Could a overweight, college-educated 26 year old foreigner join the US Military...

Goddamn it, I didn’t post the title right:
That should have read.
“Could a short-sighted, overweight, college-educated 26 year old foreigner join the US Military?”

And what jobs would be available?

I know there’s at least one military recruiter who posts here, so he’ll probably swing by and give more official answers. I am definitely not well-qualified to answer this, but here goes:

The official weight chart for males for the Army is here.

The maximum age for joining the Army was recently upped to 42, from 35. At 26, you are young enough for any branch of the military.

You can join the US military without being a US citizen, but you need to be a permanent resident (i.e. have a green card,) and the military won’t help you become one. You can’t be an officer, even though you’ve gone to college, and you can’t have any jobs requiring security clearance. Once you’re in the military, I believe you only need to wait three years in between getting a green card and being able to become a citizen, rather than the usual five.

Nearsightedness isn’t a problem. I read an article last year about how the Navy is having trouble getting officers for its submarines. It used to be that the best nearsighted guys would take submarine postings, because only people with perfect vision could become pilots, but the Navy now offers vision surgery for free, and many of them are applying for flight school instead.

A good overview is here.

So you want to do some traveling but don’t want to pay for your own ticket to Baghdad?

Well, I was a short-sighted, overweight, college-educated 28-year-old when I joined.
And what Gila B said.
As far as jobs available, check out their web site. They have lots.

So, the US Military does not recruit abroad?

42?! They’re kidding, right? It’s some Pentagon tribute to Douglas Adams. 42? I’m 39 – I have another two and a half years to enlist? What does that mean, anyway? I’d get on a bus with a slew of 17, 18, and 19-year-olds? Isn’t basic training supposed to be about molding recruits into soldiers? What could they possibly do with 40 year-olds?

I’m sorry, I’m having trouble wrapping my head around this. I could really head down to the recruiting office, sign up, and be in Iraq within six or seven months? (Assume clean record, obligation-free, post-graduate education)

How many 40 year-olds are signing up?

I don’t know why the idea of a 42 year old joining the Army is so difficult for you to comprehend. I enlisted when I was 31 and I survived the experience of being surrounded by a lot of 18 year old guys. There were also several people in my class who were in their mid to late 20’s.
But in answer to your question, Basic Combat Training is about turning America’s best men and women into Soldiers. The training is the same if you are 18, 27, or even 42.

I don’t know that you could be in Iraq in six or seven months, however. You have to remember that BCT is two and a half months, then you have your job training (AIT), then thirty days to get relocated to your unit, and pre-deployment training time (usually about 3 months). So, you may find yourself deployed in less than a year, but realistically, it will be a bit longer than that.

If you are sincerely in joining the Army, you can PM me and I will get down to the specifics.

At my station, we have several people that come in several years removed from high school. I am currently working with a former professional basketball player (European League) who is 40 and is finally having the opportunity to serve his country, which has been a ambition of his for all his life.

SSG Schwartz

My question is WHY do you want to join the military of a foreign country? Do you want to travel? Do you feel like fighting for a cause you feel passionately about? Are you looking for a way to gain citizenship to the US? What is inspiring you to join the military so far from home?

I know the upper limit is higher for prior service but I don’t recall the age. One reason I don’t re join is I’d have lost my rank and you can believe me when I say I am not interested in being below what I was when I left.

Join the French Foreign Leigon. Those are some scary mothers and they’ll take anyone won’t they?

Well with all due respect to the fine men and women who serve in them the Irish Defence Forces aren’t the most exciting in the world. We’re a neutral country. Our main obligations are with UN Peace Keeping missions. Travel might be a draw but realistically I have the resources to be able to travel where I want if I could be bothered. I suppose sense of adventure would be the main thing. Citizenship isn’t an issue as marriage would be a much more immediate and less dangerous (usually) means to gaining that. I am also drawn to doing something that is completely at odds with my current temprement and lifestyle.

I don’t know why this should surprise people - there were a number of sailors on my last ship who were not citizens. These included a couple of Mexicans, a guy from Guatemala, two Filipinos and a Scotsman.

They were enlisted personnel, as would be expected. The only guy who couldn’t speak English properly was the Scotsman, as might be expected. :smiley:

An employee at one of the campuses where I used to work was a pudgy unemployable computer she-nerd and single mother of two and I would guess around 32-34 years old when she joined. Next I saw her was about a couple of years later, stationed in W. Virginia, was no longer overweight (looked great in fact) and said it was the best decision she ever made. (She hated the fact that for various reasons she had to leave her children with her parents, but she visited them when possible and they corresponded on email constantly and she felt that she was doing the best thing for them by getting a career where eventually they can rejoin her and she can support them instead of living in near poverty with them full-time; to the best of my knowledge she’s never been sent overseas [Iraq or otherwise] and- I feel like a 75 year old for saying this “has a job doin’ somethin’ or other with computers”.)

So it is adventure you are looking for, eh? Are there any less deadly adventure options for you? Could you apply for an internship or a job in another country and move halfway across the world without being shot at as part of the job requirement? Could you learn to be a treasure hunter/wild animal tamer/acrobat/ninja? I once dated a man who worked with explosives and chemical weapons for his job…would something like that appeal to your sense of adventure?

I could do any of those things I suppose but I was interested in joining the US military, hence my questions. :slight_smile: You’re not too hot on a military career it seems?

There is nothing wrong with the military. I wouldn’t choose it but I understand why a lot of other people would. I just don’t think “adventure” when I think of the military. I think of living in barracks (sp?) and being forced to get up at ungodly early hours of the morning and not having any kind of freedom to make my own choices, etc. I’m sure those are all over simplifications but it just seems like the military is like a deadly version of boarding school to me.

I had some great times in the Navy. Of course they were interspersed with a lot of boring, unpleasant and occasionally dangerous duty.

I thought Irishmen were supposed to enlist in the British military, not the US. And if you’re looking for adventure the Brits do tend to tag along whenever anybody else proposes a war, plus they have their own adventures as well.

SSG Schwartz, does the army get many retreads from other services?

Supposed to? Many do but I would have an aversion to joining that particular army.