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Joining the Military: Navy Reserve
Joining the Military: Navy Reserve

Join the Navy Reserve!
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The Navy Reserve is a force of highly trained men and women available to meet the expanded needs of the regular Navy. Reservists serve as officers or enlisted personnel, depending on their qualifications and interests.

For a special in-depth section on Navy Reserve life and opportunities, visit the Navy Reserve Recruiting Home. For more on general Reserve benefits and pay, see the Reserve Help Pages.


If you are interested in joining the Navy Reserve, you must be between the ages of 21 and 39 without prior service. Prior service age limits differ. You must have a High School diploma although in some instances GED certificates can be accepted. You must also pass a physical, and take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), which will determine career paths available for consideration.

To learn how to get a good score on the ASVAB, go to the ASVAB section. For more on joining the Reserve, see the Joining the Reserve page.

Education Benefits and Skills Training

Montgomery G.I. Bill - The MGIB allows you attend school full-time while serving in the Reserve and get up to $272 a month in addition to your Reserve paycheck and any other Reserve educational benefits you may be eligible to receive. For more on the GI Bill for Reservists, go to the Reserve GI Bill section.

Tuition Assistance - The Navy Reserve offers you tuition assistance. You can be reimbursed up to 75% of tuition costs for up to 15 credit hours per fiscal year.

Credits for Experience - Members of the Reserve can also take advantage of free College Level Examination Program tests (CLEP). For every test you pass on a particular subject, you earn three transferable college credits.

DANTES - You can also pursue college and university independent study courses through the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Educational Support (DANTES) as a member of the Reserve. The program is comprised of over 1200 colleges and universities nationwide which help sevicemembers transfer credits from school to school and get college credits for military training and experience.

Promotions and Career Path

The Navy Reserve bases its promotions on the criteria of job performance, job knowledge and time in service.

Navy Reserve Accelerated Initial Accession (AIA) - The Navy Reserve has an Accelerated Initial Accession (AIA) program which allows the enlistment of non-prior service personnel into the Navy Reserve to fill non-designated positions such as; FN (Fireman), SN (Seaman), and AN (Airman) requirements.

You must enlist for a minimum of eight years, with four years in a participating status. The last four years can be in the Inactive Ready Reserve (IRR).

The AIA program requires 2 weeks recruit training (boot camp), followed by the standard one weekend a month and two weeks a year reservist schedule.

To be eligible for this program you must:
  • Have no prior service
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Have an Armed Forces Qualification Test Score of 31 or above
  • Qualify physically and meet height and weight requirements
  • Meet the Navy Reserve's dependency requirements (Unmarried applicants with dependents are not normally eligible, but a waiver may be requested from the Chief of Naval Personnel).
Advanced Pay Grade (APG) - The Navy Reserve Advanced Pay Grade (APG) program allows qualified civilians, whose occupations and experience are comparable to Navy career fields, to enlist in the Navy Reserve. Those with prior military service must enlist for a minimum of three years. Those with no prior-service applicants incur a minimum obligation of eight years, with six years in a participating status.

The APG program requires 2 weeks recruit training (boot camp), followed by the standard one weekend a month and two weeks a year reservist schedule.

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