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View Full Version : Am I too old for the Marine Corps? (beware...long post)



Regulatori
12-15-05, 11:35 PM
I'm not quite sure if this is the correct forum for this question so I ask the moderators to please move this if you feel it belongs somewhere else.

Ever since I was 15 years old I considered joining the Marine Corps but decided otherwise mainly due to pressure from my parents. After high school I thought about it again but decided to try the 9-5 M-F desk job. After three years I became increasingly bored and decided to enroll in college to pursue pyschology with the intent on becoming a psychiatrist. Now I'm on my third year and just completely tired/bored of it.....and I realize there is no way I can do this for another five plus years (you have to go to med school if you want to do psychiatry). So now I feel that I'm back at square one again...and seriously considering the Marine Corps once again (and this is by far the closest I've come to joining).

Now that I'm 26 I feel that I might be too old to join the Marine Corps. Yes, I have a two year degree right now which could give me more opportunities regarding where I want to go in the corps but that really doesn't matter since I'll be signing up for infantry anyway.

So I have a few questions....

-If I join at age 26/27, will I be considered an "old fart?"
-Will I get treated differently because of my age? (more responsiblities, looked down upon....etc.)
-What is the maximum age for someone in the infantry? (at what point do they say, "We need to find you a different position...you're too old for this.")
-Is it common for people my age to join?

I have absolutely no objections to taking orders from someone younger than me so that will never be an issue. If I decide to sign, I would like to go to basic training in the next six months. I'm already in great shape but that will give me even more time to prepare and get in even better shape.

I know that all of these questions could be asked to Marine recruiters but I'm looking more for candid replies and I figured the replies here wouldn't be sugarcoated.

Sorry for such a long post and I really appreciate any help/answers. Thanks

CAR
12-15-05, 11:56 PM
Is it common for people to join the enlisted ranks at your age?
Not very common but it does happen. Obviously the bulk going in enlisted ranks are between 18-20 years of age. You can join and you will be the "old fart".

Does your age give you an advantage? detrement?
Actually it does both. This however really depends on you. If you have your crap together, the younger marines will look to you for advice or help. If your a sh*tbird, then you will have the added burden of being the old sh*tbird and the young Marines will avoid you like the plaque. Now, you say that you can take orders from someone younger, we'll see! The DI's are not going to be much older than you and soe may be younger. They will key in on your age and test you. But like I said, if you have your stuff together, you will be given more responsiblility and eventually your maturity may help you promote faster.

As for being a grunt, As Long as you can still hump and carry your gear, grab a rifle and fall into formation.

Question for you.... Have you looked into Officer Candidate School? Being as close to a degree as you are yu may be a good candidate for OCS. Many OCS candidates are fresh out of college, around 23-25 YOA.

Regulatori
12-16-05, 12:34 AM
Everyone has always told me that I'm mature for my age. My partying/sh*tbird days are well behind me (now I am starting to sound like an old fart) and I have no reason to believe I'll ever fall back into that.

I haven't looked into Officer Candidate School mainly because I never considered being an officer. I'm also completely burned out with schooling and trying my best not to spend 3-4 hours a day sitting behind a desk.

Tallboot
12-16-05, 07:58 AM
i have friends around that age ... and im 17, your not old, your not to old for the Corps either ( even tho the drill instructor will drill on you about this), i think the maximum age is 38? somwhere up there. If you still want to be a Grunt as you said it has proabably the hardest training. Pt doesnt stop at bootcamp and you have to go to Ifantry School carrying 80 pound equipment walking 22 miles while everyone else is in there humvee's ( Sgt Jeremy told me about it) but thats just Infantry


As CAR said OCS is a good chioce also since you have some futher education
here is a link of what you can expect in it.

http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/class186/videos.php

lovdog
12-16-05, 01:34 PM
My son was almost 25 when he joined the Air Force. Most of his class during boot camp were alot younger but it didn't seem to make much of a difference as he told me. The other recruits will most likely look up to you for guidance along the way - some are straight from "mom's house" and have some trouble at times being on their own. Rightly so, being older they just naturally figure that you are more "worldly" and will know what to do, when to do it and how to do it!! I was 19 when I went in, most guys were 17 or 18 though, so I guess to them I was an "old man" at the time. At boot camp (1967), only 2 of our whole platoon was assigned to the Air Wing - I wasn't even aware that the Marines had an Air Wing. The DI thought that I had political connections in Washington!! Even in training I was singled out periodically to run the rest of the recruits thru some courses after I had finished my ordeal. I loved the M3 Rocket Launcher - had 3 straight hits at 300 yards in a row. Well, the DI (or Troop Handler) had me run about 20 guys through at 3 rounds each while he sat under a shade tree. After that I thought my head was going to explode!! The concussion was terrible! Some favor, huh? As for 27 being too old, no way Jose! If this is what you want and your serious about joining the Marines, then - as Nike says: "Just Do It". The Marines are always looking for a "few" good men anyway, and to belong to the group, you have to pay the price that we all did.
You know, of the sons & daughters of our Congressmen (535 members I believe) there are only 6 that are serving in the military!! Shows you how concerned the "elite" of Washington care about their military participation.
Thats okay, who needs them anyway - I think as far back as the Civil War, if you wanted to buy out of going to war you could and deferments were common during most of the wars we fought. Like they say "its a dirty job, but someone has to do it"! The only reason that we are a free democracy is that there were people that were willing to put their lives on the line to protect all of the freedoms that "all" of us american's today enjoy and most take for granted. Being free is no guarantee that we will stay that way if there ceases to be a military involvement. Think that China, Russia or just about any country on this planet would not like to have the "USA" added to their Christmas List?? What keeps them from taking us over? Think that it can't happen? Thats why the Marines are tough on their own - they know the price of freedom comes at a cost - the better that you are prepared, the better our chance of survival. The Marines, along with the other military units, make up the best fighting force in the world. Whether we continue to be #1 depends on hopefully, people like yourself that are willing to "put it on the line". The question you asked is easy, what your heart and mind tell you is the answer that you've been looking for-time for some "soul searching". I wish you well.

lprkn
12-16-05, 09:01 PM
From my limited experience, I would say that your age is an advantage, as long as you're a good Marine. Being a sh*tbird is bad, but being an old sh*tbird is worse.

In my opinion the older Marines start to shine when they get to their unit. Boot Camp, MCT, and MOS school are training environments and almost evryone is treated the same, like a retard. It may actually be harder for you to take that sort of treatment, because you're used to being your own man. (I know it was for me, I was 21 when I joined)

As long as you're motivated and don't lose sight of the big picture, you'll go far in the Corps. Age will not be factor, except when your knees explode!

micah24
12-17-05, 10:21 AM
There were a few 28 year olds in my platoon, and there was a 31 year old in another platoon I believe (I think he was prior service though). Basically, you'll hear a lot of grand 'ol man of the Marine Corps jokes, but as long as you're still in as good shape as the younger guys, noone will really care.

JoeSzynal
12-18-05, 06:25 PM
Reg, I shipped to boot March of this year. I'll be 29 in two months, right before Iraq March 1st.

-If I join at age 26/27, will I be considered an "old fart?"
Ya but who cares.

-Will I get treated differently because of my age? (more responsiblities, looked down upon....etc.)
Not in boot camp but definately in the fleet if you show leadership and maturity; you'll find things happen faster for you than your younger peers. That's got more to do with the actuall leadership and maturity traits (that usually come more naturally to people our age) than it does with somebody's age.

-What is the maximum age for someone in the infantry? (at what point do they say, "We need to find you a different position...you're too old for this.")
It's not really subjective like that. For you, if you want infantry, you've got to enlist on or before your 29th birthday. Prior service enlistees can get waivers if they're older etc.

-Is it common for people my age to join? No. But again, who cares.

Hope that helps.
Best. Joe.

*********************
Neocon Gone Marine (http://neocongonemarine.blogspot.com)

awb5711
01-11-06, 11:56 AM
I joined at 23 and being older is definitley an advantage. Besides boot and schools once you hit the fleet you will get a lot more respect and responsibility put on you. Your SNCO's will look to you a lot and you will have an opportunity to advance quicker because of your maturity.

LDO Capt
01-11-06, 12:44 PM
Too old???...not unless you think you are. I have had a few Junior ranking Marines that were older work for me. For the most part I enjoyed having them, only on one occasion did I ever run into any problems, and that was when the 26 year old L/Cpl thought that he didn't need to listen to my 20 year old Sergeant. That problem was quickly solved in good Marine Corps fashion, and he turned out to be a great asset to the Command.

Good luck with your decision.

gwladgarwr
01-11-06, 03:37 PM
I went to OCS at age 30. Yes, I got some flack, but still managed a 300 PFT. I got broke so I had to go home.

I went back at age 32 (I won't go into detail but I didn't get my commission.)

I then went enlisted and turned 33 on Parris Island. I was the oldest recruit in the battalion, and I sure did get a lot of grief for it. All my fellow recruits were between 17 and 24. I was the oldest, and there was a 31-year old in my platoon, as well as a 27-year old. The "kids" were really mean to me about the age thing, saying things like "You couldn't hack it in the civilian world so you had to finally turn to the military" and "You ought to be ashamed of going to boot camp at your age - this is a young man's game". That's OK - I had plenty going for me in the civilian world and a nice little college degree, so no, I didn't need the Marine Corps for the bennies. It didn't hurt that I don't look my age (37.75 years old now.)

The 27-year old and I scored number 3 and number 1 in the final company PFT. Yours truly got the battalion high PFT. Not bad for an old man, eh? Another 27-year old in another platoon got the 2nd highest PFT score. And yes, I was older than even my Series GySgt and my company commander, as well as all the DI's in all the platoons. I have to admit, it did bother me a little at first, but I never let it show. After a week or so, I was too tired to care. Besides, they knew that they didn't have to worry too much about me since I wasn't as likely to goof off. Heck, I was doing my taxes at boot camp; I had my friends send me my W-2's and forms sent to me, and I did my taxes after taps.

So, it depends on your outlook on the age thing. I still get flack for it; you don't see very many 38 year old Corporals unless you hang out around the brig. Just remember that everyone superior in rank to you got there because they earned it (most of the time, anyway.) They deserve the respect and deference that their rank entitles them. Age is just a number; performance and maturity is what makes the rank, not your biological number.:marine:

AH-1
01-11-06, 11:05 PM
Check into the Airwing.

vicbx2006
08-22-06, 03:35 AM
I went to OCS at age 30. Yes, I got some flack, but still managed a 300 PFT. I got broke so I had to go home.

I went back at age 32 (I won't go into detail but I didn't get my commission.)

I then went enlisted and turned 33 on Parris Island. I was the oldest recruit in the battalion, and I sure did get a lot of grief for it. All my fellow recruits were between 17 and 24. I was the oldest, and there was a 31-year old in my platoon, as well as a 27-year old. The "kids" were really mean to me about the age thing, saying things like "You couldn't hack it in the civilian world so you had to finally turn to the military" and "You ought to be ashamed of going to boot camp at your age - this is a young man's game". That's OK - I had plenty going for me in the civilian world and a nice little college degree, so no, I didn't need the Marine Corps for the bennies. It didn't hurt that I don't look my age (37.75 years old now.)

The 27-year old and I scored number 3 and number 1 in the final company PFT. Yours truly got the battalion high PFT. Not bad for an old man, eh? Another 27-year old in another platoon got the 2nd highest PFT score. And yes, I was older than even my Series GySgt and my company commander, as well as all the DI's in all the platoons. I have to admit, it did bother me a little at first, but I never let it show. After a week or so, I was too tired to care. Besides, they knew that they didn't have to worry too much about me since I wasn't as likely to goof off. Heck, I was doing my taxes at boot camp; I had my friends send me my W-2's and forms sent to me, and I did my taxes after taps.

So, it depends on your outlook on the age thing. I still get flack for it; you don't see very many 38 year old Corporals unless you hang out around the brig. Just remember that everyone superior in rank to you got there because they earned it (most of the time, anyway.) They deserve the respect and deference that their rank entitles them. Age is just a number; performance and maturity is what makes the rank, not your biological number.:marine:

Thank you for answering my question. I'm 31 myself. I was in a Jr. ROTC type cadet program in HS and expected to make a career out of the Marine Corps. Life, it seems, had other plans for me. A failed marriage and two kids later, I find myself with a decent city job, but longing to be a part of the brotherhood of Marines.

Until I read your post I assumed that was not an option for me anymore. I am enthused and excited about the possibilities for my future.

Thank you,

Vic

Marusak
08-22-06, 06:02 AM
I'm only 23 but I was wondering what it would be like enlisting at 23. Thanks for answering it for me too!

OldMarineMom
08-22-06, 11:10 PM
My son was 29 years old going through boot camp, and he's still going strong now at the age of 35. :thumbup:

vicbx2006
08-22-06, 11:22 PM
Saw my local recruiter today. Took the aptitude test. I go back tomorrow. So far so good.

iamcloudlander
08-23-06, 03:12 AM
My question is this--it seems as if you really don't know what you want to do with your life. I don't think that had you really wanted to go military you would not have gave in to your parents, if 9-5 m-f bored you and school is driving you to tears and you can't take any more of it. What are you going to do if you do join the military and it as soon as the new is worn off you want to quit it also?
I know quite a few men in your age bracket that joined the military during afganistan and Iraq and they loved it did their time and came home. To them it was a great experience and they did not let their age bother them in any form. Just be sure that this is what YOU really want before signing the dotted line, for once you sign there is no turning back. Whatever you decide to do I wish you God speed and the best of luck.

vicbx2006
08-24-06, 12:27 AM
My question is this--it seems as if you really don't know what you want to do with your life. I don't think that had you really wanted to go military you would not have gave in to your parents, if 9-5 m-f bored you and school is driving you to tears and you can't take any more of it. What are you going to do if you do join the military and it as soon as the new is worn off you want to quit it also?
I know quite a few men in your age bracket that joined the military during afganistan and Iraq and they loved it did their time and came home. To them it was a great experience and they did not let their age bother them in any form. Just be sure that this is what YOU really want before signing the dotted line, for once you sign there is no turning back. Whatever you decide to do I wish you God speed and the best of luck.

Thank you for your words. I appreciate hearing the other side of the coin, but the fact is this is something I've wanted to do since I was a kid and the desire has not ebbed one iota.

I'm not a high school senior wondering what to do with my life, nor am I someone who got caught up in the post 9/11 patriotic furvor. I want to make a career out of the Marine Corps. I always have, and since I didn't follow that desire, I have not found contentment in civilian life. I have given this much thought and I am going full steam ahead.

Thanks again for voicing what I'm sure is on many people's minds and what I'm no doubt going to hear from here on in.

God speed to you as well,
Vic

OldMarineMom
08-24-06, 08:00 PM
Vic,

I can honestly tell you that it came as a total surprise to me when my son came and told me that he had enlisted in the Marines, especially at the age of 29. I had never seen him show an interest in the military before, so I was even more puzzled. But I guess he came to a point in his life that he felt he was missing something, so he made the choice to enlist, and he hasn't regretted one day since doing so.

I'm very proud of my son, and as a third generation Marine, I know his uncle is also, and I know that his grandfather is looking down on him and watching over him.

TheBandit
08-26-06, 10:47 PM
Just to let all the old guys know that they are not alone. I am 26 now and I leave for boot 20060911. (There is an omen if I ever saw one.) I will be turning 27 while in San Diego. I know it will be weird at first and I will catch alot of crap for my age but this old boy will not be stopped from becoming a MARINE.

Echo_Four_Bravo
08-27-06, 02:35 PM
Yes, you will catch hell for being the "old man" in boot camp. But that shouldn't be an issue. If you were 20, they would find something else to give you grief about. It is what boot camp is all about. At least you know what the first thing they will find to pick on you about is.

Regulatori
08-27-06, 02:47 PM
Just wanted to let everyone know that I did end up joining. I'm current at Infantry Training Battalion and should pick up with a unit next month. My age was never an issue except for the occasional Drill Instructor using it as a tool to screw with me.....just don't let the DI's know it bothers you and they'll move onto something else. I know a lot of guys that are 25-28 here....and even a 31 year old.

JWG
08-27-06, 05:01 PM
Just wanted to let everyone know that I did end up joining. I'm current at Infantry Training Battalion and should pick up with a unit next month. My age was never an issue except for the occasional Drill Instructor using it as a tool to screw with me.....just don't let the DI's know it bothers you and they'll move onto something else. I know a lot of guys that are 25-28 here....and even a 31 year old.

Good to hear, Marine!

Don't forget to change your status to 'Marine' and put that new stripe on your collar. :beer:


MOTIVATED,

-Jon :iwo:

vicbx2006
08-28-06, 04:43 PM
I had a lot of paperwork to work on. Not only am I old, but I have 2 tattoos (martial arts related) and had to square away my child support payments. Everything looks good and I should be shipping out 20060911 as well. Yeah, I thought that was interesting too.
Can't wait. Thanks everyone for the advice.
I'll try to post again before I ship.

Vic