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

Responses: 295


denied by the air for for having asthma

i think that the standards need to be fixed.i really think in unfair that i was denied for having asthma i was born with asthma so its not sport induced its just there. i can do everything that any non asthmatic person can do and with my determination bet i can even do more. i do gymnastics and i run track and work and dance oand i work out daily i dont think that this should keep me from serving my country its sad how they deny the people that really want to be there. they said it was because i was prescribed a inhaler that i cant join. illogical i will find a way to get in the military
—Guest coralis

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

I am permanently banned from military service due to a heart condition, but my real issue is with Don't Ask, Don't Tell. How is it that people are willing to die for a country that treats them like second-class citizens, and yet cannot even do that?
—Guest RachaelMC

High Standars Are Good

Think of how we are percived on a global level? The U.S. Military is one of the most powerful political powers on the planet. Should we allow just anyone to represetn us? Or do we pick the best of the best to uphold our constitutional reputation of Justice, liberty and the pursit of happinesss for all? Call me Crazey but I belive in civil service.
—Guest Camille

to easy

I spent 8 years in the air force during the early l960's and the requirements were stiff to enlist. Women had thier own basic tranining and jobs not integrated like now. Best thing that ever happened. Now the military takes people from foreign countries that are not even citizens. A background check is impossible. ei the nut from Fort Hood, Tx. Do you want them to be in a nuclear weapons unit, or to even be issued a weapon? What are the so called military leaders doing nowdays about enlistment. Same old crap as always. I would not advise anyone nowdays to be in the military. The benefits promised are not there, beware.
—Guest navigator

im trying myself

i dont no the whole situation yet about joining the army. BUT, i do no that i am over weight and im getting down to my body fat percentage and plan on joining within the next six months. i dont have anything that would keep me out of the military. OR SO I THINK. what all do i have to do to get in. cuz right now im training 5 days a week and really just want a brighter future for myself. ive always just wanted to serve because i believe every american should serve. i feel that if we are going to enjoy the american life then y not be apart of the solution. NOT THE PROBLEM.
—Guest matt h.

Can't join with asthma?

Seriously, whoever thought of this rule is an idiot. I have asthma, I'm not handicapped (no offense to the handicapped). I can do anything a healthy non-asthmatic can do (except running 10 miles at 10,000 ft with pollen shoved up my nose).
—Guest Dan

There should be mandatory service

But not every person is qualified for military service. The people with criminal backgrounds, marginal education, overage, single parents, etc. should have other ways to serve. As for those who are overage, try some of the other military branches (Merchant Marines, etc.), or other part of the government. (FBI, CIA, NSA, State Department, etc.) although the people with criminal records, and/or minimal education will get nowhere with those agencies.

People complaining here are clueless!!!!

I spent 7 years in the military(Army medic), and the current standards are not high enough. That being said, The current military has no need to spend the time to even evaluate marginal candidates. For the last few years, the military has had a abundance of candidates that qualify with no problem. Each branch has met upwards of 110% of it's recruitment goals, without resorting to accepting people over 40 years old, or people with criminal backgrounds, or just a GED. Or single parents who will leave behind children (that the parent will always be thinking about while on duty, thereby not 100% on the job.) For example: If you are an employer, and you have two candidates for the same position. They both have the same test scores, both pass the physical requirements, and are the same age. But one of them has a criminal record. Which one are you going to take? The USA military is not going to take the one with the criminal record! That would be ridiculous! There are other ways to serve!!

cant join cuz my son!!!

the fact that i have a son makes me inelegibal to serve w my fello americans? how is a 1 year old boy keeping me from the marines. that is simpply STUPID. i am fully capibal of taking care of my child and still serving my country. this has been a dream of mine since my older brother joined almost 10 years ago. i can tell u i womt stop till i am an official UNITED STATES MARINE. OOOOORRAAA!!!!!
—Guest frustratedmama09

Frustrated and Misled

I am 18 years old. I was born with Cerebralpalsy. I also have asthma, ADD, and OCD. But I worked very hard throughout high school to overcome each of these. I worked out and stretched. By sophomore year I could do 100 pushups and the full splits. I marched 10 mile parades. Junior year, I attended therapy for my mental issues (neither of which are technically "psychotic"). After a year, I finally had those problems put to rest. Senior year, I was contacted by the Navy band recruiters because they needed multi-instrumentalists and jazz guitarists (I am both). I was also contacted by recruiters who felt I would accel at cryptology (I am trilingual). They lead me to believe that my physical and mental wellbeing would not be problematic if I were to speak with recruiters. However, when I spoke with a local recruiter, they did not take into account that I had overcome my afflictions to the point where I was in better mental and physical shape than the average person. I used to wear a brace and carry an inhaler. When I called the recruiter, I could run miles, do 100+ pushups, and the full splitz. They informed me that my history of asthma and mental disorder prevented me from being eligible. I had not used an inhaler, nor had I needed one, in 10 years. As for my mental disorders, I had addressed them with therapy and medication. I never experienced a psychotic episode and I was never, ever deemed a suicide risk, or even depressed. Because of these problems that I have overcome, I cannot play guitar for the navy, nor can I translate for them. I did everything right. The only things that prevented me from being recruited were obstacles that the navy believed to be out of my control, when, in fact, I was in total control. I didn't do anything wrong. I put myself through 5 hellish years of physical training. The navy said it didn't matter. I was held back for mistakes I never made that I solved nonetheless. Now what do I do? How can this be justified? These policies are ridiculous. I have a friend who couldn't enlist because of his psoriasis. From the outside looking in, this borderline eugenics. I want answers, and I can't be the only one who deserves them.


I am taking certain medication and I wanted to know what medication can keep me from joining the air force?


I am a father of a beautiful baby girl, a U.S. Citizen and a hard worker. I have a GED and would love to join the military but can not due to the no GED acceptance. Am I not smart enough to serve my country? Is someone with a high school diploma gonna take bullets better than me? No! I find it frustrating and offensive that I can not serve the united states due to my education which is equivalent to their standard or so I was told when I paid to take my GED. This should change not only for me but any other tax paying hard working citizen that would love to join. I would like a future in military and hate that I can not have that. Some people don't have time or money to go to college to satisfy the requirement. Thank you
—Guest Norris


I feel that each high school graduate should serve 2 years in the service. This gives them direction and discipline. My husband was in Vietnam, my son the Navy, I now have a grandson who is trying for the Navy. He's getting the run-around. Why? There's too many wanting in the service because they can't find jobs. Even if you find a job, you need experience. Mandatory service for non-college bound students would at least give them experience and prepare them for life. If a kid gets into trouble, there should be a military boot camp that would show them the facts of life. If you drop out of school, boot camp. Make sure the druggies and scum also have to attend a SPECIAL boot camp. Those who think college will get them out of the service should also serve, they just go in at a higher rank. Military service should be a requirement, that way 25 years from now we will have a group of trained citizens, who no matter what the cause, can and will be able to defend America.
—Guest Tim Bennett

Joining the chorus

I really just have to echo the sentiments of so many others here. Anyone of able mind and service-minded attitude should be at least welcomed into non-combat positions, regardless of age or how much pot they smoked 20 years ago. I long ago made my peace with all the things that made me unfit to serve in my youth. Now that I'm ready, I'll serve my country with pride, whether it be with a wrench in hand or an M-16 or a desk full of paperwork. I'm still young enough for Army, but they want more naïve, malleable types who never tried acid. In the private sector these days, employers generally only care about what you bring to the table right now, not what you were like when you were 20. It's a shame the military moves so much more slowly and still worries about keeping out the "hippies" and the single parents and anyone with a shred of maturity & sense of duty. Yet as one of the articles here says, the military can barely retain half the kids who are supposedly qualified to enlist! Sad.
—Guest Colorado Patriot Age 39

age no barrier

I served in the Navy in the early 80's. I was an aircraft mechanic. The work was not any more physically demanding than the work I do now as a boiler operator. I would like to reinlist and finish my carreer but I can not get in at 50 years old. I have always been physically fit and have no health issues. The private sector retirement age is 67 and most people work at more physically demanding jobs than you would encounter in the military. I can see putting age requirements on certain military occupations, but a blanket age limit just eliminates good people from making a contribution that could provide much value to the military.
—Guest mark

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