“Joining the USAR at 30+”
My joining the Army means a great deal to me yet it also brings a lot of “good” stresses. I say this because I will be leaving behind my 8 month old son, and it will also place my family in the dual/joint service category (my husband is already USAR, HOOAH). I joined the Army because it will be the fulfillment of a life’s dream. Believe it or not there are women in this great big world that wants to join the USAR just for the pride of being a part of such a mass community. I have had my chance to enjoy the civilian world, I have partied, had great fun, worked many a jobs, gone to college, married and started a family, yet this is something I need to do for myself. My friends say that I am crazy for joining, and that I should put my medical education to use, they don’t understand that although the opportunity for good pay is there, to work presently in the civilian sector is not fulfilling to me. By the time I finish BT and AIT, I will have reached the age 31.
“30+ and Joined the Army!”
I joined the military at the age of 30, in May of 1976. I always referred to myself as a ‘late bloomer’. I didn’t look my age, so most of the drills didn’t know until they asked. But when they found out, they attempted to make my life miserable. The only thing they did was to make me more determine to be good at everything and prove to them that us old dames could hang in there. During basic training and AIT the other women nicknamed me ‘Mom’ and I was sought after for advise and a shoulder when things got too rough. During that time the Army didn’t know if they wanted us to be ladies or soldiers. They took away our lipstick and gave us M16′s. Due to my background, easy going attitude, and a great sense of humor basic was a breeze for me, I was a people person and loved the military. I think being older gave me an advantage over the younger girls, I had more patience and plus I knew things could be worst. During my career I was always placed in some sort of leadership role. I kept myself in top physical condition, had to, to keep up with those young folk. Too old and feisty for OCS I became a Warrant Officer. I must say, I established some of the greatest friendships in my life and they have lasted through the years. If you were to ask me what I miss most of all – it would be the soldiers, some of the best young people I have had the honor to work with. Now my daughter has followed in my footsteps, she joined the military at the age of 30 and hope soon to become a Warrant Officer. I’m retired now after serving over 21 years – would I have changed anything if I could? No. The Army and I did well by each other.
I joined the Army Reserves in November 1975 at age 32, I went to basic at age 33 in May 1976. Basic was horrible for me, my recruiter had me thinking I was going on a 2 week “paid vacation”, and I had a Drill Sergeant that was not much older than my oldest child. Basic was 2 weeks under the Civilian Acquired Skills Program (CASP). I was in FOXTROT platoon at Fort McCleland, Alabama. I am now a Master Sergeant/E-8 and will retire November 2002, at age 60 with 27 years of service. I am thankful for my many military experiences, and think everyone should go through basic training, just for the discipline.
30+ and Joined the Military Again!
I joined the Navy at 19, and got out after serving in Desert Storm. Well, after I graduated from college with a BA and an MA, I re-enlisted for the assistance with paying off my education, and be cause I missed the life. However, I joined the Army, and went to Basic at age 30! Here I was, a SPC-4 with prior service, wartime medals, etc., etc. being trained by male and female dril lsgts who were not only younger than I was, but had less time in service! wow. I can honestly say that it was the best thing I have ever done. I have enjoyed myself immensely, and been all over the Middle East and Europe. Unfortunately, I went to Airborne school, made it through my third jump, and messed up my knee; I am in the process of being discharged for being disabled. 3 1/2 years since I re-joined; I am an E-6 and being forced out. I don’t like it, but my husband (also a SSG) is happy we won’t be separated much longer… IF you are contemplating joining, make sure you can hack the physical stuff, and GO FOR IT! I am very happy that I stuck it out. I’ll miss it…
I joined the Army Reserves in 1981 at age 32, basic at 33 and AIT at 34. Basic was horrible; thank goodness my husband had me jogging a year before I reported. I joined for the travel and wasn’t disappointed. I’ve been to Panama (a lot), Saudi Arabia during Desert Storm, Germany, France for D-Day Anniversary, Bosnia and posts in the U.S. In ten months I retire. I was the only over 30 to make it through my basic class. I’m sorry that the two other over 30′s didn’t stick it out; women have such good reasons for joining the military. I think that 99% of the folks I’ve been privileged to work/live with in the Army are the best anywhere. I don’t sell the military, but don’t let your age put you off of this or anything. GOOD LUCK!!!!!!
I joined the Army when I was 34 years old (in March 1974), just before I would have been too old to join. The first thing that happened when I was assigned to my training platoon was that the drill sergeant called me in to see ‘just how crazy I must be’. Well, I surprised her. There was another 34 year old in the same platoon. We both got the drill sergeant’s third degree. We also persevered and came out at the top of our ‘class’, and I received a letter signed by (then) LTC Mary Clarke (Later General Clarke), naming me honor trainee. I went on to become SSG (E-6) in my fourth year of service and (SFC) in my eighth year of service. I had to change job skills from Illustrator to Chemical Corps in order to advance, but I did it and I’ll put my record up against for excellence of service. Unfortunately, in my tenth year of service I was retired for disability; did not have a correct diagnosis then, but it was later proven to be multiple sclerosis. Too bad, for I loved the military. Anyone who joins at that age must be aggressive, and try harder, but I am living proof that it can be done. It is also unfortunate that I had to spend much of my time since my discharge wasting energy fighting the VA for the benefits I earned. I persevered in that also and I now I have the full benefits – anyone who thinks they have a legitimate case should fight, like a bulldog on a guy’s tailcoat, don’t give up!!