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What are the Different Types of US Navy Enlistment?

By Rhonda Rivera
Updated Jan 23, 2024
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The first type of navy enlistment is called Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS), in which the recruited person goes through various evaluation tests. Delayed Entry Program (DEP) allows the recruit to join the navy but begin training and service at a later time. The Direct Appointment Program qualifies college graduates to join the US navy as an officer. Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) is a scholarship program that requires participants to take navy science courses in college and serve the navy for a minimum of five years. Another type of US navy enlistment is called an undergraduate program, which is where recruits serve the navy and attend college.

Before officially joining the military, potential recruits must go through MEPS. During MEPS, potential recruits are required to take an aptitude test called the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). They are also examined by a doctor to ensure physical fitness, in addition to undergoing a pre-enlistment interview. If the potential recruit does not have a serious health problem and passes the interview, he or she takes the oath of enlistment. In some cases, MEPS is as far as potential recruits get in navy enlistment.

DEP gives potential recruiters time to finish up a housing lease, temporarily place pets, or tie up other loose ends before official navy enlistment. Tour length, training, and duty station are locked in for up to one year. If the potential recruit decides he or she no longer wants to join the military, backing out is allowed until basic training.

The Direct Appointment Program enables college graduates to begin their enlistment as an officer. There are a limited number of direct commissions available, however, so not every graduate enlisting in the navy can become an officer. Whether a potential recruit is made an officer depends on his or her skills, in addition to experience he or she has in that field.

Covering up to $180,000 US Dollars (USD) in tuition, the NROTC scholarship funds the education of promised recruits. This scholarship can also pay for textbooks, miscellaneous school fees, and more. A physical examination is necessary before the scholarship is awarded, in addition to meeting other requirements.

The undergraduate program is a type of US navy enlistment that partially or fully pays a recruit’s education. Recruits can choose between going to school while off-duty or during active duty. Education during active duty is possible by bringing aboard teachers or completing schoolwork remotely. Navy service members can also help fund a dependent’s education.

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