and I’m in awesome shape (gym everyday, run under 5 minute mile, excellent swimmer etc). I have a clean record, however I’m technically color blind (although I fail the tests, I can still see and distinguish colors fine). I also have a sleeve tattoo (all traditional sailor tattoos, nothing offensive). First, I wanted to know if I would even qualify for the officer program when I graduate. If not, I would still be happy to enlist, but I would still like to know if the color blind/tattoo issues would be a factor for enlisting.


  37. NCCM(ret) says:


    I sent you an email, not sure you received it, that states the following;
    Being color blind will not keep you from enlisting in the Navy (it will limit the jobs you are qualified for) – the sleeve tat should not either, as long as it is not on the hand or neck; however, those issues may very well disqualify you for a commission as an officer. My expertise is with enlisting, I have very little experience with commissioning. So, I HIGHLY recommend that you seek out an officer recruiter at the soonest because educationally, you are in the window – you may even qualify for BDCP (pays for the rest of your college).

    I have since found that there are a few commissioning programs/designators that a lack of color vision will not disqualify you. A couple of them are Public Affairs Officer, Information Warfare Officer, and even Aerospace Maintenance Duty Officer.

  38. Anthony says:

    Hey NCCM(ret), thanks for the response. I’m currently a couple credits away from achieving my transfer degree/associate degree in business administration from a community college. I did some research about people enlisting with an AA degree and turns out I can possibly enlist as a E-3 but I wonder if GPA matters..That will be one of my questions when I go see a Navy recruiter. Please let me know if you have the answer to my question.

    The other day I realized I’ve always wanted to be in the Navy since I was a little boy living in Japan visiting US bases every summer (Sasebo, Yokota, Yokosuka, Zama). My mom couldnt afford a flight ticket to visit the US so she used to take me to these bases to get a little taste of America. I am motivated and mentally ready to serve now. I’m hoping that I can serve and get my bachelors during my enlistment and become a Navy officer in a few years. I plan on visiting a recruiter soon. Please let me know if you have any advice for me.

    – Anthony

  39. NCCM(ret) says:


    As per the information on this page, it takes 48 semester hours or 72 quarter hours of college credits to be enlisted into paygrade E-3. The classes must be 100 level or higher (cannot be remedial) for them to count – GPA isn’t considered – if the institution issued the credits, they count.

  40. Jack says:

    My 30 year old husband is interested in joining the navy. We have no children together, but we each have one child from previous relationships. My son will be a dependent of his, but my husband does not have physical custody of his son. Will we still consider his son a dependent? Will the navy grant us a waiver for me and my son?

    We are from Guam. How long after my husband successfully completes the ASVAB and signs the dotted line can we expect him to go onto Navy RTC? Thank you in advance!

  41. NCCM(ret) says:

    Yes, both sons will count as dependents for enlistment purposes. A waiver will depend on your current financial status. If he his fully qualified and is granted the waiver, the when he leaves for boot-camp will be based on when boot camp vacancies are available for the job he joins for.

  42. Dan says:

    I graduated from college in December and am looking at joining the navy. I was looking at possibly going in as an officer, but last year around May I was convicted for shoplifting a $20 item, I received a suspended imposition of sentence, which means as long as I don’t have any other offenses for 2 years it will never really show up. I know the navy is only concerned with the fact that I was convicted, but would it stop me from going in as an officer?

  43. NCCM(ret) says:

    With a criminal record, your chances of receiving a commission would be pretty slim unless you are an otherwise very exceptional candidate.

    For everyone’s notes:
    All charges, even if they are sealed by the court, will show up during your background investigations for the military.

  44. tadaka says:

    Just a minor update only 16 pounds left to go and got a 96 on the asvab. Should find out if I can get in soon thanks again for the info.

  45. manengba says:

    I am a 20 year old student, Filipino Citizen. But graduated high school and I’m currently enrolled in a University in the Philippines. But I’m opting to join. Is it possible for me to enlist myself?

  46. NCCM(ret) says:


    You need to be a United States citizen, permanent resident alien, or U.S. non-citizen national and possess a Social Security Card. The US Navy closed our Filipino citizen recruiting effort many years ago.

  47. NCCM(ret) says:


    Your ASVAB score will have no bearing on your clearance.

    Those who grant clearances will take everything into consideration when making a decision. How much you credit it will weigh will depend on the level of clearance you will require and how bad your credit really is. Just too many variables to give a real solid answer.

  48. tadaka says:

    So very frustrated.

    Back in Nov when I talked to recruiter he made it seem like some things are not a big deal at all. Now that I have lost the 50 pounds I needed to lose things have taken a turn. I was given a new recruiter as the one I had spoke to has moved on.

    At one point I had gone on anti depression meds. I had a job I hated and doctor had me try them out. They did not help I took them for about a month and quit. Quit the job and life went back to being cool. Main problem with this is the doctor who prescribed them has retired (the entire practice is closed)so I can’t get records from him. I tried the insurance company who paid and the only information they had was I went in for a doctor’s visit around that time. They did not have any details on what it was about.

    About 5 years ago had a car accident went in to a chiropractor for help? Got feeling better Until a few months back I went in every few weeks for what the doctor described as mainance. My back is doing fine and I have not gone in for months. I lost the 50 pounds busting my butt running, hiking, swimming that sort of thing and I would think after all this if my back had issues I would know about it. Recruiter is telling me past back issues will DQ me.

    Does this sound like a lost cause? I really want to go in and I feel like im healthy enough to serve.

  49. NCCM(ret) says:

    Not a lost cause, but you do have a lot of issues to overcome. The doctor who retired; write a statement that describes the reason for the medication and the fact that your doctor has closed the practice and retired (although, I would think that the records have been transferred somewhere – I’d call the medical records department of the hospital he worked with and see if they can guide you on how to find them). If you didn’t have back surgery, and your back hasn’t been hurting you for a very long time – just get the records from the chiropractor (if not already in the records, have him write a letter that your back is fine and that you should experience no problems int he future – it would be great, too, if he would state that the loss of the 50+ pounds makes things even better). If MEPS needs additional supporting documentation, they will ask for it.

    Your chances? All depends, but I can promise you this – your chances are 100% better by submitting the documents, then not submitting them at all.

  50. gilb says:

    Hi, my husband is DEP leaving anywhere from June to December (it’s we are waiting for certain tests to go through to determine when he will actually go). His driving record was a little shaky so they had him fill out the waiver to be able to join even though he has mutiple violations. The other day he got pulled over and recieved yet another speeding ticket. Since he already has the one waiver I’m pretty certain he can’t recieve another one for this new ticket. Is there anything else he can do?

  51. NCCM(ret) says:


    As long as the additional speeding ticket didn’t take him out of a possible waiver, for example, he had X number of charges, but XX was the max then adding the other X may not have disqualified him – that said, if I was the person who granted the waiver for a ton of traffic tickets and he went out and got another one while waiting to go to boot camp… lets say it would be very tough for me to approve it. Take his keys away until he grows up.

  52. Beau says:


    I’m very interested in enlisting in the Navy. I’m a 28 year old married father of 1.

    I have a HS diploma, and I’ve never been in trouble with the law.

    I’m 5’9″ and 215lbs, about 25% body fat. I’ve been losing weight, and have lost about 17lbs in the last month. So I’m not really worried about losing enough body fat.

    I am curious about debt. Right now we have a decent amount of debt, 2 credit cards, and a car payment. Though we’ve never had a late payment, and my credit score is over 700. My total debt is about $9k. And my wife’s is about $8k.

    Would that keep me out completely?

  53. NCCM(ret) says:


    It will come down to how much your monthly payments are as compared to your potential family earnings when you are serving on active duty. Your Recruiter will have the form to fill out that will tell the percentage of future debt to income. There are a few variables that are considered, and the best answer will come from the recruiter (btw, married couple’s debt is considered as an aggregate).

    To answer your question; with the total you describe, depending on the monthly payments, you don’t sound as if you are too far out of standards, if at all.

  54. Beau says:

    Awesome, thank you very much for the quick reply! My wife and I have scheduled to talk to the local recruiter tomorrow. We’re both excited. Thanks again!

  55. Daniel says:

    Master Chief, let me start by thanking you for all your responses and your helpful blog/website. I think you are providing a valuable service that is hard to find for those seeking enlistment or re-enlistment. Perhaps you can help me with my complex case. I’ve done the groundwork and read all the pertinent COMNAVCRUITCOM instructions, BUPERS instructions and whatever other NAVADMIN messages I could find relating to my case, which is thus:

    I am a prior service NAVET (1999-2003) who separated MBK with RE-R1, so I’m good to go in that regard. I attained E-5 at my 2.5 year mark, and have no NJPs or DRBs. None of my evals were below 3.0 (except for NOBs). I never was PNA’d, and I got a NAM for VBSS, so my record is pretty solid. My ASVAB back in the day was an 88. I was an STG2, so I held a secret clearance downgraded w/o prejudice. Never did drugs in college or before.

    I attended college, graduating with a BA in history and took a 5th year grad school to get a teaching credential. My GPA was excellent (3.6 or better). I graduated with degree in 2007, with credential 2008, and have been employed less than full time since (due to bad economy for teachers and such). I’ll be 31 this month, so I know I don’t need a waiver for age. My break in service is 7 years, so I don’t qualify for PRISE-III. Are there waivers for this?

    I’m eagerly seeking re-enlistment to escape this hell I call civilian life, and I’m looking at either the DPEP program. I would make it a career if accepted. I am a TIER-I candidate (due to college), but I don’t feel like I have much experience to offer other than my prior service. I have classroom experience (as a student teacher and substitute teacher). Is DPEP an option for me? I am also EMT-Basic certified (but no job experience for that–training and cert. only) and looking at any possible enlistment that would allow me to enter between E3 and E5 either as a Sonar Tech (former rating) or re-train as HM, GM, IS, or comparable technical rating. I know the break in service will probably bump me out of E5 consideration, but I’m okay with that. I’ll do just about anything to get back in (except sub service).

    Finally, I have these two problems: I am VA rated at 30% (3x 10% individual disabilities) and receiving compensation. I had a bilateral wrist condition between 2002 and about 2005 which was limiting for my normal range of motion, but is now not a problem for me. I am once again capable of doing everything I did before relating to military service.

    The icing on the cake (and what I feel is my biggest hurdle) is that I have two class C misdemeanor charges pending trial (expected resolution in my favor or at least reduction to single minor class B charge). I’ve plead not guilty, retained counsel, etc. I also have 2 minor traffic convictions for speeding (as of one year ago).

    This is holding up everything because the recruiters I’ve talked to basically won’t consider “wasting” time with me (not in the least because I’m a NAVET and therefore won’t earn them points), but I am very serious about and fully committed to seeking out a re-enlistment. Some even tried to tell me the Navy only takes NAVETS from the Reserves, but this strikes me as false, and I can’t find any documentation supporting this. Colleagues of mine who also want to enlist have said their recruiters told them the same thing. I know NAVETS are low on the pecking order (I understand AD personnel get priority for billets), but if we are otherwise eligible, how do we get to MEPS?

    I guess this heap of writing can be condensed to this: What waivers will I require, and how do I go about getting them? Is there a waiting period for enlisting with a Class B conviction in any program? What re-enlistment routes are available to me (i.e. is DPEP or PRISE-III an option)? Who should I talk to when no one wants to talk? Also, how should I approach a recruiter, and what documentation should I have first? Is there anything I can “bring to the table” to get someone to have more interest in me? I’ve already requested my service record from NPRC, and I have my DD-214s in hand. I have my “handwritten statements” for “Why Navy?” “Why Out?” and “Police Involvement.” How can I keep my package moving towards MEPS? Sorry for this extended post, and thank you very much for your time. Very Respectfully, Daniel.

  56. NCCM(ret) says:


    First your 30% disability, if found medically qualified, you would then have to waive your compensation – effective the day you enlist/affiliate.

    DPEP – Minimally, you would need one or more years of significant work and supervisory experience, along with the vocational/technical school.

    Police involvement after discharge – you are right, this will be your biggest hurdle. It has been my experience that if a NAVET, even OSVETs for that matter, has obtained a significant (non-minor misdemeanors) criminal record after discharge, they usually were disapproved for a waiver at the commanding officer NRD level, and on the rare times they were forwarded with an approval, no Enlisted Community Manager (ECM) would pick them up.

    What will happen, if you get past all those wickets – your record is sent to the ECM (you will pick a couple of rates that you qualify for) – it is up to the ECM to allow you to re-enlist, and the ECM will dictate at what paygrade.

    Lastly, With your court dates pending, the Recruiters can do nothing for you, and depending on the time of the year, NAVETs can be closed to active duty (no available billets) and only have the Navy Reserve as an option.

  57. Daniel says:

    Master Chief, thanks for clearing that up. I was confused as to the overall process, and I understand why recruiters would avoid me right now, but I do want to “hit the ground running” with regards to my re-enlistment, and have everything ready to submit once this court case goes away, especially considering there are few jobs for teachers through the summer. I guess I’ll have to wait until the case is resoved.

    So I believe I’m mostly a strong candidate with one or two waiverable exceptions. Before this court snafu I was looking at officer packages. Now I’d consider myself lucky to be able to re-enlist.

    Pros: Separation code, Re-enlistment code, character of service, evals, professional references (I’m in contact with every one of my former DIVOs and can get good recommendations from each), degree with a year of graduate school for professional teacher license (and great GPA).

    Cons: VA disability will require re-evaluation and waiver if found not qualified, and class C misdemeanor charges stemming from recent arrest (although, again, I am certain I will avoid a class C conviction (the alleged “victim” in the case agrees with me and believes the case to be proceeding on false information). Just one minor class B conviction won’t require a waiver, and I believe the “whole person” review will show no pattern of misconduct, although the recency of my arrest makes me worry I’ll be passed over.

    Thanks again. I’m keeping my hope alive until I hear the words “barred from re-enlistment.” I have several years to try to re-enter service before my age cutoff anyways, but I’m only getting older!

  58. Lloyd says:

    I am currently serving in the army. my contract is up in 2013. I am seriously considering joining the navy when i get out. im on actve duty now in the army. does the navy have a policy on accepting prior army like the air force does? would i be looking at going through the navy’s basic trainning?

  59. NCCM(ret) says:


    I don’t know what 2013 holds, but currently Other Service Vets (OSVETS) can join if they meet the requirements, qualify for a rating or program listed as critically undermanned, and there are available billets. Also, honorably discharged OSVETS in pay grades E-3 and above who meet enlistment criteria will be enlisted at one pay grade lower than that held at discharge but not lower than pay grade E-3. Requests to enlist OSVETs who were separated from previous service at pay grade E-5 and above will be approved on a case-by-case basis by the Enlisted Community Manager (The Navy wide rating supervisor, all Navy jobs have one).

  60. Eric says:

    I’m looking to rejoin the Navy as a reservist. I spent about 9 years on active duty and got out as an E-6 towards the end of 2006 with an honorable discharge. Several months ago I was fired at my job for testing positive for MJ. It was an embarrassing situation that I regret putting myself into, but it was a one time thing and it’s in the past. I’m not looking to hide any information from my recruiter, but I would like to be comfortable disclosing all of the facts at hand. Is this something that would make me potentially ineligible, or can it be cleared with a waiver? I can guarantee you that I would have no problem getting through MEPs again.

  61. NCCM(ret) says:


    You are right to be concerned – even though you were not arrested, you will have to explain why you decided to participate in an activity you knew full well was against every thing the Navy is about. I am sure you will have to convince the commanding officer of the NRD, through the chain of command, that you should be re-enlisted. Go see the Recruiter.

  62. Bobby says:

    I have a question regarding age. My husband served in the Navy for 8 years as an Air Traffic Controller watch supervisor in Vacapes. He got out in 2001 (before 9/11) as an E-5 with a RE-1. He wanted to join the FAA but they had a hiring freeze. So he went to college and got his Bachelor in Business. Life has not been great in the career dept. He has gotten laid off twice due to company downsizing due to the economy. He was an excellent ATC. I can say this because I have seen the reviews, letters and awards.

    Recently, we have discussed re-enlisting in the Navy and go to school to become an Officer since he now has a 4 year degree. He is now 37, 38 in July. I have read about age waivers for prior service. I have read that they could use his years of prior service to meet age qualifications. Having served 8 years already he could meet the 20 year retirement mark.

    Is there any hope for him? Any advice that can be offered? Or is this a complete waste of time?
    Thank you.

  63. NCCM(ret) says:


    He isn’t too old for some officer programs, I suggest he contact an Officer Recruiter in your area to verify complete eligibility and competitiveness.

  64. Jason says:

    I broke my ankle aprox 2 yrs ago and my recruiter made me get a waiver from my orthropedic surgeon stating that everything went well and no future surgery is anticipated. I also wrote a statement to the navy saying that i am active- I still play basketball, weightlifting, running etc. & i even got checked out by the Navys ortho and got the all clear with their tests. However when my recruiter submitted my application to the navy medical board i got denied and all he told me was they said it was “not recommended”. i dont understand why i was denied since i dont have any titanium in my leg or anything.Is there an appeal process? Please advise..

  65. NCCM(ret) says:


    The Recruiter didn’t make you get a waiver – he had you get additional documentation that MEPS would require to help them make a decision.

    If you have had complaints of chronic ankle pain, lost any motion then you would not have received a waiver recommendation. That said, you should be given an exact reason for your denial. Have your Recruiter research the specifics.

  66. NCCM(ret) says:


    You are eligible for a conduct waiver based on the information you provided.

  67. Navy says:

    Prior service still waiting on ECM waiver to come back. Is there a # to call at Millington that could tell me if my packet has been received/reviewed?

  68. NCCM(ret) says:

    I don’t recommend calling your ECM, but most of the contact numbers/email addresses can be found via this page (using the links on the left)

  69. shanda says:

    I have a question concernining depenedents i am married with 4 kids and have 72 college credit hrs with no debt and scored excellent on the practice asvab and want to take hmda would my dependents disqualify me for joining..

    I also have a friend you wants to go in with me on the buddy system but she is currently legally separated with 3 kids that she has full custody of ..would this hinder her from joining even if her mother was willing to take poa of her dependents..

  70. NCCM(ret) says:


    I am afraid neither of you would qualify for the active Navy.

  71. shanda says:

    thanks for your help with my issue but my friend still wants to know is there any thing she can do to join like maybe giving her mother temporary custody ..since i think your previous comments stated a max of 3 dependents..

  72. NCCM(ret) says:


    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. The documents will be reviewed by the Navy Recruiting legal department to determine eligibility. Temporary custody won’t do it.

  73. Dick says:

    My Son Rian got out of the navy 2 months ago..He should go back in cause he’s having a hard time with finances. Can he save his grade?
    He’s an air traffic controller with honorable dis with awards..
    2 kids and wife. He was in for 5 years. Any other concerns/

  74. NCCM(ret) says:

    Dick and Eric,

    If all the basic criteria is met, then it all comes down to whether or not there is a prior service seat available to the Navy Recruiting District/Region that you are reenlisting in – if there is, then it will be up to the Enlisted Community Manager for the rating you are applying (both should be able to retain the paygrade you were discharged with).

    I’m thinking I need to do a prior service specific post, but there are so many variables it will more than likely end up being very confusing…

  75. Eric says:


    Sorry to bother you, but I promise my question is not a stupid one. I did 5 years active duty as a Corpsman(8404). I got out 17Oct2009 (RE1), and went straight to the Navy reserves. I want to go back to active duty! I already spoke to my NOSC about getting a DD Form 368, and they are willing to help. However, I am not willing to take any pay grade reduction because I picked up my rank on active duty. Basically my question is, do you have any advice for me when I speak to a recruiter? and How can I know for sure if they tell me no if they are being honest, and not just lazy? I am prepared to go to multiple recruiting stations, due to the possibility of a recruiter telling me a lie . I know our numbers for HM are undermanned on the active side, so will that help me at all? It just doesn’t make sense to me why they wouldn’t allow a highly trained, highly motivated Devil Doc like myself back in the Fleet. I appreciate you taking the time to read this. Hooyah Master Chief!

    Very Respectfully,

    HM2(FMF/SW) [Last name redacted for privacy]
    2/23 Marines

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