Joining the Navy
Becoming an Officer
Nearly 400,000 active duty men and women serve in the U.S. Navy, the largest in the world today. Opportunities available to you range from serving on surface ships or submarines to working in the fields of electronics, engineering, computer technology, nuclear propulsion and aviation, to serving in special operations or intelligence while potentially traveling the world.
The following are the basic requirements for joining, and you must:
The ASVAB is a test that measures your aptitudes. It consists of ten short individual tests covering word knowledge, paragraph comprehension, arithmetic reasoning, mathematics knowledge, general science, auto and shop information, mechanical comprehension, electronics information, numerical operations and coding speed. When you take the ASVAB prior to enlisting, not only do you receive scores on each of these individual tests, but several individual test results are combined to yield three academic composite scores: verbal, math and academic ability.
It depends. Normally ships will go to sea for 10 days to two weeks each month for training operations. Extended operations away from home port can last up to six months. This varies depending on the mission and type of ship. Ships on six-month deployments often spend part of the time visiting ports throughout the world.
Yes. It will depend on your term of commitment, specialty and the needs of the Navy. Ask your recruiter for details.
Yes. If you have served at least 180 days of continuous service and have no more then five years of broken service, you may be eligible to enter the Navy without attending basic training and at the rank of your separation. If you're thinking about reaffiliation, click here to get more information.
Only U.S. citizens or foreign nationals legally residing in the United States with an Immigration and Naturalization Service Alien Registration Card ("Green Card" -- INS Form I-151/551) may apply. Applicants must speak, write and read English fluently.
No. The U.S. military cannot assist foreign nationals in obtaining admittance into the United States.
Regulations prohibit the forwarding of recruiting information through international mail, even to U.S. citizens living in foreign countries. Use our online form to get free information.
Basic training or boot camp is a 8-week program.
It's held in Great Lake, Illinois.
Intended to introduce recruits to military life and prepare them for the high operational standards of the fleet, recruit training in the Navy has become tougher in recent years. The Navy has sharply increased physical fitness training and has introduced "Battle Stations."
Battle Stations is the culminating event for Navy boot camp. It starts at 10 p.m. with a call to general quarters and lasts until 9:30 the next morning. During this time, recruits must overcome 12 highly realistic crisis simulations such as one based on the sinking of the USS Oklahoma during the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Hundreds of sailors were trapped below deck when the ship capsized and sank. Rescuers had to go in through the upended engine shafts to save survivors.
For tips on how to prepare yourself physically and mentally for boot camp, see military fitness guru Stew Smith's articles.
There are a number of ways you can become an officer in the Navy. In almost all cases you will need a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. The three most popular ways are through:
To apply, you should have competitive Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores and cannot have reached your 22nd birthday. Visit our service academy page for more info.
You can also receive a commission in the Navy by joining Naval ROTC. Navy Reserve Officers' Training Corps (NROTC) program offers tuition and other financial benefits at more than 60 of the country's leading colleges and universities. Two-year and four-year subsidized scholarships are offered. Participants receive a monthly cash allowance. Two-year and four-year nonsubsidized NROTC programs are also offered. These are referred to as college programs and provide for monthly cash allowances during the junior and senior years.
Qualified graduates of regionally accredited colleges receive 12 weeks of basic naval science and indoctrination at Pensacola, FL. Successful candidates are commissioned as ensigns in the Navy Reserve and serve on active duty as unrestricted line, restricted line or staff corps officers. Age limits and service obligations vary depending on the program.
Yes. There are several programs. Please check with your recruiter for current details.
The Navy has special programs for health care, theological and law professionals. You might be able to join the Navy at a higher rank and pay. If you're studying in one of these professions, the Navy might be able to provide you with educational assistance. Request more information online.
There are many opportunities in the Navy Reserve for enlisted personnel and officers. The Navy Reserve is interested in veterans, professionals and those with special skills and training. If eligible, you may qualify for advanced rank or pay.
Special programs are available for:
For more information on Navy Reserve programs, see the Navy Reserve section. You can also request more information on Navy Reserve opportunities.
Qualifications vary on the type of program you are applying for. Generally, you must:
By law, as a member of the Reserve, you must, upon request, be granted a leave of absence to satisfy a requirement for military training. The Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act requires employers to provide Reservists with time away from their jobs to perform military duty. However, you must notify your employer that you intend to take military leave. You must be reemployed after completion of your military duty and return to your job within a reasonable time. You must be treated as though you had never left employment, including scheduled pay raises, promotions or credit for longevity or vacation. Your employer only has to hold a job open for 60 months if you accept voluntary orders. For additional information, see the Navy Reserve Home Page.
The Navy's air capability is primarily forward deployed aboard aircraft carriers. Being a naval aviator is a dangerous job. Besides being the first to deploy during international conflicts, landing aboard a carrier is said to be one of the most difficult skills to master. Naval aviators fly jet fighters, helicopters and other support aircraft. These include:
Naval pilot training is available to commissioned officers of the OCS, U.S. Naval Academy or NROTC. Flight training commences at Milton, Fla., or Corpus Christi, Texas. Upon completion of primary flight training, students receive orders for one of four aviation fields: jet, prop (maritime), prop (aircraft carrier), or helo. After successful completion of advanced flight training, student pilots receive their wings and are designated as naval aviators. Active duty obligation is seven years for prop or helo and eight years for jets from date of designation. Total time in training varies depending on what aircraft training pipeline a person is in.
Flight officer training
Naval Flight Officer training is available to qualified commissioned officers. After the completion of basic NFO Ground School, officers have the opportunity to specialize and receive advanced training in one of the following categories: antisubmarine warfare, electronic countermeasures (ECM) evaluation, radar interception, airborne early warning or bombardier/navigator. NFO wings are received upon completion of Advanced Training. Active duty obligation is six years from date of designation as a naval flight officer.
The SEALs -- an acronym for Sea, Air, and Land -- were created in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy to conduct unconventional and counter-guerilla warfare.
SEAL teams are located on the East and West coasts of the United States. Arguably, they are regarded as the preeminent defensive force in the world, SEALs operate some of the most sophisticated equipment available, from high speed gunner boats to laser-guided weapons.
SEAL missions are strictly classified and require the highest degree of precision. That's why SEAL training is some of the toughest in the world. SEALs receive training in:
To become a Navy SEAL you will have to endure the toughest training in the world. If you think you have what it takes to be Navy SEAL, visit the Military.com Special Operations Center to learn more about how to join the worlds most elite fighting team.
Sure. Visit the Military.com Recruiting Discussion Board.
Navy recruiters must present an accurate picture of its training. You should be aware of all aspects of the naval lifestyle. Be sure you fully understand the enlistment contract. You should ask about:
Complete this form and more information will be sent to you, with no obligations or strings attached.
Visit the Military.com Uniform Center for details on Military Uniforms.