Join the Coast Guard

To ensure you have the latest information on current eligibility standards, you will need to contact your local recruiter. While much of what you see below doesn't change much, the opportunities for getting a waiver for a disqualifying mark varies depending on what recruiting region you are in and the current state of the economy.

Request Info on How to Join the US Coast Guard

  • Age - You can join at 17 with parents' permission or 18 up to 27 years of age.
  • Citizenship - You must be a US citizen or a legal resident alien with documents to validate your status.
  • Criminal Record - No felony convictions, no pending or current legal procedures (trial, serving sentence, on parole, unpaid fines, civil lawsuit filed), no history of drug or violent crime arrests or convictions.
  • Dependants/Children - No single parents or married applicants with more than one child are allowed to enlist.
  • Education - High school diploma is required. Applicants need to score a minimum of 45 AFQT on the ASVAB.
  • Physical Health
    • Fitness Testing - Applicants must undergo physical fitness testing in five areas - push-ups, sit-ups, 1.5 mile run, sit & reach, and a swim test. Males must complete at least 29 push-ups in 60 seconds, while females should be able to do more than 22. Males must complete at least 38 sit-ups in 60 seconds, while females complete more than 31. The 1.5 mile should be completed in less than 12 minutes and 51 seconds by males and 15 minutes and 26 seconds for females. Men should be able to sit and reach their fingertips more than 16.5 inches past their knees, while women reach at least 19.25 inches past their knees. In regards to swimming, men should be able to swim 500 yards in less than 12 minutes while women swim 400 yards in less than 12 minutes.
    • Maximum Allowable Weight - Unlike other military branches, the Coast Guard doesn't just compare an applicant's height and weight. Instead, they include information on the size of a person's frame to determin the Maximum Allowable Weight (MAW) for that height and frame size. A person's frame size is determined by measuring around the wrist with the tape measure going over the two "knobs" on opposing sides of the wrist with no slack or cutting into the skin. Look up where you fit by looking at the MAW charts for men and women.