Is 28 too old to join the Army? [Archive] - Glock Talk

PDA

View Full Version : Is 28 too old to join the Army?


kgain673
05-23-2010, 08:48
Im turning 28 this summer and I seriously thinking about joining the Army and trying to take the Officer path. I currently have a good paying career, a wife, one baby and a college degree. I'm in the best shape of my life and that's saying a lot, because I was a high school athlete. I have no misconceptions and dreams of adventure, but I know at some point I will have to make sacrifice. What are your opinions? I want to hear from some of those who have served. Thanks for replying.

JBarbaresi
05-24-2010, 22:22
you have to be in basic training by your 41st birthday to enlist, if you are planning on going OCS the age cutoff is 29 but a waiver can be requested. is your degree the only reason you are considering going officer?

i have been in for 8 years and am currently a SSG. I made the promotion list for SFC this year, so the Army has been good to me. I was formerly an 11B Infantryman and deployed 3 times prior to being selected for recruiting duty in 2005. I've been in recruiting since and now have a wife and two kids of my own. I can't tell you how it would be to have to deploy with a family because I've never had to do it, but having deployed myself I think the seperation would be the hardest part of it.

Other than that its a secure job with some of the best benefits out there, and if you take it seriously you will develop into an overall better individual and a stronger leader of others. if you have any questions feel free to pm or respond in this thread and i'll try my best to get you the best answers possible.

EDIT: i just noticed you are located in Glen Burnie, MD. my first assignment as a recruiter was at the recruiting station in the Southdale Shopping Center next to Sakura. now I'm down in VA. my wife is from Pasadena.

NoyzeeGlocks
05-24-2010, 23:32
With a wife, kid and good career I wouldn't do it. That's just me. Not so much the wife and career, but with a kid it would be a tough decision. Plenty of people do it tho. Separation is going to be the biggest problem, especially with a deployment or 2. What does your wife think about it? Things are dying down right now, but you would still face a decent chance of deployment in the upcoming couple of years depending on your MOS.

ezterra
05-29-2010, 12:15
Technically speaking, you are not too old. It's a personal decision, and one that has to be made with your family. There are a lot of sacrafices that are made when joining the military. Make sure your wife understands that when you join, she joins also. She needs to be 100% supportive of your decision otherwise it could turn out bad.

I'll share a little bit of my experience since it sounds like I was in the same position you were just a few short years ago. I have been contemplating joining the Army for years. Then when 9/11 happened I started getting more serious about it. However, I was afraid to. I graduated college in 1999 with a chemistry degree and got a job as a chemist in Oct of that year. I was making very good money, and the work wasn't bad too. In 2005 we bought our "dream home". It was the home we planned on raising our kids in and growing old in. However, the urge to join the Army only got stronger as my interest in my current job began to get stale for me.

My wife agreed to talk to a recruiter and see what kind of options the Army might have for me. Finally, after talking about it with my wife non stop, she finally told me to either join the Army or quit talking about it. She was prepared for what we would have to do for me to join: sell the house, move to somewhere yet to be determined, deal with deployment, live a simpler life to cut down on expenses.

She realized that after working 7 years as a chemist, I was not having the job satisfaction I used to and it was affecting my attitude at home. So in Oct 2006at 31 years old and 3 children, I enlisted in the Army. My plan was to do a 4 year enlistment, then continue my life as a civilian. As such, being an officer never really crossed my mind. In hind sight, I'm glad I went the enlisted route. As an enlistedman, I am doing the job I've been trained to do. Our officers basically take care of logistical, administrative, and operational aspects of the job.

Well, 3 and a half years later, I love what I do. I was hoping to get into law enforcement when I get out, but currently all of the departments I've been looking at are not hiring. I guess the bad economy is hitting everyone. Even though I am looking for jobs on the outside, I am really considering reenlisting because I really can't see myself doing anything else, and no civilian job could match the satisfaction I am experiencing right now. I also see a very positive career progression with the Army. If I reenlist, I will be looking at pinning on my E6 in Oct or Nov of this year. Also, every duty station is open, so I can reenlist for station of choice.

Right now, I'm an E5 in an E6 team leader position. If things progress this way, I'll be looking at making the E7 list at my 7 year mark. So, as a career things are looking really good.

I have 1 deployment to Iraq. However, I've been on many, many TDY trips. Some for training and some for special missions. These are some of the sacrafices we were prepared for, and my wife still supports it and does very well in my absence. My kids know that I have to make a decision soon about whethe I stay in or not, and my older boys are always telling me that they don't want me to get out of the Army. They have been to new places, met great people, and seen parts of the country we would have never seen if I didn't join the Army.

My wife and I are still in agreement that once EITHER one of us feels we can no longer support my military career 100%, then it's time to get out.

For me, it's been the best experience in my life. My job is extremely rewarding, and I am progressing in my career very well. My family is proud of what I do, and my wife is proud to be an "Army Wife". My kids enjoy the places we've been and the people we've met. It has been the toughest decision I've ever made, but it has also been the best decision I've ever made.

Well, that's my experience. Know that you may have a very different experience, and the job you choose can make it or break it. So choose a job that YOU want, not what they tell you. Be prepared to be treated like an irresponsible punk teenager in the beginning, but once your leaders realize you are a mature responsible adult, you'll get the proper respect regardless of rank. It's a serious decision that only you can make. My only advice is to make sure your wife and family know what they will be getting in to and that they will be nothing but supportive.

Good luck, and if you do enlist look into MOS 89D. We need intelligent, mature, motivated people.

JBarbaresi
05-29-2010, 16:52
Technically speaking, you are not too old. It's a personal decision, and one that has to be made with your family. There are a lot of sacrafices that are made when joining the military. Make sure your wife understands that when you join, she joins also. She needs to be 100% supportive of your decision otherwise it could turn out bad.

I'll share a little bit of my experience since it sounds like I was in the same position you were just a few short years ago. I have been contemplating joining the Army for years. Then when 9/11 happened I started getting more serious about it. However, I was afraid to. I graduated college in 1999 with a chemistry degree and got a job as a chemist in Oct of that year. I was making very good money, and the work wasn't bad too. In 2005 we bought our "dream home". It was the home we planned on raising our kids in and growing old in. However, the urge to join the Army only got stronger as my interest in my current job began to get stale for me.

My wife agreed to talk to a recruiter and see what kind of options the Army might have for me. Finally, after talking about it with my wife non stop, she finally told me to either join the Army or quit talking about it. She was prepared for what we would have to do for me to join: sell the house, move to somewhere yet to be determined, deal with deployment, live a simpler life to cut down on expenses.

She realized that after working 7 years as a chemist, I was not having the job satisfaction I used to and it was affecting my attitude at home. So in Oct 2006at 31 years old and 3 children, I enlisted in the Army. My plan was to do a 4 year enlistment, then continue my life as a civilian. As such, being an officer never really crossed my mind. In hind sight, I'm glad I went the enlisted route. As an enlistedman, I am doing the job I've been trained to do. Our officers basically take care of logistical, administrative, and operational aspects of the job.

Well, 3 and a half years later, I love what I do. I was hoping to get into law enforcement when I get out, but currently all of the departments I've been looking at are not hiring. I guess the bad economy is hitting everyone. Even though I am looking for jobs on the outside, I am really considering reenlisting because I really can't see myself doing anything else, and no civilian job could match the satisfaction I am experiencing right now. I also see a very positive career progression with the Army. If I reenlist, I will be looking at pinning on my E6 in Oct or Nov of this year. Also, every duty station is open, so I can reenlist for station of choice.

Right now, I'm an E5 in an E6 team leader position. If things progress this way, I'll be looking at making the E7 list at my 7 year mark. So, as a career things are looking really good.

I have 1 deployment to Iraq. However, I've been on many, many TDY trips. Some for training and some for special missions. These are some of the sacrafices we were prepared for, and my wife still supports it and does very well in my absence. My kids know that I have to make a decision soon about whethe I stay in or not, and my older boys are always telling me that they don't want me to get out of the Army. They have been to new places, met great people, and seen parts of the country we would have never seen if I didn't join the Army.

My wife and I are still in agreement that once EITHER one of us feels we can no longer support my military career 100%, then it's time to get out.

For me, it's been the best experience in my life. My job is extremely rewarding, and I am progressing in my career very well. My family is proud of what I do, and my wife is proud to be an "Army Wife". My kids enjoy the places we've been and the people we've met. It has been the toughest decision I've ever made, but it has also been the best decision I've ever made.

Well, that's my experience. Know that you may have a very different experience, and the job you choose can make it or break it. So choose a job that YOU want, not what they tell you. Be prepared to be treated like an irresponsible punk teenager in the beginning, but once your leaders realize you are a mature responsible adult, you'll get the proper respect regardless of rank. It's a serious decision that only you can make. My only advice is to make sure your wife and family know what they will be getting in to and that they will be nothing but supportive.

Good luck, and if you do enlist look into MOS 89D. We need intelligent, mature, motivated people.

if i had to do it over knowing what I now know, I would have gone 89D instead of 11B from the beginning. good story.

picturethis
05-29-2010, 17:27
I would definitely not do it since you have a kid. It's hard enough as a single guy, but with a family I don't think it's worth it.

SAM88A
06-20-2010, 22:37
Im turning 28 this summer and I seriously thinking about joining the Army and trying to take the Officer path. I currently have a good paying career, a wife, one baby and a college degree. I'm in the best shape of my life and that's saying a lot, because I was a high school athlete. I have no misconceptions and dreams of adventure, but I know at some point I will have to make sacrifice. What are your opinions? I want to hear from some of those who have served. Thanks for replying.

In the last 9 years I have spent over 4 years in one of three very sandy countries. My children were at home growing up and my wife at home waiting. I have witnessed an average of 60% of my married soldiers come home not married anymore during that time. I say these things not to complain and not to persuade you one way or another, only to give a point of view (reality) that a recruiter probably won't offer. I have served for 14 years and am not leaving for at least another 10, so that should tell you something too. Make sure you're family is solid before you go and wrap your mind around the fact that you will go, probably a lot and you'll be fine. Good luck with your decision.

Sam

Dollar Bill
07-09-2010, 21:03
Im turning 28 this summer and I seriously thinking about joining the Army and trying to take the Officer path. I currently have a good paying career, a wife, one baby and a college degree. I'm in the best shape of my life and that's saying a lot, because I was a high school athlete. I have no misconceptions and dreams of adventure, but I know at some point I will have to make sacrifice. What are your opinions? I want to hear from some of those who have served. Thanks for replying.
I joined @26, just married, no kids and it was tough. You've got a good career, wife and baby. Keep them. There's more than one way to serve your contry. Spending the next couple years in the sandbox is not necessairily the best way.

betyourlife
07-09-2010, 21:18
Are you willing to risk losing your wife/child to a military career, even if it is just a short enlistment?

I wouldn't do it. If you were single maybe, but with a family/life, no.

BigDaddyK
07-09-2010, 21:24
Deployments suck. More with a wife and child. Other than that, it's an honorable and respectable thing to do. You'll probably be taking a pay cut and once again it will be hard on the rest of your family.

MrMurphy
07-09-2010, 23:51
Not Army, USAF, but i went in for Security Forces at 27.75 and turned 28 in tech school. Engaged going in, married while in tech school due to orders overseas (Italy).

It's a little harder going in older, but if your wife supports you, knows going in "This WILL SUCK" at least 50% of the time, it can be done. Pilotkitten tried not to ***** too much at the military system and we got along more or less even with a deployment (easy one) and various TDYs and random callouts all the time.

warwoes
07-10-2010, 17:12
If you have a good job now, don't do it. If you do decide to do it - go Imagery Analyst then go to OCS and get your butter bar.

rkguy9
07-21-2010, 08:31
I am a college grad, who enlisted when I was 27 and turned 28 on guard duty in BCT. I declined OCS, because I thought the Army also needed good NCOs. This was January 1974. I was not married at the time, but did marry another service member 1 year later. Both in Germany at that time, both military police. We have 2 beautiful daughters, one of which is expecting her 4th child. Her husband is also in the Army, having made SSG and currently at Ft Rucker, AL, learning to fly helicoptors, after completing WO training last year. He gets his airframe this month. The other daughter has just completed Law School and takes the BAR next week.

I will not say that it is not difficult at times, but having spent over 11 years overseas, and with family support, my wife eventually finished college, and now has a very good job with the Government, as a GS12. I was able to retire in 1995, and have been enjoying the pension since. I worked as a police officer for a couple of years, then a gun shop for a couple of years, still work part time, as a school bus driver. Wife being 10 years younger than me, still has a good future, I am also drawing SS, and will retire again with the school system with a little bit more pension next year.

We are still married after 36 years, of a marriage that all our co-workers said wouldn't work. So, as I look back on it, although we had some tough times, and money was tight most of the time, I am not sorry that I gave 20 back to the nation, my wife gave 3, three of my brothers gave 26, 6, and 10 respectifully, oh and his wife gave 4! So, I think my family has "given back" so to speak, and if you ask any one of us, we will tell you it was worth it, and we are all Proud to serve!

Maybe more than you wanted to hear, but that's my story and I'll stick to it!

Im turning 28 this summer and I seriously thinking about joining the Army and trying to take the Officer path. I currently have a good paying career, a wife, one baby and a college degree. I'm in the best shape of my life and that's saying a lot, because I was a high school athlete. I have no misconceptions and dreams of adventure, but I know at some point I will have to make sacrifice. What are your opinions? I want to hear from some of those who have served. Thanks for replying.

trlcavscout
08-08-2010, 21:12
Go for it! Its not for everyone but if you think you can do it then do it. I went through basic with a 37yr old mean son of a gun. He made high school athletes look bad. Do it before you get to old.

CardinS2U
03-18-2012, 11:33
I'm going through the same thought. most recruiter calls for 18-19 years old. now at 27 is it too old? My folks want me to head off to college and after 6 years of it I couldn't do it. Everyday I think of the army .

ArtyGuy
03-19-2012, 06:38
I would never discourage anyone who was considering joining the military. It has been very good to me over the last 20+ years (5 years NG and 19 on active duty). In fact, I tell people it is the best decision I ever made. It has provided me the opportunity to do and see things I never would have been able to otherwise. Have their been hardships and long deployments? Yes. However, everybody knows that's a possibility going in. I will say that with Iraq complete and Afghanistan winding down, the repeated deployments many of us experienced are no longer going to be the norm.

It is a profession that requires sacrifice. If you're not willing to sacrifice, then it's not for you.

As I offered in another thread, feel free to PM me with any questions. I initially entered the military as a Private and was later commissioned as an officer. I also spent 2+ years in a Recruiting Battalion. I am no recruiting expert and the rules and incentives change all the time so while I'm not up to speed on current recruiting initiatives, I know a thing or two about the process. I did sit on OCS boards so I can give you insight on what to expect, if you go that route.

ArtyGuy
03-19-2012, 06:51
I'm going through the same thought. most recruiter calls for 18-19 years old. now at 27 is it too old? My folks want me to head off to college and after 6 years of it I couldn't do it. Everyday I think of the army .

A college degree is important--- even in the Army. It's required, by law, for officers and I would even argue it's required for NCOs. Promotions for NCOs can be very competitive and a promotion board is going to look at your education level. The Sergeant Major in my unit just sat on a promotion board for Sergeant First Class (E-7). He gave a briefing to the NCOs in our unit to let them know exactly what promotion boards are looking at and he specifically stated that finishing your degree was vital for promotion to the senior NCO ranks.

Here's the good news-- the Army has a tuition assistance program and you'll find an education center on Army posts with colleges represented. You can take college classes in a classroom or take them online--your choice. There are essentially no monetary cost to Soldiers pursuing an Associates or Bachelors degree. I think even books are free when you are in undergraduate studies.

Long story short--- your parents are right. You need a college education.

JBnTX
03-19-2012, 13:43
Im turning 28 this summer and I seriously thinking about joining the Army and trying to take the Officer path. I currently have a good paying career, a wife, one baby and a college degree. I'm in the best shape of my life and that's saying a lot, because I was a high school athlete. I have no misconceptions and dreams of adventure, but I know at some point I will have to make sacrifice. What are your opinions? I want to hear from some of those who have served. Thanks for replying.

This is going to make you mad, but you asked for replies.

During my 20 years in the USAF I was a recruiter for a short time and one thing is certain. The farther a person gets away from the 18-19 year old time frame, the less chance of them joining any branch of the military, unless something is very wrong in their life and they see the military as a way out.

A 28 year old with a good paying career, a wife, a baby and a college degree has no business considering the military, unless there's something you're not telling us, or are not truthful about.

Most if not all of the 28 year olds that walked into my office walked right back out, because they were losers who had ruined their lives with drugs, law violations and massive debt.

They thought they could escape all that by joining the military.

I never had any successful, happy and well adjusted 28 year old walk in and enlist. After all the time that had passed since high school, why would they want to?

We're not in a national emergency or major war where the armed forces desperately need manpower. You're successful in civilian life and should stay there.

CardinS2U
03-19-2012, 13:51
This is going to make you mad, but you asked for replies.

During my 20 years in the USAF I was a recruiter for a short time and one thing is certain. The farther a person gets away from the 18-19 year old time frame, the less chance of them joining any branch of the military, unless something is very wrong in their life and they see the military as a way out.

A 28 year old with a good paying career, a wife, a baby and a college degree has no business considering the military, unless there's something you're not telling us, or are not truthful about.

Most if not all of the 28 year olds that walked into my office walked right back out, because they were losers who had ruined their lives with drugs, law violations and massive debt.

They thought they could escape all that by joining the military.

I never had any successful, happy and well adjusted 28 year old walk in and enlist. After all the time that had passed since high school, why would they want to?

We're not in a national emergency or major war where the armed forces desperately need manpower. You're successful in civilian life and should stay there.

no one is mad at all. Its great to hear all opinion. This varies case to case. when I was 18 my folks want me to head off to college to become a doctor but thats not what I want.

CharlestonG26
03-19-2012, 13:55
This is going to make you mad, but you asked for replies.

During my 20 years in the USAF I was a recruiter for a short time and one thing is certain. The farther a person gets away from the 18-19 year old time frame, the less chance of them joining any branch of the military, unless something is very wrong in their life and they see the military as a way out.

A 28 year old with a good paying career, a wife, a baby and a college degree has no business considering the military, unless there's something you're not telling us, or are not truthful about.

Most if not all of the 28 year olds that walked into my office walked right back out, because they were losers who had ruined their lives with drugs, law violations and massive debt.

They thought they could escape all that by joining the military.

I never had any successful, happy and well adjusted 28 year old walk in and enlist. After all the time that had passed since high school, why would they want to?

We're not in a national emergency or major war where the armed forces desperately need manpower. You're successful in civilian life and should stay there.

+1...This is a very good answer to your question. I might also add that while civilian marriages have no better than a 50/50 chance of success...entry into the military will add considerable stress to a relationship.

PettyOfficer
03-19-2012, 13:56
My wife and I are still in agreement that once EITHER one of us feels we can no longer support my military career 100%, then it's time to get out.

Too bad as an enlisted soldier it's not your choice: with a contract, you can't get out until your time is done, and even then they can keep you longer, within reason (needed skills and your division is deploying soon).

As an officer, once your initial obligation is over, you can resign your commission whenever you want, you don't sign a contract. As well, based on the needs of your service, you can also be held, within reason.

Task_Force
03-20-2012, 06:58
Also, what people need to keep in mind is that the military isn't just active duty. With the Army, there's also the National Guard and Army Reserve and within those components you're going to see a much wider array of individuals with differing civilian and education backgrounds. For my last Iraq deployment, I once cross-leveled to a Army Civil Affairs unit out of California and there was an E-7 with a PhD in education and was one of the top administrators with the Clark County (Las Vegas) School District. On the other hand there were plenty of Majors with just simple bachelors degrees and worked as police officers and state troopers (what many consider to be a blue-collar, albeit respected, profession). I've met an E-4 in another one of my old Reserve units that had a law degree and worked as a govt.-employed attorney.

If you want to go into the military but still want to maintain a healthy civilian-military life balance I would highly suggest the Reserves.

Bren
03-20-2012, 07:07
I've met an E-4 in another one of my old Reserve units that had a law degree and worked as a govt.-employed attorney.


Were you in Kentucky? When I re-enlisted in the reserves I was an E4 government attorney.

I went to Afghanistan in a 36 man detachment (as an E6) and the detachment that relieved us also had an 11B NCO who was an attorney. We also had a couple of engineers, a federal agent, etc.

Task_Force
03-20-2012, 07:13
No. I was in the Reserves in two Civil Affairs units--the 451st CA Bn (Pasadena, TX), and the 425th CA Bn (used to be in Santa Barbara, CA but moved to Encino, CA). I am in the process of re-entering the Reserves.

Bren
03-20-2012, 07:46
No. I was in the Reserves in two Civil Affairs units--the 451st CA Bn (Pasadena, TX), and the 425th CA Bn (used to be in Santa Barbara, CA but moved to Encino, CA). I am in the process of re-entering the Reserves.

Good luck - they are not making it any easier to get in these days.

Task_Force
03-20-2012, 16:43
Good luck - they are not making it any easier to get in these days.

Roger that. However, the Reserves is generally easier to get in as the retirement benefit isn't as good and isn't full-time.

Swiper
03-24-2012, 17:14
Promotions for NCOs can be very competitive and a promotion board is going to look at your education level. The Sergeant Major in my unit just sat on a promotion board for Sergeant First Class (E-7). He gave a briefing to the NCOs in our unit to let them know exactly what promotion boards are looking at and he specifically stated that finishing your degree was vital for promotion to the senior NCO ranks.

I'm working with another Staff Sergeant (E-6) in my office and we were both being looked at during the board.

He has 18 year Time-in-Service and is a former infantryman with CIB, Airborne, Air Assault, Ranger tab, etc. He reclassed to our MOS six years ago due to injury. He is on a DOD special assignment with excellent NCOERs.

I have 13 years Time-in-Service but I have worked in our MOS my whole Army career. I have no gungho-badges and I have not attended any military education courses besides the round-of-the-mill WLC/ALC. I'm on the same DOD special assignment with excellent NCOERs.

I got selected by the board and he wasn't. What made the difference? I have a bachelor degree and is working on my master degree. He has no civilian education, not even an associate degree.

Task_Force
03-25-2012, 06:42
With the constantly rising cost of college and this impending student debt/higher education bubble, society collectively is going to figure something out on how to better signal, credential and to determine ones future potential. It might not happen soon but it will happen eventually. This whole obsession with college degrees in our society is getting just a tad bit out of hand but that's for another thread.

Anyway...

That might be true that college helps for promotion esp. with the military trying to trim the post-Iraq fat, but I will say this...

And I'm saying this as a prior Army Soldier 3 pumps to Iraq.

Most of the smartest, most influential people in my life, let alone the in US military, were Army NCO's who had at best "bit and pieces" of a college education. I saw very little correlation between an NCO's level of professionalism and how much education they had.

NOT saying a college education is a bad thing to have. Just don't go rush to think that you it's this be-all and end-all for success in the military or life in general. It's definitely not.

That's just me, personally.

ArtyGuy
03-25-2012, 10:50
Task Force-

No question, great NCOs are being promoted, even if they don't have college degrees. However, if you want to be competitive, it is "required". We are about to downsize and folks need to set themselves apart. Again, a recent promotion board and its notes said NCOs need to get their degrees. It is what it is. If nothing else, the Army will foot the bill. Why not take advantage of that?

Case in point-- I have a newly promoted SFC that works for me. He is a stud. He talked to his 13F branch manager and was told to get a degree if he wanted to be competitive for MSG. He's obviously several years away from being eligible for the MSG board, but his branch manager already gave him the heads up. Going from SSG to SFC is a big cut but it's an even deeper cut to go from SFC to MSG and even bigger to go from MSG to SGM/CSM.

The one thing common for all of us in the military--- we all leave the military. The facts are clear-- on average, degree holders earn more money. While there are exceptions to that, the odds are not in your favor to earn more if you don't have an education. My branch is field artillery. Not sure what civilian company has that need?

meshmdz
04-24-2012, 08:38
No way. If you saw some of the soldiers in my platoon, 28 is young.

meshmdz
04-24-2012, 08:41
I'm in 1-6 FA in the third brigade of the 1st ID stationed at fort Knox. FA is t transferrable to the civilian sector. But the leadership you earn and learn does.