The Age Limit for Enlisting in the Various Branches of the Military
Enlisting in the military is not just a matter of being too old or just old enough to join. There is more to it than this simple calculation. According to law, the legal to join the military is 17 years with the consent of the parents and 18 years of age without consent from them. The maximum age for enlisting is 35 years of age, after which, you cannot enlist. However, there is the DOD policy to be considered too. This permits individual service to identify the maximum enlistment age on the basis of their unique needs. The different services in the military have set the age limit for enlistment to non-prior service.
Non prior service active duty
- Army – 35 years. The candidate should be sent for basic training before the 35th birth date. The Army had tried limiting the age to 42 years for a short time; however, it was reverted back to the lesser age limit of 35 as of April 1st, 2011.
- Air Force – 27 years
- Navy – 34 years
- Marines – 28 years
- Coast guard – 27 years. Those who are selected for A- school immediately after enlistment can enlist up to the age of 32.
Non prior service reserve
- Army reserves – 35 years. Must be sent for basic training before the 35th date of birthe.
- Army National Guard – 35 years. This age limit was altered from 42 years in the year 2009.
- Air Force Reserve – 34 years
- Air National Guard – 40 years. This was altered from 34 years in August, 2009.
- Marine Corps Reserve – 29 years
- Coast Guard Reserve – 29 years
Waivers for age in the Army
It is very rare for the Army to waive age for enlisting in non-prior service. The limited numbers which were waived were the candidates who had begun the enlistment procedure within the needed age limit, but were not able to finish the course and sent for basic training before their date of birth. In such cases, just a few months of their age was ignored.
Enlisting for prior service
The enlistment age for prior service for almost all branches in the army is the same as the above, with the exception of a candidate’s entire preceding military time, which will be subtracted from their present age. For instance, if a candidate has around four years of plausible military service in the Air Force and wants to change over to the Marine Corps. The Marine Corps may waive the age limit to 31 years.
For Marine Corps and Marine Corps reserve, the maximum enlistment age for prior service is 32 after calculating the adjustment in prior service age.
For the Air National National Guard and the Army, the age limit for enlistment to prior service is 59. This member should have maximum years of prior service, so that he is able to finish 20 years of commendable service to retire by the age of 60.
An important matter to understand is that if you have GED, you can enlist with parental consent at 17 years of age. However, if you do not have a GED, then you can enlist in the army under the Delayed Entry Program.