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Thread: Uncle Sam wants you – even if you’re 42 years old

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    Uncle Sam wants you – even if you’re 42 years old

    July 19, 2005

    Uncle Sam wants you – even if you’re 42 years old

    By Rick Maze
    Times staff writer




    The Defense Department quietly asked Congress on Monday to raise the maximum age for military recruits to 42 for all branches of the service.



    Under current law, the maximum age to enlist in the active components is 35, while people up to age 39 may enlist in the reserves. By practice, the accepted age for recruits is 27 for the Air Force, 28 for the Marine Corps and 34 for the Navy and Army, although the Army Reserve and Navy Reserve sometimes take people up to age 39 in some specialties.

    The Pentagon’s request to raise the maximum recruit age to 42 is part of what defense officials are calling a package of “urgent wartime support initiatives” sent to Congress Monday night prior to a Tuesday hearing of the House Armed Services military personnel subcommittee.

    At that hearing, David S.C. Chu, under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness, said he felt the military’s recent problems with recruiting were improving, but that additional incentives would help.

    Chu mentioned the age change in passing during the hearing but gave no other details, such as whether any of the services were seriously considering recruiting 42-year-olds.

    Most of the initiatives in the package were previously requested by the Bush administration as part of the 2006 defense budget, which is pending before Congress. They include raising the maximum re-enlistment bonus to $90,000; maximum hardship duty pay to $750 a month; special pay and incentive bonuses for nuclear qualified officers to $30,000; assignment incentive pay to $3,000; and increasing accession and affiliation bonuses for reservists.

    The request, not yet approved by the White House, also asks lawmakers to revise some benefits proposals already before Congress.

    For example, the Bush administration originally asked Congress to increase enlistment bonuses to $30,000, but the Pentagon now wants bonuses of up to $40,000.

    The administration also asked for an Army-only test of a $1,000 referral bonus that would be paid to current soldiers if they get someone to enter the Army and make it through basic and advanced training. Now, the Pentagon wants that payment to be $2,500.

    The request also includes a new Army initiative that officials are calling the Army Home Ownership program. It would set aside money for new recruits that could be used to buy a home at the end of an enlistment, an idea that Army officials believe will help convince parents and other “adult influencers” of service-age youths about the benefits of joining the military.

    Lawmakers are sympathetic to the need to do more. Rep. John McHugh, R-N.Y., said he is willing to look at new pay-and-benefits initiatives, although he personally believes that what the Pentagon needs is an increase in personnel to cut the workload on active and reserve service member.

    Rep. Vic Snyder of Arkansas, the subcommittee’s ranking Democrat, also vowed to help.

    “Recruitment is a challenge right now,” Snyder said. “Both the military and Congress are working on solutions, but I expect these challenges will be with us for some time. Military service is honorable and can be a real growing opportunity for a young man or woman.”


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    Time is the Revelator. LvJ's Avatar
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    Re: Uncle Sam wants you – even if you’re 42 years old

    Well, I'll be 19 soon, and they're getting me.
    Hide your power alleys; Hide your wife

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    Re: Uncle Sam wants you – even if you’re 42 years old

    Quote Originally Posted by LvJ
    Well, I'll be 19 soon, and they're getting me.
    What branch? Enlisted or Officer?

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    Maple SERP savafan's Avatar
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    Re: Uncle Sam wants you – even if you’re 42 years old

    Quote Originally Posted by LvJ
    Well, I'll be 19 soon, and they're getting me.
    Which branch you going into LvJ?
    My dad got to enjoy 3 Reds World Championships by the time he was my age. So far, I've only gotten to enjoy one. Step it up Redlegs!

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    Member Mutaman's Avatar
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    Re: Uncle Sam wants you – even if you’re 42 years old

    One more defense taken away from a lot of Chickenhawks- "I'm too old".

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    Time is the Revelator. LvJ's Avatar
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    Re: Uncle Sam wants you – even if you’re 42 years old

    Quote Originally Posted by RedBloodedAmerican
    What branch? Enlisted or Officer?
    I plan to enlist in the United States Army, full time.
    Hide your power alleys; Hide your wife

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    Re: Uncle Sam wants you – even if you’re 42 years old

    Quote Originally Posted by LvJ
    I plan to enlist in the United States Army, full time.
    Have you considered the Air Force?

    If I ever get up there, I could probably show you an Air Force base (Writh Pat). Or maybe Creek can show you around? That depends on her.

    I guess you have been out to Ft Campbell?

    Quality of Life, there's a big difference.

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    Administrator GIK's Avatar
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    Re: Uncle Sam wants you – even if you’re 42 years old

    I'd also recommend Air Force if you do choose this as a profession (based on friends and their families who are in both fields).

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    Moderator JaxRed's Avatar
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    Re: Uncle Sam wants you – even if you’re 42 years old

    I'd recommend Air Force

    (Capt. Mills, USAF, ret)
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    Dunnilicious creek14's Avatar
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    Re: Uncle Sam wants you – even if you’re 42 years old

    Yeah L, come on up and I'll show you around.

    I admire anyone enlisting, but you have to know if you enlist in the Army right now, you'll be a groundpounder, and that's a pretty rough job.
    Will trade this space for a #1 starter.

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    Time is the Revelator. LvJ's Avatar
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    Re: Uncle Sam wants you – even if you’re 42 years old

    Quote Originally Posted by RedBloodedAmerican
    Have you considered the Air Force?

    If I ever get up there, I could probably show you an Air Force base (Writh Pat). Or maybe Creek can show you around? That depends on her.

    I guess you have been out to Ft Campbell?

    Quality of Life, there's a big difference.
    Hehe, I haven't even taken the ASVAB.

    I am considering my options. I've looked into the Marines (in which my cousin may be going into), the U.S. Army (in which a friends brother/wife are officers), the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Airfoce. I am going to take the ASVAB soon (right now, I'm hectic. I'll be moving to Mt. Sterling/Lexington in the next few weeks), so once I am settled down - I'll contact recruiters.

    I doubt I'll be able to get into Airfoce, anywho.
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    Time is the Revelator. LvJ's Avatar
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    Re: Uncle Sam wants you – even if you’re 42 years old

    Quote Originally Posted by creek14
    Yeah L, come on up and I'll show you around.

    I admire anyone enlisting, but you have to know if you enlist in the Army right now, you'll be a groundpounder, and that's a pretty rough job.
    Thanks for the offer. I'll keep ya in mind.

    As for knowing what I'm getting into. I'm aware and willing.
    Hide your power alleys; Hide your wife

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    Re: Uncle Sam wants you – even if you’re 42 years old

    Quote Originally Posted by LvJ
    Hehe, I haven't even taken the ASVAB.


    I doubt I'll be able to get into Airfoce, anywho.
    You could be suprised. Believe or not, there are some dummies in the Air Force, who maybe here on Redszone right now.

  15. #14
    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: Uncle Sam wants you – even if you’re 42 years old

    Really, I think it's odd that they have any kind of age limit to enlist. It should be left up to the particular branch of service whether the candidate fills the need they have.

    In reality, few (if any) 50 year olds would be accepted, but the option should be open.
    "One person has a more positive outlook [about Dick Williams], and I would guess that was meant as a joke." RedsTeamGo

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    Time is the Revelator. LvJ's Avatar
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    Re: Uncle Sam wants you – even if you’re 42 years old

    Quote Originally Posted by RedBloodedAmerican
    You could be suprised. Believe or not, there are some dummies in the Air Force, who maybe here on Redszone right now.
    Well, I was thinking more of the lines of me having a homeschool education. :ughmamoru
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