Compare Your Enlistment Options

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Coast Guard Recruiting Command
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Michael Leavitt visits with members of the Coast Guard Recruiting Command in Arlington, Virginia, on Jan. 16, 2013, to speak about the status of the service and what can be expected in the near future. ( Petty Officer 2nd Class Annie Elis/U.S. Coast Guard)

Keep in mind that the services offer two basic ways of joining: standard enlistment, in which you sign up and get started immediately, and delayed entry, in which you can sign up but postpone joining the military for a certain period (up to a year in most cases). Individual services also may offer other options, so check with your local recruiters for the latest options.

Enlistment Options

U.S. Army
  • Standard enlistment
  • Delayed Entry Program (DEP) in which you enlist now and delay starting your training for up to 365 days
  • Delayed Training Program (DTP) lets you delay your basic training for up to 365 days
  • if you enlist in the Army Reserve for qualified applicants, the U.S. Army offers a two-year enlistment option in addition to your training time
U.S. Navy
  • Standard enlistment
  • Delayed Entry Program (DEP) in which you enlist now and delay starting your training for up to 365 days
U.S. Air Force
  • Standard enlistment
  • Delayed Entry Program (DEP) in which you enlist now and delay starting your training for up to 365 days
U.S. Marine Corps
  • Standard enlistment
  • Delayed Entry Program (DEP) in which you enlist now and delay starting your training for up to 365 days
  • For qualified applicants, the National Call To Service program offers a two-year enlistment option
National Guard
  • Standard enlistment
  • Delayed Entry Program (DEP) in which you enlist now and delay starting your training for up to 365 days
  • College First Enlistment Program in which you can complete up to two years of full-time schooling, with no federal mobilization/deployment.
  • Split-option enlistment -- As a junior in high school, you can enlist in the Army National Guard and not interrupt your high school education. You start by attending basic training the summer after your junior year. You will return home in time for your senior year in the fall.
U.S. Coast Guard
  • Standard enlistment
  • Delayed Entry Program (DEP) in which you enlist now and delay starting your training for up to 365 days

Interested in Joining the Military?

We can put you in touch with recruiters from the different military branches. Learn about the benefits of serving your country, paying for school, military career paths, and more: sign up now and hear from a recruiter near you.

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