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

Responses: 430


Not everyone qualifies for military enlistment. The military has many enlistment standards, and if one doesn't meet those standards, they don't qualify for enlistment, unless the military grants a waiver. Share Your Reason


i have been trying to reinlist for a few yrs now i got got discharge with an re 3 general under honorable i feel like my local recrutiers are giving me the run around an not trying to help me all i want is a second shot at serving my people and country can anyone help me or give me some advice please please please help im going insane !!!!

Mitigate offense with time

As an applicant I find it reprehensible that our services take such a harsh view of even minor drug use. Recently, a friend of mine that I had convinced to look into the Air National Guard was denied the opportunity to apply by a recruiter because he answered "yes" to having eaten mushrooms on a single occasion in his low 20s over a decade ago. The man is a law enforcement officer, college degree, stable family, an otherwise reliable, intelligent, hard working person who I have no doubt would have been an excellent asset to any unit. Keep in mind, he doesn't have a record, this was an honest reply given by a man with integrity; something the services all claim to covet. How can this seemingly insignificant event give any of the branches cause to refuse a candidate? This policy only does one thing - encourages people to lie on their applications - and many do. People make mistakes, especially when young, it doesn't make them lifetime criminals Time should mitigate offense.
—Guest JB01

Physical condition vs Age

I'm 52 years old, I could run a mile in 5:35 min, I weight 190 pounds of solid muscles, I could bench press 325 lb and leg press 1000 lb; but I can't serve in the military because I'm too old. "Totally Ridiculous"
—Guest Kuilan

Kick out

So many kids make mistake by using drugs when they are young. I think that if they want to serve and do not do drugs in the last 1 year... They should give them an opportunity, even our ex president of the USA used drugs when he was young..... it is important for the future of teenagers trying to enlist to do service in the army or air force to get a second if they did not came out positive for drugs before going to training.....
—Guest Rudy

just right

when third world war comes the age limits go way high and you shall all get your wish whether you like it or not.I did 4 years in the navy and if i knew then what i know now i would still be in the navy until they boot me out........just hang in there.Next world war might just be around the corner..
—Guest cass rodriguez

Don't make sense and hypocritical

When I went to MEPS I was the most fit and athletic applicant and made the ASVAB look like a joke. I was denied by the Army due to a petty pot charge that was DISMISSED YEARS ago when I was a teenager and I was a college grad and athlete. Some of these kids were a joke: overweight, acne, DWIs, GEDs, etc. and I was the one who got denied. Whatever happened to those old WWII and Korea guys who were recruited out of jail? Being a soldier isn't a "nice guy" or "moral person" profession. You need tough individuals who are willing to fight. When the court clears someone of all charges -- then that person is INNOCENT. The Army is not a law making or law interpreting body.
—Guest Einstein35

This Is Crazy Too Strict

I am a single Mom, who wants badly to join the military in hopes of making the life for my children a better one. I have already gotten approved written statements from 4 different people who would keep my children and its like thats not enough. To make matters worse, why is it than I am willing to make such a hard decision as to give up my children so they can have better, but the military still will not let my children benefit from me being on duty?
—Guest Single Mom


I think it is totally wrong that you changed the age limit for enlisting. A year ago I was so ready to enlist and still am but according to you I am to old. You are always looking for people to serve their country but you want to turn them away because of their age! STUPID! I was committed to serve my country and still am. Why don't you give us a chance and let us prove that we can do it instead of turning us away! LET US TRY!
—Guest dustysmith631@yahoo.com

Too tough!

I am 47 years old and am in a greater physical condition that many 37 year old counterparts. I would love to enlist as a reservist because I am now in a position where I can be absent from home and work if called to duty. It is age discrimination at a minimum. My sister-in-law who has been an army reservist for over 30 years is in poor physical condition, but yet if she is called up to go into the field, she has to, regardless.
—Guest Angie

Childish Misdemeanors

I have a 21 year ols son who was denied entry to the military because of midemeanors when he was younger. e even went as far as to get letters fromnt he district Attorney stating that he was charged with the possession charge and the military decided that the D.A.'s statement was not valid enough to waive the charge. How can anyone help themselves when you have a government constantly holding you down? There is no way you can tell me that the Military officials are clean cut and error-free. I'm sure they all have skeletons int heir closets and it's time they got off hteir high horses and stopped judging others. I hope when they need these people they aren't available and then we will see how brave the "officials" are.
—Guest Sandra

To strict

I have a history of drug abuse when I was young and have completely cleaned up my act I have been clean from all drugs and alcohol for over 2 years and believe I have the right to serve my country as an amends for the stupid things I did as a kid
—Guest CJK

Former Paratrooper here

I've read threw a few pages of this and all I see is a bunch of whiners. If you have a GED just get the 15 college credits and that will make you a tier 1 candidate. If not don't complain about the heavens not opening up because you believe you're special. When I got out in 06 the Army had way too many substandard soldiers. I think they should of raised the standard long ago. If anything they should require 15 college credits for HS or GED diploma holders. I would rather have a smaller high quality military force than a large one full of dead weight.
—Guest SUPER DUPER Paratrooper

Clarification on types of service waiver

What has not been made clear to me is what kinds of service qualify for age waivers. I am aware that the services set certain age limits which can be waived by creditable prior service. For instance, if a branch of the service sets a maximum age of enlistment of 39 and a potential enlistee has 4 years of active or drilling reserve service, they could potentially sign up even at age 43. What is not clear to me is the affect that inactive reserve in non-pay status has on age waivers. If I was in the inactive ready reserve (not drilling) for several years, can that time be used for age waivers?
—Guest Brent

Military age requirements make no sense

I served almost 11 years in the AF. In 1992 the government told the DoD to cut forces and an early out buy out bonus was offered. I took the bait and have regretted it for 21 years. During the past 21 years I have concentrated on raising a family and being a provider but have always wanted to be back in the AF, even if just reserve or air national guard. Sadly, I woke up one morning and the next thing I knew 21 years had slipped by. Now, I am to old by 5-6 months. I am mentally and physically able to do what is required, but a stupid age requirement says I can't. Why is it when people want to get back in the fight for their country they reach an age where they are too old, but politicians can sit in congress or on the supreme court until they need a stick to prop them up. I do think it is not a good idea to allow someone in their 50's or 60's to go in the military for the first time, but for folks like me who are prior active duty, why can't we get back in?
—Guest anoldvet

Age Standards

I think that age limits hurt the overall function of our military because, in a time of war every able bodied citizen is responsible for defense of this nation. Also, I'm just as fit as any individual that's younger than me. Furthermore, I think that anyone that is willing to accept this great challenge in whole or in part should not get denied the chance to prove that they're worthy of the opportunity.
—Guest Antonio Patrick

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

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