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Military Enlistment Question

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by alexcc, Feb 10, 2010.

  1. alexcc

    alexcc

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    Hi all,

    Sorry I posted this in the GNG but I wanted a reply as fast as possible and it's not a very military specific question.

    I figured since many of you guys were in the US military at some stage or are at the moment - you could answer a question that I can't seem to get an exact answer for on the internet.

    Can a non-US citizen, non-US resident join the US military? I have always loved the US and had a "dream" to serve but figured I would study first. Not that I definitely would - but I'd like to know if it could be an option.

    Most of the info I find on the internet gives me different conclusions. Some say you don't have to be citizens but have to be permanent residents and others say you have to be a citizen. I basically want to know if I could enlist from South Africa and basically head over there to start basic. When I'm finished studying I will have a degree in Computer Science and Economics as well as being a qualified EMT, if that makes a difference.

    I have thought about this for so long but never actually thought if I would be allowed to enlist & the other military thread got me thinking about it - feel quite stupid now :crying:

    Thanks
    Alex
     
  2. BigDog[RE]

    BigDog[RE] NRA Member

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    You don't have to be a citizen, but you do need to be a permanent alien resident as I understand it.

    I served, and I am not a citizen, just a green card holder (since 1972).
     

  3. eaglefrq

    eaglefrq NRA Member

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    You may be limited to the job you can do. When I was a Navy recruiter 6 yrs ago there were only a handful of jobs you would qualify for.
     
  4. DScottHewitt

    DScottHewitt EMT-B

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    All I know is from hearing stuff. No direct experience. But I think Residency is required. Not sure if you have to live here like a minimum of so many months/years or anything.

    But thank you for wanting to serve.
     
  5. Annoyedgrunt

    Annoyedgrunt Dry Heat my ASS

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    You can be a resident alien and join, but there will be some MOS's that you can't get into, i.e. those that require a Secret clearance.
     
  6. HerrGlock

    HerrGlock Scouts Out CLM

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    http://www.goarmy.com/ChatIndex.do?redirect=true
    Arming yourself with knowledge is the first step to becoming a Soldier in the U.S. Army. And that means talking to an experienced Army recruiter. Review our chat policy before chatting or browse the Recruiter bios to find out more about each Online Recruiter.
     
  7. deadday

    deadday

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    You can join but you must be a resident alien, and you will not be eligible for a security clearance until you have gained your citizenship (which the military will help you with)
     
  8. raven11

    raven11

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    the guys on the board beat me to it, yes you can join. i've known several that had received their citzenship while in service
     
  9. BigDog[RE]

    BigDog[RE] NRA Member

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    Umm, I never got my citizenship, but I did have the necessary security clearances to work with nuclear items...
     
  10. alexcc

    alexcc

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    Thanks for all the info guys - I'm going to chat to a recruiter as HerrGlock suggested.

    It does seem that I have to be a legal permanent resident though - I know they have to do this to keep any random foreigner from enlisting but I wish I didn't have to wait after I finish studying - I'm already going to be "old" and I'm pretty sure it takes a few years to become a resident, and that's if US immigration doesn't chuck you out before you get residency.
     
  11. Bren

    Bren NRA Life Member

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    I can't tell you all the specifics about the citizenship status, since I'm not a recruiter. But, as a drill sergeant, I've trained many non-US-citizen soldiers and you definitely do not have to be a citizen. In fact, many join in order to get their citizenship faster, through military service.
     
  12. Bren

    Bren NRA Life Member

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    Also, check out forums.miliitary.com where you can ask or find answers to questions like this a lot better than here.
     
  13. Rashid.4v

    Rashid.4v

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    Another thing is unless you're a citizen, you wouldn't be allowed to serve past nine years of service.
    As long as you're a resident alien(green card), you can serve and once you're in, the military will help you streamline your road to be an american if you so choose.
    Took me about 2 months to get naturalized. It may be taking a little longer nowadays.
     
  14. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    Just have to be a legal resident. But legal resident doesn't mean that you have to have the Green Card. You can be a legal resident working toward getting a Green Card.

    Anyway, unless the rules changed, active duty service reduces the 5-years-residency requirement down to 3-years before you can apply for citizenship. And yes, Judge Advocate office (JAG) can help you file for citizenship and I "think" that your paperwork gets processed through a lot faster than regular civilians.

    My citizenship was processed less than two months from the day I filled out the paperworks and turned the package into JAG office.
     
  15. alexcc

    alexcc

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    Wow two months? I'd be willing to wait that bit extra. How long ago was this? Did you give some kind of motivation for getting naturalized in only two months?

    Once I'm in I'll decide on citizenship - if I love America as much as I think I do and I want to live there after service or serve for a longer period then obviously I'd want to become an American. I'm just worried about the initial naturalization process to order to qualify for enlistment.

    Thanks in advance for any help.
     
  16. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    That could be tough to get unless you can show that you're being oppressed or some sort of physical/political bigotry in your own country and now seeking refuge for amnesty.
     
  17. ron59

    ron59 Bustin Caps

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    With a degree in Computer Science and Economics, I suspect you will find you are over-educated and under paid? Most of us were enlisted folks, and the pay there isn't very high. Most people with degrees become officers. The pay there is MUCH better.

    I'm not sure what the "difference" is between joining the officers vs. enlisted for non-citizens? You might want to investigate that as well.

    I did 5 years in the Air Force, and while my job was pretty cool (intelligence, I was a 206), the pay was NOT so good. I got out, went to college, and now program professionally. I make way more than I would have as an enlisted guy. I am really glad I joined the military (it paid my way through college)... but for the enlisted folks, the pay ceiling isn't very high.
     
  18. RonS

    RonS Millennium Member

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  19. psycho_fann1

    psycho_fann1

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    you don't need to be a citizen or permanent resident. if you end up joining, you can get naturalized at your graduation ceremony for basic training. i had two friends that went through basic with me that were allowed to do that
     
  20. Swiper

    Swiper

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    I doubt the Basic Training period would be enough time to establish a reasonable period of honorable service and to process a rather lengthy processing of the citizenship applications (even with the expedited military process).
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2010