Military Age Restrictions: How Old Is Too Old To Serve
In 2012, U.S. Rep. Paul Broun Jr. , tried to push through legislation that would allow people of any age to join the military as long as they could meet the minimum health and fitness requirements. The House voted 256-164 against the military age restrictions measure.
Broun introduced the bill after speaking with an unnamed ultra-marathon runner who was denied enlistment in the Army for being a few months over the maximum age. He was also petitioning on behalf of his Congressional colleague and fellow Georgia Rep. Phil Gingrey, who tried to volunteer as a military doctor and was rejected despite his experience as an obstetrician. Gingrey will turn 70 in July.
Those still serving in the military are not exempt from their VA Loan benefits. Learn more: How to Get a VA Home Loan While Still Serving
Check Your Selective Service Registration
Youll receive a letter in the mail with your Selective Service registration card within 90 days of registering. The letter and card are your Selective Service proof of registration.
If you dont receive the letter and card within 90 days, call and follow the prompts. Choose the option for receiving your own Selective Service number.
You are required to keep your registration information up-to-date until you turn 26. Contact the Selective Service System if:
There is an error on your registration card
If you move or change your name
If youve lost your registration card, use the letter that came with it to show proof of registration. You can get a copy of the letter by completing this Verify Registration form.
To Learn New Skills Or A Trade
Working in the military teaches you many skills ranging from teamwork and communication to technical and analytical skills. Regardless of what military job you choose, you learn many valuable skills you can apply to your next job. If you have a specific civilian career you want to pursue, gaining skills from the military can be a good way to prepare yourself.
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Membership Into One Of The Worlds Oldest Clubs
Being a military veteran makes you an automatic member in one of the worlds oldest clubs. It is easy to share stories and recollections with other members of this special group of people and can help you gain acceptance, join clubs, find employment, and gain other benefits. Being a veteran is something no one can ever take away from you.
Is 25 A Good Age To Join The Military
Twenty-five is still at a good age to join the military. You have the maturity and physical capability to navigate the militarys requirements. However, you may be older than other recruits and may have had to leave a family or loved ones behind.
Here are some of the benefits of joining the military at 25:
- Maturity. You probably have experience working or studying at 25, which will give you maturity and experience that impact the way you train and make decisions.
- Qualifications. At 25, you have had the chance to earn a college degree and get a few years of professional experience. Depending on your degree, you may also be able to climb the military ranks faster.
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What Is The Best Age To Join The Army
The age of the applicant is not a factor.
If you dont meet height and weight standards for your sex, or if you are out of shape , then it doesnt matter how old you are join now! If, however, you do meet these requirements at any age, there is no best time to join all applicants must be 18 years old in order to enlist with parental consent.
I was 25 when I joined the army but my experience might have been different had I waited until later in life because joining the military has serious consequences that can last forever. Its hard enough adjusting from civilian life just trying to find something close as good as what you had before the service.
To Get Physically Fit
Physical stamina and health goals are another reason some people join the service. Working in the military requires you to go through intense physical training. Some people see this as an excellent opportunity to form healthier habits, lose weight or build muscle.
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Full Medical Coverage For You And Your Family
Military members are immediately eligible for full health care benefits for themselves and their immediate family members as soon as they enter the service, and if you stay through until retirement, you and your family can take these benefits with you when you leave the military. These health benefits extend to immediate family . You may also be eligible for temporary military healthcare benefits after you leave the service.
Requirements For Joining The Military
The U.S. military has six branches of service: the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Space Force. The requirements to join are similar for all six. The main differences are in age limits, test scores, and fitness levels. Men and women meet different fitness standards. Besides the requirements listed here, a branch may have other requirements.
Age Limits for Enlisting
You must be at least 17 to enlist in any branch of the active military. The oldest you can be to enlist for active duty in each branch is:
Coast Guard: 31
Air Force: 39
Space Force: 39
Some branches have different age limits for their part-time Reserve and National Guard. Visit each service’s recruiting website for its part-time age limits.
Requirements for Enlisting If You Are Not a U.S. Citizen
You do not have to be a U.S. citizen to enlist in the military, but you may have fewer options. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you must:
Have a permanent resident card, also known as a Green Card
Currently live in the U.S.
Speak, read, and write English fluently
Educational and Testing Requirements for Enlisting
Your scores on four of those make up your Armed Forces Qualification Test score. This score determines which branch you may join. Each branch has its own lowest score for joining.
Your scores on all 10 subtests determine which job specialties you qualify for.
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A Third Option: Civilian Service
You can serve in the military full time but not be on active duty through the Air Force Civilian Service, Army Civilian Service, Navy Civilian Careers, or Coast Guard Civilian Careers. Civilian service can help military spouses get and keep jobs thanks to preferential hiring and easy job transfers from one installation to another.
How To Join The Military After College
After deciding that joining the military after college offers a promising path, many students still have questions about the logistics of such a plan. This section reviews common general requirements alongside the steps students take to join. When reading these, remember that different branches vary in terms of how they enable college graduates to join, but some similarities can be applied across the board.
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But Wait Isnt The Military Dangerous
One major reason many people dont consider the military is the perception of a high mortality rate. This is primarily caused by the media. The reality is many military specialties are no more dangerous than their civilian counterparts. Your branch of service and your career field will go along way toward determining the risk you will be exposed to.
Military members may be eligible for VA service-connected disability benefits if they are injured or become ill during their military service. Receiving a VA disability rating makes the veteran eligible for lifetime disability compensation benefits.
In the unlikely event of a service members death, the military or the VA provides a lifetime of benefits for your survivors. The surviving family is given an immediate $100,000 death gratuity benefit, a $400,000 lump sum life insurance benefit , social security and indemnity monthly payments for years, and the transferability of many VA benefits. The military members time served is not taken for granted.
See What Youre Made Of
The military has a limitless amount of challenges if pushing yourself physically and mentally interests you.
There is a myriad amount of schools that you can sign up for, like Airborne School, Air Assault School, or even Ranger School.
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Military Retirement Benefits Are Worth Millions
Its not an exaggeration to say military retirement benefits are worth millions of dollars.
Military members receive a lifetime pension based on the average of their highest three years of base pay. Military retirees who are in the High 3 Retirement System receive 2.5% of their base pay for each year of service. So 20 years of service would equate to a pension worth 50% of their highest 3 years of base pay .
Members who are participating in the new Blended Retirement System use the same calculations, except that you would use a 2.0% multiplier instead of 2.5%. So a retirement at 20 years would be 40%, 25 years would be 50%, and 30 years would be 60%. However, there are two big additions: the first is matching TSP contributions of up to 5% of your base pay, allowing you to have portable retirement benefits when you leave the military, even if you dont reach retirement. The other is a Continuation Pay Bonus, which is a mid-career cash bonus for extending your service commitment.
Example retirement value:
Enlisted members earn somewhat less than commissioned officers. However, their pensions are based on the same formula and receive the same cost of living increases each year. So you can easily run the numbers and get a rough approximation of potential retirement benefits. For example, a $2,500 a month pension is worth $30,000 per year. That would be worth $300,000, $600,000, or $900,000 over 10, 20, or 30 years.
Learn more about retirement benefits:
Pros Of Joining The Military:
- The military GI Bill provides over $40,000 towards a college education, opening up new possibilities for anyone afraid they cant afford a higher education. Funding may also be available for books and housing. Depending on your circumstances, you can apply for the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the Montgomery GI Bill for Active Duty or Selected Reserve, the Veterans Educational Assistance Program , and other beneficial programs.
- You can apply military benefits to more than just college. The Post-9/11 GI Bill, for example, can also pay for graduate school, vocational/technical training, on-the-job training, flight training, entrepreneurship training, and tutorial assistance.
- While in the military, youll probably have the chance to learn extremely useful computer, logistical, and mechanical skills. You may also have the opportunity to travel, allowing you to learn about other countries and cultures.
- Many programs provide financial assistance to further your education even when youre no longer in the military. In certain cases, you can even pass those benefits on to your children.
- The military can help give you a clear direction if you arent sure what you want to do with your life, and the discipline it teaches you can help you better survive in the real world.
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Join The Regular Force
Members of the Regular Force serve full time protecting Canada and defending our sovereignty. They contribute to international peace and security, and work with the United States to defend North America. They are ready to respond at a moments notice to threats, natural disasters or humanitarian crises at home and around the world.
Getting Fit With Fitt
As a rule of thumb, ease into your activities, gradually increase each element of FITT, and end each session with a cool-down. For example:
- Begin with a 5- to 10-minute warm-up. Walking, biking or a slow jog will increase blood flow to the muscles and lightly increase your heart rate. Follow up with some light stretching of the muscles you will be using in your workout.
- Improving your overall fitness is most effectively done through a combination of 20 to 60 minutes of aerobic and strength exercises. The two sample fitness sessions below are based on Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology guidelines.
- A 5- to 10-minute cool-down helps return your body to its normal, pre-exercise condition. Suddenly stopping an intense workout can make you dizzy, nauseated or even faint. Walking, biking or a slow jog will gradually bring down your heart rate and relieve muscle soreness.
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If You Really Cant Imagine The Idea Of Complete Structure
If you cant imagine being told what to do, where to go, what kind of tattoos you can have, and how to dress every day, dont join.
Additionally, the rank structure in the military is a one-way road. No exceptions.
Your leadership should never belittle you.
However, there will be times when you are expected to take verbal and/or physical punishment.
On top of that, you are not allowed to give your side of the story.
Bonuses For Those Who Join The Military Are At An All
In order to offset the drop in recruiting, military branches are offering huge payouts to new service members who join.
In January of this year, the Army began offering enlistment bonuses of up to $50,000 for new recruits who sign up for high-skill jobs for six years. Even those choosing less in-demand occupational specialties can still laugh all the way to the bank with enlistment bonuses ranging from $1,000 to $40,000 and additional quick ship bonuses of up to $9,000 if they choose to ship off to basic training within the next 90 days. The National Guard is also offering up to $20,000 for qualified candidates joining to fill high-demand roles.
In April, the Air Force followed suit, now offering up to $50,000 for new recruits who join to fill badly-needed roles and are willing to depart for training sooner than later. If youre willing to ship to training within five days or less , you can grab an easy $8,000 on top of any enlistment bonus you rate for the job youve chosen.
If you want to join the military but the Navy is more your speed, your local recruiter can offer you a $25,000 enlistment bonus as long as youre willing to depart for training between April and June of this year. From there, you can tack on other bonuses worth up to an additional $25,000 for different high-demand roles, meaning the right candidates could make a cool $50,000 just for signing on the dotted line and shipping off to basic.
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Submit Your Application 5interview
The next step is an interview with a military career counsellor it is your official job interview and a very important step. The application process is very competitive and you will be asked questions about your work history, knowledge of the Canadian Forces, and understanding of the job you selected.
Joining the Canadian Armed Forces
Hospitalized Or Incarcerated Men
You are exempt from Selective Service registration if you can prove you were continuously institutionalized or confined from 30 days before you turned 18 through age 25. If you were released for any period longer than 30 days during this window, you were required to register with the Selective Service System.
- If a man is placed in a hospital, nursing home, long-term care facility, or mental institution on or before his 18th birthday, had no breaks of institutionalization of 30 days or longer, and remained institutionalized until his 26th birthday, he is not required to register.
- If he is confined to home, whether his own or someone elseâs , on or before his 18th birthday and cannot leave the home without medical assistance , and remained homebound until his 26th birthday, he is not required to register.
For Selective Service to determine this exemption, the following supporting documentation is needed when you mail your status information letter request form:
- Proof that your dates of confinement or institutionalization are accurate.
- Proof that you were continuously incarcerated, or never released for any period of 30 days or longer.
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So Should You Join The Military In 2020
The military will set you up for success more than any other course of action you can pursue immediately after high school. The opportunity to mature, and experience life, for four years, is incredible.
Dont join the military just for these benefits though, you need to be emotionally invested in making a difference for yourself, and the United States of America, if you want to join our ranks, and defend our freedoms!
If you decide to join the military, ensure you read this article about too!
Average Ages Per Rank In Us Military
Assuming you’re 18 when you join, and the average time it takes to be promoted:
- Private – 18
- Private First Class – 19 –
- Specialist/Corporal – 20
- Sergeant – 22
- Staff Sergeant – 27
- Sergeant First Class – 32
- Master Sergeant/First Sergeant – 35 –
- Sergeant Major – 39 –
Or if you’re talking officer, start at say age 23, and then add:
- O-2 : 25
- O-3 : 27
- O-4 : 33
- O-5 : 39
- O-6 : 45
Anything at or above O-7 is competitive, so there’s no average age/time available.
The mandatory retirement age for all general officers is 62 . Under the law , an officer who has been promoted to O-7, but is not on the recommended list to O-8, must retire five years after promotion to O-7, or 30 years of active duty service, whichever is later.
An O-8 must retire five years after being promoted to O-8, or 35 years of service, whichever is greater .
The Secretary of the Service Concerned or the President of the United States, can defer the above mandatory retirements, up until the time that the officer reaches the age of 62 .
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