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Thread: Joining the Army at age 30

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Default Joining the Army at age 30

    Hi everyone, I have a few questions which may actually sound kind of silly. First though a little about myself, I'm 30 years old, about 5'5" and currently I weigh about 220lbs. I'm definitely overweight however I'm still athletic so I'm sure I would slim down so long as I ate properly and continued to exercise. In addition, I have a spotless record, I have never been convicted of a crime. Lastly, I currently not only have a HS Diploma but I also have my Associates Degree in PC Networking and 3 industry certifications from CompTIA (A+, Net+, Server+).

    I'm currently unemployed and finding it very challenging to find work in my area that is commensurate with my work experience and qualifications. Routinely looking for work I see advertisements for IT related jobs with the US Army and in desperation, I have been considering doing some research and testing the waters. I realize it's a completely new lifestyle for many people and I do have some related experiences, one with Boy Scouts (which I enjoyed very much) and I have management experience.

    - Is it silly for me to be considering joining the Army at my age?
    - Does my experience assist me with joining?
    - Is it unrealistic to think if I were to join that I'd be working in IT?
    - What would my chances be in joining?

    I realize I'd probably have to speak with a recruiter to gain further valuable incite but I would love to hear some peoples thoughts and guidance. Thanks and hope to hear a few responses soon!

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  • #2
    The Chopping Block papachop's Avatar
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    May 2010
    Fort Sill, OK


    Can't post much now, on my way to more in-processing, but real quick:

    1. Lots of weight to lose - the most you can weigh at 5'5" and age 28-39 is 163lbs.
    2. Not silly at all.
    3. Experience will not help for enlisting.
    4. If you're willing to wait for a 25 series MOS to pop up.
    5. Impossible to say.
    1LT Papa Chop
    Executive Officer (25A)

    Quote Originally Posted by GEN Dwight D. Eisenhower
    “The one quality that can be developed by studious reflection and practice is the leadership of men.”

  • #3


    With the army you will chose your job from a list of available jobs before you enlist, therefore if you want to work with computers just wait until that job becomes available.

    As for if it's foolish to join at 30, I dont believe so. If it's in your heart, then I don't feel it's foolish at all. I'll be turning 28 in march and we just had a baby in June, but joining the military has been a dream of mine for a while now, so I decided to peruse it while I still could.

    Something that you may want to consider is how soon you will need work. Depending in your job availibility, It could be many months before you would actually leave. I enlisted in July and won't leave for BCT until january. It may be quicker but it seems to me that you should expect 6 or so months from the time you sign up until the time you ship out.

    Good luck to you.

    The louder you scream, the faster we come

  • #4
    Senior Member Angriff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011


    S6. Not unrealistic at all. From what I've seen they get internet running in different buildings, and help you get security access into computers. If you have a problem with your computer you bring it in to them.
    TANKER - That dusty, crusty, grease-covered, dirty, sweaty, bright-eyed, fuzzie-faced,
    haircut-needing, beer-drinking, underrated, over-worked, underpaid,
    oversexed, little shit, who can take a tank and do more battlefield damage in
    ten minutes than a Grunt squad can do all day.

    If you ain't Armor, you ain't shit.

  • #5
    Short Timer CWO Sharkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Regular Army


    Papachop and I are IT gurus and we are old and doing it. I am SRPing right now but lose the weight and go for it in Army Signal.
    Iraq/Afghanistan Veteran (OIF V & OEF X & XIII)
    Former Marine/MP/Combat Engineer

  • #6
    Senior Member Exo1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010


    I think its not unrealistic, but you will have to be VERY committed to the military life, cos just getting to it as a 5"5" 220LB man will be a challenge in itself... however if committed, I can concur with the others and say with consistency of approach in a disciplined fashion, you can gain good intel on how to get fit and diet to get you ready for entry, you will need to be making a go for 25 series MOS, and if committed to saying on the computer systems career track, you will eventually get a shot.... However, if you join on that basis, you will be a soldier first after training... so expect to be doing other stuff then your MOS discipline at times when the army needs Soldiers and not Computer Gurus.. I think you can become more then the sum of your parts if you go into the Army and your service to your nation will be a point of pride for you always.... as it should be!!.. However, I might have taken you up wrong and if you are just desperate for a job, remember that at some point the economy will turn round, and your eventual entry to the Army may turn into a prison sentence for you when you see your peers in the private sector turning out big $$$ again... so carefully consider your next steps bud, cos its your life and no matter how things are, the Army doesn't really want anybody whom doesn't want to be a soldier first!..

    Good luck in your choices, and let us know if you have any follow on questions.....
    Best Regards,
    Tenants of Bushido;

    ‘We should never obsess about if we are going to die, but instead focus on how we live as those whom live an honorable life will always die a glorious death.’

    Rectitude (義): Courage (勇氣): Benevolence (仁): Respect (禮 ): Honesty (誠): Honour (名誉): Loyalty (忠義)

    ...ergo veneratio est vires.

  • #7


    I'm 27 and joining with my B.A. already, so no you're definitely not crazy. I'd go talk to a recruiter...you'll have to be tape tested since you're over the weight limit, the highest allowable bodyfat % you can have is 28%, which you may be close to. Heck...when I went to MEPS I was 20 pounds over my maximum allowable weight, but tape tested at 20% bodyfat whereas the bodyfat max for my age is 26%...definitely go talk to a recruiter man.

  • #8
    Moderator MSG Glenn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010


    Joining the Army at age 30 isn't too bad. I went in when I was 38 but that was after having served 6 years in the Navy making my enlistment age equivalent to 32, the max at that time.
    Proud Dad of a US Army Airborne Ranger SFC
    Retired US Army 1SG/MSG, Airborne Infantry, G-3, Instructor
    Former USN - Submarines, USS Chopper (SS 342) & Navy Diver, UDT 21
    I was a Soldier. I am a Soldier. I will always be a Soldier.

  • #9
    Moderator MPclk2006's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Fort Drum


    I think its silly....if you wait until you are 35 b/c then you will not be qualified to join...join NOW!!!

  • #10
    Senior Member mesummerlin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010


    I went to BCT at age 30 and turned 31 during AIT. It's a little rougher on the body than it would have been had I done it at age 18, but it is what it is, right?

    Also, I went in for similar reasons. I have a BS and was laid off in Nov 2009- I enlisted in Sep 2010.

    You shouldn't have a problem working in IT- and you may get to fasttrack (skip parts of AIT) if required training/certification is something you already have (and can PROVE it.) Just remember- at the end of the day you've got to pass your PT test no matter what field you're in. As others have mentioned- according to Army standards you are very overweight and you need to get started on that NOW if you intend to enlist. You can most likely workout with your local recruiters and other hopeful enlistees if you'd like. I can tell you it won't be enough to lose the weight you need to- it will take dedication on your part of more than just changing your diet (which is essential.) You've got to start running. NOW.

    Best of luck!
    SPC Summerlin (Hopefully SGT soon- if I can ever make points)

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