I'm 32 and i'm giving serious consideration on joining the army. I'm in good shape and have worked hard all my life but I don't want to continue doing what I'm doing for the rest of my life. Any 30 somethings around to share your experiences if you've joined? I love a challenge and I'd definitely get that in the army. Thanks
|Recruitng Forums Lead Moderator Emeritus|
I'm not prior Army, but I did serve in recruiting and recruit training for a good while.
That said, do you know if you could qualify?
The reason I ask is because older prospects, for the most part, had more issues that could be disqualifying than those in the 18-22 year age range. Not that I didn't have prospects in that age group who had many issues that disqualified them. But from my overall experience, older prospects were much more likely to have too many dependents, a disqualifying run-in(s) with the law, too much debt, or disqualifying medical issue(s).
IMHO, there are advantages and disadvantages to joining at an older age. Advantages would be more work/life experience and a higher level of maturity. Many older recruits end up staying for a career for the fact you stated. They'll be able to get a good retirement and benefits after 20 years. I noticed those who enlisted, say, after age 22 tended to stay for the long haul more often than those who'd joined right out of high school. It seemed they'd tried different careers, and could better see the big picture.
Some disadvantages may be along the same lines. Some older recruits may feel they shouldn't be having to play the boot camp games the younger recruits are playing. They may feel the same way about doing menial jobs after recruit training.
I myself could not imagine going though recruit training at age 32. It was a ways off still. But when I was 32, I knew in 8 or so years I'd be planning retirement and a second career. If I was planning on staying for a career after joining at age 32, I would have been looking 20 years in the future (at least) for retirement. But then again, if I'd never served I may have thought differently.
It's a call you'll have to make.
Highly Experienced Member
14000 posts as Cider33Alpha
Use the FIND function towards the top of the page. Search on "older recruits" or similar wording - this issue has been discussed multiple times here.
|Recruitng Forums Lead Moderator Emeritus|
This reminds me of when I went to company commander pick up during Coast Guard Recruit Training (company commanders being the equivalent of drill sergeants in the Army).
The training officer would address the new recruits before their company commanders took over. In his address, one thing he'd always read was "You've come here looking for a challenge, and we're prepared to give you just that!"
You'll get that in all branches of service, that's for sure.
|Moderator: Joining The Military Forums|
As far as initial entry training goes, if you're in shape, it won't be very hard. Maybe hard, but it's not going to the hardest thing you ever do. In fact, the hardest part will be dealing with the other trainees.
As far as your age while serving in the Army, as an NCO, I actually preferred having oldier Soldiers serving on my Fire Support Team. Maturity was a big plus, and they usually understood that they didn't need a sergeant to address every isue that comes up.
Army Special Operations Recruiter
|MODERATOR: Joining the Military Forums|
Concetta Hassan enlisted in the Army at the age of 32 and did a successful 28 year career retiring as a CWO4.
"If you focus on results, you will NOT get change. If you focus on change, you WILL get results."
I enlisted in 2007 at the age of 36, turned 37 during Week 5 of BCT at Ft. Benning.
I spent the month and a half prior working out. The better shape you are in when enlisting, the better off you will be. Those of us who could do 35 push-ups on the first day at our training platoons generally didn't get messed with. Always passing your PT Test also kept you off the Drill Sergeant's radar.
The hardest part of being older at Basic is dealing with the younger kids who have attitudes and think they are "all that" when they are not.
Other than that, it's not hard at all. Do what you need to do. Right place at the right time, in the right uniform, with the right equipment, with the right attitude. Too easy.
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