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Do you think that the age required to enlist in the US military should be changed?

I'm against having 17 year olds in the military.
By federal law (10 U.S.C., 505), the minimum age for enlistment in the United States Military is 17 (with parental consent) and 18 (without parental consent).


Asked by Anonymous at 2:30 PM on Sep. 23, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

This question is closed.
Answers (14)
  • That's a tough one. On one hand, many kids are ready to take on that kind of responsibility right out of high school at age 17 or 18. On the other hand, many kids are NOT ready for it. I joined at 19, and early in my career I saw plenty of both types.

    On a somewhat related note, I think that recruiters should NOT be allowed anywhere near high schools. They are trained to be like salesmen, persuasive and willing to say ANYTHING (even lies) to get kids to commit to the delayed entry program. School is not the environment for high-pressure tactics like that. The information should be made available to the kids, and if they're interested, let them go to the recruiter (preferably with their parents, but that ball is in the parents' court).

    Answer by lori9878 at 2:59 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • boys used to run away at age 16 and 17 to join the army.....

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:32 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • no, 17 and 18 really is not that big of a difference in maturity. and it does require parental consent in order to enlist at that age. if they are 17, have their high school diploma/GED that is required to join, than they show the same level of maturity an 18 yr old w/the same things does, IMO. i do think though, that if they are in the military at the age of 17, they should be afforded all the rights of an adult, to buy tobacco, lotto tickets, to vote etc...

    Answer by vabchmommy at 2:34 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • IDK part of me as a mother says raise the age to 21 so we are not sending our babies off before they even begin to live life. As a wife of a veteran who joined to get out of an abusive home right out of high school, I think it should stay where it is so that an 18 y/o has an option to get out of a bad situation into a job that pays them and gives them housing, food, and schooling.

    It is really a toss up which way i would go on this one.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:36 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • It should stay as it is.

    Answer by louise2 at 2:36 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • no, i don't. it actually can be good for people that age, it helps them mature a little faster. (granted not all mature, but most) my dh joined the military at age 17, and it was a good choice. he wanted to serve our country. why take that from them? most parents that were in the military don't mind, and sometimes eager for their children to join (or marry into) the military. it's the civilians that don't know much about it that worry about it, and are against it.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:39 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • Nope. There are kids who graduate high school and start college before 17 years old.

    Answer by asaffell at 2:49 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • Sure why not? Some countries let 4 and 5 year olds have real guns and shoot the bad guy, so since some people want a new America why not? I'm sure they wont mind their 4 or 5 year old child/Grandchild going to war, since you want America to be like other countries, as long as Obama says its okay.


    Answer by tyme4me2day at 3:37 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • I think the military is an excellent option for some kids. I think it should be a regular option for kids that find themselves in some trouble...not anything really serious of course, but underage drinking and such. It can be a life changer.

    I agree with the pp that said recruiters shouldn't be near schools and I agree. I think it would be okay to offer basic information and such, but no heavy recruiting. That needs to go on with the parents there. IMO, recruiters should have to be straight up too. My sis has a friend that joined the army right after college. This poor girl had just gotten her masters for goodness sakes and they enlisted her as basic! She should have gone in as an officer. Bless her heart, she is a wonderful girl, just not much in the common sense dept.

    Answer by yourspecialkid at 4:19 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • I've never understood why it is so young anyway. It should be 21.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:33 PM on Sep. 23, 2009