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Impossible to enlist at 27?
Last Post 19 Feb 2011 09:41 PM by JJ10. 30 Replies.
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JJ10User is Offline
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JJ10

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18 Jan 2011 04:27 AM
    Being 27 years old (28 in 6 months) is it pretty much impossible to enlist active duty?

    I've been talking with my recruiter but he's understandably busy so I thought I'd ask here as well. I know the age cutoff is 27 but it also says "(up to age 32 if qualified for attending guaranteed 'A' school)" can anyone explain that part to me? At this point I am willing to take any job for any amount of years.

    Is the age limit 27 when the enlistment process is started or 27 when you start boot camp? If it's 27 by start of boot camp, do they issue any age waivers for people who start the recruitment process at 27 but turn 28 while on waiting list?

    I read that reserve age cut off is 39 and my recruiter said there were reserve spots open in my area so that will definitely be my backup plan if active is indeed impossible. Is there any way down the road to transfer from reserve to active?

    Thanks in advance for the help. I will follow up with my recruiters answers just in case anyone else is in a similar situation.
    JJ10User is Offline
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    18 Jan 2011 04:55 AM
    I have a bachelors degree if that makes any bit of difference. Also, my grandfather was an officer in the Coast Guard (O-5), I don't know if either of those would help with some type of waiver.. at this point I'm just reaching
    JJ10User is Offline
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    18 Jan 2011 07:22 AM
    Update: Recruiter actually called me this morning and I was able to address this with him so I will post what he said.


    He said as far as my age I would have to sign for one of the critical jobs and the only thing available right now is a cook. I asked him if I would be able to change my job 3-4 years down the road to something else he said it's a possibility but if it's still a job in demand they might not let me. That sounds about right, can anyone add to this?

    Then we spoke about reserve, he said there are several jobs available in my area including BM which is actually one of the jobs that interested me. Before I even had a chance to ask he said that if I went reserve there is still a possibility that I can transfer to active in the future. Could anyone add to this as well? This seems like the better scenario to me as long as this is still possible.

    I guess it looks like two ways in. I just wonder what's the best path to active duty BM... go active as a cook and hope to change jobs at a later date, or go reserve BM and hope to somehow transfer to active.

    Edit: Haven't said it yet but If I could get active I would be looking to make it a career not just an in and out deal. So if I had to spend 4 years as a cook to spend 15-20 doing something I loved then I wouldn't mind. As long as changing jobs at that age is something that's truly possible.
    GearsUser is Offline
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    18 Jan 2011 07:57 AM
    The rule of thumb, at least since I've been in is if you're going to be a cook, you are going to be a cook. Reserves to active can be difficult to impossible, it all depends.
    “I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” ― Bruce Lee
    coastie43User is Offline
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    18 Jan 2011 08:04 AM
    Hey man I hope everything works out for you. I had a hard time deciiding on active or reserve, so the situation was different but my recruiter told me that its very hard to go from reserves to active. If you did reserves would you have a different job/typr of scholing to keep you happy or do you need a job, place to live, ect. It would just really stink to spend 4 years as a cook and up in rank and then go all the way back down and do it again for a different job. I'm pretty sure thats how it would work anways. I'd double check it though. But good luck man. Hope everything works out for you
    Browns24User is Offline
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    18 Jan 2011 08:32 AM
    I will have to disagree with coastie43, I was in the reserves as a DC3, decided to go to active but DC wasn't on the open ratings list so I did a voluntary loss of rank and came back in as a E-3. It took about a month to go from reserves to active, yes I had to give up rank, but it was only for 6 months. This happened in 2009 so it is possible and really wasn't difficult for me. Just had to drop rank.
    JJ10User is Offline
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    18 Jan 2011 09:40 AM
    Good to hear, yea he didn't really say it was impossible he actually suggested it to me when he heard my situation.. but he didn't say it was a sure thing either. If you don't mind my asking what makes it "difficult to impossible" exactly? Availability? He said he will call me for a meeting in the next few weeks so I'd love to have as much info as possible going in. Going reserves doesn't seem like a problem in my area I spoke with him in Oct last and again this morning and both times he said he had open BM reserve slots.



    If you're in the reserves can you "volunteer" for anything or is it your basic 1 weekend a month 2 weeks a year gig?
    Old Guard2User is Offline
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    18 Jan 2011 09:51 AM
    We have a few FS's that post here (or mom's of FS's) and they seem to love thier jobs. My son LOVES to cook and is very good at it but FS is not something he wants to do as a career because it would "suck all the joy out of it" (his words, not mine). So FS isn't a bad rate if you like cooking. However, you also learn so much more as far as materials management, ordering, bookkeeping of sorts... so it isn't ONLY stir a pot, flip an egg. Consider everything you are offered and make the decision that fits you. I wish you the best of luck.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
    JJ10User is Offline
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    18 Jan 2011 10:31 AM
    Will do Old Guard2, thanks for the kind words.


    In terms of the reserve to active thing, (again, if even possible..) would BM have a better shot than some other jobs to transfer since they're at every station?
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    18 Jan 2011 12:30 PM
    The way I see it, a coastie is only as good as his last meal!
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    18 Jan 2011 12:33 PM
    There are days my son would be a pretty bad Coastie! He doesn't care for Greek food but either someone in Command or the FSC really likes it. There is almost always a hummus and gyro and falafel night once a week or 10 days. That night he eats cold spam & cheez its! LOL

    There are other times he eats gourmet meals! So you know, you can't please 'em all every time!
    Sector NY, Staten Island
    nenglandUser is Offline
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    18 Jan 2011 05:13 PM
    27 usually is the limit for enlisted recruitment. That limit can stretch to 28-29 (have to go to boot before 30) if you come in as an E3.

    How do you come in as an E3? Sign a 6 year contract as opposed to the traditional 4 year.

    http://www.uscg.mil/hq/capemay/docs...tGuide.pdf

    That's what I understood after reading this recruiter pocket guide dated May 2010. My recruiter took this information to confirm and a week later informed me that I was indeed eligible.

    I'm 28 looking at a ship date soon or soon after my 29th birthday. (hopefully I didn't just jinx that!)

    Good luck. 
    JJ10User is Offline
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    18 Jan 2011 06:41 PM
    Thanks for that info negland! I actually didn't mention I had a college degree on the phone to my recruiter yet so he might not have thought of this option for me. I will definitely bring it up at our meeting.

    Thanks again, huge help
    Coastie_MoMUser is Offline
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    19 Jan 2011 02:25 PM
    Hello JJ10. I am not by any means an SME on any of this, but when my son was signing his final contract on 17 JAN before he went to MEPS on 18 JAN, I asked that specific question (if cook is selected for a job, could my son change it in the future). He just grinned and then flat out said no. I guess that is just one job that is always in high demand. It makes sense, since it is the only job where they're offering a bonus. Good luck!
    JJ10User is Offline
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    19 Jan 2011 02:40 PM
    Thanks Coastie_MoM, that seems to be what most people are saying so I'm ruling that one out as an option. When I meet with my recruiter I will bring up what negland showed me (28-30 enlisting active as long as entering as E-3) and if that fails I will go reserve and hope to one day go active from there. If everything fails I will still be reserve and that beats nothing.

    Thanks for the help guys/gals I will keep this post updated at everything progresses
    JJ10User is Offline
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    20 Jan 2011 07:57 PM
    App is faxed in, I assume a couple weeks before I hear anything
    gdeyarmondUser is Offline
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    23 Jan 2011 06:29 PM
    This is all news to me! I started trying to contact the CG recruiter at age 27. It's been about 3+ months and I'm about to turn 28 in mid feb and have a meeting with them this Wednesday. I assumed that at this point I was going to meet with them to speak about reserves, but having a Bachelor's degree and therefore enlisting as an e-3(am I right here?) I could still actually enlist?
    JJ10User is Offline
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    23 Jan 2011 09:48 PM
    some others have had luck in our shoes. be sure to please come back and let us know how it went, I won't have my meeting for a few weeks
    gdeyarmondUser is Offline
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    24 Jan 2011 01:57 PM
    Will do. Had to look HARD for my HS Diploma, but all ready to go for wed.
    nenglandUser is Offline
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    24 Jan 2011 02:21 PM
    Best of luck & let us know how it turns out!
    gdeyarmondUser is Offline
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    26 Jan 2011 11:19 PM
    Met with my recruiter and I had already decided to pursue the reserves before the meeting(So I did not discuss the E-3 and 28-30 age possibility), as my main goal in life is to become a LEO and being away at sea for 6 months on a regular basis could make that tough....the only thing is that my recruiter said my "job" of choice, Maritime Enforcement Specialist is full and I would have to wait until OCT at minimum for an opening...

    I'm leaning toward Boatswain's Mate, which is a mouthful when you're a little bit nervous in a meeting with a recruiter, but it seems like an interesting "jack of all trades" job. I take my ASVAB on Wednesday

    What are the normal duties of a Boatswain's Mate for a reserve from those of you who have actually seen and experienced it?
    JJ10User is Offline
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    27 Jan 2011 05:05 PM
    Congrats! Thanks for updating us. I'm in the same boat (no pun intended), I wanted ME but it is full. BM is what I will be doing too if I end up reserves so I would appreciate any info as well.
    uberchrisUser is Offline
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    27 Jan 2011 05:59 PM
    i turned 30 in my second week of bootcamp, which was december of '08. it can be done. ultimately its up to your recruiter, but i started the enlistment process at 29, waited about 8 months, went to bootcamp, and celebrated my 30th in realy cape may style! i did NOT have guaranteed A school. things may have changed drastically in the last 2 years though
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    27 Jan 2011 06:36 PM
    For some of us older folks here, what was it like being 30 at boot camp? How do you think it affected your experience and success?
    LoriJavi1015User is Offline
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    28 Jan 2011 10:04 AM
    I am 27 years old and I turn 28 in May. I am going in as an E-3 because I have a college degree. My recruiter told me that it would only be a 4 year committment because of my college degree. Is that not correct? I was also under the assumption that the max age to join was 27 and I was told by my recruiter that I had to be in boot camp by my 28th birthday. Is that not true?
    nenglandUser is Offline
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    28 Jan 2011 10:18 AM
    I don't have a college degree so in order to go in as an E-3 I'm having to sign a 6 year comittment.

    27 is the normal cut off. If you are entering as an E-3 though you can go to boot as 28 or 29.
    LoriJavi1015User is Offline
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    31 Jan 2011 12:46 PM
    Ok thanks!
    vintendoUser is Offline
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    31 Jan 2011 05:05 PM
    I just went through boot camp, graduated Friday. I'm 28 about to be 29. I did not have to pick a critical rate or sign for longer than 4 years. I would look at talking to someone else.
    Saving user accounts daily.
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    31 Jan 2011 05:42 PM
    Lori,
    Your recruiter is correct. A six year commitment (enlistment) is generally used in situations different than yours. Your recruiter is setting you up for success. Age requirements differ between programs. You are being told correct.

    Vintendo, Who were you directing your last post to?
    I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords. I'd like to remind them that as a trusted Coastie, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground sugar caves.
    JJ10User is Offline
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    02 Feb 2011 11:38 PM
    Thanks again for all the help guys. And Vintendo my recruiter has been very helpful so far, like I said in a later post we didn't discuss college yet so he probably didn't know I'd be entering as an E-3 when we talked briefly over the phone.

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