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Information on Navy Recruiting for Civilians

Updated on June 13, 2013
USS Roosevelt
USS Roosevelt | Source

© 2013 by Aurelio Locsin.

Joining the U.S. Navy gives you a chance to serve your country with a chance to go on what-amounts-to an all-expense paid cruise to ports around the world. While in the service, you can also learn such skills as operating computers, driving a boat or harnessing nuclear power, and get money for college. In addition, you’re entitled to a nice income when you retire.


To join as an enlisted sailor, you need to be at least 17 but under 35, and if you’re under 18, you need parental consent.

  • You must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident with a home in the U.S. The minimum education is a high-school diploma or GED.
  • To join as an officer, you need to be at 19 but under 35, be a U.S. citizen, and have at least a four-year degree from an accredited university.
  • As a sailor or officer, you can’t have more than two dependents under 18 and must pass two urinalysis tests for the presence of drugs.


If you meet the basic qualifications, you can begin the recruiting process by applying online. You register by responding to a confirmation email to validate your personal account. You then create a username and password, and can begin filling out the application that asks for your Social Security Number, your education, employment history, military service and job interests. The Life Ops tool, which you can use separately from your application, gives your a chance to specify your skills, interests and ambitions, so you can find what Navy jobs match your abilities. After you submit your application, a Navy recruiter contacts you to continue recruitment by asking for documentation such as a birth certificate or college transcript.


After the recruiter approves your application, you become an official recruit and visit your local Military Entrance Processing Station, so you can take your Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery to determine what Navy careers work for you. A physical makes sure you’re healthy enough for the service and a career classifier helps you choose a specific career. You then complete a pre-enlistment interview, sign your enlistment contract and take the oath to join the Navy. All jobs are open to women except for the SEAL and Special Warfate Combatant-craft Crew. Women may also not apply for enlisted positions aboard submarines.


If you’re enlisting as a sailor, you go through boot camp at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center near Chicago, Illinois. In seven to nine weeks, you learn conditioning, swimming, marching, drilling, weapons and classroom subjects. You may also go through “A” school to learn skills related to your job. As an officer, you go through the 12-week Officer Candidate School at Naval Station Newport in Rhode Island where you learn leadership, physical and military training and academics. You may also go through Officer Development School, if you’re already a commissioned officer who wants to study such specific fields as medicine or nuclear engineering.


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    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I believe that income after you retire is only for people who have put in a number of years of service...perhaps 20 or more. My brother was in the Navy for only 4 years during the Vietnam war. Up and useful votes. This is interesting information for those who do not know of this.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Very interesting and informative read. Thanks.

      Voted up and useful.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      This was a great idea Alocsin. I think young men look to the Armed Forces when employment is low...I don't think its been much lower than right now!

      Lots of good facts and basics to show them how. I have to say I'm a bit amazed you can apply on line but I guess I shouldn't be.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Hi, great information alocsin, and something that runs in my family, I had an uncle who was in the navy, so this is great, nell