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Join the Navy

Photo by CPO James Foehl / DVIDS

Thinking about joining the Navy? You’re not alone.

There are over 320,000 Active Duty personnel currently serving in this U.S. Navy. But don’t worry, there are plenty of spots available for new recruits. In fact, the U.S. Navy adds about 40,000 new service members each year.

So what are the requirements to join the Navy? Below we outline the minimum requirements including height, weight, age and physical fitness test scores.

Age Requirements

Did you know you can join the Navy when you are only 17 years old with parental consent?

Although it may be tempting to leave your troubles behind and start serving your country as a teenager, you might want to reconsider.

You see, even though you can join young you may have trouble working your way up to a higher pay grade without a college education. After you enlist in the Navy you will be competing against college graduates that are in their 20’s for the best paying jobs.

Okay, so maybe you’re not a teenager, but you are still thinking about joining the Navy. Believe it or not, there’s a maximum age limit as well.

You are not allowed to enlist if you are over 34 years old. However, if you have served in other branches of the military you may qualify to enlist if you are above the maximum age limit. Talk to your recruiter for more information.

Citizenship Requirements

Ready to proudly serve your country? Well, it might seem obvious but in order to join the U.S. Navy you must be a U.S. citizen.

Not sure if you are a citizen of this great country? According the the Fourteenth Amendment, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

You can also join the Navy if you are a resident alien. That includes anyone that is a permanent U.S. resident but is not a citizen. Simply put, a resident alien is someone who has a green card.

Education Requirements

Joining the Navy requires a high school diploma or GED.

As we mentioned before, although these are minimum education requirements to enlist, you will be competing against other recruits with a college education.

In fact, in order to become an officer you will need to a 4-year college degree from an accredited university just to qualify. Not to mention, you’ll need to meet a long list of other requirements.

If you haven’t considered going to college, now might be the time to rethink your plans before enlisting in the Navy.

Height and Weight Requirements

According to a recent study, only 20% of potential military recruits will qualify to enlist based on their weight. Some even believe obesity is causing a national security issue. There is a growing trend of rejecting recruits because they are overweight and do not meet the minimum requirements to join the Navy.

Use the table below to see if you are below the maximum weight limit based on your height:

Height (inches) Men Maximum Weight (lbs) Women Maximum Weight (lbs)
51 97 102
52 102 106
53 107 110
54 112 114
55 117 118
56 122 123
57 127 127
58 131 131
59 136 136
60 141 141
61 145 145
62 150 149
63 155 152
64 160 156
65 165 160
66 170 163
67 175 167
68 181 170
69 186 174
70 191 177
71 196 181
72 201 185
73 206 189
74 211 194
75 216 200
76 221 205
77 226 211
78 231 216
79 236 222
80 241 227
81 246 233
82 251 239
83 256 245
84 261 251
85 266 257
86 271 263

Additional Requirements

You will also be required to complete the Military Entrance Processing Station medical exam. Here are a few tests you’ll need to pass at your exam:

  • Vision Test
  • Hearing Test
  • Breathalyzer
  • Urine and Blood Test

Minimum Physical Fitness Test Scores

Minimum Navy PRT Scores for Men:

Age Points Curl-Ups Push-Ups 1.5-mile Run 500-YD Swim 450-m Swim
17-19 60 62 51 11:00 11:15 11:05
20-24 60 58 47 12:00 11:30 11:20
25-29 60 54 44 12:53 11:38 11:28
30-34 60 51 41 13:45 11:45 11:35

Minimum Navy PRT Scores for Women:

Age Points Curl-Ups Push-Ups 1.5-Mile Run 500-YD Swim 450-m Swim
17-19 60 62 24 13:30 13:00 12:50
20-24 60 58 21 14:15 13:15 13:05
25-29 60 54 19 14:53 13:30 13:20
30-34 60 51 17 15:30 13:45 13:35

Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) Exam

You must pass the ASVAB exam in order to enlist in the Navy The exam consists of ten short tests over 3 hours:

  • General Science
  • Arithmetic Reasoning
  • Word Knowledge
  • Paragraph Comprehension
  • Mathematics Knowledge
  • Electronics Information
  • Auto and Shop Information
  • Mechanical Comprehension
  • Assembling Objects

Not only is the test a requirement to join the Navy, but your score could help you get the job you want as well as signing bonuses. The minimum score required to pass is 31.

Continue reading: ASVAB Scores Explained


Joining the U.S. Navy takes more character and physical toughness than most people realize. If you not only meet but exceed the requirements listed above, you may be a great candidate to join the Navy.

In this guide we covered the minimum height, weight, age and education requirements. We also covered the scores needed to pass the ASVAB and Physical Fitness Test.

If you have any questions about these requirements, please let us know. However, you should always consult with your recruiter about personal matters and resources available to help you meet the minimum fitness requirements.