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What Are the Different US Army Qualifications?

By Lori Kilchermann
Updated Feb 05, 2024
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There are several types of US army qualifications, from entrance qualifications to promotion and even discharge qualifications. Some of the US Army entrance qualifications include height and weight, age and level of education. Other US Army qualifications include physical fitness, marksmanship and leadership abilities. Once in the army, several qualifications are used to determine rank and military occupational specialty (MOS). Promotional training, leadership skills and ability are also areas that are subjected to US Army qualifications.

Some of the US Army qualifications required to gain entrance into the armed forces include having attained the age of 18, or 17 with parental consent; having earned a high school diploma or equivalency; and meeting set physical requirements, such as acceptable height and weight. This requires that the recruit be in good physical condition and posses the ability to complete basic training. Some height and weight conflicts are often dismissed through a body fat percentage test. Physical US Army qualifications also mandate good health with good, correctable eye vision, no communicable diseases and no physical handicap. The recruit must also earn a passing score on the military entrance examination.

Basic training presents another set of US Army qualifications for the recruit to meet, such as passing a physical fitness exam. Passing means successfully completing a set of exercises. The recruit must demonstrate the ability to complete a set number of exercises, such as push-ups, sit ups and running, in a predetermined period of time.

Other basic training qualifications are marching ability, basic marksmanship and general soldiering skills. Failure to obtain a passing score in one or several of these areas can lead to discharge, recycling of the recruit to another training company and/or a complete restart of basic training. Certain types of recruits also typically go through rifle, handgun and grenade qualification, while others replace the grenade training with bayonet training.

After basic training, some US Army qualifications remain the same as the soldier begins serving on active duty. Physical fitness is a constant among soldiers, with periodic testing conducted to monitor the soldiers' abilities. Marksmanship is also an area of constant refinement. The soldier's adeptness to gain and retain army knowledge as well as acquire leadership skills typically become the focus of promotion qualifications as the soldier moves ahead in his or her military career. Several mandated training schools must be attended by the soldier if he or she wishes to remain in the military service and be promoted up through the ranks.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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