What are the requirements to join the Canadian Armed Forces?

As of May 2017, the following are some requirements to join the Canadian Army:

  1. Be a Canadian Citizen.
  2. Be at least 18 years old (17 years old with parental consent), except:

    Paid Education Programs—you may be 16 years old (with parental consent)

    Regular Officer Training Plan – Junior applications must be 16 or older.

    Reserve Force – Applicants may be 16 years of age if they are also enrolled as a full-time high school student.

  3. Have completed at least Grade 10 or Secondaire IV (in Quebec).
    Certain entry programs and occupations require higher levels of education.


The Forces will consider applicants who have passed a General Education Development (GED) test. However, applicants from Quebec who have a GED must also have the necessary credits from Secondaire IV.

Adults who have not completed high school can submit an Attestation of Secondary School Equivalency, but it is not considered equivalent to a high school diploma.

If you have been home-schooled, you will need to provide proof from your home province’s educational authority that your marks have been assessed and meet their standards.

If you attended and graduated high-school, college or university in another country, you may need to have your education evaluated by the Alliance of Credential Evaluation Services of Canada to determine if it is equivalent to the education provided in Canada.

If you have completed college or university, or have skilled work experience, you may qualify to have your military and occupational training reduced. In these cases, the Forces will complete a Prior Learning Assessment.

Aptitude Test

An aptitude test is used to determine which military occupations are best suited for you. The test is designed to assess your verbal, spatial and problem-solving skills.

The current test has 60 questions, broken down into three parts:

  • Verbal skills (15 questions, 5 minute limit to finish)
  • Spatial ability (15 questions, 10 minute limit to finish)
  • Problem solving (30 questions, 30 minute limit to finish)

Medical Standard

A complete medical exam is necessary to determine if there are any medical restrictions that may limit career choices.

Vision standards vary depending on the job. There are no minimum standards for dental health.


Once the results from your aptitude test and medical exam have been finalized, an interview is conducted with a military career counsellor. This is the official job interview and is a very important part of the process of joining the military.

Reliability Screening

You must pass reliability and security screening to ensure that you can be trusted in your job and with Canadian Armed Forces equipment. The Department of National Defence will verify:

  • Personal information
  • Education qualifications
  • Professional credentials
  • Criminal record
  • Credit history
  • Employment history

Age Standard

On enrolment into the Regular Force, you must be of an age where there is enough time to complete any necessary training and your first term of service before the compulsory retirement age of 60.

Reservists must be able to complete 2 years of service for each year of training before reaching the compulsory retirement age of 60.

General Appearance

  • Non-offensive visible tattoos, except tattoos on the face, are allowed.
  • Aboriginal members may request to wear long hair or braids while on-duty, but only if there are no safety concerns.

Check out the eligibility and the application process page on the Government of Canada (GOC) website to ensure that the information is current

Go visit your local recruiting centre: Find a Recruiter