Advice on entering the service "late" [Archive] - Glock Talk


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01-24-2005, 21:42
My apologies for intruding upon your forum un-announced and un-qualified, and my thanks for your service to our great nation. I am hoping that you can provide me some advice and guidance from the unique point of view that only people with your experiences can.

Long story short, I am 29 years old, will be 30 in April. I am considering seriously entering the armed forces. It is something that I have considered on and off for my entire life. I am most interested in intelligence/counter-intelligence, investigative services (i.e. non-civilian CID/NCIS, etc.), military police, and (way long shot, something I thought of when I was younger and more reckless), combat arms. But- I don't know what branch I should be looking at, given my advanced age.

I have a strong desire to serve my country, make a difference, and help others. Having worked in corporate America for about six years now (I have a BA, and work computers and law at a law firm in NYC), I feel I'm not "making a difference".

I think that the Guard and Reserve are out, based on the fact that (a) my current employer is not military friendly and deployments these days are not exactly "set" and (b) I'm married to a great, supportive gal that I don't want to leave in the lurch in that way (I'd rather be active duty and know that she's at least getting my pay/benefits to take care of her while I'm away).

I am hoping that I can get some guidance on what branch I should even be looking at; I'm pretty sure I should be looking at OCS/OTS, but I keep seeing conflicting info on the various branches' websites and have heard some strange things from recruiters.

I thank you all for your time in advance, and wish you well. Keep the faith, and stay safe.



01-24-2005, 22:07
Do some research on the jobs you want. If you want MP, accept nothing less. It will take time. You will need an age waiver but that should be no big deal. The reciuter is not your friend and will attempt to put you where he needs you to go.

good luck

01-24-2005, 22:35
join the AF.. (my opinion is biased)

go to

01-25-2005, 13:58
There was a guy in my platoon at Parris Island who got an age waiver and enlisted at 32...he was older than three of our four Drill Instructors. He once told me that he had always been curious about the military, but never got on it until he gave himself the "now or never" speech one night. He did one 4 year enlistment in logistics (load plans for trucks and gator freighters) and got out, his life complete.

It can be done, just pick what you want and don't sign until you get it.

01-25-2005, 19:23
As a 28 year old infantry officer I'd say you can go for whatever branch you chose. Most of the guys in my IOBC class are between the ages of 25 and 32 with one guy who's 40. I wouldn't write off guard/reserve so quickly. When you are activated/deployed your wife and children get pretty much the same benefits of active duty soldiers ie. SGLI, BAH, seperation pay, tricare, etc.

I have no problem in combat arms although I'm a little slower running than some of the younger guys. If you can carry a ruck you'll be fine. Try to run at least 3 days a week if you aren't already. Another thing to consider is MP's can function in a manner very similar to infantry and can be very phisically demanding when deployed or in the field. They aren't always in riding in patrol cars in garrison. If you decide to go Military Intelligence it is very likely you will be branch detailed because of the lack of 2LT positions for MI officers. If you are branch detailed you will spend up to 3 years in another branch such as Infantry, Armor, Engineer etc. until they send you to your transition course and place you in an MI position.

01-25-2005, 21:58
I spent 8 years active duty Marine Corps and then spent 8 years as a civilian. At the age of 34 I reenlisted into the guard last year. I missed the atmosphere and the trust you have in the guys around you. Its a world apart from most corporate jobs.

Now I have the great normal job and pay and get to spend some time with the guys. If I were to deploy, my wife and kids would still get my pay and benefits just like any active duty guy. The job will still be there(by Law). And I will probably deploy later this year so it is a serious consideration.

I am also a poli-sci student at the University of North Texas.

I was in Communications in the Marines, enlisted for 27E (electronis repair) in the guard last year and am now thinking about reclassifying to combat arms(19D). I would have done Intel this time around but the closest guard unit is 4 hours away.

Do what makes you happy. Pick an MOS that sounds like something you want to do. Talk to others about it. With the degree you should look at OCS, but not everyone wants to be an officer. Some guys just want to blow stuff up. If a recruiter tells you that you can't do something, talk to another recruiter in a nearby city or another branch of service. Tell the recruiter you are going to talk to someone else if they can't get what you want. Remember until you sign, you can tell them to kiss you rear and walk away if they are pushing BS at you.

Sam White
01-27-2005, 01:01
I joined at 28 for similar reasons to yours. I ended up joining the Army Reserve because it was the branch that would grant me the medical waiver I needed to enter the military but would recommend it based on what I've seen so far. If you're deployed, you'll be away from the mrs. the same length of time and have the same benefits as if you were Regular Army. The day to day life at home/not deployed is the difference, IMO. In my case, I like my unit's relaxed but professional attitude. There are people who want to eat, sleep, and breath the Army- you may be one.

The Air Force and Marines are both out for you unless you can get an age waiver. The Air Guard or Reserve are doable up to age 35 without a waiver. You can get in the Army or Navy without an age waiver right now. Keep in mind that the Air Force and Navy are cutting troop levels right now, while the Army and Marines are growing, so that may affect your chances of recruiters returning your phone calls.

The Army really needs people, especially officers, right now. Your chances of being an officer in the field of your choice are probably the greatest in the Army and least in the Air Force or Navy (depends on your education/experience). If you join the Army Reserve or National Guard the age limits for OCS are a little higher and you have more options on how you do it.

Guess it looks like I'm pushing the Army... I hoped I helped you see some options though. I joined late in life and have no regrets- my only advice based on my experience is to make sure you know what you want to do before you go to the recruiter's office and talk to your wife. Good luck and good for you on joining late!:cool:

01-27-2005, 21:30
Join the Navy. 3 hot meals a day. A bunk with a blanket at night. Hot showers nightly (most of the time). No foxholes, no mre's, no sleeping out in the weather. (unless you volunteer for the SEAL's or such). Also get paid for taking cruises to exotic places. The Navy was the easiest job I ever had. I retired from the Navy in 2002. I still dream about it.

01-29-2005, 10:59
Originally posted by aomagrat
Join the Navy. 3 hot meals a day. A bunk with a blanket at night. Hot showers nightly (most of the time). No foxholes, no mre's, no sleeping out in the weather. (unless you volunteer for the SEAL's or such).

Don't you guys do anything for fun?


01-29-2005, 21:40
From my experience those that enter when they are older do much better than those of us that entered @ 18. Why? They are mature, focused, and handle responsibility better, resulting in quicker promotions. The $ aren't great, but that is a decision you have to make.

Decide what you want to do and see what service best suits you. That is what I did and chose the Army. I wanted to do law enforcement and have fun doing the grunt type of stuff too. The choice was easy for me, only the Army offered and still is the only service where the MP has a specific combat mission that takes them in up front. MP are not infantry, but parts of their combat mission is to conduct infantry types of missions. The infantry is the infantry, anything else is an immatation. I have the highest respect for infantrymen, afterall, every single member of the armed forces mission is to conduct support operations so the infantryman can look our enemy in the eye and kill him. That is as basic as it gets.

There is no best service, they all are great. Each service has a specific mission and reason for their existance. All have their good and bad points. If someone tells you all great stuff about their service and downs the others, they don't know what they are talking about and are blowing smoke up your ass. I can't tell you about being a Marine, a Sailor, or an Airman, but I can tell you about my experiences of being an Army MP for 24 years, nothing more.

Good luck in your decision.

01-31-2005, 08:22
Originally posted by nothing
Don't you guys do anything for fun?


...That's the first thing I thought, too!

Thanks to everyone who's taken the time to reply to me. Today or tomorrow I will be getting in touch with an Army recruiter and, based on what I've seen here, what I've researched over the past week or so (and thought about over the years), I will be seeking a Reserve slot, as one of the following. I need to find out more about what the length of service committments are like but it seems going in as an officer has more benefits than it does drawbacks- so in order of preference:

Intelligence Officer
Military Police Officer
Intel or Counter-Intel Analyst
Criminal Investigative Agent
Military Police

Thanks again to everyone who took the time to reply. I'll keep you posted! ;Y

01-31-2005, 08:56
Just so you know, all your choices are among the most highly deployable.

02-01-2005, 19:13
there are no finer men anywhere on the planet. I did back-to-back combat tours Op. Just Cause 89-90 and Op. Desert Shield/Storm 90-91. I was a double Combat Infantryman before I was old enough to buy a beer. Your age is not as much of an issue as your conditioning. All other MOS's give respect to GRUNTS because we do what noone else will do. Grab your bag and take the leap to 11B you won't regret it.;f

02-02-2005, 08:35
Join the Army and go Airborne Infantry!!! Then volunteer for RIP when you are in jump school. If you pass RIP then you get assigned to a Ranger Bat. Once in Bat go to Ranger School. Once you get your tab go SF.

Now that will look good on a resume.

Hmmm kind of sounds like my DD214

02-02-2005, 20:25

..and which "Bat" were you in..?

Sua Sponte


02-03-2005, 07:15
Originally posted by jay.shebuski

..and which "Bat" were you in..?

Sua Sponte


3rd Bat

02-03-2005, 08:40
Originally posted by nothing
Don't you guys do anything for fun?


We tear up the bars whenever we are in port. ;c

02-03-2005, 13:11
..PM sent