The Average Length of Enlistment in the U.S. Military

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The enlistment service time required is between two and six years, depending on with which branch of the military you sign on. However, the average length of total time enlisted is longer, due to those who decide to extend their time after their requirement has been fulfilled.

1 Almost A Career

The average length of enlistment for U.S. military personnel is just under 15 years for all branches. The average service time for officers is a bit less, averaging about 11 years. The U.S. Air Force has an average enlistment time of 14.7 years.

2 Active Duty

Those who sign up for active duty enlist for an average of two to six years, depending upon the service branch. The length of active-duty military personnel is affected by deployment locations and length of tours, too.

3 Reserves

When joining the reserves, you are volunteering to serve the country when needed, offering at least one weekend a month and two weeks a year for training. The average length of service in the reserves is three to six years depending upon the branch of military, and if deployed for active service.

Heather Leigh Landon has been a writer since 1988 when she started her career as a stringer for "The McHenry Star News." Since then she has worked for newspapers such as "The Woodstock Independent," "The Northwest Herald" and "Press Journal." Landon graduated from William Rainey Harper College with an Associate of Applied Science in journalism.