Congress Raises Minimum Age of Soldiers to 42

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How to address the growing problem: not enough people are signing up for the armed forces to keep waging this war in Iraq. Bonuses don't seem to be helping, and they've turned to keeping soldiers for extra tours of duty because they can't replace them. (Be All that You Can Be...for two or three times as long as you signed up for.)

But now Congress has solved the problem! Yes, it's raised the maximum age to serve in the U.S. Army yet again, this time to 42. For the first time, we can actually have a multi-generational army! Think of the morale boost of fathers and sons serving side-by-side on the battlefield! (And let's not forget those moms...the age raise applies to women soldiers, too! That's one way to avoid future Cindy Sheehans.)

Although it had already raised its minimum age from 35 (pre-Iraq) to 40, the Army still wasn't seeing enough new recruits. So far, the Army and Reserve have gained over 1000 graying soldiers, just from the raise to 40. Congress permitted all branches of the military to raise the minimum age of service as high as 42 in the 2006 defense budget, but so far only the Army has taken them up on it. I guess it's a lot more dangerous to walk the streets of Baghdad than it is to fly a plane or man a ship in the Persian Gulf.

The maximum age to enlist in the Air Force and Marine Corps remains 27, with some exceptions in the Marines for individuals up to 29 years old. The Navy's maximum is age 35.

So, if you need that special first colonoscopy as you age, why not let Uncle Sam pay for it?

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