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Readers Respond: Are Military Enlistment Standards too tough, too lax, or just right?

Responses: 295


Need to allow & facilitate options

I'm from a proud military family (mostly Navy), and I want to serve. I'm a woman and still just under the max age. My interests are in naval intelligence, surveillance, technology, etc. However, I'm apparently disqualified because I lost my left eye and ear when young. I would obviously be best and well-suited for a "desk job," and since there are MANY such jobs in the intelligence and technical fields, I SHOULD be able to join and do those at least... NOT be automatically excluded from EVERYTHING in the service just because my injuries would pose limitations for SOME of the jobs that are physically demanding! The military already has many categories, classifications, restrictions, etc. in use to identify and assign its people appropriately. The military is exempt from "Equal Employment Opportunity" legislation, along with the "Americans with Disabilities Act" to keep its management less "constrained." However, since jobs in the service are NOT the same, WHY are MEPS same??
—Guest Sad Smarty


I'm a 16 year old girl considering joining the army at 18. I think at least most of the requirements are reasonable. The only one I'm seeing so far that could be changed is the age limit, simply because I agree that there are many people just over that age who remain fully capable of serving, and I think our country would benefit if we were to allow them to serve alongside the younger people. Besides that though, I think most of the standards are understandable.
—Guest Jess

Us army

I would like to become a us soldier i have passion
—Guest Firdous

Too Harsh.

I think that more mature adults would have more to offer the military. We have experience. Most of us are mentally and emotionally stable. Don't shut us out.
—Guest TMuse

I'll go

I'm a 38 year old who work out regularly and physically I'm able to past any test the military may have if I was able to serve my country I would gladly do so. Unfortunately that's not an option due to my age. I don't agree with it for one reason and that is the retirement age can continue to rise at the hands of our government but there are fewer choices for new professions at a certain age. For someone my age who was fortunate enough to start working at 18 now retiring and in excellent health the military should be a choice for me when deciding on a second career that I can also retire from by age 60. Is this an issue for congress, or a higher branch of government?
—Guest Willing to serve


I have always wanted to be in the military scene a little kid and serve my country
—Guest Jay richardson

Back where we started

The age limits, I think, are just about right. When I was in basic training I was 17 and there we a couple of older guys (in their 30's) mixed in with us. Most were able to complete basic. After that you're on your own to pass whatever MOS training you chose. I don't see people over 35 being able to be in the infantry, or combat arms in general, due to the physical nature of their mission. As for the guy who wrote about how only "smart people" are in the military, I did 4 years as an Army Recruiter in Los Angeles (86-90) and I was responsible for getting putting more then a few people in the Navy, Marines, and National Guard. At the time the Army's minimum Asvab test score was 32 to qualify for enlistment. At the same time the Army Nat'l Guard's was 22, and the Navy & Marines were taking people with 18. There were people who didn't qualify for the Army, but the were trying to make something of themselves and just wanted a chance, so I did my best to give it to them.
—Guest P Dog

Disgusted with recruiting

I served in the Air Force in the early 80s. It was a lot of work getting the paperwork done and correctly at that time. Now I know of 5 of 7 young men that have dealt with mental health issues all their lives and were accepted into the Army. I am seriously irritated that those 5 young men are now out of the Army, on some kind of mental health out and receive a disability. They had no right even being in the Army to begin with, yet there are others saying how hard it is to get in. This just shows that standards for some are not the same as others. So frustrated to hear that they are getting all messed up overseas, I am calling BS! There should be higher standards to get into the military, not GEDs, past drug usage, or other such nonsense, but full pyschological testing and a better mental health check, instead of them just saying "I am fine". It is a shame that very able body persons are being denied, when stuff like I have witnessed it totally acceptable.
—Guest USAF Vet


I picture standing on the rail of the grandest ship in the greatest Navy in the world. Sailing out to sea on my maiden voyage, filled with a sense of peace, freedom and extreme pride, I reflect on "old glory", the blood shed and lives given to protect my freedom, my country, my home. The smell of the sea, the cool breaze. The knowledge that I am part of the greastest force to ever roam the earth. Then I wake up and my dream crashes through the floor. See in my youth some 15 years ago I made fateful decissons that now cost me the ability to join the Navy. Sadly and regretfully I drove under the influence of alcohol, not once but twice. I never believed that youthful arrogance and ignorance would uproot my dream to serve my country, but it has. See I have every reason to stay home, a wonderful wife, beautiful children, a fantastic home, a great job; bit something deep inside my soul Burns with the desire to help protect freedom and defend the constitution.
—Guest Nathan L

US Army

Hi sir/ madam, I'm a 28 years old young boy from Nepal . I worked with US army long time in Iraq ,I worked Nepal Army too I have a 1st degree Black Belt of Takwon-Do too . Now I wants to joined the US army how to I can joined please let me know .....
—Guest Padam Bahadur Tamang

Age appropriate?

Please, people wake up. The US military does not want a bunch of educated busy bodies. They want young kids that have never learned about the real world so they can give them orders without question and no thought. Anyone who has been around the block and used their own thought and judgement does not fit in with their plan of "yes sir" mentality. If you have any moral compass you would not be right for the military. It has nothing to do with age. They do not want business owners, law professors, or jacks of all trades... You all have brains to know what right and wrong are and would hesitate to shoot a child who may or may not be holding a bomb or a hand grenade.
—Guest Whatever

us military

im a 32 year old x military of the philipines.i woud like to join of us military. pls help me maam sir.what is requirment or procedure about the join of us military. tnx sir/maan and more power to come
—Guest apple

too tough

I think the minimum age should be sixteen. Im sixteen and ready to enlist but have to wait another year.
—Guest anonymous

Response to the Whining

The military has age standards for good (medical, physical, and psychological) reasons. They have weight standards because an obese man exhibits a lack of discipline and poor health. They have criminal standards for obvious reasons. In most cases, those of you who have been rejected, were rejected because the military was trying to keep you alive. It's nothing personal.
—Guest Ian

I blame my parents.

No, not really. I don't blame my parents. I chose not to try to get into the military when they still accepted people with GEDs because I had health problems and knew I wouldn't be able to perform up to standards. However I do think it's stupid not to accept people with GEDs. I got my GED for one reason. My parents were drug addicts and I had no way to get to high school, plus a younger brother to take care of because my parents essentially abandoned him so they could go do their drugs. At though I didn't have many high school credits, I scored very high on my placement tests and the counselor advised me to drop out of school, get my GED and go to college because I would never graduate in any reasonable period of time and they had nothing to teach me anyway, so I did. I also scored in the 90th percentile on the Air Force officer qualifying exam. My health started to go downhill though so I decided to go to college instead. I now have degrees in math, science and engineering.
—Guest NoFly

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