If you want to enter the United States Armed Forces, there are a series of requirements that you must meet to begin training. The Armed Forces are made up of the Army, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the Air Force, and the Coast Guard.
What skills are needed to be in the Army?
The first requirement is to be a U.S. citizen by birth or naturalization. If you are a foreigner and have a Green Card, you must speak, read and write in English and live within the American Union.
You must be over 17 and under 39 years of age and have a high school diploma or a certificate equivalent to this degree.
Applicants must pass two exams, one medical and one vocational aptitude, for the career they want to pursue.
The medical examination verifies that the applicant has conditions for the work without an illness putting his life at risk.
The vocational aptitude test analyzes applicants’ arithmetic reasoning, math knowledge, vocabulary, and reading comprehension abilities. Recruits must enter career options to pursue but are not always assigned first.
Accepted individuals must show up to complete registration, take the oath, and begin basic training. It is estimated that five percent of the members of the United States Army are immigrants or naturalized citizens.
According to the latest statistics, approximately 8,000 non-citizen immigrants join one of the branches of the United States Army – Army, Navy, Air, Coast Guard, and Marines each year. Currently, the Department of Defense estimates more than 30,000 non-citizen immigrants actively serving in the Army.
Hispanics prefer the Marines, where they make up 25 percent of the total active membership, constituting only 18 percent of the total U.S. population.
What immigrants can join the American Army?
Currently, only migrants who have legal immigration status can enlist in the Army, which amounts to lawful permanent residents.
They can join the Army but:
They cannot be commissioned officers (officers Commissioned)
They can only serve one term as they cannot re-enlist.
Also, if your home country has a tradition of hostility toward the United States, you may need to request a waiver to enlist.
If they are discharged without honor, their subsequent request to acquire citizenship may be denied due to a lack of good moral character. In serious cases, such as court-martial, deportation proceedings may be initiated against you.
On the other hand, they can benefit from a special procedure to acquire American citizenship by naturalization, following special deadlines for being members of the Army.
If they are naturalized under these conditions, they could be de-naturalized – lose their citizenship – if they do not comply with honor during their presence in the Army for a single or aggregate period of five years. However, this does not happen if citizenship was obtained following the regular procedure.
Suppose during the enlistment period you have had an administrative or criminal behavior problem. In that case, it is highly advisable to consult with a specialist lawyer about the possible immigration consequences, their nature, and for how long.
Foreigners wishing to join the U.S. Army
None of the branches of the American Army can sponsor a foreigner for the green card.
Although, in theory, the law allows the Secretary of Defense to authorize the enlistment of any foreigner when necessary for national interests considered vital, the truth is that no exceptions are made in practice.
Therefore, it is not possible to recruit foreigners for any of the branches of the U.S. Army. However, it is possible to hire foreigners in activities abroad. It is outside the United States, such as, for example, working on military bases or working as interpreters or translators.
The United States Armed Forces are present in more than 100 countries and rely on foreign contracted personnel but not members of the Army. Except for very exceptional cases provided for by law. For example, in the cases of Afghan and Iraqi translators, they do not have any special rights when immigrating to the USA.
Military Obligations of Americans and All Types of U.S. Residents
All males habitually present in the United States between 18 and 26 must register for the Selective Service. This obligation affects citizens, legal permanent residents, and even the undocumented. Failure to do so is a criminal offense. This obligation also applies to male U.S. citizens who habitually reside outside the U.S.
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