military age limits for 2020
General Military Questions

Military Age Limits For 2020

Are you considering joining the U.S. Armed Forces?

Serving in the U.S. military is one of the most rewarding things you can do in your life.

If you are older and thinking about joining, you may wonder what the maximum allowable age is for enlistment.

This article breaks down the military age limits for 2020 by branch.

Military Age Limits for 2020

military age limit
The U.S. Armed Forces impose age limits to make sure new recruits are physically and mentally capable of serving the country in demanding situations. Image: Needpix

What is the maximum allowable age for enlistment?

It depends on the military branch.

Furthermore, some military jobs have different age requirements depending on specific demands.

Here is a table that explains the basic age groups the United States Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy allows:

 ArmyNavyAir Force Marine CorpsCoast Guard
Active Duty17 - 3517 - 3417 - 3917 - 2917 - 27
Reserve17 - 3517 - 3917 - 3817 - 2917 - 39
Guard17 - 35N/A17 - 39N/AN/A
Service Academies17-2317 - 2317 - 2317 - 2317 - 22

Now, there is a LOT more to this than meets the eye.

For example, some jobs (such as flight officer) in the military have an age cut off.

Related Article: Which Branch Of The Military Should I Join? 7 Things To Consider

Additionally, it also depends on other factors, including:

  • Whether you’re going for active duty or reserves.
  • Whether or not you’ve previously served in the military.
  • If you’re joining as an officer or enlisted.

Below, we explain in detail, the age limits for each branch of the military:

U.S. Army Age Limits

army age limit
There are many reasons to consider joining the most popular branch in the military, Image: Defense.gov

The United States Army has over 470,000 active-duty soldiers.

It is by far the largest military branch in terms of enrollment.

The second biggest branch (U.S. Navy) has more than 100,000 less active-duty service members.

Additionally, the Army National Guard contributes to another 330,000 personnel.

When you account for 190,000 Army Reservists as well as 250,500 civilian personnel, you have more than 1 million members.

Here are the minimum and maximum ages required to join the U.S. Army:

Enlisted

Minimum Age: 17 years old (with parental consent)
Maximum Age: 34 years old

Officer

Minimum Age: 19 years old
Maximum Age: Less than 34 years old*

*You must enter active duty or ship to training by your 33rd birthday. You need to accept commission prior to age 34.

U.S. Army (Reserves) Age Limits

The minimum and maximum ages for the Army Reserves and National Guard are the same:

Enlisted

Minimum Age: 17 years old (with parental consent)
Maximum Age: 35 years old

Officer

Minimum Age: 19 years old
Maximum Age: 34 years old

Related Article: Tattoo Policy For Each Military Branch

U.S. Air Force Age Limits

air force age limit
The U.S. Air Force is one of the more desirable military branches to join for its lifestyle and other perks. Image: Needpix

The United States Air Force has over 320,000 active-duty airmen.

It also employs 105,700 Air National Guard and an additional 69,000 reservists.

Lastly, the U.S. Air Force has over 140,000 civilian employees.

The military branch is third in terms of active enrollment behind the Army and Navy.

Here are the minimum and maximum ages required to join the U.S. Air Force:

Enlisted

Minimum Age: 17 years old (with parental consent)
Maximum Age: 39 years old

Officer

Minimum Age: 18 years old
Maximum Age: 39 years old*

*Certain healthcare-related military jobs or ministry allow you to be up to 48 years in age.

U.S. Air Force (Reserves) Age Limits

The Air Force has slightly different minimum and maximum ages depending on if you want to join the Air National Guard or Air Reserves:

Enlisted

Minimum Age: 17 years old (with parental consent)
Maximum Age: 38 years old*

Officer

Minimum Age: 17 years old
Maximum Age: 39 years old

*39 years old for the Air National Guard.

U.S. Coast Guard Age Limits

coast guard age limit
The U.S. Coast Guard often gets overlooked yet is crucial to maritime enforcement and coastal defense. Image: Wikimedia Commons

The United States Coast Guard has over 40,000 active-duty personnel.

There are a small reserve fraction of approximately 7,000 members.

The Coast Guard also employs a sizable civilian workforce.

Overall, the U.S. Coast Guard is the smallest of the military branches (not counting the recently created Space Force).

Here are the minimum and maximum ages required to join the U.S. Coast Guard:

Enlisted

Minimum Age: 17 years old (with parental consent)
Maximum Age: 27 years old

Officer

Minimum Age: 17 years old (with parental consent)
Maximum Age: 31 years old*

*Up to 32 if qualified for attending guaranteed “A” School.

U.S. Coast Guard (Reserves) Age Limits

Here are the minimum and maximum age limits:

Enlisted

Minimum Age: 17 years old (with parental consent)
Maximum Age: 39 years old

Officer

Minimum Age: 17 years old
Maximum Age: 39 years old

Related Article:  20 Reasons to Join the Military (and 7 reasons not to)

U.S. Marine Corps Age Limits

age limit for military
The Marine Corps is one of the smallest military branches and difficult to get accepted. It’s age limits are universal between active duty and reserves. Image: Headquarters Marine Corps

The United States Marine Corps has 182,000 active duty service members.

It’s a competitive military branch to join and the second smallest.

Additionally, the Marine Corps utilizes 38,500 reserve personnel.

The Marine Corps has straightforward rules for their age limits:

Enlisted

Minimum Age: 17 years old (with parental consent)
Maximum Age: 29 years old

Officer

Minimum Age: 20 years old
Maximum Age: Less than 30 years old

U.S. Marie Corps (Reserves) Age Limits

The minimum and maximum age limits for the Marine Corps Reserve are the same as the active-duty counterpart:

Enlisted

Minimum Age: 17 years old (with parental consent)
Maximum Age: 29 years old

Officer

Minimum Age: 17 years old
Maximum Age: 29 years old

U.S. Navy Age Limits

navy age limit
The U.S. Navy offers many advantages. Sailors range from their teens to age 40 in terms of new recruits. Image: Flickr

The United States Navy is an impressive fleet even if it’s only the second-biggest military branch in the country.

The U.S. Navy has over 336,000 active duty seamen.

It also has a very large reserve component with more than 100,000 personnel.

The Navy employs close to 280,000 civilian workers.

Here are the minimum and maximum ages required to join the U.S. Navy:

Enlisted

Minimum Age: 17 years old (with parental consent)
Maximum Age: 39 years old

Officer

Minimum Age: 19 years old
Maximum Age: Less than 42 years old*

*Depends on officer specialty. Waivers are sometimes granted for high demand positions, such as Information Systems Technicians or Nuclear Operations.

U.S. Navy (Reserves) Age Limits

Here are the minimum and maximum ages required to join the U.S. Navy (Reserves):

Enlisted

Minimum Age: 18 years old
Maximum Age: 35 years old

Officer

Minimum Age: 18 years old
Maximum Age: 39 years old

Related Article:  41 Questions To Ask A Military Recruiter

Conclusion

The military age limits for 2020 provide a framework for how many years you have to enlist before it’s too late.

The U.S. Armed Forces cap the age you are allowed to join because of intense physical demands.

Before you enlist, you should consult with family and friends about the critical decision.

You can also speak to a local military recruiter for more information about what all you need to do before boot camp to qualify.

References

  1. https://www.goarmy.com/learn/army-requirements-and-qualifications.html
  2. https://www.airforce.com/frequently-asked-questions/physical/what-are-the-height-and-weight-requirements-to-join-the-air-force
  3. https://www.gocoastguard.com/faq/what-are-the-qualifications-to-join-the-coast-guard
  4. https://www.marines.com/becoming-a-marine/enlisted.html
  5. https://www.navy.com/joining-navy-if-you-havent-served
Rob V.
Latest posts by Rob V. (see all)
Military Age Limits

Military Age Limits

4.8 out of 5 (41 Ratings)

Find out what the age limits are for each branch of the military, including the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard.
Advertiser Disclosure: This site may be compensated through the advertiser affiliate program (at no cost to you). We may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. See our advertising policy here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *