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Can a single parent join the navy or air force?
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Can a single parent join the navy or air force?

I would to join the air force or the navy. I was told that single parents can not join either of them. does anyone know if this is correct or i there a way i can still enlist?


HERE IS THE ACTUAL REGULATION ON ENLISTING AS A SINGLE PARENT. You can do it, but you will give up custody, and then attempt to get it back. Whoever is telling you to not do it because your kid can become an orphan is full of crap. Just because you are a single parent does not mean there is no father. What happens when a mom not in the military gets killed? Oh yeah family, imagine that. The one who said there are no occomidations is kinda right. You will be responsible to make sure this kid has care at all times.
With the exception of the Army National Guard, single parents are not allowed to enlist in the military, period. In the "old days," some recruits would try to get around this restriction by giving up legal custody of their child(ren) until after basic training and job school, but the military has wised up to this practice.

For example, in the Marine Corps, one must give up legal custody (by court order) of their child(ren), and then wait one year or more before being eligible for enlistment. In the Army and Air Force, single member parent applicants who, at the time of initial processing for enlistment, indicate they have a child or children in the custody of the other parent or another adult are advised and required to acknowledge by certification that their intent at the time of enlistment was not to enter the Air Force/Army with the express intention of regaining custody after enlistment. These applicants must execute a signed statement testifying they have been advised that, if they regain custody during their term of enlistment, they will be in violation of the stated intent of their enlistment contract. They may be subject to involuntary separation for fraudulent entry unless they can show cause, such as the death or incapacity of the other parent or custodian, or their marital status changes from single to married.

The military's refusal to accept single parents for enlistment is a valid one. In the military, the mission always comes first. Absolutely no exceptions are made in assignments, deployments, duty hours, time off, or any other factor for single parents. Single parents in the military are required to have a nonmilitary person (in the local area) on call at all times, 24-hours-per-day, seven-days-per-week, 365 days-per-year, who will agree (in writing) to take custody of their child(ren) at no notice, in the event that the military member is deployed or called to duty. Failure to comply with these " Family Care Plans" can (and does) result in an immediate discharge.

In general, an applicant who has joint physical custody of a child by court order or agreement, and the applicant does not have a spouse, he/she is considered a "single parent." If local or state court allows modification, if the other parent assumes full custody, the applicant is usually qualified for enlistment.

In the Army National Guard, a single parent may enlist, if they receive a waiver from the State Adjutant General of the state that individual is enlisting.

The Freak Show
Velvet sinner is 100% right.

You can do it, but there is almost ZERO when it comes to accommodations for single parents. A sick child is not an excuse if you have duty, and the hours and demands of military life make it very hard for people who are trying to raise children on their own.


You can do it, but it is a very hard road. I have total respect for the people who pull it off.

ok here is the skinny. ref AR 601-210 revised april 2008

chapter 2

single parents may enlist in the ARMY reserve ONLY. if you have one dependent child. but you have to have a family care plan in place and approved by the first O-3 in your unints chain of command. it is a lengthly process so dont expect anything to go too smoothly.

if anyone tells you to give up custody of your child in order to enlist with the intention of regaining custody after you complete training, is telling you to commit a FRAUDULENT ENLLISTMENT. of which you will be processed out.

always keep within the regs and you cant go wrong.

Jeremiah C
you could but would basicly have to give up custody of your child. most give custody to a close relative

no. you may not give up custody just to enlist and you may not regain custody at all during the entire enlistment.

for the navy single parents can only do reserves

I've seen what single moms and their children had to endure when in the military. I have nothing against parents being in the military as one is able to stay home. If no one is able to, well I see nothing but problems as a result.

Besides all that, is there some one who is very reliable (as in has taken care of your children with no problems for long periods of time before.) to have them live with and care for? As in will not take your money meant for the child and use it for their own selfish gain?


Cane Corso Mom
The best thing to do is hand over temporary custody to someone you trust for the amount of time for basic and tech school. Then you can get your child back. BUT you can get a waiver and still have your child on your deers but have someone have temp custody. Which means you need a special power of attorney(POA) stating the local parentice rights and transport your child POA. Once training is done you are good to go, unless you get deployed which is why you will have a family care plan in place Form 357

You can still enlist because my dad did this. You just have to have a family care plan in case you get deployed and have a place for them to stay if you have to go somewhere.

Yes you can my mom went to the Army and she was a single parent. But do you really want to do that to your kids? Think about them first what will happen to them if you get deployed to Iraq? What if something happens to you there? Think before you do, because once your in, your in for a while.

Yes you can, you will have to sign custody over to someone else while you are in boot camp and MOS school. You can get them back when you get to your permanent duty station but I would recommend against it. I would suggest making E5 first then getting your kids back. E-1 or E-2 you won't make enough money as an E-3 you will be able to barely scrape by but as E-4 you can make it just not comfortably. As an E-5 you should be able to make it comfortably. You will need to have a plan for your kids if you have to go to the field, or get deployed. Day care won't work. Its best to have someone that you trust and not just let your kids stay with anyone. If you don't have a plan for your kids you will be discharged.

Velvet Sinner
Yes you can as long as you have a family care plan (someone to take care of your children if you're deployed). There are many single parents in all branches of the military.

You have legal obligations to take care of your child and if you have full custody there is no way you can take these kids into combat with you or risk having you shot and killed and them orphaned.

Who is going to raise your kid?

Do your kid a favor, give them up for adoption first then join if you want.

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