Members of the Army Reserves work full-time or attend school while serving in the United States Army. Soldiers in the reserves attend one training session each month and commit to one two-week training period each year. If you are in the Army Reserves, you must be prepared to be shifted to active duty if your unit is called upon, such as to serve in combat.
Age and Citizenship
A candidate for joining the Army Reserves must be at least 18 years old, though you can join at 17 with parental permission. New members of the Army Reserves cannot be older than 35 years old. The Army Reserves is open to United States citizens and permanent resident aliens. In some cases, non-citizens who have appropriate documentation may join, according to Today's Military. U.S. citizens include citizens of U.S. territories, such as Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, among others.
The minimum education level to join the Army Reserves is a high school diploma or its equivalent. Some fields within the Army Reserves may require a higher level of education, such as a bachelor's degree or even an advanced degree. Each recruit takes the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test, which measures a recruit's knowledge in 10 areas, such as math, science, language, electronics and mechanical comprehension, among other topics. Your ASVAB test scores will help determine your role in the reserves.
You must pass a medical examination to join the Army Reserves. You also must pass a physical fitness test featuring three events: pushups, sit-ups and a two-mile run. You must meet the minimum passing standards for each event. The Army has separate standards for males and females, and standards vary depending on the recruit's age. For instance, a time of 15:36 on the two-mile run produces a perfect score of 100 points for a recruit between the ages of 17 and 21, while a recruit between 27 and 31 would only need a time of 15:48 for the same score.
Before you join the Army Reserves, you must complete required training levels assigned you. The first is 10 weeks of basic combat training, which prepares recruits for the basics of serving in the military. In addition, you must finish any advanced individual training you may have been assigned. The advanced training, which can last between 10 weeks and 19 weeks, offers soldiers the opportunity to work intensively in the field within the reserves where they are assigned. For instance, a paralegal in the Army Reserves must take 10 weeks of training specific to the paralegal field.
Tom Gresham is a freelance writer and public relations specialist who has been writing professionally since 1999. His articles have appeared in "The Washington Post," "Virginia Magazine," "Vermont Magazine," "Adirondack Life" and the "Southern Arts Journal," among other publications. He graduated from the University of Virginia.