military buddy program
General Military Questions

Military Buddy Program

Military basic training — more commonly referred to by its negative connotations like “boot camp” — is a little intimidating.

It is especially true for young men and women that are entering the U.S. Armed Forces directly out of high school.

For this reason, the Military Buddy Program exists to help ease the transition into the Armed Forces.

The Military Buddy Program allows you (and up to five friends) to enlist and train in the Armed Forces together.

It is a worthwhile opportunity if you are nervous or anxious about surviving basic training.

Learn more about the Military Buddy Program and how to apply under each military branch.

Related Article12 Most Common Military Recruiter Lies

Army Buddy Program

buddy program army
The Army Buddy Team Enlistment Option helps make the transition into boot camp easier by having a familiar and encouraging friend alongside the early days of training. Image: Flickr

The United States Army offers a Military Buddy Program.

It is officially regarded as the Buddy Team Enlistment Option.

The U.S. Army allows new recruits to recruit their friends to the military branch.

Thus, you and your friends not only enlist at the same time but go through Basic Combat Training (BCT) together.

Furthermore, if you both plan to enlist in the same Army Military Occupational Specialty (MOS), you get to train together at Advanced Individual Training (AIT) as well.

All in all, the Army Buddy Team Enlistment Option grants you this privilege for up to four friends.

Therefore, it has never been a better time to try and recruit your friends to enlist in the U.S. Army.

The Army stipulates that the Military Buddy Program is only applicable to first-time recruits.

While the buddy option presents the opportunity to train with a friend, it is contingent on you both meeting the requirements for the MOS.

Soldiers that enlist in the Buddy Team Enlistment Option generally receive their first duty assignment orders while at AIT.

Meanwhile, new recruits entering Army combat usually receive their first duty assignment orders at One Station Unit Training (OSUT).

If you are interested in the Army Buddy Team Enlistment Option, contact a local recruiter for more details.

Related ArticleArmy Bonuses List

Navy Buddy Enlistment Program

military buddy system
The U.S. Navy has a comparable Military Buddy Program that allows up to 4 friends to join at the same time. Image: Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Navy had a comparable Military Buddy Program for small groups of no more than 4 individuals. The Navy referred to its version as the Navy Buddy Enlistment Program.

However, it appears that the Navy has discontinued this option for new recruits.

The Navy does seem to be ready to offer great incentives for new recruits and has been loosening many of its previous requirements for enlistment.

So, it doesn’t hurt to talk to a Navy recruiter to find out if it’s still an option for new recruits. 

Related ArticleNavy Selective Reenlistment Bonus 

Air Force Buddy Program

airforce buddy program
The U.S. Air Force may allow a buddy to join you during Basic Military Training (BMT). You’ll need to reach out to a local recruiter for more information. Image: Wikimedia Commons

The United States Air Force does not provide much information about its Military Buddy Program.

This branch of the Armed Forces does offer a limited Buddy Enlistment Program.

In this case, they will allow you and a friend of the same gender to sign to go through Basic Military Training (BMT) together.

After BMT, however, it’s not likely you’ll go to Tech School together unless you both choose the same exact career field and AFSC.

Those who sign up for a specific AFSC usually must sign up for the Delayed Entry Program (DEP). This is so their BMT ship date aligns with the date for an opening in their chosen Tech School. 

Air Force Basic Military Training (BMT) lasts 7.5 weeks and takes place at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.

The USAF does mention in its guidelines that it offers a limited Military Buddy Program to new recruits. However, this is for BMT only.

Additionally, it’s only for two friends and the buddy program doesn’t allow for mixed groups (male and female).

You can acquire more information about the limited Air Force Military Buddy Program by connecting with a local recruiter.

Related ArticleWhat To Bring To Air Force Boot Camp (BMT)

Marine Corps Buddy Program

buddy program marines
The Marine Corps has a long and demanding boot camp (13 weeks). Thus, some new recruits prefer to experience the challenges with a support of a friend. Image: Wikipedia

The United States Marine Corps is one of the more desirable branches to join in the Armed Forces.

Since it is more selective, there is a little more competition for a place at boot camp, which is officially called Marine Corps Recruit Training.

Marine Corps boot camp is long (13 weeks) and strenuous.

For this reason, many new recruits seek to make it through boot camp by having the support of a friend.

Thus, the Marine Corps Buddy Deal does provide means to enlist and train together.

The USMC Buddy Deal is designed to allow new enlistees the opportunity to train together at Marine Corps Recruit Training.

The Marine Corps Buddy Deal may station you with a friend for the first assignment, depending on a few factors.

As is the case with the other military branches, you should inquire with a local USMC recruiter for more details.

The Marine Corps website states that entering the Delay Entry Program will allow you to enter with a friend in their Buddy Program.

The Marine Buddy Program may allow you and up to four friends of the same gender to ship to boot camp together and train in the same platoon. 

Make sure you mention the Military Buddy Program to a recruiter to find out more details. 

Related Article7 Benefits Of Joining The Marine Corps

Coast Guard Buddy Program

buddy system military
The U.S. Coast Guard has the highest failure rate of any basic training. As a result, the Military Buddy Program gives recruits an edge because they have a familiar face at boot camp to rely on. Image: Flickr

The U.S. Coast Guard — like the Marine Corps — does not provide much information about a Military Buddy Program.

Nonetheless, it does exist if you make sure to bring it up while you are meeting with a recruiter to negotiate the terms of your service contract.

The Coast Guard Military Buddy Program allows new recruits and one (or more) friends to enlist at the same time.

Coast Guard buddies spend 8 weeks together at basic training which is underappreciated for its demanding nature.

In fact, the Coast Guard has the highest failure rate at boot camp compared to any other military branch (even the Marine Corps).

Consequently, new recruits may find it easier to survive by having an ally to rely on throughout training.

According to the Coast Guard website, the Military Buddy Program only guarantees that you train together at boot camp.

There is no guarantee after basic training that you’ll receive the same assignment, so keep that in mind.

Nonetheless, the Coast Guard Military Buddy Program is an excellent way to have more support and encouragement during this difficult transition.


The Military Buddy Program is a fantastic opportunity for friends.

It allows you to endure basic training with at least one familiar face as well as potentially share the same first assignment.

The rules and stipulations vary by military branch, but the Army seems to be the branch most willing to help keep you and your friends together through Basic and AIT. 

Therefore, the best method for obtaining more information about a particular Military Buddy Program is to contact a local recruiter.

See Also

Hometown Recruiter Assistance Program (HRAP) Explained

41 Questions To Ask A Military Recruiter

6 Ways To Get Out Of The Military Early

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Learn more about the buddy programs for the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard, and see how you can go to boot camp with a friend.
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