How do you become a military recruiter? The specific requirements will vary by branch of military service, but in general, the profession of a military recruiter is a type of special duty that can involve finding active duty, Guard, and Reserve recruits.
It can also, depending on the branch of service, involve more highly specialized work locating medical personnel, working with ROTC cadets, Junior ROTC programs on high school campuses, etc.
The First Requirement To Become A Recruiter
Military service is the very first requirement–you must join the military, complete basic training, technical training, and meet minimum time-in-service requirements.
Recruiters are generally not junior enlisted troops, though in the past at least one branch of military service has permitted E-4s (the highest junior enlisted pay grade) to apply. In general, troops won’t be permitted to become full-time recruiters as first-term military members.
Once serving in uniform, any potential recruiter must stand out in her current career field. That means getting outstanding performance evaluations, meeting and exceeding standards for education, fitness, and promotion.
There isn’t space to explore the standards to become a recruiter for all branches of military service, but the information provided here should give you a good idea of what to expect if you want to apply.
General Requirements For Becoming A Recruiter
Each branch of military service has different standards. Your experience will vary depending on whether you wish to be an Air Force, Army, Navy, or Marine Corps recruiter. One thing that is consistent for all–you can only apply to recruit for the branch of military service you are in. A Marine can’t recruit for the Air Force, for example, unless the Marine is willing to actually join the Air Force first.
Applicants are generally discouraged from applying if they have had disciplinary issues, fail to meet standards for fitness, promotability, etc.
All applicants who want to become recruiters must be willing to serve in any location in the United States regardless of state, and all who aspire to recruit must be willing to work odd hours–recruiting is NOT a nine-to-five proposition.
Did you know that some recruiters work overseas? This is also an assignment option but aspiring candidates should know these jobs are given to serve the needs of the mission and are not necessarily offered as a preference.
All branches of service require training to become a recruiter. A good example is the Air Force Recruiting School at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, which puts its candidates through a rigorous training program.
Today that program has evolved into a “Total Force” concept that seeks to integrate all Air Force recruiting functions for Guard, Reserve, ROTC, and Active Duty.
Each recruiter in this program must learn the legal, technical, and military requirements for serving, and this program has in the past administered tests both on paper as well as in-person recruiting scenarios using faculty members posing as military applicants.
Training to be a recruiter isn’t easy, and the screening process can be rigorous.
What It Takes To Be Seriously Considered
The U.S. Army’s criteria for serious candidates for recruiting duty include age requirements including minimums AND maximum ages: at least 21 years old at selection time, but not more than 39 years. Some waivers may be available for those below 45 years of age.
There is also a rank requirement–applicants must be a Sergeant, Staff Sergeant, or Sergeant First Class. At selection time the applicant must have at least four years time-in-service, but no more than nine years (for Sergeants) and no more than 15 years time-in-service for Staff Sergeants. Sergeants First Class must have no more than 16 years in service.
Other requirements apply:
- Applicants must be U.S. citizens “by birth or naturalization” or permanent resident aliens.
- Applicants need a minimum general technical (GT) score of 95 with a skilled-technical score of 95 (waiver authorized for GT and ST Score below 90).
- Must meet fitness and body fat standards.
- Must have a “minimum physical profile of 132321”.
- Must have a valid civilian driver’s license.
There are some rules you might not expect. The Army official site states that candidates must “Possess excellent military appearance and bearing and have no obvious distracting physical abnormalities or mannerisms”.
Tattoos can be an issue–all applicants must be in compliance with current Army regulations regarding tattoos, or apply for a waiver.
No aspiring recruiter should apply within 36 months of being enrolled in a drug or alcohol dependency intervention program “of any type” according to Army.mil.
And Army Recruiting hopefuls must not have been “the subject of adjudication” such as an Article 15 non-judicial punishment, or “had adverse action taken by any authority for any offense that involves moral turpitude, regardless of sentence received or any offense under the UCMJ for which confinement of 2 years or more may be adjudged”.
No waivers for this are allowed.
Army recruiters also must not be the sole parent or guardian of a dependent. In these cases, a waiver may be possible but there must be “strong documentation” of support for the dependent.
Wherever possible, the Department of Defense prefers volunteer recruiters–that is, those who have chosen to apply for the program. There is potential for some service members to be selected involuntarily if mission needs dictate such action.
There is a rigorous screening process for those who volunteer or who are selected. This process includes a military records review, medical records review, an interview process, and more. You should expect a level of scrutiny similar to a security clearance background investigation, even if that level of scrutiny ends up being less intensive–it’s the same level of interest in your suitability as a recruiting candidate.
Preparing To Be A Recruiter Candidate
Outstanding performance reports, pursuing off-duty education, and exceeding fitness standards are all excellent ways to prepare to apply. Recruiters are looking for those who can represent the military in the most highly visible ways–you should expect to clear a high bar in order to be selected.