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

Responses: 430


peter o

there should be no age limit if one wants to serv as long as they can pass all requirements and are in good physical and mental health wisdom and experience only come with age!
—Guest peter o

No age limit

Any body that wants to defend his or her country should not be stop if a 15 year old wants to join the military with parent consent then they should be able to
—Guest Man

age limit is unfair

My grandmom is sixty years old. She is in excellent health, she can run, numb and climb better than people younger than her. She wants to jo in the navy and discove red she is to old. I think it is wrong for the government to discrimminate against somebody because of their age. I think they should cut out boot camp for older people so they can join.
—Guest nikki


There are human beings with the knowledge and willpower to act accordingly in situations that many active military members cannot. Such as those individuals with no family ties, no children, friends, and are just looking for a place in this world where they can do more to help mankind. I do believe a wise man once said that the innocent sleep well at night because men stand ready to do violence on there behalf to those that would seek to harm them. I know myself and my calling is the military, but my history impairs me from becoming fully what I feel is my god given ability, and that is to jump outside the lines that people today call right and wrong to accomplish tasks for the greater good. I feel just in the fact that I speak for many people when I say that a history shouldnt weigh on the here and now, what we have done is done, what we are doing is certain what we are going to do is unknowable. Think on it.
—Guest Reaper

why an age limit at all

I don't understand the purpose of age limits, if a person wants to serve their country, why do we say they are too old! When some 40 plus people are much wiser and some just as fit as a 20 year old. If a person meets the physical requirements and mentally able, let them enlist.
—Guest vernjones

Health - not age - restrictions

Some 38 year olds and many even older are in better shape than younger people. I think it is unfair that its an arbitrary number rather than evidence-based test values that disqualify high quality candidates from service. Maybe older people are too much of a hardship on leadership or need too much training? It's easy to indoctrinate youth; however, 37 is not exactly 'youth' and remains arbitrary. That said, I bet the Department of Peace (Dennis Kucinich) would welcome us.
—Guest Guest

Not fit to serve his country? :(

I had been diagnosed with High Functioning Aspergers Syndrome in the 4th grade. While I wont deny that I have some social quirks for the most part I have been able to operate as a normal functioning member of society, having graduated from college with my bachelors. Wishing to serve my country, I decided to enlist with Air Force, my family having a long history with the service. At the office I cleared the height/weight check and passed the mock ASVAB test with a 97. Yet when I finally manage to speak to a recruiter, I find myself rejected for having Aspergers. Now I can understand the importance of a psychological evaluation to keep inciddents like what happened at Ft Hood from reoccurring but I feel its silly to automatically disqualify people just because of a label like High Functioning AS. Yes people with Aspergers tend to lean towards introversion, but they can also be observant and focused as well! Labels aside, Aspies can be patriots too! :(
—Guest Ted88

Army medic

The military is a place for single parent soldiers. I had my son my third year in the army. Yes it's difficult but the army had provided a good life for him. Base schools are outstanding compared to off base and even the daycares are better. My son has a lot of medicinal problems and the military pays for all his care I don't have to come out of my pocket for anything. Yes it's difficult leaving my son but at the end of the day I know it's what's best for him.
—Guest Danielle

Don't fully agree

I understand the administrative need for the stated age limits, but there are many folks much older than the current limits who certainly qualify mentally and physically. There should be a way for these folks to have their qualifications verified, reviewed, and judged acceptable or not acceptable. These folks (myself included of course!) could provide important added resources for the military and the country. Patriotism, skills, willingness and abilities do not end in the 3rd decade of life. Thanks for asking!
—Guest cockerellc

Military should be ashamed

It is a shame that people with expunged records or over weight people cant join the military. If someone is over the weight limit, but can pass a physical fitness test with flying colors then they are physically fit. If they pass the physical test there is no reason that they should have to look a certain way given their medical history is good. Also it is really unfair for someone to have their records expunged in the court of law and still have to be judged on them by the military. If thats the case the law should state guilty until determined innocent. If the military was to find an expunged record that someone did not report to them they can be put in jail or thrown out the military. Seems very crazy when the expungement papers clearly state that no record should be kept, made available, or be found to have ever existed. The person should never have to admit or acknowledge the fact or existence of the expunged case or cases. Now someone tell me how this is true at all? Ridiculous

just under the wire

I'm 28 and too old for the air force, marinesx and coast guard. But there's always the reserves. Besides you'll probably be activate dutied as soon as you pass basic anyway. I'm single with no kids. They'd more than likely switch me to active duty quickly anyway.
—Guest saj

Tough Choice

There are a lot of reasons why a person would rather join when they are older as opposed to younger.Maturity, knowing what civilian life has done, and even a patriotic sense of pride.I myself joined at 29 showing my younger brothers that you can make things happen.The problem is, it is harder to join when you are older.The military doesn't go by age and treat you such.The military treats you according to rank.In that reason, a 40 year old private being overseen by a 22 year old sergeant is frustrating.Yes, I was better fit than most 18 year olds by far.I have the maturity level that surpases even my own leadership in most cases too.That is the problem.There is a discerning factor in all things.Even if you are in better shape or able to do more as you age, you are more stubborn.You see things in a more polorized light.As you get older you lose the maleable attitude that it will take to survive.If you are unwilling/unable to serve there are more ways to help.Help the community you live i
—Guest Raymond

im a single mom who joined the navy

This isn't true I was accepted into the navy reserve and I am a single parent .
—Guest cmelchior


Find it a little discouraging that my past marijuana use would disqualify me when I'm just trying to turn my life around and make something of myself. Oh well.
—Guest ss

Alecia swejkoski

Why do we have to wait 1-2 years possibly more before I can enlist? I can give full custody to my mother-in-law now, and I would like to get it started now.
—Guest Alecia Swejkoski

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