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

Responses: 295


strong willed with rough childhood

I have had a tough life. But when I make my mind up to do something I commit. A minor drug charge from ten years ago should not stop me from serving in the military. I have completed treatment and havnt had any charges since. Not to mentone the 3.8 gpa on my associates degree. When is it enough. I am a citicen and deserve to be in the military. I know vetrins much worse that me. You know who I am talking about. Drunks, and assults. I am non-violent. That probably makes me inelligable as well.
—Guest james

Numbers don't lie

I believe each person possesses their own unique personality and drive that ultimately determines their potential success. However, when operating and managing the affairs of an organization the size of the US Department of Defense, gross numbers are relied upon to narrow the focus and eliminate unnecessary loss. At one time in our not to distant past, people who had a GED were 50% less likely to complete their 1st term of enlistment than their counterparts who had received at least a high school diploma. The Military has to rely on numbers because they have a budget to maintain. Those who receive training, medical care, dental care and various other benefits but do not successfully fill the slot they were enlisted to fill are ultimately a drain on the budget. Although other systems have been put in place to assist in determining potential success for GED recipients, nothing has more reliability than factual numbers when dealing with a budget. Numbers don't lie.

Years of trying to get in now my age?

I am a high school grad, I have passed the asvab and been through meps and passed. But the marines lost my paperwork so it became a no go for me. Bcuz of there mistake it took 11 years to even prove I was a citizen. I was born in Germany on base, my family has many generations of continuous military service some even lifetime service. By time I was able to obtain my paperwork I was married an had bills like every other American of the same age. But my bills became an issue so no go again. Now I'm 38 and trying again for the national guard. I have college underneath me. I only owe 295 a month in bills. I am single once again for the last 2 years. No arrest and always drug free. But last month I'm was told I am to old when the month b4 I was golden. This is not what I have waited 20 years to hear. I am very unhappy with the way things have turned out for me and my family is furious. I want answers!!!
—Guest Nova

Age Shouldnt be a set Number

Im 39 in great shape. Ive lost a relative in afghanistan nothing i can do for him except pickup the standard and press on. not allowed due to my age.It is not right.
—Guest Howard


I think there would be a stronger/larger military if they increased the age limit. You gain wisdom and work ethic with age. I am now 54 and I will always regret not having served.
—Guest Renee

Too tough

The standards are too tough. I barely got in and have just petty charges. They should not fault and judge people when they are asking to defend their country.
—Guest travisinaz

my weight and a few mistakes

my weight and a few mistakes kept me from joining its hard to lose weight when you have no money but basic training would get it off what i dont understand is why not let people join no matter what size they are if they can push past training then i feel they have that right but the military says we cant do it they wont give us a chance to prove it and as far as the mistakes i made ya i have not been the best person but i have changed i am not like what i used to be but know they hold your past against you one time i went to jail got out 24 hours later never took my statement never went to court but turns out it kept me out of the military but my goal was to be a marine if i had to put my life on the line for something it would be my country they only want the best but about the men and women who could become the best the military was my career choice and now its gone iwont give up i wont be denied
—Guest ecm

Why is there an ASVAB test

I don't think there should be an ASVAB test to get into the military. If the person has a high school diploma, why should they have to take another test? There are some people that are not good taking tests but their job performance is great! I think you should reconsider taking individuals into the military; you would probably get a lot more people signing up and less problems trying to find a job and staying out of trouble. Please reconsider this! Thank you
—Guest Gloria

Equivalents my ass.

Don't believe that a GED is equal to a High School Diploma. Never believe it. The AF recruiter I spoke with told me I was better off doing something more suited to my 'achievements'. I made it up to my first week in my senior year, having taken multiple advanced classes in the previous years and acing all of them. Family issues required I get a GED to help out with home life. Now that that home life is more settled, I called and expressed interest. The first thing he asked was whether I had a GED or Diploma. When I told him I had a GED with some college credits from said advanced high school classes, he said 'Okay, let me just stop you right there.' Would not even discuss so much as the weather with me afterward and hung up thirty seconds later. No matter what anyone tells you, if you want in the military, a GED is never good enough. Get your Diploma, or sign up to take BT over the summer. You're not good enough if you don't.
—Guest Zbel

DUI one time record

I am a 25 yrs old man, with a 3 yr old son who lives with his mother. I was charged with DUI several years ago (my only police record), am a high school grad, a non smoker, 5'11" and in good physical health. My grandfather is a retired u.S. Coast Guard retired Chief Warrant Officer. My girl friend and partner and my son currently lives with her parents. Please advise if I am eligible to enlist in the Navy or Coast Guard. My grandfather suggested I aim for the Coast Guard but I am willing to enlist in any of the military services.
—Guest Sean Kinimaka


Why? While non-citizens may enlist, they will find their job choices extremely limited. DOD policy prohibits granting security clearances to non-U.S. Citizens. Therefore, non-Citizens. who enlist in the United States military will be limited to those jobs which do not require a security clearance.
—Guest RF

Too old?

I am a 36 year old man, and am in the shape of a 21 year old. I am an avid runner, and hiker and would like to serve my country. Because I am 36 years old... I cannot. This is not right. I am in amazing shape and am probably in better shape than most 20 year olds that enlist. The age requirements are horrible . Ps... I currently work 60 hr weeks digging with a shovel all day....I can handle it.
—Guest Adam


I believe that the US Army should allow and man that has 5 yrs or more service time to reenlist, as long as he can accomplish the job he is qualified to do, ie: Truck driver, Fork lift driver, jobs that do not necessarily require minimum physical PT abilities ie: push ups,situps, running, the formentioned jobs would not require a man or woman to need to do these requirements,
—Guest bronzestar1971

not a criminal

I was rejected because I have 3 children and a simple assault that was dropped in court no convictions. This doesn't make sense I understand not having criminals in military. But they are letting known gang bangers in so they can learn military combat.
—Guest chris

Single parent

I have a friend whom is a single parent with two children. She is wanting to join the army and has in place a family care plan while she is in basic training, AIT, and until she gets settled at her place of duty. She understands that if she has to deploy or called for duty in the middle of the night that she has to have a place for her children to go. But, the recruiter is telling her that he won't let her join because she is a single parent. Although she knows what is expected of her in the army.
—Guest Cowgirl

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