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SoldierGround >> Need Career Advice

4/27/09 9:09 AM
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Member Since: 8/25/08
Posts: 1960
Hi, I'm 27 years old and I'm new to the Army. I'm going to BCT in September at Fort Jackson. I signed a contract for 3 years Active Duty as a Vehicle Mechanic.

They are starting me out as an E-3 because I have some college credits but I didn't graduate. They said if I had a bachelors I would be an E-4.

1. I want to stay in the Army as my career and retire in 20 years. But in 20 years I will be 47 years old. Isn't the age limit 42? Will they kick me out for being too old or is that age limit only for new people that haven't gone to BCT yet?

2. I would like to finish college and become an officer one day in the future. What is the best way of going about this?

3. Should I just wait until my 3 years are up and go back to school full time? Is it possible to go to school while on active duty? Maybe I could take some classes on the internet so I dont have to go to a campus.

4. In 3 years I will be 30 won't I need an age waver to attend OCS? Is it hard to get an age waver? Is it possible they would deny me for being too old?

5. What would be a good subject to major in in college considering I will be in the Army as my career? History?

6. Does OCS reject a lot of applicants? Is it very hard to become an officer is there a high wash out rate?

Thank you for any tips.
4/27/09 11:06 AM
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Member Since: 2/8/07
Posts: 179
Here's my answer to all of the above: wait and see.

When I joined, I thought I was only doing my initial commitment. Now I'm at the 12-year mark. Of the people I joined with that said they were making a career of it, I can't think of a single one that is still in. Don't commit yourself to a career, OCS, etc. -- just commit yourself to getting through Basic, letting the Army mold you, soaking up the skills being taught, and keeping an open mind about your life and options.

My $0.02
4/27/09 2:15 PM
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Member Since: 11/5/04
Posts: 1079
Yes you can stay till twenty and be 42, yes you can go to college while in the army, there are many ways to do that. You can major in underwater basket weaving for all the army cares. They will pay for one degree and one certification, wait till your done with ait then ask your first nco. OCS well thats up to you. good luck, basic training is like the discovery channell, your the herd, stay with the herd, if you find yourself doing your own thing your wrong, and your like the one lone antelope at the watering hole by itself. And I know, I was a former discovery channel lion... or what others call a drill sergeant.
4/28/09 12:36 AM
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Edited: 04/28/09 12:39 AM
Member Since: 4/19/09
Posts: 8
#1. They don't kick you out a 42.

#2. You could try OCS or finish out your commitment and compete for an ROTC scholarship. The age limit for ROTC is 30, but you can get a waiver

#3. You can go to school while active duty, but its much harder if your enlisted from what I understand.

#4From Army.com "To meet those goals, the Army is widening its age limit for OCS applicants from 18 to 42 years old and may waive minor criminal offense, the Sun said. Current Army rules said OCS applicants should not turn 29 before entering training."

#5 I would suggest a language, opens up a lot of doors, cool posts, and extra pay. Also, its a pretty easy major

#6. I see more officers on a daily basis than you can imagine, and from what they tell me the army is doing everything they can to obtain and retain officers right now, but thats completely anecdotal. I cannot speak to how easy or hard it is to get OCS, but I don't think there is a very high washout rate once accepted.

Edit: Forgot how old you were, USMAs out for you.

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