Information About Military Enlistment/Reenlistment

Military Enlistment/Reenlistment Document

Marine Sergeant Inspecting Recruits
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Army. Navy. Air Force. Marines. Which branch of the military might be right for you? If you're thinking about joining the military, you'll need to make sure this is where you want to start your career. If you already know someone in the military, it's wise to ask that person questions you may have. If you don't know someone, don't worry, there are many places to go for information. Here are a few:

Visit a Recruiter

Once you’ve researched all you can on your own, if your still interested, it's a good idea to visit a military recruiter. Here, you can explore which branch of the military might be best for you. A recruiter can provide detailed information about military service and can answer your questions about your specific wants and needs.

How To Join

There are two ways to join the U.S. Military: enlisting directly after high school or finishing college first and joining as a  commissioned officer. A military officer is a leader who supervises and manages activities in nearly every occupational specialty. However, enlistment is the most common way to join the military.

Military Enlistment/Reenlistment Document

The Military Enlistment/Reenlistment Document is the "contract" signed by all individuals enlisting in the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, including members enlisting in the Delayed Enlistment Program (DEP), and enlisting in the National Guard and Reserves.  The document, known as DD Form 4/1 can be found here.

Below is an excerpt from the document:

"I understand that many laws, regulations, and military customs will govern my conduct and require me to do things under this agreement that a civilian does not have to do. I also understand that various laws, some of which are listed in this agreement, directly affect this enlistment/reenlistment agreement. Some examples of how existing laws may affect this agreement are explained in paragraphs 10 and 11. I understand that I cannot change these laws but that Congress may change these laws, or pass new laws, at any time that may affect this agreement, and that I will be subject to those laws and any changes they make to this agreement.

I further understand that: My enlistment/reenlistment agreement is more than an employment agreement. It effects a change in status from civilian to military member of the Armed Forces. As a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, I will be:

(1 ) Required to obey all lawful orders and perform all assigned.

(2) Subject to separation during or at the end of my enlistment. If my behavior fails to meet acceptable military standards, I may be discharged and given a certificate for less than honorable service, which may hurt my future job opportunities and my claim for veteran's benefits.

(3 Subject to the military justice system, which means, among other things, that I may be tried by military courts-martial.

(4) Required upon order to serve in combat or other hazardous situations.

(5) Entitled to receive pay, allowances, and other benefits as provided by law and regulation."