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Calgunners in Service This forum is a place for our active duty and deployed members to share, request and have a bit of home where ever they are.

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  #1  
Old 08-11-2014, 8:30 AM
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Default anyone join later on in life?

I'm thinking of joining as a reserve. I have my bachelor's degree so I've been told I can go in as an officer. I'm currently 28 and will be 29 years old in September. I've been a full time leo for 7 years and looking to serve my country in addition to my current job.

I'm in very good shape and no health issues. I was just wondering if there is an age cutoff and what branch should I be looking at?

I have no desire to be in a combat unit on the ground. Something more support oriented.

Last edited by ls2monaro; 08-11-2014 at 9:21 AM..
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Old 08-11-2014, 8:37 AM
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I believe the age cut-off for entry into the Armed Services is 35 years. You will need to talk to a recruiter.
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Old 08-11-2014, 8:51 AM
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What's your degree in? If I were in your shoes, I'd choose the Navy or Air Force and take advantage of one of the technical or intel fields so you can have wide application to civilian life.
And you're not too old at all. I had a guy in my unit who was 34 when he joined up.
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Old 08-11-2014, 9:04 AM
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Degree is in business administration with a minor in management. So logistics and management are my strong suit. All the marine and army guys keep mentioning air force too.

I guess I have to sit down and talk with a recruiter and see what my options are. I just like doing my own research so I'm not completely lost going in there.
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Old 08-11-2014, 9:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ls2monaro View Post
I'm thinking of joining as a reserve. I have my bachelor's degree so I've been told I can go in as an officer. I'm currently 28 and will be 29 years old in September. I've been a full time leo for 7 years and looking to serve my country in adittion to my current job.

I'm in very good shape and no health issues. I was just wondering if there is an age cutoff and what branch should I be looking at?

I have no desire to be in a combat unit on the ground. Something more support oriented.
I know quite a few cops, who are in the reserves from my previous unit. You'll quickly learn thst during some UTAs or drill weekends if they conflict you'll have to pick and choose, yes you get orders excusing you from work by law. But somebody isn't going to be happy.

It always seemed like a tug of war game between the National Guard and their agency. Granted some are friendly towards the military, it just seemed like they were juggling two major commitments.

I will add LASD, has a great relationship with the National Guard. Very supportive agency, gotten plenty of training from them.

I'm not trying to discourage you, it's definitely a great opportunity. Just be prepared to deal with it accordingly when it comes along, best way I can describe it is like having two wives.
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Last edited by Tacit Blue; 08-11-2014 at 9:25 AM..
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Old 08-11-2014, 9:26 AM
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My agency is very good for allowing guys to go do military stuff, no drama at all.

Another route might be military police, but I'm not sure I would want to be a cop in the military after doing civilian police work 40+ hours a week. Might need a change of scenery.
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Old 08-11-2014, 9:28 AM
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I would go aviation, they always get called up for wild fire mission in the state/counter drug.

About a week ago, I got a call up notice to help with the wild fires up north. They always use Aviation assets 1st, pretty much count on going when called up.During my drill weekends, I always see them flying around the base and doing cool stuff.

The MP's do garrison or SECFOR around the base, check I.D.'s at the gate and patrol around. Most other units are usually in a classroom watching powerpoints, gear inspections or checking out vehicles from the motorpool to drive for a convoy/ road test.
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Last edited by Tacit Blue; 08-11-2014 at 9:38 AM..
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Old 08-11-2014, 10:28 AM
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http://www.goarmy.com/careers-and-jo...ommission.html

If you want to Commission directly off the street you only have 3 options otherwise you will be a shake and bake Specialist and then have to try to commission after you are already in.
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Old 08-11-2014, 10:35 AM
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http://www.nationalguard.com/aviation-officer
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Old 08-11-2014, 10:45 AM
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Take a look at the CA Air National Guard. They have units in various cities. Only catch is that you need to fill an opening in that unit, so you may not be able to get the specialty you wanted. You can always look around the state though and find something cool.

I'm a retired Marine and spent time in aviation and ground units, and worked with many air guard and reserve units. Let's put it this way - if one of my kids said "I want to join..." ANG is where I would steer them. Good facilities, good training, good benefits. I think it would be a great plan for augmenting an existing career.

Good luck in whatever you choose to pursue.
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  #11  
Old 08-11-2014, 11:44 AM
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Thanks for the info guys. I'll check out all that stuff out when I get a chance.
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Old 08-11-2014, 11:50 AM
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I remember in boot camp, there were two older guys that got beat up on way more than everyone else. Not sure if they were just testing them or what, but will say that there were a couple moments I felt for them.
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Old 08-11-2014, 12:09 PM
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You can also talk to the ROTC guys, they have a better understanding of the officer entry requirements then the recruiters.
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Old 08-11-2014, 2:28 PM
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With a degree, you'd be a fool not to go officer. We had a guy in our unit that joined enlisted with a bachelors in hand. From the CO down, openly called him an idiot. He did four years and left. He also had a better than thou attitude daily and made very few friends. He did earn meritorious CPL and Sgt. before he got out because he was very smart. But nobody respected him at all.
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Old 08-11-2014, 5:10 PM
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The age requirements for service are higher now. I "think" the AF is at 39 for non officer 35 for officer and Army is 35.

Quick google.

http://www.armyenlist.com/reserve/requirements/
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Old 08-11-2014, 6:11 PM
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I enlisted in the National Guard at 24 and commissioned at 27. I was non-prior service and had a BA at the time of enlistment. Basic won't be hard for you but you will be older than your peers. You will probably be the same age as your drill sergeants. You'll be singled out for leadership positions due to your age.

OCS will be a little more challenging if you go straight in but it's absolutely an achievable goal.

Last edited by MRX9989; 08-11-2014 at 6:57 PM..
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Old 08-11-2014, 6:17 PM
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With a degree and at your age you'd be a fool not to go the Officer route. I was 28 years old at Basic. You will be surrounded by kids straight out of high school first time being away from their family. Be prepared for the retardedness that ensues
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Old 08-11-2014, 6:42 PM
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I was 28 when I entered Navy boot camp. I didn't get beat on more than anyone else. Then again, I look almost 6 to 8 years younger than I really am. It helps when I have to play the dumb kid card once in a while. Actually, being older in the military has its advantages when dealing with your chain of command. It's only terrible when you've been a civilian most of your life, you're still getting paid E4 or less, and your liberty is restricted with all of the other kids. Life gets better when you're an E5 or higher. Think life in the Reserves will be alright, though.
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Old 08-11-2014, 8:40 PM
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For OCS in the Army you may run into an age issue:

Between 19 and 28 years old (you must not reach your 29th birthday before you are scheduled to begin training)

From http://www.goarmy.com/careers-and-jo...te-school.html

Not sure if this is waive-able, non-official websites say you can get waiver for age.
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Old 08-11-2014, 9:09 PM
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Your age won't be a problem specially since you're in good shape. You should definitely go officer and take advantage of your degree. I'm not too familiar with the other services' officer programs but I'm quite sure there are several designators in the Navy that you can easily qualify for.
I joined the Navy at age 31 fourteen years ago as an E3. I also had my degree prior to joining but I wasn't a US citizen back then so I had no choice but to go enlisted. Being older was not a setback. In fact, my maturity made a big difference. I made E7 in 6.5 years and earned my commission in 7.5

So, whichever service you decide on, go officer. Good luck!
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Old 08-12-2014, 1:26 PM
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First every college diploma does not guarantee a commission. If anyone read, Blackhawk Down", the reason Grimes knew how to type he was a college grad but the Army, Army Reserve and Army Guard did not have a 2LT spot for him. You still have to get a "120" on the entrance exam.

In the military everyone needs to be a warrior. Your convoy gets in an ambush you can not tap out and say, "I am the Supply Officer"! The other day a Major General was killed. If a General officer is in danger so is every Lieutenant and Private. JMHO
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Old 08-12-2014, 2:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Che762x39 View Post
First every college diploma does not guarantee a commission. If anyone read, Blackhawk Down", the reason Grimes knew how to type he was a college grad but the Army, Army Reserve and Army Guard did not have a 2LT spot for him. You still have to get a "120" on the entrance exam.

In the military everyone needs to be a warrior. Your convoy gets in an ambush you can not tap out and say, "I am the Supply Officer"! The other day a Major General was killed. If a General officer is in danger so is every Lieutenant and Private. JMHO
I'm well aware of the warrior mentality. I've been there physically and psychologically when I've had to fight for my life plenty of times at my current job. I'm a big fan of Dave Grossman and have read all his books many times and I go see him talk whenever he's in town.

I'm not a Starbucks barista looking for a paycheck, I'm ready to be #1 through the door without even asking. Thanks for saying that though because I understand exactly where you are coming from.
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Old 08-12-2014, 2:47 PM
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My flight in basic consisted of 4 people in their early 40s and most of us were in our 20-30s. The air national guard takes up to 42 I believe.
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Old 08-12-2014, 2:51 PM
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Also the reserves/guard is part time and most of the enlisted have a bachelors degree but choose not to go O. It's not active duty so it's not as big a deal as if you were active. Find a mission or Job you like and go with what's available. Remember it's only 2x a month (exceptions being TDY/Deployment) so just pic something you'll enjoy
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Old 08-12-2014, 5:00 PM
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The oldest guy in my Basic Training was 29. He seemed like an old guy at the time, but he did not have a problem.

As far as college degrees, we had plenty in my MOS. The guys with a four year degrees went in as E-3's. My position had previously been filled by officers, and had recently been opened to enlisted that qualified.

See what MOS's are available in a reserve capacity and go from there. I would have stayed active reserve after leaving AD, but my MOS was not available in a reserve capacity.

Good luck...
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Old 08-13-2014, 4:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ls2monaro View Post
I'm well aware of the warrior mentality. I've been there physically and psychologically when I've had to fight for my life plenty of times at my current job. I'm a big fan of Dave Grossman and have read all his books many times and I go see him talk whenever he's in town.

I'm not a Starbucks barista looking for a paycheck, I'm ready to be #1 through the door without even asking. Thanks for saying that though because I understand exactly where you are coming from.
Roger that. After being a lawman for 30 years I see where you are at.
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Old 08-13-2014, 10:33 PM
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Im no one to give advice but I joined around the same age also with a bachelors. I enlisted in the infantry and did the airborne thing because I just wanted to do something that wouldn't relate to my future career, really wanted to do taboo stuff like shoot machine guns and rockets into some terrorist compound and I thought the war on terror was my generation's war. Later I did some time in the guard and it was okay. If I were going to join reserves/guard, things like UAV operator/pilot (whatever its called) or whatever air guard mos becomes a loadmaster would be cool jobs. In jobs like that you will get to either do something unique or have a realistic opportunity to travel or supply others in a direct way. I also know that when I jumped out of a c130 or c17, the loadmaster got to stay on, so thats a plus for them.
As far as joining when you're older, it will be easy for you. You'll make a great impact on the younger people in your training because you know how to bring people together. But in the guard or reserve, you might be an odd man out. I can only speak for my own experience and the statistics presented to us while I was in, but there is a significant part of the guard that was unemployed, underemployed and a lot of those that had jobs didn't have good ones. Now think of yourself in a unit where you are directly supporting infantry such as medic and consider that a lot of infantry companies do 3 or 4 day drills for about half their drills. I don't know about you, but my weekends don't start on Thursday and no matter what the laws are, if your boss doesnt like it, then it will hurt your career. Also, look into the future, the government is going to go on the cheap with their Army and its likely that the guard/reserve will just be asked to train more or have longer annual trainings. So now you have to explain to your boss, at your good career oriented job, that you need a whole week off or whatever and you have no choice. Of course, since there are so many unemployed guys, the leadership will spin it as a positive thing. I would guess that for 90 percent of the unit I was in, annual training was their biggest payday of the year and drill money was much more than they make in a normal 2 days at work.
I would say that if you consider being a police officer service to your country, then just do that. Maybe you can get some medic training on your off time and be some sort of call out medic for tactical situations. If you just want to know what the military is like, do something you can't do in real life but realize the limitations of reserve duty (like no matter how much you train moving in an urban environment and getting in a stack ready to enter and clear a building, reserves would be low on the list for that sort of mission) and pick a job where you'll actually do your military job. Last, and not to be political, but what potential wars are out there that you would actually want to fight? Do you want to go "help" Afghans after combat operations are "complete" and be in a war zone when killing the enemy isn't a priority?
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