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To: Steel Wolf
Young? The max initial recruitment age has been raised to what, 65? Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but standards are losening so we can have positive headlines like this. Let's not kid ourselves here.

Steel Wolf, when the Associated Press shows you're full of it, it might be time to take a break:

Before shipping off to basic training, recruits must meet physical standards and those 40 and older are given additional medical screenings.

They must undergo the same training exercises as younger recruits.

"A bullet and a bayonet don't discriminate," Shwedo said. "As a result, our training program has to ensure that every soldier is going to be able to outmaneuver, outfight and win on today's battlefield."

As if the grueling physical training is not taxing enough, the older recruits must also deal with barrack-mates whose average age is 21.

"They have the college-aged mind and the high school mind," said Pfc. Caroll Martinez, 42, of Kansas City, Mo. "I'm so beyond that."

Covington agrees -- especially after being called "Grandpa" by his military peers. But he had the last laugh, receiving the highest fitness score of his entire company in basic training.

30 posted on 12/12/2006 4:19:38 PM PST by kristinn
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To: kristinn
Steel Wolf, when the Associated Press shows you're full of it, it might be time to take a break:

Fair enough, let's see what you got. But before we go on, let's be clear that I'm criticizing the fine organization that paid for so many of my road trips and foreign holidays because I want it to succeed and do the right thing. I don't see that happening, hence my criticism.

Before shipping off to basic training, recruits must meet physical standards and those 40 and older are given additional medical screenings.

Why would they need additional medical screening, if they're just as fit as people in the teens and 20s? (That's a rhetorical question, of course.)

They must undergo the same training exercises as younger recruits.

I'm 5'10 and almost 200lbs. Any man or woman I work with has to be strong enough to drag or carry me off when I'm in 50lbs of battle rattle. My concern with older recruits is the same as my concern with working with women in a tactical environment.

"They have the college-aged mind and the high school mind," said Pfc. Caroll Martinez, 42, of Kansas City, Mo. "I'm so beyond that."

Having someone mature around a group of young adults can be gold. I'll readily admit that the one benefit of having older recruits is having more mature recruits. Maturity is one of those things you don't appreciate until you're surrounded by a lack of it.

Covington agrees -- especially after being called "Grandpa" by his military peers. But he had the last laugh, receiving the highest fitness score of his entire company in basic training.

The fitness scores are staggered by age and gender. If I did 40 pushups at age 18, I'd score a 57, which is three points shy of passing, whereas it would be a perfect score of 100 if I was 42. Stuff like that always makes me smile when I read things like..

"A bullet and a bayonet don't discriminate," Shwedo said. "As a result, our training program has to ensure that every soldier is going to be able to outmaneuver, outfight and win on today's battlefield."

The Army loves to talk like this, especially when talking about training women, but it doesn't really translate into the real world.

Age isn't necessarily a bad thing. I'll stop here and point out that well trained men in their late 30 and 40s make up the U.S. Special Forces. I've worked with and met a lot of them. With that crowd, it's not the young ones who spend all their time in the gym that are the most dangerous. The really formidable ones are the guys that look like they should be bagging groceries or teaching high school, not Green Berets. Many of them have forgotten more about fighting than most soldiers will ever know.

Still, those guys are career soldiers who have spent years becoming what they are, physically and mentally. Taking someone who's already set in his ways, physically and mentally, and starting him out from scratch that late in the game, isn't the same thing. I've worked with some guys who joined later in life, and they struggle harder or are more prone to permanent injuries.

The Army knows that. Once you get over 30, and then 40, they expect more regular physicals for you. The physical standards for tests lower. That's on the expectation that you've moved into a leadership role by then, anyway. What most people in the Army are doing at 40 is flying a desk and looking at retirement, except for the ones that are well conditioned to still be out in the rain and snow.

Taking in recruits at such an age helps our numbers, but it hurts our strength. That's my concern.

88 posted on 12/13/2006 5:28:29 AM PST by Steel Wolf (As Ibn Warraq said, "There are moderate Muslims but there is no moderate Islam.")
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To: kristinn
Covington agrees -- especially after being called "Grandpa" by his military peers. But he had the last laugh, receiving the highest fitness score of his entire company in basic training.

*snicker* Looks like Grandpa smoked em!

107 posted on 12/13/2006 7:59:06 AM PST by SuziQ
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To: kristinn; Steel Wolf

I dunno, I've been hearing rumors that the ASFAB(VAB?) grades have been lowered, minor convictions being overlooked and that recruiters are coaching people in avoiding popping posititive in the drug test. That, combined with raising the maximum age to enlist is allowing the Army to maintain their numbers.


114 posted on 12/13/2006 11:37:39 AM PST by jjm2111 (http://www.purveryors-of-truth.blogspot.com)
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