Saturday, July 23, 2005
Hanging out on the blogosphere I have actually heard a number of ChickenHawks say their reason for not volunteering for duty in Iraq is that they think they are too old. They need to find a new excuse as pretty soon the U.S. military will even accept grandparents:
With the Army, Army Reserve and Army National Guard all on pace to fall short of their recruitment goals for the year, the military is reconsidering its age limits for recruits.
On Monday, the Pentagon filed documents asking Congress to increase the maximum age for military recruits to 42, in all branches of the service. Now, the limit is 39 for people without previous military service who want to enlist in the reserves and the National Guard, and 35 for those seeking active duty.
Another step-up in age, like other ideas now being discussed - like the Guard's request to expand the number of legal immigrants allowed to enlist - would add millions of people to the military's pool of potential applicants. In a Pentagon briefing on Wednesday, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said the military was studying how many people 40 and over might enlist.
"It's not the answer exclusively," said Lt. Col. Mike Jones, the Army National Guard's deputy division chief for recruiting and retention. "But we tend to miss our numbers on the margins, by 10 or 11 percent." If people who are older filled half of that, he said, "maybe it's good for America."