army age limits

US Army Age Limits For 2023

Can you join the Army at 50? What is the Army age limit? What is the minimum age to join the Army? These are some of the frequent questions many people ask regarding joining the U.S. Army.

The minimum age for enlistment in the Army is 17 years with parental consent or 18 years without parental consent.

Under federal law, the oldest recruit any military branch can enlist is 42. Even so, each branch of the U.S. military may set their own policy below that age limit for applicants seeking to enlist.

The maximum age for enlisting in the Army is 35 years. However, depending on the level of your education, prior military skills, or experience, you may still join the army even if you are beyond this age. In most cases, the decision is left to a recruiter who evaluates your situation and decides if you are eligible.

Related Article:  Age Limits For Each Branch of the Military

Here are the age limits for different army personnel:

Enlisted Soldiers

The maximum age for enlisted soldiers who want to join the army for active duty is 35 years. 

Warrant Officers

The maximum age limit for Warrant Officer flight training is 32 years while that of Warrant Officer technical training is 46 years. 

To enroll in Warrant Officer technical training, you need to have a rank of at least E-5, with 4-6 years of experience in a skill closely associated with a WO (Warrant Officer) MOS (Military Occupational Specialties). You must also have at least 12 months remaining on your enlistment contract and have a six-year active duty commitment afterward.

Aviation Warrant Officers do not require prior military service, but you must be between the ages of 17 and 32 at the time of entry. After completing Warrant Officer flight training, you have a 10-year service obligation.

Army Officers

For you to be an Army Officer, you need to have at least a bachelor’s degree and be between 18 and 32 years old (you must enter active duty or ship to training by your 33rd birthday and accept commission prior to age 34).

However, applicants with certain licenses or degrees can join the Army through their direct commissioning program with a maximum age limit of 42 years.

To join as a veterinarian, physician, or dentist, you need to have an advanced degree. For others such as chaplains, dietitians, occupational therapists, and nurses, a bachelor’s degree will be enough.

One thing to note is Chaplains require a graduate degree in theological or religious studies, at least 72 semester hours in graduate work, and two years of ministry experience. For chaplains, you need to be at least 21 years old and no older than 42.

Related ArticleArmy MOS List: A List Of All 159 Army Jobs

You can talk to your local recruiter to give you a list of jobs offered in the Army to check the ones you are eligible for.

Quick Reference Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the questions regarding the Army age limits we receive the most:

Can I join the Army at 45 years old?

Unfortunately, no. Under Federal law, the oldest a recruit can be to enter any branch of the military is 42 years old.

What are the requirements to join the US Army?

In order to join the Army, you need to be a US citizen or resident alien, have a high school diploma or GED equivalent, be at least 17 years old, and meet certain physical / medical requirements. You’ll also have better chances if you have no criminal history,

Can you have tattoos in the Army?

Like the other military branches, tattoos are allowed but must meet certain conditions. Learn more here.

Can a felon join the Army?

Depending on the type of felony conviction, it is possible to join the Army. Certain felonies, such as rape, murder, arson, extortion, and grand theft, are automatic disqualifiers.

Bottom Line

Every branch of the military has a maximum age limit for applicants, yet the age limit can be flexible under certain situations and recruiters can possibly provide age waivers for different jobs.


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Rob V.
Army Age Limits

Army Age Limits

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Learn more about the Army's age limits for active duty and reserves, as well as the limits for enlisted, warrant officers, and officers.
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5 Replies to “US Army Age Limits For 2023

    1. Sorry bud, it’s Federal law. The only exceptions are during times of serious national emergency (i.e. large scale war), and even then, they only make exceptions for highly skilled personnel (i.e. a Doctor).

    2. Look into civilian work on a base, you don’t have to be enlisted to participate. The DOD posts a long list of positions

  1. Too bad I couldn’t find anywhere, at the time, this info, even one of the recruiters told me I couldn’t join any of the military branch.
    At the time I was 39 almost turning 40, the only branch I had a chance was the air force reserves but the recruiter told me I couldn’t join because I was too close to turning 40 so they turned me down.
    I searched all over the place but couldn’t find anything saying age limit was 42.
    I am now 44, have a Bachelors degree and law enforcement experience.

    1. The same thing happened to me. I was 38 trying to join. Got rejected from the Navy and other branches because of my tattoos, even though they were in regulations. I am now pursuing a degree instead. Wish I would have not got the tattoos.

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