1. Careers
Send to a Friend via Email

Discuss in my forum

Rod Powers

Army Reserves Raise Age Limit

By March 22, 2005

Follow me on:

The Army Reserve and the Army National Guard have raised the age limit for recruits from 34 to 39, according to the American Forces Press Service.

The move will add 22.6 million people to those who could potentially enlist in the reserve components. No other reserve component is contemplating such a move, officials said, and raising the age limit on active duty soldiers would require a change in law. The new program will run for three years.
December 3, 2007 at 5:16 pm
(1) art martyn says:

I am 44 years old,5’10″ , 165 lean mean pounds. I run 5 miles a day,6 days a week. 600 pullups,600 situps,600 pushups and I am in better physical condition than most 18 year olds. I have served in the marines and as police officer. Why in the world won’t they let me fight in Iraq? Instead of an age limit, they should implement a physical ability limit

December 6, 2007 at 10:03 am
(2) Ashley says:

I think that what they should really focus on is the other end of the spectrum… When I was in boot camp druing the summer about 2 years ago… almost the entire company was made up of 17 year olds who where going to boot camp that summer and then back to highschool in the fall! I think that that was crazy! Arent you supposed to be a highschool graduate to be qualified to join??
I think that a 39 year old could really succeed in boot camp and the military for their first time, while 17 year old highschool kids, I know, have lots of trouble getting in shape, and becoming disciplined.

April 9, 2008 at 1:36 pm
(3) alexanderia says:

i amd 17 years old and im going to bootcamp this summer in the army. i dont see a big deal with it. some want to join for certain reasons. whoever said that it was wrong for a 17yr old to join isnt really smart. >:{ besides their parents have to approve everything!

August 10, 2008 at 7:47 pm
(4) william mcfarland says:

It’s just real simple . The older you get the smarter you are about all aspects of life. I am 61 and much much smarter than when I was at 25 and in the USNG force as cook and a baker and a M 60 machine gunner. I am a black belt of 30 + years and can fight like a tiger but its not the age of a person its the mental capacity and the mind that controls the body. I know Kung Fu masters at 75 that can walk through 10 + 30 year men in tip top condition like nothing simply because of the force of mental chi . So age should not be a consideration only physical and mental conditioning . I can out cook and out think any 25 year old kid . As far as fighting , they use bullets for force don’t they? If they let you be the President of the entire Armed forces at 70 years old then you should be able to serve in the Military at that age. Wouldn’t it make more sense to let the the kids do the hard work and fighting and let the older guys give guidance and do the cooking chores which lets more young guys available and freed up for the heavier physical tasks.

December 21, 2008 at 3:36 pm
(5) Joshua says:

I’m a 35 year old paramedic / firefighter with a degree but I’m to old to enlist? Tell me how that makes any sence? I can carry 200+ lb people out of a burning building but I can’t handle boot? Oh well, just one more qualified candidate that won’t be applying…

March 24, 2009 at 10:44 pm
(6) alfred says:

hello im 42 tried to join last year but had a fine for no insurance and was told could not join until paid and they said if I was on probation yhere was nothing I could do so I took the 2000 dollar fine hoping I could pay it in time to join but was layed off moved to florida and got another job but just got it paid off unfortunetly i just turned 42 in feb but still want to join the gaurd

March 29, 2009 at 5:19 pm
(7) Electronics says:

I am 55. I want to serve as electronics technician in the Military. I work out and study every day. I can shoot. I can take and give instructions. Young and skillful Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated by a 78 years old general.

May 22, 2009 at 11:38 am
(8) Whitney says:

i don’t understand why all yall are bitchin. if you wanted to join the military you should have done it when you had the chance. it’s not like you didn’t have 20, 30 or more years to think about it. as for the 17 year olds….everything has to be approved by parents. no if ands or buts. so that means the parents are allowing it.

May 25, 2009 at 9:58 pm
(9) irene says:

Well Whitney, Im female, served in the military as well as worked for 20 yrs for the us govt. At 56, I would go back in the military but age will not allow it. And, from looking at your language, if you are the best the military has to offer now, well, lets just say I feel sorry for our country.

April 9, 2011 at 11:01 am
(10) Caroline says:

Right on Irene! The ways she speaks shows how ignorant she is and as for why didn’t we join when we had the chance? Did she ever think that maybe that possibley there were things in our lives preventing us from joining at the time. So, Whitney maybe that’s why “yall” dont seem to understand.

June 28, 2009 at 12:51 pm
(11) Stephen says:

Whitney might lack grammar however his mental chi seems way up. I think one reason for the age limit which makes good sense is the cut of the over the hill gang without the costs of time and money to do it.
Most over 40′s aren’t going to make it up the hill on the second try and an open door policy would bare too few to substantiate the effort in ground work to succeed with it. Theirs always good volunteer work in the communities which would be appreciated with good company…

July 13, 2009 at 1:36 am
(12) Todd Wiseman says:

it just shows how backwards the DoD is , if u look at most european nations , they dont discriminate on the basis of age, The Canadian military has a age max of 52, im waiting on a work visa to move to Ontario for delayed entry into the RCAF royal canadian air force MPC military police command

Ohio Univ

yep got a late start at college, my parents were murdered by a worthless drunk driver when i was set to start school at age 19 like most others, had to wait a while to overcome all that trauma.

October 7, 2009 at 12:35 am
(13) 25CVET says:

I personally am offended by the notion that a 17 year old inbetween 11th and 12th grade is somehow so lazy and out of shape as to be useless.

My daughter is going to do exactly that next summer, and she is currently enrolled in a Criminal Justice program, is learning military and police drill/procedures, and does PT and self defense with the boys. And she’s 5’1″and weighs about 115lb!

If a person is determined to succeed, they will. Whether they are 17 or 47.

December 5, 2009 at 11:21 am
(14) Connor jakes says:

I am 47 and have completed three Ironman contests. I could run rings round most people yet, I am not allowed to defend MY COUNTRY. Yes MY COUNTRY, why is it that an old fart says I am too old to serve MY COUNTRY.
The previous post is correct, if Ron Reagon could be President at 78, why cant I enlist at 47 to serve?
It should be on ability, and nothing else. If you are unfit and a health hazzard then do somthing else, if you are fit and strong and can help OUR COUNTRY then why can’t I?

December 28, 2009 at 5:51 am
(15) Johnny M. Garza says:

I am 42yr and i have been trying to join usng , I took the avsab and fail it so i went to night class & work 50hrs a week.Then i took the asvab and pass it ,then they told that age went down from 42 to 35.So i called 1800-goguard and they told me it’s untill your 43 b-day at that time recruiter and the told me that it is before 42 b-day. That is just wrong to from 18 to 42yrs that you can join now i just cant becouse my 43b-day 07/30.

March 24, 2010 at 2:42 pm
(16) LR says:

I feel if a male or female (regardless of age) is fit and has the intellect–why couldn’t they serve their country? If nothing else, let them serve stateside or in non-combat situations. However, if they are physically fit–they could serve in combat. Some individuals may have reasons why they couldn’t serve earlier in their life. If the desire and will is there, don’t let age be a deterrent.

June 15, 2010 at 12:02 am
(17) Prior Marine says:

Any Honorably discharged veteran that is still reasonably fit both physically and mentally should be allowed to rejoin the Military. It should be our choice if we want to serve on active duty again. Sign me up I will go now, I am 56

June 19, 2010 at 10:20 am
(18) Sarge says:

Standby one, Irene. You may have issue with Whit’s use of language, however, the point is well-taken. Elec, Al, Josh…and many others…you face some of the very same issues I did on my second go-around with the Military. Long story short: I got back in, did the stuff I do best, and managed 21 years at age 61.

I’m not sure just what your motivations are but, as Whit so-aptly inquired, why did you wait so long? I realize there are many reasons we do the things we do. With some things, the reasons aren’t really that important…we just do it. Still other things…other objectives…should be for the right reasons. Joining, or rejoining the Military HAD BETTER be for the right reasons, otherwise, you’re just fooling yourself and wasting a lot of peoples’ time.

I don’t know what your (collective) motivations may be. If your (collective) desires to enter/re-enter the “tribe” are for the right reasons, yet there are other insurmountable roadblocks, I truly am sensitive to your situations. Not knowing the full extent of your individual situations, all I can suggest is DON’T Give UP! That may sound trite, however, as I’ve often indicated in previous comments: 1) The “rules” often undergo change…call it variation if you will. 2) The possibilities of a waiver(s) on whatever situation you may face MAY mitigate a road block.

The Military is not for everyone. Those who, for any number of reasons, join, only to find that it’s not really their “favorite poison” wind up posing a tremendous drag on all they encounter. Coming up on 65, I thoroughly enjoyed (most of) my experiences. Tracers going in the wrong direction sucked just as much, in my 40s, as they did in my teens, however, given the opportunity, I would do it all again in a heart beat.

To all who want to wear the uniform in the interests of National Defense, good luck and Godspeed.

June 21, 2010 at 10:29 am
(19) Sarge says:

Another issue for consideration:

For those, “well-into their adulthoods” (30s-40s), wishing to enlist/re-enlist, bear in mind one issue which, quite frankly, presents cause for a healthy dose of skepticism.

Recent articles have proclaimed the Reserve Components to be well-within recruitment goals, some commands counting the percentages at over 100%. One of the unfortunate outcomes of any PR effort is that, in an effort to present the best posture possible, those crunching the numbers can (and often do) manipulate the outcome accordingly. Remember, statistics and percentages can tell any story the author wishes to portray.

That being said, one has to wonder why, with a full/near-full headcount, DA considers raising enlistment ages. The reason is quite simple:

With global commitments at all-time highs, current manpower is tasked with multiple tours in combat zones. Historically, the Reserve Components were the “stay at home” branches of the Active Components. Since 9/11, the RC has seen more and more taskings, particularly in the “unsavory corners of the globe”.

If you don’t mind the “high probability” of interupting your civilian careers/leaving families, particularly during the developmental years of a growing family, then, by all means, GO FOR IT!

During my retread years, I was extremely proud to have the opportunity/the privilege of “doing it again”. The sacrifices are much greater, given family responsibilities which the average first termer in his/her teens may not realize. Just remember:

1) If you’re going to go through the trouble of enlisting, make damn sure your motivations are the right ones…(hint: job training and a job ARE NOT good reasons to join). If, after qualifying, you insist on fooling yourself, feeling that you can always “fake it” in terms of “the right reasons”, DON’T! You’ll be extremely unhappy, and very possibly resentful…NO WAY TO GO THROUGH LIFE.

2) Your civilian career, be it college, job/profession, etc, may have to be “temporarily abandoned”, not to mention your domestic life. That means your spouse becomes just as critical a decision factor.

Good luck to all…

June 24, 2010 at 10:05 pm
(20) leyla borlak says:

how about raising the age limit especially talking about women… to 46 since first safe full term pregnancy as far as i can remember is up to age 45.

November 27, 2010 at 9:42 pm
(21) Valentine says:

Not everyone had the opportunity to join during their younger years. I was an Army wife, who took care of MY wives and single Soldiers. I was a Wives’ Club president. I supported my husband thru his career, but I could not join due to his status…there was no one to keep the kids if we were both active. With my youngest son just graduating high school a few years ago, I’d LOVE to join now, but I can’t. Please don’t be so judgmental, as, while, many of us were age appropriate years ago, there are several reasons while “joining” was not life appropriate for those of us who jump at the opportunity to serve our Nation today. The “chance to join” you spoke of simply was not there.

May 7, 2013 at 9:31 pm
(22) Aaron says:

hi I’m 35 and I’m I’m good shape and was wanting to join the army or at reserves .. I was wondering if any one could tell me if I’m to old to join or not
Thank you
Aaron robinson

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.