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Am I too old, fat, or fit in? 2001 to 2016

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sfbruner

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I am very interested in joining the reserves at 33 years old. I must admit I am a little concerned about having kids much younger than me barking orders at me but I am prepared to accept this fact of military structure.

I have a few questions that I am hoping someone might be able to answer for me, but first let me tell you a bit about myself.

I am currently working as a structural engineer and quite happy with my chosen profession on many levels but at the same time I feel there is a void in my life. Long story short I have always wanted to join the military but at the same time I was worried about family life in the military and this has always kept me away. I have my regrets now as I strongly believe I was built for a military career and only in the military would i feel truly happy and challenged. I know how naive this may sound from someone with no military experience but those are my true feelings.

Instead of focusing on what could have been but wasn't I would like to now join up with the local reserve unit.

I have a masters degree in bridge design and 8 years experience. I have a wife and a little girl, a mortgage, a car, just like every other average joe out there. I think im physically fit, I work out and I play hockey 3 times a week. I am also a firearms owner and have experience with all types of firearms. I very much enjoy shooting and hunting.

Lastly, I have no known medical issues except for poor vision. I am -4 and -3 in my eyes with a little bit of astigmatism.

What are my chances of getting accepted and how long does the process normally take?
How common is it to see professionals in their 30s or.older joining up?
I am interested in DEO, what is the demand like for DEOs in the reserves?
What are the expectations in the reserves for time commitment? I have been reading its one weekend and 4.days per month?

Thanks

 

mariomike

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sfbruner said:
I must admit I am a little concerned about having kids much younger than me barking orders at me but I am prepared to accept this fact of military structure.

You may find this discussion of interest.

Am I too old to join/do well/fit in? (Merged thread)
http://forums.army.ca/forums/threads/87496.0
 

Ciskman

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sfbruner said:
I am very interested in joining the reserves at 33 years old. I must admit I am a little concerned about having kids much younger than me barking orders at me but I am prepared to accept this fact of military structure.

I have a few questions that I am hoping someone might be able to answer for me, but first let me tell you a bit about myself.

I am currently working as a structural engineer and quite happy with my chosen profession on many levels but at the same time I feel there is a void in my life. Long story short I have always wanted to join the military but at the same time I was worried about family life in the military and this has always kept me away. I have my regrets now as I strongly believe I was built for a military career and only in the military would i feel truly happy and challenged. I know how naive this may sound from someone with no military experience but those are my true feelings.

Instead of focusing on what could have been but wasn't I would like to now join up with the local reserve unit.

I have a masters degree in bridge design and 8 years experience. I have a wife and a little girl, a mortgage, a car, just like every other average joe out there. I think im physically fit, I work out and I play hockey 3 times a week. I am also a firearms owner and have experience with all types of firearms. I very much enjoy shooting and hunting.

Lastly, I have no known medical issues except for poor vision. I am -4 and -3 in my eyes with a little bit of astigmatism.

What are my chances of getting accepted and how long does the process normally take?
How common is it to see professionals in their 30s or.older joining up?
I am interested in DEO, what is the demand like for DEOs in the reserves?
What are the expectations in the reserves for time commitment? I have been reading its one weekend and 4.days per month?

Thanks

Contrary to popular belief, 33 is not old. Don't let your thoughts on age deter you from your goals. Good luck.
 

Monsoon

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sfbruner said:
What are my chances of getting accepted and how long does the process normally take?
There is lots of discussion on this forum on this topic, but the unsatisfying answers are "it depends" and "it depends". Mainly, the dependencies are what unit you want to join, what trade you want to join as, and whether that unit has recruiting positions for that trade. Only the recruiting centre can answer those questions.

How common is it to see professionals in their 30s or.older joining up?
While it's not that common for people to join as already-qualified professionals (except in specialty trades like JAG) as they typically can't get the time off required for the blocks of full-time training, you won't feel out of place. My reserve unit has a couple of lawyers, a few engineers and an emergency room doctor (mostly as NCMs) who joined while they were studying.

I am interested in DEO, what is the demand like for DEOs in the reserves?
Same answer as for your first question, with a quibble: DEO is an officer entry plan (the only alternative in current use is RESO). What you're saying is that you want to join in an officer trade. Again, the demand all depends on the specific demand of the unit you want to join. All other things being equal, units typically don't discriminate between RESO or DEO candidates on the basis of their entry plan.

What are the expectations in the reserves for time commitment? I have been reading its one weekend and 4.days per month?
The boilerplate answer is one evening a week and one weekend (or just Saturday) per month during the Sep - Apr training year, but this format varies from unit to unit. I assume that you understand from your research that a significant full-time training requirement of several months exists for officer candidates.

I am very interested in joining the reserves at 33 years old. I must admit I am a little concerned about having kids much younger than me barking orders at me but I am prepared to accept this fact of military structure.
Would a 45-year-old new engineer be put out by having a 33-year-old experienced engineer tell him how to build bridges? No difference: you're learning a new skill set.
 

sfbruner

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Thank you all for your replies. Regarding the full-time commitment for officers, is there no part-time weekend option like BMQ? I would appreciate any input on the length of full time training required or direction to a thread containing more information on this.

Thanks.
 

Kat Stevens

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"I am currently working as a structural engineer and quite happy with my chosen profession on many levels but at the same time I feel there is a void in my life"


I see what you did there.
 

Teager

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This thread may help. See reply #9

http://forums.army.ca/forums/threads/109795/post-103985/topicseen.html#msg103985
 

The Bread Guy

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sfbruner said:
I am very interested in joining the reserves at 33 years old ....
As you can see from previous posts in this thread your question is now a part of, older folks than yourself have survived and thrived in the CF.

Good luck!
 

sfbruner

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Thanks everyone. It is clear there is a wealth of knowledge on here and I think its time for me to practice my resourcefulness.

 

chrisf

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sfbruner said:
I am very interested in joining the reserves at 33 years old. I must admit I am a little concerned about having kids much younger than me barking orders at me but I am prepared to accept this fact of military structure.

If you get in, prepare to have your mind blown by the knowledge and experience of some of the "kids"....

Military experience often matures and builds the experience of it's members far faster than anything else...

Consider for a moment... in a "normal" job, it could be a very long time, if ever, before you end up in a supervisory position...

If a reservist joins at 16, "normal" career progression would see them qualified and likely in charge of a "section" (Usually 8-10) of soldiers by age 21, and given the regular shortages of personnel on reserve exercises, it's not at all impossible they'd be expected to act as second in command of a platoon (Usually 30 or so troops).

While experience and age is always an asset, you'd be amazed how young NCOs can rise to the occasion, and build on that experience very quickly...

Also consider that same reservist, by age 28 would be eligible for their first long service medal....
 

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sfbruner said:
I am very interested in joining the reserves at 33 years old. I must admit I am a little concerned about having kids much younger than me barking orders at me but I am prepared to accept this fact of military structure.

sfbruner: You sound like an excellent candidate, one that any Res unit would be very pleased to have. Having started off in the Reserve, served a career in the Regular Army, then finishing up in the Res once more, I would offer a few caveats to think hard about. These caveats reflect the typical causes for attrition in older recruits:

-What does your wife think? Does she have a clear (and, I mean, CLEAR) understanding of what your committment will mean? If you have young kids, the loss of weekends, some week nights and time in the summer might weigh heavily on your family situation. Get this part squared away, or you may be sorry down the track;

-what does your employer think about it? What will their reaction be if you need to ask for time for training, or if you wanted to do a tour, or if your unit responds to a domestic emergency? Will you still have a job? Be honest with your employer: you have built a professional career which is probably not really worth risking so you can be in the Reserve; and

-are you prepared, as a highly trained and responsible professional,  to be "not in charge" of the situation, and to discover that your input is neither wanted nor valued? It does happen, sometimes, especially in entry-level training. If you're used to being "the boss", it can be disorienting and frustrating.

If you are good to go with all these, then good luck. It is an honourable and rewarding choice.

Cheers
 

Curve.Ball

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Hello all,

I realize similar questions have been posted in previous threads, however I am searching for advice specific to my situation that'll give me that warm fuzzy feeling I'm looking for........

I'm married (which is irrelevant), 39 years old and the proud dad of a teenaged daughter. Both my parents are ex-airforce and my wifes' father is ex-army. All served for over 30 years each. Needless to say the forces are in my blood. I am well established in a career within the oil and gas sectors of industry (15 years in, now) and the CF will never pay the salary ranges and benefits I have enjoyed thus far.

However, in recent years, largely on account of the experiences and sacrifices made by friends and relatives who are currently serving (one of whom was JTF), I am unable and unwilling to shed the need I feel to commit the rest of my working life to serving my country as forces member.

My question to all you good folks is: am I insane?

I receive so much questioning and resistance to this idea from many different angles that I sometimes question the validity of this choice I am about to make. Is it feasible to "drop" everything and make such an abrupt change like that?

I have a fairly extensive list of trade and professional qualifications and certifications that I know will apply to various roles in the forces, and as well I am certain that I can handle BMQ (heavy breathing inevitable). Is the "need" and desire I have to serve my country and embark on a career that I think will fullfil me to a level higher than what I am experiencing now a mere dream and silly idea, or would the concensus be "GO FOR IT!"?

Any thoughts or advice you can send my way will be greatly appreciated.

Cheers
 

The Bread Guy

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Only you can make the decision for yourself, based on your circumstances, but I'm going to merge your post into another thread showing that if you meet the criteria to get in, age doesn't have to be an issue at all.

Also, you're not alone - it's not uncommon to be taking a different look at life once you get a certain number of years under your belt.

Good luck.
 

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Curve.Ball said:
Hello all,

I realize similar questions have been posted in previous threads, however I am searching for advice specific to my situation that'll give me that warm fuzzy feeling I'm looking for........

I'm married (which is irrelevant), 39 years old and the proud dad of a teenaged daughter. Both my parents are ex-airforce and my wifes' father is ex-army. All served for over 30 years each. Needless to say the forces are in my blood. I am well established in a career within the oil and gas sectors of industry (15 years in, now) and the CF will never pay the salary ranges and benefits I have enjoyed thus far.

However, in recent years, largely on account of the experiences and sacrifices made by friends and relatives who are currently serving (one of whom was JTF), I am unable and unwilling to shed the need I feel to commit the rest of my working life to serving my country as forces member.

My question to all you good folks is: am I insane?

I receive so much questioning and resistance to this idea from many different angles that I sometimes question the validity of this choice I am about to make. Is it feasible to "drop" everything and make such an abrupt change like that?

I have a fairly extensive list of trade and professional qualifications and certifications that I know will apply to various roles in the forces, and as well I am certain that I can handle BMQ (heavy breathing inevitable). Is the "need" and desire I have to serve my country and embark on a career that I think will fullfil me to a level higher than what I am experiencing now a mere dream and silly idea, or would the concensus be "GO FOR IT!"?

Any thoughts or advice you can send my way will be greatly appreciated.

Cheers

I too am working in the "patch", in rural Alberta, I don't know where you reside.  I also felt the need to contribute a few years ago.  I looked for a primary reserve unit near me but the closest was Edmonton or Saskatoon, a 2 1/2 hour drive either way made this impracticle.  The route I took was the CIC.  I feel I am serving my country and my community and believe it or not a lot of the training I have received has applied to my civie job, and vice versa. 

It helps to have a good employer who is willing to give you the time off for training.  As a CIC officer you are not deployable, you will be training kids, having an effect on Canada's future leaders (hopefully).  If you are not located near a primary reserve unit it is an option.  Whichever you you go I wish you all the best.

Northalbertan
 

BeyondTheNow

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Curve.Ball said:
...I am unable and unwilling to shed the need I feel to commit the rest of my working life to serving my country as forces member...

I think the above portion speaks volumes.

You're not too old nor are you insane.  Your age should be very beneficial during the transition process, should you decide to join and are accepted. The fact that you are willing to do away with some of the advantages and probably the lifestyle you've grown accustomed to means, to me, that you've weighed the pros and cons and you can see yourself gaining from this new direction in life, and the superficial aspects don't matter.

If your gut is nagging at you constantly and you are no longer fulfilled with your current placement, go with it. If you are able to draw upon the knowledge and experience from the past serving members around you, then that is a huge bonus, IMO.

For the most part, I haven't met any resistance from those who know of my career plans who are close to me. However, I still get the occasional, "Wow, you're brave." Or "Ohhhhhh...." (You know, one of those not-saying-it's-a-bad-idea,-but-I-think-it's-a-bad-idea sort of responses.) At the risk of sounding really lame/sappy, that's okay, because I know what I want and the people who love me most know that I want it--They know I won't be happy doing something secondary to where my passion is.

Now, if there are some reservations among your wife and daughter, it might take some convincing to get them on board. (Hopefully there isn't/won't be much disagreement.  But if there is, I don't think anyone can tell you to do something that will throw your family into complete discord; but I understand your need to seek insight from others and see how things progress.) In the end, however, I truly believe you (or anyone) will be a happier person, a happier father and husband if you're doing something that you feel awards you the feeling of true purpose. 'Can't beat that feeling...

 

Curve.Ball

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Thank you all for the quick responses thus far. I was expecting to have to wait a few days for someone to reply to this , hehe.

The sentiment normally conveyed to me is that I should consider the reserve force first, and continue into reg force if things "work out". Despite my overwhelming desire to jump feet first into a reg force role, I tend to think that this is actually a sound piece of advice, given my family life, career situation etc. Too, it comes directly from current or ex-military friends of mine, and so I am reluctant to brush off or dismiss that information.

I live very close to Red Deer, Alberta, and there is a reserve unit (Cormack Armoury) in town. My father-in-law used to belong to that unit after he retired from reg force. I can only assume that the folks in Red Deer would do excersises or other such training with the units in Edmonton or Calgary, so a smallish commute once a month or whatever the situation is would'nt be a huge deal for me specifically, in my mind. I work a 7 days off, 7 days on schedule where I am at now (and ironically, I work on the Air Weapons Range north of Cold Lake), so I suppose I am wondering if a schedule like that can be accomodated in the reserves? I assume it can be.

I do have a contact name of a guy at that unit that I am supposed to go see, and I will do that in my next set of days off. The advantage of utilizing a forum such as this at first, is that I can get a feel for ideas and solicite input that might better prepare me for a Q&A when I speak to a person there face to face. 

As a side note, I do have some areas of interest I'd like to look at, and I suspect that all of them would afford me the opportunity to volunteer to serve overseas at some point. If I am accepted into the system, my full intent is to volunteer for a combat mission(s) at some point in the not-too-distant future. I am assuming, based on history, that an opportunity like that will likely present itself in my time of service. I am also assuming that a reservist can do that. I know they say reserve forces can volunteer for a combat mission, but I am unlcear if there are a certain set of criteria for that, or even if reserves are used on as as needed basis or whatever? I really have no idea.

Anyway, thanks again all for the good words and advice so far. It puts my mind at ease big time to know I am not in a one man club with my deal and that others have joined up from similar backgrounds and situations.

Cheers
 

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Best of luck moving forward, and I hope it works out for you as planned. (Or at least as close to it as possible.)

I have also read that joining a Reserve unit is an excellent option for people who are in similar circumstances as yourself. Unfortunately, I don't know a lot about their processes (other than what I've picked up here) nor can I speak from any first-hand experience. I have a brother who served for over 10+ years as a Reservist, but I can't confidently and/or accurately speak of his experiences; therefore, I tend not to offer much in terms of going that route.

Again, I hope all works out for you as things move along.
 

Curve.Ball

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Thank you.

I guess I am similar to a lot of others, in that we want to be a part of something that is so much larger and bigger than the self. Unless my view point is misguided in some way, I have an obligation directly to my daughter to do this. The reason for this is that in today's Canada, as a nation of free people who generally have never seen truly chaotic times, we are quite "spoiled" for lack of a better term. We have raised generations of people now who completely misunderstand the impact that various negative entities around the globe have on us now and into the future, and the needs to eliminate or manage those entities to protect our sacred ways of life over here. So, to that end, it is very important to me to show my daughter first hand the importance of making this commitment and sacrifice, and to show her that we need to be willing to step up and do something to earn and/or keep that freedom.

 

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I'm so glad to have found this particular series of posts. Being 39 as well, I have had a lot of time to think about my role in the 'greater' scheme of things. I spent a year as an Infantry Reservist a while back and had to leave due to unforeseen forces (though I left in good standing) and it lingers as one of my biggest regrets. I have spent the past 10 years thinking about and even dreaming about rejoining. Now that I know it is the right time for this decision I am finally starting the process. The way I see it, I still have 20 years until mandatory retirement.
Of course now I just need to decide between applying as an Officer in an armoured recce Reg, or humping it in a combat engineer Reg. To be honest though I am just at the age where I am more concerned about serving and being of use than personal aggrandizement.
Anyway, this post is probably unnecessary, but what the hell. I don't really have anyone else around that really 'gets' it.
Cheers.
 

mkil

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On my BMQ, the woman who won top female athlete was a 4 foot 9, 44 year old mother of 6, grandmother of 8. She showed up absolutely ripped from head to toe and put every single person on our platoon to shame when it came to physical training. No joke. She was also a smoker.
 
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