What to Expect

WANT TO KNOW HOW TO JOIN THE NAVY?

Whether you’re looking to join as an Enlisted Sailor or Officer, the process is simple. Here are the first steps for getting started, from talking to a recruiter, to taking the Oath of Enlistment and advancing to your initial training.

STEP-BY-STEP

STEP 1: TALK TO A RECRUITER

It's common to have questions about everything from qualifications and life in the Navy, to benefits and career options. Contact your local recruiter, who will answer all your questions and explain career and education opportunities. Depending on your location and your proximity to the nearest enlisted or officer recruiting station, it may be more convenient to have these discussions over the phone or via chat. Much of the recruiting process can be done virtually, electronically or on line if you desire.

STEP 2: SHARE WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS

Share the exciting news with your loved ones, explaining the advantages of kickstarting your career in the Navy. Introduce curious family members to Navy.com and NAVYForMoms.com, a supportive online community that offers insights and answers to common questions. You can also invite your recruiter to meet with your family so they can answer more detailed questions.

STEP 3: SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION

Now it’s time to apply. You must first decide whether you want to pursue an Enlisted or Officer position, and whether you want to join right away, complete school first, or join now and delay serving until after the Navy has helped you complete your education. Your recruiter can help you fill out your application.

STEP 4: GET PROCESSED

Everyone who joins the military goes through the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS), where applicants for military service go to complete the enlistment process. You'll be screened to make sure you meet the physical, academic and moral standards to serve in the Navy. The process includes testing for vocational aptitude, a medical exam, a background screening, career counseling and job selection, and an enlistment or commissioning oath. To learn more about this process, you can visit the official MEPS website.

STEP 5: BEGIN TRAINING

To ensure every Sailor is well prepared, training is unparalleled, in-depth, hands-on and challenging. Training activities vary depending on whether you’re being commissioned as an Enlisted Sailor or Officer.

Enlisted recruits go to Boot Camp at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center north of Chicago, Ill. for a 7-9 week program that includes conditioning, marching, drilling, attending classes and weaponry. Officers attend either Officer Candidate School or Officer Development School, which last anywhere from 5-13 weeks. Once there, you'll be instructed in leadership, physical and military training, academics, military etiquette and other subjects, depending on your career track.

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