Joining The Army As A Single Mom

Joining The Army As A Single Mom

Joining the army as a single mom demands a lot of hard work and respect as they put their own lives on the line to safeguard the lives of others, which is undoubtedly an incredible sacrifice. For single mothers who are raising families at home and deciding to join the army, the sacrifice is even greater. This is because some people listed in the military return from the deployment safe and sound, while some mothers, fathers, wives, and husbands do not return. Enlisting in the military requires candidates to be away from home for months. This is not an easy option for single mothers with minors to take care of.

Can Single Moms Join The Army?

Technically single moms can join the military. However, it is not an easy route for all. To join the Reserve National Guard or any other military branch, single mothers have to apply for a waiver and even give up on their parental rights before they get deployment. Each military branch has different eligibility requirements, but all require relinquishing custody. To join the Army as a single mom, you must pledge that you do not intend to regain the custody of your children after receiving basic army training. In case you try to regain custody, then you would face charges of fraud or can be discharged from the military permanently. Many military branches strongly discourage single mothers from giving up on their parental rights to join the military. This may sound harsh, but no single-parent policy exists in the United States Military. The military requires its members to report for duty whenever and wherever required without hesitation. In the military, you can’t have people who failed to deploy because something happened to their children. This is why they require legal assurance from single parents that their commitment to serving the military branch is the topmost priority. Single parents on active duty are not exempted from these rules and regulations. They must form a non-care plan guaranteeing that someone nonmilitary will be willing to care for their children 24/7. In case they fail to establish a plan, then they will be discharged from their duty.

Is Joining The Military For A Single Mom Easy?

Joining the military as a single mom is indeed a difficult decision, as you have to stay away from your home and kids. If you have enough support at home or someone is there to take care of your children every time, then enlisting as a single mom is possible. Single mothers having a healthy or cordial relationship with their children’s other parents can relinquish their physical custody to join the army if they are determined to enlist. Close relatives and grandparents are solid options as long as they are willing to become the legal guardians of the children. Joining the army as a single mom is worth considering if the child’s other parents, close relatives, or grandparents are there on board. While serving the family and children gives a sense of purpose to many parents, some long to serve on a larger scale. Military parents set a prominent example of perseverance and commitment. If you have someone trustable who can take the physical custody of your kids or if it is a reasonable option for you, then joining the military can be beneficial for you as well as your kids. Single parents contribute to 8% of active-duty military personnel.

Military Support Benefits For Single Parents

Joining the army as a single mom is a positive and life-changing option for many people. Recruits often wonder if single parents can join the army in the United States. While the Department of Defense does not permit single mothers to join the military, there are still options for them to pursue a career in the military branch. According to the Department of Defense, the military branches are not enlisting unmarried individuals with custody of dependents or minors under 18. The Secretary of Defense may grant a waiver; however, this is a rare phenomenon. In the past, many potential recruits signed over the custody of their kids to their close relatives or family members to qualify for military service. Some military branches in the United States have rules in place for single mothers who give up custody with the intent to get the custody back later. Specific instructions have been created for Family Care Plans by the Department of Defense; therefore, recruitment is the same for every military branch.

Becoming a part of the United States Military is a rewarding career for many people. You learn a treat, a valuable skill, and get a good pay scale to support your family financially. The excellent military benefits, support, and pay scale are some reasons why many single parents wish to become American military service members. Before joining the army, single parents must make arrangements and give parental custody of their kids to someone else in their family to protect children in case the service member is killed or injured on the battlefield.

What Is The Best Military Branch To Join As A Single Mother?

Single mothers joining the military must give up the custody of their dependent children. Every military branch has strict rules and policies about eligibility for those with families, specifically for people with dependents or single parents with minor children. Even though waivers can be granted as required, it is rare for single mothers with more than two children to enter the military branch. For instance, the Marine Corps may need waivers for single mothers with any dependence, while the United States Army requests waivers for more than one dependent. Every woman, irrespective of whether they are single mothers or not, can fit into any military branch; however, mothers feel more comfortable joining the National Guard or Reserves.

Joining The Air Force Reserve

Soldiers within the Air Force Reserve had to perform more than 20% of the Air Force duties as of 2014 and serve job roles like weather reconnaissance and hurricane hunting. Single mothers between the ages of 18 to 34 are eligible to join the Air Force Reserve, where they will be given the similar professional training that full-time army soldiers receive. The Air Force Reserve has the shortest initial training period for candidates. In other words, they must undergo 8.5 weeks of basic military training. When the Air Force Reservist gets employed, schools on air bases offer after-school programs and even computers with webcams so that children can video chat and communicate with their parents.

Become A National Guard And Serve Domestically

The Army National Guard was established in Jamestown in the year 1636, which was the first English settlement, making the National Guard one of the oldest parts of the United States armed forces. Single mothers aged 18 to 39 can serve domestically in the National Guard. The Army National Guard soldiers undergo basic combat training for more than ten weeks, while other soldiers receive 8.5 weeks of basic military training. National Guard mobilizes within the country, usually during natural disasters or conflicts but like any other soldier, they may be deployed internationally if required.

Navy Reserve

The United States Navy, as of 2014, constitutes more than 65,000 Navy Reserve sailors and more than 325,000 full-time Navy sailors. Single mothers joining the Navy Reserve benefit from specialized job training, travel opportunities, college credits, and a lot of experiences at adventures. If you’re a single mom and you are between 18 and 13, then you will be eligible to become a reservist in the Navy and will be encouraged to go for civilian education. At the same time, you will be given occupational specialty training from the military. After receiving boot camp training between 7 to 9 weeks, Navy Reservists are ready to be deployed.

Other Opportunities

Like other Reservists, Army and Marine Reserve soldiers get an opportunity to serve close to their homes and complete training quickly. To join Marine Reserves, you need to be between 18 to 29 years and undergo Recruit Training of not more than 12 weeks. Single mothers aged 18 and 41 years are eligible for deployment in the Army Reserve and undergo ten weeks of Basic Combat Training. Army reserves have to serve full two weeks of active duty every year in addition to performing active services whenever required.


Single mothers living with dependent children often wonder whether they could join the military and be a part of the United States military branch. For many single parents, the military is a rewarding and promising career.  However, the military does not allow single moms to join the military due to potential hardships for service members and their children. As a single mom, you still have a chance to join the military if you give custody of your children to someone else. In some cases, service members use tactics to get the custody of their children back after training, and they may end up losing their job.

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