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Old 01-09-2010, 10:18 AM
 
Location: The Midst of Insanity
3,225 posts, read 5,969,453 times
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Obviously I need to go talk to a recruiter, but I wanted some first-hand opinions from others before I took that step.

I've been considering for quite some time now. Am I too old? Is it more difficult the older you are? Am I limited to certain branches or certain fields of work due to my age?

What are some of the first steps one needs to take, and what are some of the options out there?

Any and all input much appreciated.
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Old 01-09-2010, 01:37 PM
 
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According to about dot com.

Active Duty None-Prior Service
  • Army - 42 (must ship to basic training prior to 42nd birthday)
  • Air Force - 27
  • Navy - 34
  • Marines - 28
  • Coast Guard - Age 27. Note: up to age 32 for those selected to attend A-school directly upon enlistment (this is mostly for prior service).
Reserve Non-Prior Service
  • Army Reserves - 42 (must ship to basic training prior to 42nd birthday)
  • Army National Guard - 35 (changed from 42 in 2009)
  • Air Force Reserve - 34
  • Air National Guard - 40 (Changed from 34 in Aug 2009)
  • Naval Reserves - 39
  • Marine Corps Reserve - 29
  • Coast Guard Reserves - Age 39
There are also age waivers; no idea if there's string attached to them such has taking low-manned jobs...Nor do I know the odds of getting them approved. I recommend starting with the Guard to see if there's anything full time available.
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:00 PM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
518 posts, read 1,774,877 times
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My husband went in at 28. These days there are lots of older people joining.

Good luck, whatever you decide!
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:48 PM
 
Location: Hawaii
1,707 posts, read 6,079,139 times
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One of the biggest problems encountered by older enlistees is their physical fitness level. If you are an athletic person and aren't carrying extra weight you will do ok, otherwise you'll need to seriously work on it.

Contact the various recruiters for the different services and find out what's available. You can take the ASVAB test for one and it will be good for all.

PS: Get a ASVAB study guide from the library and bone up before you test.

Good luck
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Old 01-10-2010, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
28,946 posts, read 45,784,190 times
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One of my best friends in the Navy went in at 34 [months before the 35 cut-off], he enjoyed it and he stayed in for 20 years.

Keep in mind that the PRT requirements are easier as you get older. 18 year olds do more situps, more pushups, and must run faster; then old farts do.

I retired when I was 38. By that age to successfully complete the 1.5 mile run I could honestly do a fast walk and clear the requirements with a minute to spare.
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Old 01-10-2010, 11:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forest beekeeper View Post
Keep in mind that the PRT requirements are easier as you get older.
As I always say, everything in the military is subject to change. Air Force announced it revamped PRT/PT testing and eliminated aged tiers...But, after a ton of people failed, they announced they're "reviewing" the new test and MAY make changes...Point being the Navy or any other branch could change
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Old 01-10-2010, 12:03 PM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
23,331 posts, read 36,885,121 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forest beekeeper View Post
Keep in mind that the PRT requirements are easier as you get older.
I would rephrase it to say the Physical Readiness Test requirements are reduced as you get older... They aren't always easier. For me it seemed like the Army was synced on my age. But at times as I hit a new age group, some of the requirements were increased.
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Old 01-10-2010, 12:20 PM
 
Location: Hawaii
1,707 posts, read 6,079,139 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poncho_NM View Post
I would rephrase it to say the Physical Readiness Test requirements are reduced as you get older... They aren't always easier. For me it seemed like the Army was synced on my age. But at times as I hit a new age group, some of the requirements were increased.
Your are correct, the Army has it figured out, age versus same effort.

Also as a new enlistee it's not like during a group run you can stop/slow down if the group out paces your APFT (fitness test) minimums. If you're not keeping up with the rest of the formation (of 18 year olds) they will dog you out.
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Old 01-10-2010, 01:41 PM
 
Location: Planet Earth
56 posts, read 91,055 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annika08 View Post
I've been considering for quite some time now. Am I too old?
No.

Quote:
Originally Posted by annika08 View Post
Is it more difficult the older you are?
Not if you're in shape. I've seen 50 year old Chief Master Sergeants run faster and pump out more push ups than 20 year olds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by annika08 View Post
Am I limited to certain branches or certain fields of work due to my age?
No, the field your degree is in is the only thing that will limit you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by annika08 View Post
What are some of the first steps one needs to take, and what are some of the options out there?
Research each branch and see what they have to offer before you walk into any recruiting facility. I would recommend the Air Force all the way because they treat their people really really good but keep in mind that if you go the Officer route you will deploy a lot.
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Old 01-10-2010, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
28,946 posts, read 45,784,190 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poncho_NM View Post
I would rephrase it to say the Physical Readiness Test requirements are reduced as you get older... They aren't always easier. For me it seemed like the Army was synced on my age. But at times as I hit a new age group, some of the requirements were increased.
I meant no offense, of course it is/was 'reduced' in a system of tiers.

And like everything it is all likely to change.

In the Navy; we rarely do group PT, or anything in formation.

I have done many of my semi-annual PRTs one person at a time. Sit-ups and push-ups on a steel deck, and the 'run' by running-in-place [a committee would resolve how many paces were required to run 1.5 miles and how high our knees had to be raised for each pace to count] likewise on a steel deck.
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