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How to Join The Nigerian Army

If you’ve been nursing the dream of joining the Nigerian Army but don’t know how to go about it, then this article is for you. We will be listing all that you need to know to be able to make an informed decision towards actualising your desire of being enlisted in the Nigerian Army.

The Nigerian Army is an arm of the Nigerian Armed Forces (other arms include The Navy and The Airforce). It is also the largest part of the Nigerian Armed Forces, with over 100,000 trained personnel, and they normally recruit new personnel every year.

How to Join The Nigerian Army

There are different ways by which one can be enlisted into the Army. You could be enlisted into regular commission after completing your five year course at the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), that is those that applied as non-tradesmen or non-tradeswomen, aged between 18 and 20, with a minimum of four credits in not more than two sittings in either WASSCE, GCE, NECO or NABTEB, of which one of the credits must be in English.

You could also be enlisted through the tradesmen/women category, which requires that you be aged between 8 and 26, and have the required skill for the particular corp you are applying into. The academic qualification is usually a minimum of four credits in not more than two sittings in either WASSCE, GCE, NECO or NABTEB, and one of the credits must be in English. Those enlisted via this category become non-commissioned officers.

The most common method of recruitment into the Nigerian Army in recent times is through either the Short Service Course (SSC) or the Direct Short Service Course (DSSC). The SSC is for entry into the Short Service Commission, and is for those that are interested in field operations of the army, that is war, combat or peace-keeping operations. After being recruited into the SSC, you undergo 9 – 12 months training after which you will assume the rank of second lieutenant in the army.

The DSSC is a 9 month intensive military training for professionals drawn from various disciplines to serve as officers in the non combat services of the army, such as administrative functions. After training you will assume the rank of lieutenant and will be fielded into any of the corps where vacancies exist for your discipline.

NIGERIAN ARMY ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

Entry Requirements exclusive to the DSSC includes the following:

  • Graduates with professional qualifications must be duly registered by relevant bodies recognized by Nigerian Laws at the commencement of cadet training.
  • Currently only academic credentials obtained from 2006 to date are being considered.
  • All female applicants are advised to seek for commission into specialist corps e;g Medical, Legal Service or Army Public Relations.
  • Must be a male or female between the ages of 22 and 35 years, while medical consultants be not more than 40 years of age at the time of application.

Entry Requirements exclusive to the SSC is includes the following:

  • Currently only academic credentials obtained from 2011 to date are being considered.
  • Must be a male or female between the ages of 24 and 29 years at the time of application.

For both the DSSC and SSC, all applicants must satisfy the following conditions:

  • Be a Nigerian as defined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
  • Be medically, mentally and physically fit according to Nigerian Army standards.
  • Be recommended by at least 2 recognizable referees who must attest to the applicant character and integrity. These could be by a Local Government Chairman/Secretary or an officer of the Armed Forces not below the rank of a Lieutenant Colonel and equivalent or an Assistant Commissioner of Police and above who must hail from the state of the applicant. Passport photographs of referees must be affixed to the letter of attestation.
  • Candidates must submit a letter of Attestation from their former institutions.
  • Measure at least 1.68m (for male) and 1.65m (for female) in height.
  • Must not have been convicted by any court of law. Military personnel must be free from any disciplinary case (This is to be endorsed by the Commanding Officer/Commander).
  • Possess at least a first degree with not less than Second Class Lower Division or HND of not less than Lower Credit from any recognized institution of learning.
  • Possess valid birth certificate endorsed by the National Population Commission, Hospital or Local Government Council or valid age declaration.
  • Possess a valid certificate of state of origin.
  • Applicants (Less serving members of the Armed Forces) must possess NYSC discharge certificate or a valid exemption as the case may be.
  • Candidates must present contact addresses and telephone numbers of parent/guardians and Next of Kin.
  • Candidates must not have any body inscriptions or tattoos.
  • Candidates must tender all original copies of educational certificates (primary to post secondary).
  • Service personnel must present valid military identity cards and letters of recommendations by their Commanding Officers/Commanders. They must also present valid letter(s) of NA sponsorship in tertiary academic institutions. Additionally, they must have served for a period of not less than 5 years in the unit.
  • Candidates must not be members of any cult/society/fraternity.

How to join nigerian army as a graduate

The Nigerian army is one of the most highly organized military body in Africa. It is a component of the Nigerian Armed Forces (NAF). The Nigerian army is responsible for the execution of land warfare within and outside Nigeria. Some of the Nigerian army’s notable engagements includes the Congo crisis, the Nigerian civil war, the invasion of Gambia, Sierra Leonian civil war, the first Liberian civil war, the Boko Haram insurgency, the Niger Delta crisis, the Northern Mali war and a host of others.

The Nigerian army has also led peacekeeping operations in a number of African countries. The Nigerian army, since the inception of it’s peacekeeping missions have dedicated about 20,000 troops to various UN missions. The activities of the Nigerian army is controlled by the National Army Council (NAC). The Nigerian army just like any other elite armed forces recruits both commissioned and non-commissioned officers.

Currently, there are four major types of commissioned officers in the Nigerian army. In this article, I shall point out the four major categories and also list out their entry requirements so as to help shed light on the existing lack of clarity on this issue. This will also go a long way in helping those of you who will want to serve his/her fatherland.

The four major types of commissioned officers in the Nigerian army which I shall be discussing in this article are:

1. Regular Commission (RC)

2. Direct Regular Commission (DRC)

3. Short Service Commission (SSC)

4. Direct Short Service Commission (DSSC)

 

1. Regular Commission (RC)

This military training in Nigeria takes five years. Cadets are exposed to rigorous and strenuous military training for the five years duration. Cadets are trained at the Nigeria Defense Academy (NDA) Kaduna. Cadets are usually paid allowances which is only sufficient to cater for just their immediate needs. They don’t pay any form of fees for the five years duration of their military training in the NDA. They are not allowed outside the academy premises except during holidays. The cadets upon graduation are awarded the rank of a 2nd lieutenant, a rank which they hold for 6-12 months before being automatically promoted to the rank of a lieutenant.

Requirements for enrollment into the NDA Regular Course (RC)

The NDA currently offers 14 courses which are split into 3 faculties. Requirements for admission in all courses offered are as follows.

a. A total of not less than 5 SSCE credit passes in not more 2 sittings are required.

b. Compulsory credit passes in English language and Mathematics are required.

c. Not less than 3 compulsory credit passes in subjects relevant to the applied course for example, if you intend to apply for Bsc economics, you are required to have at least a credit pass in subjects such as Accounting, Commerce, Geography, History and Government. These subjects are deemed relevant to the course you applied for.

2. Direct Regular Commission (DRC)

Officers enlisted into the army as Direct Short Service Commission (DSSC) are given an option to convert to Direct Regular Commission (DRC) after some period of time, precisely 3 years after commission into the force. Thus, officers commissioned as DSSC are the ones eligible for conversion to DRC. Once converted to DRC their service year is increased beyond the normal 10 years. DRC’s are not deployed for combat missions. They are usually the professionals in the army such as doctors, lawyers, nurses, artisans e.t.c.

Requirements for enlistment into the Direct Regular Commission (DRC)

a. You must be commissioned into the service as a DSSC.

b. Conversion to DRC can only be possible after 3 years of commission as an officer.

3. Short Service Commission (SSC)

SSC training takes 6-9 months. During this period, the successfully commissioned officers are trained to fight battles. It is usually of short duration except when conversion to Regular Commission (RC) is made. The reason why it’s duration is short is because, 6 years of service is usually on active renewable. After that, a period of 3 years is given to enable you convert to an RC. After the 3 years, there will be no extension if conversion is not made or if conversion is unsuccessful.

Officers who successfully complete their 6-9 month military training are awarded the rank of a 2nd lieutenant. This rank they hold for not more than 18-24 month after which they are automatically promoted to the rank of a lieutenant. Conversion from SSC to RC is not automatic, it is usually based on available vacancies or other criteria which will always be made known by the army.

Requirements for enlistment into the Short Service Commission (SSC)

a. You must be a Nigerian.

b. You must be between the age of 24 to 29 years.

c. You must possess at least a first degree of not less than Second Class Lower Division or HND of not less than Lower Credit in the arts, sciences or humanities from any recognised institution.

d. You must not be less than 1.68m in height.

e. You must possess the NYSC discharge certificate or a notification of exemption.

f. You must not be an ex-convict.

g. You must be recommended by at least 2 recognizable referees, in the case of a serving officer he/she must be recommended by his/her commanding officer.

 

4. Direct Short Service Commision (DSSC)

The DSSC training is usually between 6-9 months. This training is usually less strenuous than the RC and SSC training. The DSSC are comprised of professionals in other disciplines as well as artisans. These set of officers are enlisted into the army not for combat but other purposes. Professionals such as doctors, nurses, lawyers and artisans are enlisted and trained for 6-9 months.

After the completion of their training, they are commissioned as DSSC officers. Just like the SSC, DSSC officers are granted a period of 10 service years upon which they are given the chance to convert to DRC after 10 years of their commission as officers of the Nigerian army. Although DSSC officers are not sent to execute combat missions, they are still required to undergo a period of military training, usually 6 months.

DSSC officers are commissioned with the rank of a 2nd lieutenant, a position they hold for 18-24 months before being automatically promoted to the rank of a lieutenant.

 

Requirements for enrollment into the Direct Short Service Commission (DSSC)

a. You must be a Nigerian.

b. You must be between the age of 24 to 29 years.

c. You must possess at least a first degree of not less than Second Class Lower Division or HND of not less than Lower Credit in the arts, sciences or humanities from any recognised institution.

d. You must not be less than 1.68m in height.

e. You must possess the NYSC discharge certificate or a notification of exemption.

f. You must not be an ex-convict.

g. You must be recommended by at least 2 recognizable referees, in the case of a serving officer, he/she must be recommended by his/her commanding officer.

 

Successful applicants are required to present their printed photo-slip to the selection board during interview.

METHOD OF APPLICATION TO JOIN NIGERIAN ARMY

All applications are to be made online at the portal, and it is totally free, you do not need to buy any scratch cards or pay anything to anybody.

  • Ensure all required documents are uploaded:
    – passport photograph.
    – educational certificates.
    – evidence of membership of any professional body.
    – certificate of state of origin.
    – birth certificate or age declaration.
  • Click on ‘Login’ to complete the application form.
  • After registering successfully, you will receive an email notification containing your login details.
  • From the Home Page, Select SSC or DSSC application, as the case may be.
  • Read the Qualification Criteria.
  • Open the portal, that is www.nigerianarmyms.ng, to create an account.
  • Applicants must print out their online generated photo-slip on completion of their application. The first page is to be signed by a Court of Law and the second page is to be signed by the Local Government Chairman/Secretary or any military officer of the rank of Lieutenant Colonel or equivalent and above who hails from your state.

 

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Chibuzor Mbah

Chibuzor is a writer at InfoGuideNigeria.com. InfoGuide Nigeria is a team of Resource Persons and Consultants led by Ifiokobong Ibanga. Page maintained by Ifiokobong Ibanga. If you need a personal assistance on this topic, kindly contact us.

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