The Navy Buddy Enlistment Program provides for the enlistment of small groups of not more than four male individuals or four female individuals who wish to remain together for as long as possible during their enlistment. The program should be conducive to stimulating enlistments among high school graduates and others from a local area, and assists enlistees during the transition period of adjustment from civilian status to military status. The length of mutual assignment is determined by the respective category in which each individual is enlisting. Individuals within a buddy group must all be assigned to the same category. Mixing categories within a buddy group is not authorized. Mutual assignment is made in only one of two categories:
- Recruit training only.
- Recruit training and assignment to initial duty station.
Buddies Through Recruit Training Only. Enlistment in this category is restricted only in that all individuals start recruit training on the same date. Any mixture of enlistment programs is authorized. Recruiters should make clear that recruit training is for approximately 8 weeks and does not include subsequent apprenticeship training. Because of distribution and assignment constraints, women are eligible for this category only.
Buddies Through Recruit Training and Assignment to Initial Duty Station. Women are not eligible for this category. All applicants enlisting in this category must be enlisted in the Seaman/Airman/Fireman Program and within the same apprenticeship except as indicated below. Applicants must be enlisting in the same branch and class of the Navy (Example: All USN or all USNR.)
- Buddy groups may consist of Seaman and Fireman apprenticeships only (that is, no Airman apprenticeship may be enlisted Buddy with anyone in the Seaman or Fireman apprenticeships for assignment to initial duty station). Seaman and Fireman in a buddy group may not undergo apprenticeship training together, although they will receive orders to the same initial duty station.
- Airman aprenticeship buddy groups may consist of Airman apprenticeships only.
- No expressed or implied guarantee may be made that buddies will not be separated by transfers after reporting to their initial duty station.
Restrictions on the Buddy Program
- No buddy group may consist of more than four individuals.
- No buddy group may consist of more than two individuals when assignment to initial duty station is guaranteed.
- All members of any one buddy group must be enlisted on the same day at the same Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) and arrive at the same RTC together.
- Applicants enlisting under the Subfarer option will not be permitted to enlist under the Buddy Program for guaranteed assignment to an initial duty station. They may, however, undergo recruit training together.
- Because recruit companies are all-male and all-female, buddy groups must be all- male or all-female.