Friday, July 22, 2005

Raising the Age, Lowering the Standards?

According to recent reports, the Pentagon is seeking approval to raise the maximum enlistment age to 42 years old, up from the current 35 years old. This would apply to all services, but focus primarily on the Army, as the other branches have met recruitment goals so far this year. This is not a good sign. How long could you expect these soldiers to serve on the front or in high intensity combat positions? 8 years? 10 years? How long until they begin to show their age?
Perhaps I am wrong. Roger Clemens is 42 years old and is one of the best pitchers in baseball today (though I shudder saying that as a Red Sox fan!). Nolan Ryan pitched into his forties, and Julio Franco continues to play at a high level closer to 50 than 40. One hopes, then, that our old soldiers would be able to function at the level of these men, or close to it.
It is a bad omen that we are now close to relying on older men to fill the ranks. I wonder, within twenty years, will we be lowering the minimum age?
I guess this gives me ten more years of 'Re-enlist! Join the Army, Become an Officer' stuff in the mail.
(Crossposted by Bostondreamer at Floridablues)
< Blogarama