Author Topic: Am I too old to join/do well/fit in? (Merged thread)  (Read 165911 times)

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brad_dennis

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Am I too old to join/do well/fit in? (Merged thread)
« on: August 22, 2001, 10:42:00 »
Gentlemen;

I have been reading the various postings on this site and I have been
impressed with quality of the advice and dialogue that honest questions
generate. As a non CF member I have a question and I‘m looking for some
insight from those who have been there. Here it is. Please forgive the long
winded preamble and naivety.

I‘m 30 years old and have two degrees. I‘m looking for a career change. The
decision to throw away 6 years of experience sitting behind a desk was not
difficult. The "money" no longer appeals as each office job I have had was
progressively sucking the life outta of me. Being a glorified secretary will
do that. I was going to join the army as field engineer, however I have been
advised by my brother who is a captain in the reserves that I should go
officer if I wish a career and motivation The only position that really
appeals is infantry as not having a tech degree disqualifies me from
engineer officer. Armor does not appeal nor do other "non-combatant"
positions.

Physically I have no problem with the demands of the courses, I‘m just as
fit as a 20 year old, I look 25, I‘m single with no dependants and have
already left the office environment to work in construction as in my younger
years this was favorite job. My CF application is in progress. And I have
until mid-sept to decided to be tested for officer or NCO.

I‘m concerned that my age will be a hindrance to cohesion within my unit and
career path. Officially I understand that under the Canadian charter of
rights and freedoms I cannot be discriminated based on my age. This is the
"official" line what is the unofficial one? Do you think I will have
problems? What would they be? I have been briefed by various people that
being in the infantry is tough on the body, could it be worse than working
as a construction grunt?

Your advice would be very helpful. Thanks very much.

PS - I know that throwing away a cushy office job making 60K is general
stupidity, but it‘s not about the money, it‘s about living the life that
makes one happy.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2017, 21:05:12 by kratz »

towhey

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Re: Am I too old to join/do well/fit in? (Merged thread)
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2001, 13:04:00 »
Go for it!

No doubt, you will be one of the "old men" on infantry officer phase training.  However, you‘ll likely not be alone.

There have always been officers commissioned from the ranks under various university training programs going through phase training.  Many of these may be of similar age.

Once your in a battalion, you may find it easier to build rapport with your Senior NCOs -- some of whom occasionally find it taxing to be led by someone 10 years their junior.

No doubt, there will be challenges unique to being older than your peers.  However, no doubt, there will also be unique benefits.  Most young subalterns are not only wet behind the ears professionally, they are also lacking in general life experience and maturity.  I know I was.  Your "maturity" (assuming you are!) and life experience may give you an advantage.

And, you can still retire after 20 years with a 40 per cent pension and still be only 50!

Offline Recce41

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Re: Am I too old to join/do well/fit in? (Merged thread)
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2001, 14:47:00 »
Hey
    You are not the first older type to joinup. There has been persons as old as 43.
                                Recce41, SGT, RCD  :tank:
Canadian Decoration,Chief of Defence Staff Commandation.Bold and Swift/Airborne

pauls

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Re: Am I too old to join/do well/fit in? (Merged thread)
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2001, 17:54:00 »
Age should not be a factor in your course. In my basic training course - a mixed bag of Infantry and Air Force Reservists - the older guys were asked advice and looked up to by most of the young pups (18-25) for real-world life advice and strength of character. Don‘t let your age fool your colleagues - you don‘t even have to tell them your age...
Best of Luck!

brad_dennis

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Re: Am I too old to join/do well/fit in? (Merged thread)
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2001, 09:19:00 »
Folks - thanks for all your replies and info. This was an "unknown" that needed to be addressed in an honest fashion and not by recruiter, whose bias I would of course be suspicious of. As in any new job there will always be obstacles, challenges and dues paying, but as I did not know what the "real" answer was, I did not want to be hamstrung by something that was beyond my control. The feedback is plain common sense.

I‘m very excited and eager to get going on this new path. I have decided to go officer, perhaps against my feeling that NCM might be more hands-on, practical and enjoyable. I just feel, rightly or wrongly that it is somewhat more intellectually challenging and motivating in the long run. Btw - just so I don‘t get flamed I‘m not at all suggesting NCM are not up to the intellectual challenge or are unmotivated. I just think that the way I see how the Combat arms wing of the army is STRUCTURED that there is more of an opportunity in the officer route. While that NCM route might be more enjoyable and practical it seems to me that the army puts a cap on the NCM class and I think that if I’m going to stick it out for the long run that this might be exasperating later on. Of course that’s just naive opinion and I have not heard too much about this from NCM’s. I suspect that all of you have your own opinions about that. Let‘s hear them  ;)

Also, just out of pure curiosity describe for me what the role of the captain would be in the infantry and what he/she does in a typical day/week or tour. You may email me privately at bradd106@excite.ca if you wish.

Thanks also goes out to Mike for making this service available. DND should pay you a commission for recruiting me!

Again many thanks

SAXON

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Re: Am I too old to join/do well/fit in? (Merged thread)
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2001, 15:05:00 »
Brad,

You have everything going for you right now. This is exactly the right time and circumstance for you to change direction. Yes, it will be a leap of faith, but take it from one who knows: You will never look back with regret on this one. My advice is, "Go for it!", and let this decision be the first step of developing an aggressive, sober leadership style that both you and your troops will benefit from.

Sixteen months ago, at 37, I went from being a very young RSM to being a somewhat elderly Captain...at least in the eyes of some. You‘re only as old as you believe you are.

As for employability: Captain is probably the most employable rank in the infantry. A capt can be a rifle pl comd, a support pl comd, a coy 2i/c, a coy comd, an adjutant, a course commander, or one a whole host of extra-regimental positions.

There is only one down-side to joining later in life and that is the limit of your career progression. Certainly, in an inf battalion, you are unlikely to progress beyond capt and surely not beyond major, having joined so late. But don‘t let that worry you. Captain is a great rank and a Reg Force capt in the highest inf pay category currently makes over $70k per year.

For now, though, I‘d put all that aside and concentrate on the first steps (it‘ll be a few years before you‘re a capt anyway). Enjoy your early years as an officer and try not to rush things. If you play your cards right, you will be well respected as a rarity: A junior officer who is smart, but who also has a good degree of common sense and worldly wisdom. Most junior officers I know could give you the square route of a tin of beans in an instant, but couldn‘t tell you how to take the lid off!

Stay fit, keep sharp, and the very best of luck to you for your career...


   :sniper:

brad_dennis

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Re: Am I too old to join/do well/fit in? (Merged thread)
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2001, 10:53:00 »
Thank-you one and all. Your comments and suggestions have done a world of good! More than you might know.
I‘m looking forward to hopefully starting basic in the next available course, I assume January 2002.

  :cdn:    :)

Bilko

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Re: Am I too old to join/do well/fit in? (Merged thread)
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2001, 13:10:00 »
The only thing I have to add to this is that regular force infanty has the highest burn out rate of all trades and I am sure you will be happy with the new job as the office is no fun. The infantry is very demanding thusly 24 year old warrant officers which you won‘t find in any other trade. This is not to discourage you in your pursuit of a higher and much more fun calling just so that you go in with your eyes wide open. Good luck
Dave

the patriot

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Re: Am I too old to join/do well/fit in? (Merged thread)
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2001, 09:59:00 »
Do not worry!!  Not only are you very well educated.  You have something alot of the younger troops don‘t have.  Which would be life experience and mental maturity.   Along with all that you possess the "people skills" needed to deal with varying personality types.  Best of luck!!!

-the patriot-  :cdn:

Chairborne

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Re: Am I too old to join/do well/fit in? (Merged thread)
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2001, 15:37:00 »
I was posted to 3 PPCLI  as Chief Clerk at the ripe old age of 41.  I won‘t kid you.  The physical part was hard.  I‘ve never been very athletic, nevertheless I just gave it my best effort and everything worked out fine.

I was surprised by the respect I received from the Commanding Officer down to the most junior private.  I think they value experience and wisdom because most are very young.

Working with young soldiers in a battalion brings great rewards.  They‘re fit, active and keen to do things.   My next posting was to Mickey, Pluto and Company on the Rideau (NDHQ).  In a word boring.

If you want to join the infantry as an officer and accept the fitness challenge, then go for it.  My best wishes go with you.

Hebr

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Re: Am I too old to join/do well/fit in? (Merged thread)
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2002, 16:10:00 »
Im 24 years old and wanting to join the reserves. Am I too old, will I be in basic training with a bunch of 18 year old kids? what is the average age of soldiers in the reserves?

Hebr

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Re: Am I too old to join/do well/fit in? (Merged thread)
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2002, 16:12:00 »
im 24 years old and applying for the reserves. do you think that im too old, will i be in basic training with a bunch of high school kids? whats the average soldier age in the reserves?

Offline Infanteer

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Re: Am I too old to join/do well/fit in? (Merged thread)
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2002, 16:29:00 »
Heck No!
My good buddy went throught reserve basic and trade training with me, and he was 32.  He is now getting ready to do a tour in Bosnia.  As long as your physically and mentally their, your age isn‘t a descriminatory factor.
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

Offline Garett

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Re: Am I too old to join/do well/fit in? (Merged thread)
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2002, 08:39:00 »
I‘m working on a BMQ course right now with a 40 something year old women on it.  We had a guy on mine that was 43.

Offline Enfield

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Re: Am I too old to join/do well/fit in? (Merged thread)
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2002, 14:03:00 »
My unit just sent a guy through this summer who was 51.
He actually had an easier time with some of it than the 18 yr olds - he was used to staying up late working, getting up earlier, doing hands-on work, picking up new skills, all that work-ethic stuff you pick up with a lifetime of work. Had trouble with PT, but otherwise did fine.

24 is nothing remarkable for the Mo‘.
May You Live in Interesting Times

the patriot

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Re: Am I too old to join/do well/fit in? (Merged thread)
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2002, 22:00:00 »
They‘re so desperate right now they‘ll take anyone who‘s illiterate, white, and has no front teeth.  Just kidding!!! 24 isn‘t too old at all.  You‘ll do just fine!!!!

-the patriot-  :cdn:

L.Ron

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Re: Am I too old to join/do well/fit in? (Merged thread)
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2002, 22:43:00 »
No worries at all. I‘m 27 and applying reg and I was told that in some ways it‘s better to have more mature people. It is to the forces benefit to get guys that are sure of what they want and at 18 you‘d be hard pressed to know what you want to do. If they get 3 years out of an 18 year old and s/he moves on, its expensive and to no ones benefit.  Be a mentor to the younger guys and go for it

inf???

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Re: Am I too old to join/do well/fit in? (Merged thread)
« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2004, 12:56:36 »
Hi all, Im thinking about the infantry , but am 39 yrs old . Anyone ever heard of someone this long in the tooth doing it ?
Thanks

NavyGrunt

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Re: Am I too old to join/do well/fit in? (Merged thread)
« Reply #18 on: July 04, 2004, 12:58:25 »
Dont worry Ive heard of it. Keep in mind alot of the worlds powerlifters set their personal records while they were in their 40's.The guys will help you get through. And you'll help them too.

Offline MJP

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Re: Am I too old to join/do well/fit in? (Merged thread)
« Reply #19 on: July 04, 2004, 13:07:28 »
I've had the pleasure of working with a man who did his battle school at almost fifty years of age, and in the Pl I belong to we have another Pte that is in his early forties.   Both are great soldiers and bring maturity and wisdom from their long years of experience. 
Hope is not a valid COA

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Re: Am I too old to join/do well/fit in? (Merged thread)
« Reply #20 on: July 10, 2004, 17:51:21 »
I'm going into my last week of SQ this sunday and there's a ripe old lad that's 44. I trained with him on my BMQ as well and he hasn't had many problems. The only advice I can give is that you work on your cardio because that was one of his weaker areas, which is understandable due to his age.

If you're at all worried about fitting in with us young'uns you have nothing to worry about, no one cares about your age (or any other discriminating characteristic for that matter. At least in my experience that is).

I say go for it and have a blast. If a reason not to do it actually exists age isn't it.

- Pte. Gremlin
"You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one."
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Re: Am I too old to join/do well/fit in? (Merged thread)
« Reply #21 on: July 10, 2004, 18:39:42 »
Im also on sq right now just finishing up at meaford. I have a fourty something year old buddy who is training with us also. Work on the cardio and just absorb the knowledge and you will be fine. after all age is only a mind state
 :salute:
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Offline Hunter

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Re: Am I too old to join/do well/fit in? (Merged thread)
« Reply #22 on: July 11, 2004, 00:09:23 »
Hi there,

From one older guy to another, go for it. 

I joined in 2001, when I was 33.  I thought maybe I was too old but it's been no problem.  I'm 35 now and doing my Med-A QL3 at CRPTC Connaught in Ottawa, just home on leave for the weekend.  I met a guy there this week who is 35, and a medical doctor, doing BMQ.  I've met lots of older recruits and they all like it.  I know one woman, for example, who is a nurse (in her 40's) and did BMQ so she could go on a peacekeeping tour with her daughter.  I think a bit of life experience helps.

I broke my foot the last day of BMQ in 2002, so I missed my QL3 that year, and last summer commitments to my civvy job kept me from going on course.  I've done SQ and a driving course in the meantime, and finally I'll be getting rid of my cornflake.   In general I'm really impressed with the quality of people I've met, and if I could I would go reg force in a second.

I'm just home on weekend leave right from my course right now but I'm looking forward to going back; the experience has been awesome.  Like I said, go for it, and best of luck to you.

Hunter out.
Perfer et obdura; dolor hic tibi proderit olim
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willy232

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Re: Am I too old to join/do well/fit in? (Merged thread)
« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2004, 02:00:45 »
Know a couple of guys who went thru it in their 40's.  Know another who did it at 52!  And I thought I was crazy doing Battle School at 32.

Offline worldtraveller321

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Re: Am I too old to join/do well/fit in? (Merged thread)
« Reply #24 on: October 13, 2008, 21:42:36 »
Good evening. I was looking again at the military as a change of careers?

If I started. I will be a 31 year old male. I am in good fitness and health.

Would I be too old to join military? With no previous background or degree?

Would Infantry be a bad decision?

What positions would be recommended for army for someone to start?

What are the most in demand positions right now for army with the Canadian forces?

Thank you