The Italian Army has made many strides to rebuild its image after being known as a fascist force in World War II.

The Army of the Nation of Italy (Esercito Italiano) is an elite fighting force that has played an important role in every major conflict of the 20th Century. The Italian military is a highly disciplined group, and Italy is very selective about Army recruits. The requirements are different depending on whether you are below or above the age of 18, but most importantly you will have to be an Italian citizen before you attempt to join.

Below Age 18

Contact your local Italian Army recruitment office in whatever county of Italy you're in, and ask to speak to a recruitment officer.

Enroll in an Italian military academy if you are at least 5-feet 5-inches (1.66 meters) tall, and in acceptable physical shape. You will have to determine whether you are in acceptable physical shape by speaking to the recruitment officer about the level of rigorous testing you will have to endure.

Complete a battery of mental and physical tests at the military academy. The tests constantly change from month to month, and some tests are different depending on the particular specialty you are aspiring to in the Italian Army. If you are attempting to be a sniper, you will have to meet different challenges than if you are attempting to be a sergeant, for example.

Joining After Age 18

Contact your local Italian Army recruiting office and request information on joining the Army under VPF1 status.

Enter the Army as a VPF1 if you meet all requirements regarding physical fitness, minimum height and Italian citizenship. You will be required to serve for one year.

Apply for VPF4 status if you are approaching completion of your one-year VPF1 term. You will be able to extend your service by four additional years if approved.


  • Men and women are both eligible to join the Italian Army. The Italian Army is an all-volunteer force as of November 2010. If times change, Italy may conscript its citizens to join the Army.