Army Guard Boosts Enlistment Age Limit

Army Guard Boosts Enlistment Age Limit

The Army National Guard and Army Reserve have raised the age limit for recruits from 34 to 39, Defense Department officials said last month.

The move will add 22.6 million people to those who could potentially enlist in the reserve components.

No other reserve component is contemplating such a move, officials said, and raising the age limit on active-duty soldiers would require a change in law.

The idea came from the Army Reserve’s translator aide program. That program admits Arab linguists to the service up to age 41.

The new program will run for three years, the officials said.

The Army Guard and Reserve need people. The Army Reserve had recruited 6,230 soldiers through the end of February. This is 89.7 percent of the year-to-date mission.

The Army Guard is at 76 percent of its year-to-date goal, having recruited 16,835 soldiers. The Guard started the year with a 5,000-soldier deficit.

The age 34 limit goes back to at least 1968, but older citizens have been allowed to enlist in the past. Renowned author Dashiell Hammett, bom in 1894, served nearly a half-century later during World War II as an Army private in the Aleutian Islands.

Copyright National Guard Association of the United States Apr 2005

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