Army Lowers Age Limit for Enlisting

March 21, 2011 – If you are wanting to enlist in the U.S. Army, you might have to wait. The age limit for people who want to join the Army or Army National Guard will be changed from 42-years old to 35-years old, beginning April 1.

Not only are they lowering the age, but they are also potentially closing off a lot of career fields. This change is due to the number of people who are enlisting or re-enlisting because of the high unemployment rate. The age cap for enlisting is a tool the Army uses to control the number or recruits needed, or not needed, and they have the ability to change it at anytime.

To join the army reserve you must enlist by your 35th birthday, and to be an active Army member you must be in basic training by your 35th birthday.

This change has been both confirmed and denied by many recruiters over the last week. The only way to know for certain if this change will effect you is to wait for an official statement from United States Army Recruiting Command (USAREC) or call your local recruiter, as this may be based on a state-to-state basis.

Several sources are saying that this age change will not be happening, since the Army just released a new version of Army Regulation 601-210 in February of this year, just one month ago.

In the regulation, Active and Reserve Components Enlistment Program, it states that the enlistment age is 17 to 42. Section 2-3 states:

  • Applicant is eligible for enlistment if applicant is at least 17 years of age and has not passed their 42nd birthday. Applicants who are 17 years of age (have not reached their 18th birthday) require parental/guardian consent for enlistment through completion of appropriate sections of DD Form 1966 (Record of Military Processing–Armed Forces of the United States). All NPS RA applicants must ship to active duty not later than their 42nd birthday. All NPS RC applicants must be enlisted into their respective Reserve Component not later than their 42nd birthday.

Let’s just hope this is not some sort of April Fool’s joke, since it does go into effect on April 1st.