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

Responses: 290



Older Americans have much too offer in the way of maturity, stability, wisdom, and career knowledge. The armed services makes a big mistake by setting maximum age limits. Older adults may not be fit for combat, but have a lot to offer as far as supportive services. What a shame. After the kids are gone we could do so much in our middle age, but we're ignored.
—Guest nonameuser

Old Regretful Folks

All you older guys that have suddenely had a realization and want to join some branch of service need to evaluate. Everybody thinks they're tougher than they are. I've known some good ones at 48 or 52; they may be mentally strong hard working men, but I doubt they could run those couple of miles. I'm 21 and considering going Navy, but oinly cause I have piss poor credintials, and it would be a good investment for the future. I'de like a good civilian job.. I wash dishes part time, and have a GED. They have so much more standards for GED Recruits than diploma holders. You would figure that the GED kid would be expected to get in a lil trouble, right? So to support my will to change and my unlikelyhood, I have researched. If you all feel like your really a valuable asset, and could actually pass basic, then find out about getting a waver. I might have to cause of a DUI, and a couple nonviolent, non theft related charges. No felonies, though... You can't bitch if ye don't try!
—Guest Drunken Sage

You are too old

Well, this is for all of the posters that said they need to raise the age limits.... Now your out of work, and need somewhere to turn. You have always thought of the military as your last resort, and now its too late. You should have joined when you were young, just like the other 99 percent of Americans that are unwilling to put aside their personal agenda for the service to others, if only for a couple years. Too little to late, hope for the last 40 years you have felt safe in your comfortable bed, while other go out to lay down their lives to protect you.
—Guest Donny D

too strict and too soft

The age can be laxed a bit. However, mentally and morally speaking, it is not strict enough.
—Guest USMCR


Is age really important enough that those with the correct aptitude and mindset cannot enter? Too old or too young, I honestly believe that regardless of how someone feels about it, they at least deserve some chance. They should at least be given the chance to be proven wrong, not in active duty or whatnot mind you, give the person the opportunity to succeed. If they are too old, give them the ability to apply their knowledge and experience. If they would be too young, allow them to join so that they might grow into a real soldier, give them the benefit of the doubt at least. But I digress, people must we all place so much emphasis on age?
—Guest Apollo

my son

my son would like to enlist but they are giving him the run around when he was younger he made a misdemeanor mistake and they would not accept him in the army ans he has a tatoo on his leg and would not take him in the marines and this is what he has always wanted to do he has changed and finally knows what he wants and has been turned down PLEASE someone HELP him respectfully his mother
—Guest 0ne mom

Need to raise the limit

With the economy the way it is, and with the glut of excellent experienced people needing work, the age limit should be raised. Yes, older people might not be able to keep up with the younger ones in certain physical capabilities, but they could provide excellent support services. Not every job in the military involves combat, and to turn people away who have excellent skills and experience for these jobs is foolish. I'd join in a minute if I could.
—Guest Julie

age limits

I was active military early 80s and when I was in boot camp their was one guy In his late 30s. He competed as good if not better then most of us in ours teens early 20s. When I reported to my first command I was suprised by how many high school drop outs and pot smokers there was. And their ages where I'm guessing between 20 to 50. To talk to them they weren't the brightest but when it came to their job, they where the best. So you don,t have to be the young and smart you just have to have the heart and the ability to learn. Not everybody has to be leader quality. They just have to be willing to follow orders. Even the best can freeze under pressure everybody is human. If you can't fight the war then maybe you can help behind the lines. So if social security doesn't kick in till I'm 67 I should be able to enlist up to the age of 47. How many kids are sitting state side doing jobs that someone older could be doing. I'll bet if there is another war the age limit will change


Honestly, I’m a bit disappointed in these posts. It’s not that they’re not all in line with “today,” though. I think I’m just disappointed with today. The one point I’d like to make is that physicality isn’t everything. I’m not in the military nor do I have a college degree, and apologize in advance if I offend anyone that is / does, but the focus on the physical should be secondary to one’s skill/mental ability. I’m probably biased, but having had the privilege of known someone as brilliant as my father, who is now restricted to a wheelchair through no fault of his own (spinal muscular atrophy), I’d MUCH rather a mentally stimulating leader that TEACHES you how to use your training to THINK through things prior to simply relying on a set of "reaction" standards. Don’t get me wrong – I understand that there’s a time for action & a time for consideration, but in my (very VERY limited 3rd person) experience, my gut instict suggests that if I were taught the “proper” way to an
—Guest Mike G

Going Back

I served in the Army in the early 1990's. Serving in the Army was by far one of the proudest moments of my life. I almost went in right after 9/11 and for whatever reason I never did. I feel that for various jobs in the military the age limits for entering should be evaluated. Im 37 and would like to go back into the Army and if everything works out I will be. Like a lot of the comments I read we all seem to think the same thing that experience is a huge asset. We need the most qualified people protecting our country and some of those people even if they are over the age limits should be given the opportunity if capable. Basic training should weed them out anyway. When the will is strong everything is easy.
—Guest cleonard

I'm too old?

At 47 I know that I am too old for combat in anything other that the most despirate conditions. However in supporting roles older solders could still play an important part.
—Guest Guest

Let able body/mind serve

As an about to be 45 year-old with a son that just completed basic Marine training, I feel a strong desire to serve my country. I attempted to join as a 25 year-old and was ineligible due to some driving violations(DUI), Now I run a sub 18 minute 3 mile and and can outlast most 18 year-olds in any physical endurance test. If my ASVAB scores were adequate I should be allowed to join.

dream shattered

iwent back to school got my GED and emlisted afyer age was pushed up to 42. MEPS sent for me the day before my birthday. I thought since the wait was on them, they would have gotten me a waiver, little did I no my time and money was wasted. Since then I have trained and became a correctional officer,but my heart is still in joiming the military. I am now going on 44
—Guest theresa miller

Too Young

I do not agree with allowing anyone under the age of 18 to enlist. Until you are old enough to vote for the representatives who can send you to war, and until you are legally an adult, kids just should not be sent to war. I moved out and was on my own at 16...so I know a lot of kids have it rough and hold a lot of responsibility at a young age...but I still think until you have a voice (vote) no one should be able to put your life on the line.

experience and knowledge

I am 41 and I know I can out run and out survive a lot of these younger recruits more outdoor skills and survival skills that I can train my skills and knowledge with more training but your age requirements stop me. I know we as the united states and our people need to rethink and change and make our miltary stronger and age can help our progress, so if you hear my cry to help our nation we all will see the changes and feel them togather,we that are 41 to the age of 46 are not to old thats bunk you lose the best, and experience is what counts. GOD BLESS THE THE USA...
—Guest enlighten raven

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