Dependent Restrictions

Single Parents

Single parents are not allowed to enlist in the military.

In the 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 with the express intention of regaining custody after enlistment.

The Air Force recognizes that some individuals, for personal reasons, have given up custody of a child or children. Transferring custody of family members for the purpose of entering the Air Force is prohibited and renders the enlisted program applicant "permanently disqualified". It is not the intent or desire of the Air Force to require any person to relinquish custody of his/her children to qualify for enlistment.

Multiple Dependents

In general, the Air Force prohibits the enlistment of any applicant who has more than two dependents under the age of 18.

Financial Eligibility Determination

Some recruits will have to show that they will be able to meet their current financial obligations upon enlistment.
This includes:

  • Recruits who are married (or who have ever been married)
  • Recruits who require a dependency waiver
  • Recruits with a history of collection accounts, bankruptcy, closed uncollected accounts or bad credit.
  • A Recruit who is at least 23 years of age.

The Air Force uses the “40 percent rule.” Any recruit who’s monthly consumer debts (not counting debts which can be deferred, such as student loans) exceeds 40 percent of his/her anticipated military pay is ineligible for enlistment.