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Navy has Enlistment Dependency Limits

Navy Dependency Waiver

Updated: November 29, 2017

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 the Navy Reserve only: a single parent with physical custody of a dependent is eligible provided the appropriate level waiver is granted (Waiver authority: 1-4 dependents, NRD).

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 – 3= NRD CO
4 or more = Ineligible
Married
(NPS and PS)
Spouse only Eligible No waiver required
Married
(NPS enlisting in pay grades E1 to E4 and PS enlisting in pay grades E1 to E4 with broken service)
Minor/non-minor dependents Eligible with appropriate level waiver 2 = No waiver required
3 – 4 NRD CO
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 – 5 NRD CO
6 or more = Ineligible
Married
(PS enlisting under continuous service)
Minor/non-minor dependents Eligible No waiver required
NRD – Navy Recruiting District; PS – Prior Service; NPS – Non Prior Service

If one is required, the dependency waiver process starts with the 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. (Read policy update below concerning NAVCRUIT 1130/13)

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 projected military basic pay is at $1600 per month or more and your monthly expenditures total near to that amount. The absence of these additional expenses is even more noticeable when little or no savings and/or checking account balances are indicated. If there is a glaring issue, it is best to identify and correct those before joining as they could hinder your ability to deploy. Not being able to deploy could lead to discharge.

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.

Policy Update (Feb 2016): There has been a change to the dependency waiver matrix for those entering in pay grade E-1 through E-4. For married applicants with three dependents, a CNRC waiver is no longer required — the waiver is now just a local Navy Recruiting District waiver. Those with four dependents still require the CNRC level waiver, and those with five dependents remain ineligible for waiver consideration.

Policy Update (May 2016):: The waiver approval authority for all Dependency waivers has been fully delegated to each of the local Navy Recruiting District Commanding Officers. See waiver chart above for waiver authority matrix.

Policy Update (November 2017):: The Enlistee Financial Statement (NAVCRUIT 1130/13) is no longer required to be filled out; however, depending on the local requirements for waiver consideration, the financial information it defined is likely to still be required in another form (handwritten statement, etc.).



1,513 Responses to “Navy Dependency Waiver”


  1. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Valerie,

    It is not something that would stop his processing. He would need to fill out a financial statement; he would not have to get married to leave for boot-camp. If they do plan on getting married, they can do so. I assume there are no other children in the picture.

    If the child is born before he leaves for boot-camp (and he is not married), then he will require court papers that shows he is obligated to pay child support. If he does not bring all this up in the beginning, it is likely that the military will question paternity in the future when it comes to benefits. It is always better to do it the right way the first time.

  2. Scott [Last name redacted for privacy] says:

    Good morning,

    I’m 29 years old, married and have 4 children. Already own a house and my wife is a full time teacher. I’m in excellent physical condition. Own my own business as a skilled arborist. Education level is GED with some college. I’m interested in the master-at-arms MOs. What are the chances of me qualifying for a dependent waiver to join?

  3. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Scott,

    There is no waiver authorized for anyone with five dependents. I wish I had better news.

  4. Selena says:

    My boyfriend is planning on enlisting. We have one child and we also plan on getting married. Will he be required to get a dependency waiver if we decide to marry before he enlists since he will have two dependents? Will my credit score and debt affect his eligibility to join? Should we just wait to marry after he comes home from basic?

  5. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Selena,

    Although he must still submit a financial statement as anyone with dependents must, he would not require a dependency waiver for two dependents when married.

    Your family debt must be included in the financial statement (you would also sign it), and if your combined monthly bills exceed the projected basic income while serving, then a waiver may not be granted. I recommend communicating with a recruiter to have your combined finances reviewed, and if they are too high, he can make a recommendation as to what bills you may want to pay down before moving forward.

    If you wait until after boot-camp to get married, then expect delays in being able to transfer with him to his first duty station — if his school allows a PCS transfer because of its length, don’t expect to actually make that move with him. My recommendation is always, if you plan to get married, then get married before he joins — that makes your life easier, and it is being fair to the Navy.

  6. chris says:

    im retired Navy. my son is active duty Navy. just found out his wife cheated on him. they have one child together and she has a child from a previous relation. my son has been the sole provider for them for the past 5 years. the biological father of the older child has never really been in the picture at all and has offered no support ever. the kids only know my son as their dad. he is stationed in california and she packed up and brought the kids with her back to texas while he was underway during work ups. what are his options if he stays in and divorces her as far as the kids go? can he gain custody of his if not both and have us as grandparents be care givers while he is in? we are all from texas if that means anything.

  7. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Chris,

    The rules for enlistment are not the same for those already in. There is no way at enlistment of knowing one’s future dependency status. If/when he becomes a single parent, he would be required to submit, and maintain on file, a Family Care Plan that goes into effect when he deploys for any period of time.

  8. Johnson says:

    I have children from a prior marriage that I no longer have custody of, there is no hold support order and my ex husband and his wife are raising the children. This was a very personal choice. Am I obligated to disclose that sensitive information when contacting a recruiter? Is there a wait time for when custody transfer has happened? I am currently remarried and have two children with my current husband. I have college credits, and am a LPN in the civilian world. I want reserve and am ready to serve as many years as I can. Thank you in advance for your input. One more thing. I think I would need a waiver for 3 dependents by the NRD CO so my question is “how long does that take”? Is that as high as it’ll go?

  9. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Johnson,

    Of course you must list your children even if they live with your ex husband unless they have been legally adopted by his current wife. You say “children”, so I am assuming at least two. Those two, plus the two with your current husband plus him is five. In that case, you would not be eligible for enlistment.

  10. Charlie says:

    I am wondering if I have to indicate my kids from previous marriage as dependants, since they live overseas with my ex and have neither us papers nor ssn. I cant even claim them as dependents when filing taxes. Recruiter says he cant put them anywhere. Just do not wanna have any troubles in a future if one day they come to the states and become american citizens through me.

  11. Johnson says:

    NCCM that is correct there was a step parent adoption; must I still disclose this? Is there a wait time for DEP or enlisting?

  12. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Johnson,

    Then you should not have much problem. Minimally, the enlistment documents you need are (other documents will be required, but bring these into your recruiter to get started); a copy your divorce decree from your previous marriage and the adoption papers for your children to prove any possible dependency can no longer exist; the marriage license for your current marriage; you and your children’s birth certificates and SSN cards; your education documents — there will be other documents required, but those should get you started.

    I see I worded the following poorly in my first reply; “Of course you must list your children even if they live with your ex husband unless they have been legally adopted by his current wife” — it should read, “Of course you must list your children even if they live with your ex husband. Unless they have been legally adopted by his current wife, they will count as dependents.”

  13. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Charlie,

    Yes, of course, you must list them. You need their proof of birth and your divorce decree (if in another language than English, they must be translated).

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Unless otherwise noted, content written by Thomas Goering, NCCM USN(RET).

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