The Navy requires all new recruits to meet standards for age, size, education, moral fitness, financial obligations and criminal background, as well as citizenship and family life. An applicant who meets all of these requirements may join the Navy.
With a parent's permission, an applicant can join the Navy at age 17. Otherwise, applicants must be between 18 and 34 years of age, measured by the date the applicant ships to training.
Applicants must be U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents to join the Navy. Illegal aliens are not allowed to serve.The Navy does not allow applicants to serve if they are felons, have pending criminal cases, or have prior arrests for drug crimes. A violent arrest may disqualify an applicant, as well. Having more than one dependent child disqualifies any applicant from enlisting.
A high school diploma is required to enlist, though a GED may be accepted in rare circumstances. For officers, a four-year degree is required.
No male applicant may have more than 22 percent body fat, and no female may have more than 33 percent body fat. In addition to these requirements, applicants must have proportional height to weight according to the Navy's chart. Applicants must pass a physical readiness test consisting of curl-ups, push-ups and a 1.5 mile run.
Body decorations may disqualify an applicant if they are excessive or visible on the face, neck or scalp. Gang-related or offensive tattoos are disqualifying.