This is a guide on how one can join the United States Army from Kenya. At the moment, The United States Armed Forces doesn’t have recruiting stations overseas and that means that they can’t recruit people who are not US citizens. But all is not lost and the drill is very simple here, you are either a US citizen or you apply to be a Permanent Resident with a valid green card.
A Permanent Resident Card or a green card is a document that contains one’s biographic information issued by the U.S citizenship and immigration services. It enables the holder to live and permanently work in the U.S. Yearly, more than 8,000 green card holders who are non-U.S. citizens join the military.
If you apply for a green card successfully, then you can now apply to join the U.S army, but before you do that, you should check if you meet the requirements below.
Requirements to Join The U.S Army
- Speak and write English fluently
- Must be a U.S. citizen or have been issued a Green Card.
- Be at least 17 years old and older than 35 years; if you are applying for the regular army job, National Guard and even the Reserves.
- If you are 17 years old, you’ll need parental consent, otherwise, you can wait until you turn 18 to apply by yourself without any need for parental consent.
- Have at least a high school diploma (the equivalent of high school certificate in Kenya) GED is also accepted in some recruitment branches.
- To be an officer, you need to be at least a college graduate from an accredited institution.
- Be of robust/good health
- Be able to take and pass The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery(ASVAB) test with a minimum score of 31.
- Should have no serious criminal records.
After crosschecking and ensuring that you meet all the requirements, you can then make contact and speak with a representative of the U.S army. You can as well as check everything online and contact the US army through these websites; www.goarmy.com or www.nationalguard.com then follow the procedure below.
1. Meet with a recruiter and talk about your potentials.
Your recruiter will be of great importance to your journey of joining the U.S army because through them, you will be helped to meet the qualifications at a professional level, find a position which fits you and even move you towards basic training if you impress.
2. Select your career path.
There are many jobs available in The U.S army to those who meet the requirements. You should review the jobs available and choose the one you would like to do and then talk to your recruiter about it so that they can guide you.
3. Sit for the ASVAB Test
You will be required to sit for the ASVAB or the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, a test which recruiters use to determine if you are eligible for enrollment. You should practice thoroughly before the test day so as to record higher grades.
4. Review Your Contract
After passing the ASVAB test, you will then talk to your recruiter about a contract and review it accordingly. Probe it thoroughly and ensure that it has everything you need to sign up for and if it doesn’t, feel free to make changes to it and if it does meet your needs, then sign your contract, finalize everything up and prepare for basic training.
Once you have joined the army as an enlisted service member in your first 6 months, you will earn not less than Ksh 2,000,000 per year. Entry-level army privates with 2 years of experience take home around $20,172 per year while Staff Sergeant (E6) with 2 years of experience take home $31,352.40 a year.
Active duty officers take home a bigger salary yearly as compared to their active duty soldiers with a Second Lieutenant (O1) with 2 years of experience pocketing $38,260.80 a year and a major with 6 years of experience taking home $76,809.60 per year.
Have a look at a comprehensive basic pay chart for active duty officers and soldiers in the U.S here
The US Army also offers you money for education, comprehensive health care, generous vacation time,
family services and support groups, special pay and cash allowances to cover the cost of living. As a soldier, you and your family will be entitled to service members group life insurance automatically covered by a comprehensive HMO-type military health-care plan called TRICARE that provides medical and dental care at little or no cost.
Active duty and Army Reserve Soldiers get low-cost group insurance called Service Members’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) which is available in coverages of between $10,000 -$400,000.
Active duty soldiers receive 30 days for their vacation yearly and one can utilize them as they wish. National holidays and weekends are free days save for a job that may require to be urgently done on weekends or holidays. If you are sick, you will be given your sick days off.
If you want to get in touch with recruiters, you can fill an online contact form here and reach out to them.