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The U.S. Armed Forces are made up of five armed service branches: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy. There are three general categories of military people: active duty (full-time soldiers and sailors), reserve & guard forces (usually work a civilian job, but can be called to full-time military duty), and veterans and retirees (past members of the military).

Students interested in the military should take the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) exam! This exam will be offered for free after school twice during the school year, one in Fall and the other in Spring. 

Military Branches


Eligibility Criteria

  • Age Requirements

      • Military and service academy minimum entrance age requirements are 17 with parental consent or 18 without parental consent. Service academy applicants must meet the age requirements as of July 1 of the year of entry

  • Physical Requirements

      • Physical requirements vary greatly across each Service branch. Generally speaking, potential recruits should be in good physical condition, of appropriate weight and able to pass a standard physical screening prior to entry. For specific information, please contact a recruiter.

  • Educational Requirements

      • Success in any branch of the Military depends on a good education. A high school diploma is most desirable. Candidates with a GED (General Education Development) certificate can enlist, but some Services may limit their opportunities. It is very difficult to be considered a serious candidate without either a high school diploma or an accepted alternative credential.

  • Citizenship Requirements

      • U.S. citizens or Legal Permanent Residents (people who have an INS I-151/I-551 Green Card) may join the U.S. Military. For more information about citizenship, visit the U.S. Immigration and Nationalization (INS) website.

      • Properly documented noncitizens may enlist. However, opportunities may be limited. Contact a recruiter for more advice on a specific situation.

      • For enlistment purposes, the United States includes Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Palau.

  • Selective Service

      • For almost all male U.S. citizens and male aliens living in the United States who are ages 18 through 25, there is a requirement to register with the Selective Service.

How to Join

  • Ensure you are meeting the above eligibility criteria

  • Take the ASVAB! 

      • 2 types of ASVAB exist: 

          • The Enlistment ASVAB - This is given at a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS). You must make an appt to take this test at the center.

          • ASVAB CEP - This test is given at a high school but can be used for enlistment purposes. At PHS, we typically provide this for free at school once or twice a year. (Check the Events tab to see if this has been scheduled). This exam is also great for students who are not interested in the military but would like to do some career exploration!

      • The ASVAB gives you a range of scores but the AFQT scores are used to determine enlistment eligibility. The Services use all parts of the ASVAB for classification into different jobs. Keep in mind that recruits may not always be assigned their first choice for a career — each Service branch places recruits based on a combination of need and the individual’s knowledge and area of strength. Each branch has a minimum AFQT score required to enlist. Take a look here:,score%20as%20low%20as%2031. 

  • Pass the Physical Examination

      • A recruiter will discuss physical eligibility requirements with you beforehand. The physical is a regular medical exam, similar to what you would receive from a family doctor. Some recruiters may conduct a short physical training (PT) test with potential recruits as well.

      • Examinations include:

          • Height and weight measurements

          • Hearing and vision examinations

          • Urine and blood tests

          • Drug and alcohol tests

          • Muscle group and joint maneuvers

          • Specialized test if required (pregnancy test for women, body fat percentage test for those who are overweight, tests relating to any unusual medical history)

  • Meet With a Counselor and Determine a Career

      • At this point, a service enlistment counselor meets with you to find the right job specialty. A few different factors contribute to career selection:

          • Needs of the Service

          • Job availability

          • ASVAB score

          • Physical requirements (for example, a recruit needs normal color vision for some careers)

          • Recruit preference

          • The service enlistment counselor will also go over the enlistment agreement. It is important to understand this fully before signing. When you sign this agreement, you are making a serious commitment to the Military.

          • At this time, you will also be fingerprinted for your file, which is required for background checks and security clearances.

  • Take the Oath of Enlistment

      • Once your career has been determined, you are ready to take the Oath of Enlistment. In this statement, you vow to defend the United States Constitution and obey the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Family members are invited to watch and take photos.

  • After the MEPS

      • You’ll do one of two things, depending on the terms of your enlistment:

          • Direct Ship: Report to Basic Training shortly after completing MEPS testing requirements. (It varies based on job assignment and branch.) A recruiter will provide instructions on transportation to Basic Training at this time.

          • Delayed Entry Program (DEP): Commit to Basic Training at a time in the future, generally within one year. Most recruits enter DEP before shipping, including those who enlist before completing high school. Recruits enrolled in DEP may return to their homes until the time comes to report for duty.

          • Remember, a recruiter can answer any additional questions you may have about the enlistment process.

Education Benefits

The Military offers many educational benefits that service members can take advantage of during or after service. From financial aid and college funds to loan repayment programs. Read more about it here: 

Military Rep Information

The contact information below is for our local PHS representatives. They often come to campus and you may see them here walking around! If you have questions, make sure to approach them or reach out using their contact information below!


Sergeant Isabeau A. Distel

Cell: (209)345-0034

U.S. Army Recruiting Station:

1649 Countryside Drive

Turlock, CA 95380

Office: (209)667-8095


Staff Sergeant Carlos Lizarraga

Cell: (209)598-5705

Marines Recruiting Station:

1651 Countryside Drive

Turlock, CA 95380



Emilee I. Parsch

Cell: (209)216-8766

Recruiting Station:

2100 Standiford Avenue Suite G2 Box 3

Modesto, CA 95350

Air Force

TSgt Antonio Latorre

Mobile: (209)403-7147

Recruiting Station:

1811 Countryside Drive 

Turlock, CA 95380

Office: (209)668-9146


Coast Guard

Or go to to online chat with a representative!

CA National Guard

Sergeant First Class Jose Martin Esquivel

Mobile: (209)496-5060

Recruiting Station:

933 Kansas Ave

Modesto, CA 95351

Office: (209)527-6905