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

Responses: 295


immigrant veterans

I moved to the US from South Africa and am a veteran of the Angolan war. I would have liked to be part of the national guard but at 42 I am already to old. I wonder how many immigrant veterans are out there with the same thoughts and age issues? combat experience is something no amount of boot camp can teach. If I am ever needed I will proudly serve my new country.


I think it is bull that i have a GED and i cant join the marine corps. im 19, no criminal record nuthing. im in great shape. its always been my dream to join. i have family in and they still say i cant join, whats up with that???? if anyone knows how to help me in any way email me at eseritt@yahoo.com please help
—Guest edward

Shame on our Senators

The United States government frowns when civilian employer’s age discriminated, so why can they do it? Another thing we pay taxes which keep the military running, so why can’t people over age belong to something they pay for? If you can pass the physical and do the job then you should be allowed to join. To become an astronaut for NASA there is no age discrimination, you can be a hundred years old and that’s ok by them if you qualify. There is no solid reason to discriminate against older people wanting to join the military; it’s simply ridiculous and UN ethical.
—Guest Change this law

Some things should change

I suffered depression and was medicated for 4 months total SEVEN years ago. This could be a potentially disqualifying issue. I don't think that's fair as I have not had another incident in 7 full years. I could lie about it and all but my conscience will not allow that and my honesty is repaid by telling me I maybe can't join. Not fair in my book.
—Guest Bear

yea its too tough

i think with the ged and misdeameanors they could relaxed a little bit. I mean the recruiters makes waivers each year for special accomdations. so whats the big deal about a kid having a ged or a high school diploma?? why does a ged holder have to obtain 15 college credits?? Dnt make sense, especially when everyone knows that if we ever got to the point like in the vietnam era..The service would take anybody
—Guest Timothy Marris

Age and Military

Remember, enlistment is an investment by the government in each individual recruit and, because of this, they have to weigh the risk of an individual completing their enlistments and gaining their investment back in the form of a trained soldier. I admire anyone who desires to join and serve. For those who cant serve, remember there are many other ways to serve in a meaningful capacity from the VA, peace corps (no age limit) and the USO. These are the organization I plan to be involved with when Uncle Sam says they've had enough of me.
—Guest Mustang (SGT/LT) Ski

late 43 enlisted

should 1 year late still considered or a denial? i sacrifice 13 years waiting for my petition to become immigrant and tojoin the army, but now i cant join the army...why????
—Guest Robert

(cont. from above)

Many things have happened in the last five years- including my D.U.I. - that have changed my life. I am not proud of the mistakes and poor choices I made. However, I am patriotic, smart and a decent athlete. It seems unfair that my demonstrated ability and past serious interest in serving (and the Army's apparent interest in having me serve) should count for nothing. I wish that there was some way to appeal or explain special extenuating circumstances, so that myself and others like me would have the opportunity to serve their country. Cops seem to be handing out D.U.I.'s to everyone these days. But in many of those cases, one moment of poor judgment often does not reflect the true character or integrity of that person. It seems the Armed Forces are rejecting a diverse and ever growing group of people outright because of one bad decision, and losing many potentially talented officers. I don't think they would be sorry if they were to create some channel through which people could appea

should be some appeal process...

I recently discovered that my 2 1/2 year old D.U.I. conviction also carries with it a lifetime disqualification for O.C.S. In many ways, this makes sense; the Army has a serious and solemn responsibility, and needs the best of the best to lead it. However, my case is somewhat unusual. Five years ago, when I was 18, I took the ASVAB test and received a perfect score. That same year I was also nominated by then Senator Clinton, and accepted to attend West Point (a life long dream, particularly since I grew up in the Hudson Valley). Unfortunately, I broke my wrist a mere few weeks before beginning basic training. They deferred me to West Point Prep., but rather then another year of high school, I chose to attend a civilian college (Franklin & Marshall). I have completed my B.A. (in Political Science) and am still interested in serving my country (my grandfathers and father were all veterans, and I consider serving a duty and an honor of the highest order)...


My son is 17 and has wanted to be a Navy Seal for years.He is disapointed because he was home schooled. The home school worked hard to get credenials so they have to meet all the California state requirements,an they do. They are considered a teir 2,which is not the same as a high school deploma,but still had to meet all the state reqirements. The Navy recuiter sent my son down to take the ASVAB test and he scored high.The recuiter said that sometimes they accept a certain percent of teir 2's. Now he is being told he needs to take 15 units in college. I wish there was someone I could write to or talk to. I think it is very unfair that my son can'nt seek his dream. And that dream is to serve his country as a Navy Seal. Know one wanted or cared when I went to Viet Nam what kind of education I had. Please if there is anyone out there that could HELP. Stache, Viet Nam, Cambodia 1970-1971 11th Armored Cav


Okay I understand that BCT is 20% physical. But dang in my opinion they shouldn't have that much physical portions there. If someone can do a few pushups and etc they are fine. They should focus on how to train the soliders to survive instead of killing them with the PT.
—Guest CityGal


Okay I understand that BCT is 20% physical. But dang in my opinion they shouldn't have that much physical portions there. If someone can do a few pushups and etc they are fine. They should focus on how to train the soliders to survive instead of killing them with the PT.
—Guest CityGal

The ASVAB test

well all i can say that the military is just too strict on the test scores-- i mean it doesnt make since that you have dedicated people trying to serve your country but yet you have to take a Stupid ASVAB test that most people have trouble passing and one of those people is me. I'm currently 19 trying to get in the ARMY and yet they say i have to wait 6 months untill i get to take the test again in july. It just doesn't make since, I wish they didnt make it so hard just to join the military. They definitely need some changes i guarantee if they made it easier more people wouuld join
—Guest Kelvin Smith


I turned 42 in July 2009, have a college degree and as a triathlete am already well beyond basic training requirements for physical fitness. I looked into the military 12 years ago but was too old based on the age requirements at that time. Now I'm just over the age limit once again.
—Guest jim

our generation got screwed

so, employability was taught and GED not encouraged,b/c my small school said that people who were 'slower than others' were to be thrown into one glass with everyone, who is "unruly" not all the kids are the same and many did not benefit from the hostile environment. so, what does employability give you? no army? no navy? hmmm guess not just hard to believe. i know a man who is just as capable of scrubbing decks and standing watch , he drives a car and has a warehouse job. but he can't join the military b/c his school didn't allow him to get his GED?

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