Careers: Military--Army, Navy, Airforce, Marines, Coast Guard/Duration of Enlistment


When you first enlist at 18 in the Army, how long is the usual duration.

I've read (in different websites) several different blocks of years of mandatory service when you first enlist - from just two years, or ten years, or even twenty years.

Thank you,

All military services require an 8 year enlistment.  Each branch breaks it down between active and standby or IRR.

Army is typically 3 years except certain specialties, Navy and Marines are typically 4 years.  After that, one is transferred to the IRR, where they receive no pay or benefits, but are subject to recall until the 8 year time frame is up.

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Careers: Military--Army, Navy, Airforce, Marines, Coast Guard

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John L


I am a National Guard Recruiting NCOIC, been doing recruiting jobs for the military for over 12 years and am a subject matter expert on qualifications for National Guard and Army ( as we use the same regulation) and I keep up to date on other services regulations as well. In my job, I process questionable applicants and determine eligibility, I process waivers of all types and know the regulations inside and out. I will not sugar coat my answers to you. They are usually short and to the point. If you need more in depth, ask me. Because each situation is different, alot of times you need to actually talk to a recruiter and let them evaluate your situation in person, by looking at your documents, issues etc. If I suggest this, it would be in your best interest to do so. Finally...thank you for your interest in serving this great nation of ours. Very few people can actually make the cut to serve let alone choose to do so. So thank you for wanting to and hopefully you will get a chance. Whatever branch you choose, thank you and good luck.


18 years Guard experience, combat missions and homeland missions. 12 years recruiting. I have been a platoon sergeant and squad leader. Mentor to new recruiters and recruits.

Recruiters course and advanced courses in recruiting

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