What is the navy buddy enlistment program?

The Navy Buddy Enlistment Program is an opportunity for individuals who enlist into the navy together to remain as a group throughout their enlistment.

Groups in the Navy Buddy Program are small and cannot be made up from any more than four female or four males.

The purpose of the Navy Buddy Program is to help these groups throughout their transition period and aids them with the adjustment of transitioning from civilian to military status more easily.

The length of time that the group can stay together will depend on the individual category to which they are enlisting. If people wish to enlist in the Navy Buddy Program together, then they will each need to be assigned to the same category.

There are only two categories where mutual assignment can be made; there are:


Recruit Training Only

Enlistment into the category of Recruit Training Only requires that all individuals start recruit training on the same date.

Any mixture of enlistment programs is authorized. You should be aware that recruit training is for approximately 8 weeks and does not include subsequent apprenticeship training.

Please note that according to Navy regulations, currently women are eligible for this category only.

Recruit Training and Assignment to Initial Duty Station

Restrictions for this category demand that all applicants enlisting in this category be enlisted in the Seaman/Airman/Fireman Program and within the same apprenticeship.

Applicants must also be enlisting in the same branch and class of the Navy such as the USN or all USNR.

Additional Stipulations For Training and Duty Station Category

Navy Buddy Program members can only consist of either Seaman or Fireman apprenticeships. If you wish to enlist for an Airman apprenticeship, your group would need to consist of 100% Airmen apprenticeship enlistees. 

Please also remember that there is not a guarantee that you will remain with your buddies after you’ve reported to your initial duty station.

Navy Seamen

What are the navy buddy program restrictions?

One key factor to remember for enrolling into the Navy Buddy System is that your group must enlist at the same Military Entrance Processing Station, and everyone’s enlistment must happen on the same day.

Additionally, you all will need to arrive as a group to the RTC.

Navy Buddy Program enrollment groups must be either all male or all female. Mixing of sexes is not permitted.

If you are considering enlisting under the Subfarer option, you would not be eligible to sign up for both recruitment and station of duty.  You would only be able to remain in your Navy Buddy Group durint training.

Navy Buddy Program Extenuating Circumstances Clause

If you choose to enlist into the Navy as a part of the Navy Buddy Program, you will typically be assigned to the same recruit company and primary station of duty as laid out in the above details of the Navy Buddy Program.

However, you should be aware, and your recruiter shoul fully explain to you and anyone who enlists under the Navy Buddy Program that in some cases, there may exists circumstances which could lead to the separation of the group during recruit training. 

These circumstances could be as follows:

  • Change of choice regarding the coast by an individual within your Navy Buddy Group
  • Medical reasons or illness
  • Lack of acceptable progress during recruit training or during apprenticeship training
  • Failure to meet minimal requirements during recruit training or apprenticeship training
  • Failure to meet qualifications for water survival
  • If any member of your group specifically request to leave the group
  • If a member of your group is approved and granted acceptance into another program which may affect duty assignment
  • Any circumstances that may delay during the recruit training process


The Navy Buddy Program is a system designed to help a group move together from civilian to military life with support from individuals they already know. 

While the Navy Buddy Program does not guarantee regarding long-term postings or locations, for those who have used this program successfully, the time they spent together at the start of their Navy careers can have a positive impact on their experience.

The Veteran’s Administration will never connect with every veteran but every veteran can reach into the world of another veteran.Using the buddy system, after leaving the military, results in no man being left behind. Even if military members were not your buddy while deployed it is still possible to find something in common based on branch of service, rate, rank or where you served.

The proper use of the buddy system will result in “No man” ever feeling isolated to the point where they feel taking their life is an option. We live in a age when it is easy to communicate. Sending a text, e-mailing, skype, facebook and many other social media platforms allow instant connections. Call your buddy. You will “like” what it does for both of you.


Chaplain Joe

Joseph NoSak MDiv


Joseph has been helping veterans for the past 25 years. From simple chaplain principles to full out Freedom Techniques courses and private consultation. His workshops are designed specifically for those who have served in the military.

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