can you join the navy with a ged
General Military Questions

Can You Join The Navy With A GED? Yes!

Can you join the U.S. Navy with a GED (General Education Development) diploma?

Yes, absolutely.

However, you may find that the competition is more fierce which makes it important to understand the requirements necessary to join the Navy.

Therefore, this guide introduces applicants to the steps needed to join the Navy with a GED.

Continue reading to discover the eligibility requirements, education, and training.

Related ArticleCan You Join The Military With A GED?

Join the U.S. Navy with a GED

navy ged

Is it possible to join the Navy with a GED (General Education Development) diploma?

The short answer to that question is “yes”.

However, joining the military with a GED poses more challenges.

For starters, competition is more fierce since the military receives a high volume of GED applicants and only selects so many each year.

Moreover, joining the Navy with a GED requires additional qualifications (more information, below).

Thus, it’s not impossible to get enlisted in the Navy with a GED yet you’ll have to work just a little harder.

The Navy usually gives priority to applicants with a high school diploma or college education.

Nevertheless, the good news is that joining the Navy with a GED is more than plausible with the right attitude and circumstances.

GED vs. High School Diploma

The U.S. Navy is one of the more desirable military branches.

Consequently, the Navy receives a high volume of applicants which makes the selection process competitive.

In general, the Navy prefers candidates with a high school diploma over GED.

Notwithstanding, the military branch still enlists GED graduates so long as they meet additional requirements.

In general, each military branch reserves approves up to 10% of new recruits with a GED.

Be that as it may, the Navy is much more selective and limits enlistments with a GED to only 5% each year.

For this reason, you’ll need to perform well on the entry exams (more information, below) and considering enrolling in some college courses.

There are many careers in the Navy (referred to as ratings) that require a high school diploma.

Accordingly, having a GED may limit what you can do in the Navy but does not prevent you from joining altogether.

Basic Requirements of U.S. Navy

join the navy with a ged

What are the steps needed to join the Navy?

First, you must meet basic qualifications.

The military branch accepts GED graduates so long as they meet the following guidelines:

  • U.S. citizen
  • Between ages 17 – 39
  • High school diploma or GED equivalent
  • Complete Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS)
  • Qualify for military service through entrance exams (i.e. ASVAB)

The U.S. Navy accepts GED candidates on a limited basis if they meet physical, mental, and moral standards of the service branch.

Furthermore, there may be height or weight restrictions as well as conditions that prevent service.

GED graduates can only qualify for enlisted positions of the U.S. Navy.

Navy Officer ranks are reserved for graduates of college that meet other advanced requirements.

In terms of high school GPA, the military doesn’t consider your grades so much as it reviews performance on entrance exams like the ASVAB and AFQT (more details, below).

Related ArticleNavy Requirements: 7 Things to Know Before Visiting a Recruiter

Education Requirements

The U.S. Armed Forces designates your military status partly based on education level.

Therefore, the military divides applicants into 2 tiers:

  • Tier 1: Completed high school or 15 college credits
  • Tier 2: Received a GED, no college credit

First, if you have not received a high school diploma or GED you should seriously considering doing so.

It’s nearly impossible to qualify for the military with at least a GED, and still more challenging for GED graduates.

Thus, one idea is to consider enrolling in college for a semester.

A full-time workload (15 credits) is enough to ascend tier 2 GED candidates into tier 1 status.

Moreover, it’s also crucial to perform well on military entrance exams.

These qualifying tests are designed to determine aptitude and overall competence.

For this reason, you’ll not only need to pass but want to perform well on the following military exams:

  • Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB)
  • Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT)

Here, is your lone opportunity to out perform high school graduates in the classroom.

Performing well on the exams opens up more possibilities in terms of a Navy career.

It’s especially crucial for GED recipients that need to separate themselves from a competitive field.

Keep in mind only 5% of new recruits each year to the Navy are GED graduates.

The rest received a high school diploma or attended college and earned at least 15 semester hours.

These college credits can be earned at a vocational / tech school or community college.

Tier 1 candidates get first selection at open positions while Tier 2 are restricted to whatever remains.

With this in mind, attending college for one semester can vastly improve your odds of joining the Navy.

The other alternative is to perform extremely well on the ASVAB.

You’ll also need to score within the 50th percentile on the AFQT to qualify.

Finally, keep in mind that qualifying does not guarantee enlistment in the U.S. Navy.

In the end, the military branch determines who they select and cap enlistment for GED graduates at 5% each year.

Additional Eligibility Requirements

Statistics demonstrate that people who drop out of high school also have a tendency to not fulfill a military commitment?

Consequently, those with a GED have to prove more to military recruiter to get approved for enlistment.

For starters, the military severely caps the number of GED graduates each year as no branch can exceed 10%.

The Navy is even more selective, like the Marine Corps, only accepting 5% each year.

As such, GED applicants can really stand out by attending college for a semester and performing well on military exams.

Furthermore, there are additional eligibility requirements to keep in mind for those that want to join the Navy with a GED.

First, certain medical factors may prevent you from serving the country.

Secondly, the Department of Defense will review your background.

Thus, a careful examination of your legal history or alcohol / drug abuse may restrict service.

Lastly, there are family considerations.

There are rare examples where an individual is denied entry into the Navy because he or she is a single parent.

Additionally, financial factors may prevent someone from joining the Navy.

Training Requirements

It’s important to earn a GED (General Education Development) diploma for a variety of reasons.

In the military, however, it does not automatically qualify you for service.

For example, there are situations where having a GED is not enough, especially in regards to the physical expectations.

The Navy, like every military branch, is physically demanding.

As a result, you’ll want to prepare in order to survive boot camp along with the Navy swimming test.

The Navy Recruit Training Program is rigorous so make sure you are prepared physically for the military.

Furthermore, service members can expect to receive additional training depending on the Navy rating.

Lastly, the Warrior Challenge Program and the Buddy Program are other avenues for individuals that want to pursue careers as enlisted sailors.

Careers in the U.S. Navy

navy careers

There are almost 100 different careers in the Navy, otherwise referred to as “ratings”.

As you can imagine, some Navy jobs generate a high level of competition.

In general, the service branch is one of the more competitive to join especially since the opportunity to travel is more likely.

While GED graduates do qualify for the Navy they also must do more to stand out during the application process.

Moreover, there are certain Navy ratings that are restricted to individuals with a high school or college degree.

Regardless, what’s wonderful about military service is the government provides the training, free of charge.

As a result, GED applicants qualify for several Navy careers, including:

  • Navy Aircrewman
  • Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician
  • Navy Power Plant Operator
  • Navy Hospital Corpsman
  • Submarine Electronics

Discover the minimum ASVAB score required for every Navy rating.

How to Ace the GED

Do you still need to complete the GED?

Rest easy, you can do this!

The General Education Development (GED) Test consists of 4 separate exams:

  • GED Science (Life, Physical, and Chemical)
  • Language Arts (GED Reasoning)
  • GED Social Studies (History, Civics, Economics, Geography)
  • GED Math (Arithmetic, Quantitative, Problem Solving)

The exams cover a broad range of subjects which makes preparation essential.

Fortunately, there are a variety of helpful, free study resources for the GED.

It’s vital to utilize study guides and practice tests before taking the real thing.

Completing the GED test and earning a GED diploma presents individuals with a far greater chance of military service.

Meanwhile, attending college and earning at least 15 semester hours (one semester) improves your odds of joining the Navy, greatly.


The Navy accepts a limited number of GED graduates each year.

The competition is fierce which means you need to give yourself advantage.

Accordingly, the first step is to make sure you qualify for military service.

The U.S. Navy mandates certain requirements (i.e. education) to join the service branch with a GED.

Therefore, you’ll need to perform extremely well on the ASVAB and AFQT.

GED applicants with 15 college credits have the best opportunity of enlistment since they are upgraded from Tier 2 to Tier 1 status.

Otherwise, GED graduates must wait until positions are filled by Tier 1 candidates before having a selection at the few, remaining spots.

Consequently, joining the Navy with a GED is not easy, yet also not impossible.

Rob V.
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It's not impossible to join the Navy with a GED. Those without a high school diploma qualify for service if meeting other requirements.
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