Q: At what age can I enlist in the Armed Forces?

A: You may enlist at 17 with your parental consent (50 App. USC §454 (c)). Without their consent, you may enlist between the ages of 18 and 35.


Q: What are the branches of the military?

A: There are five military branches which include the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.


Q: What is "The Draft"?

A: A draft is the mandatory enrollment of individuals into the armed forces," (


Q: Who must register with Select Service (The Draft)?

A: Almost all men age 18-25 who are U.S. citizens or are immigrants living in the U.S. are required to be registered with Selective Service. U.S. law calls for citizens to register within 30 days of turning 18 and immigrants to register within 30 days of arriving in the U.S.," (


Q: What can happen if I do not register for the Draft?

AMen who do not register could be prosecuted and, if convicted, fined up to $250,000 and/or serve up to 5 years in prison. In addition, a man who fails to register with Selective Service before turning 26, even if not prosecuted, will become ineligible for:

  • student Financial Aid, including Pell Grants, College Work Study, Guaranteed Student/Plus Loans, and National Direct Student Loans;
  • citizenship (if the man first arrived in the U.S. before his 26th birthday); and  
  • Federal Job Training under the Workforce Investment Act (formerly JTPA) which offers programs that train young men for jobs in auto mechanics and other skills and is only available to those men who register with Selective Service.


Q: Will draft cards be issued when I register?

A: No. If a draft is called, you will receive notification. The notice will order you to report for a physical examination and processing. It will also give information on exemptions and deferments.


Q: Are there any exemptions to who must register for the Draft?

A: Men in the U.S. on student, visitor, or diplomatic visas and women are not required to register," ( For other exemptions and for transgender people, visit to review the "Who Must Register Chart".


Q: I’m going to go to college next fall, can I get an exemption if I am called to register for the draft?

A: There are no student or job-related deferments. However, hardship, conscientious objector, and ministerial exemptions are still being allowed (50 App. USC §456).


Laws may have changed since the last time this article was updated.  The current and most up-to-date laws can be accessed here.