Army Raises Enlistment Age for Reservists to 65

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Army, stung by recruiting shortfalls caused by the Iraq war, has raised the maximum age for new recruits for the part-time Army Reserve and National Guard by thirty-one years to 65, officials said on Monday.

The Army said the move, a three-year experiment, will add about 194 million people to the pool of those eligible to serve, from about 60 million now. Physical standards will be relaxed for older recruits, who the Army said were valued for their maturity and patriotism. "If they can't do their push-ups, there's no crime in that," said Lieutenant Brad Bradley, a man who should know.

The Pentagon has relied heavily on part-time Army Reserve and Army National Guard soldiers summoned from civilian life to maintain troop levels in Iraq and Afghanistan. Roughly 45 percent of U.S. troops currently deployed for those wars are reservists. Maj. Elizabeth Robbins, an Army spokeswoman, said the maximum enlistment age for the regular Army will remain 34, "at least for the next couple of weeks.

"Old people enjoy shit on a shingle," said Major Bradley. "Chipped beef, what's not to like? We expect to attract a lot of older recruits who just want something tasty to eat. Kibbles and Bits, or processed turkey. It's not all that difficult of a choice."

 

2005, M Hoback