How old is "too old" to get commissioned?

  1. Hi everyone! I've gotten conflicting answers so I thought I'd try to get a few more I am seriously debating about finishing my BSN and getting commissioned but, I'll be about 35 or 36 by the time I can do so. I have tried talking to a USAF recruiter here on base (we're currently stationed in the UK, husband is USAF) but he wasn't much help. I've been told that 35 is the cutoff unless it's something medical and then you can try to get a waiver. I also had someone who is an officer with the Dept of Public Health and they said there was no age cutoff. I'm probably leaning towards going USAF but my husband is pushing me to go Navy.

    My question though really is- what is the age requirement and has anyone here joined after 35+? Should I even consider joining at that age? I'm currently a GS employee (phlebotomist) at the base hospital if that matters at all. Thanks in advance!
  2. Visit redshott profile page

    About redshott

    Joined: Jun '07; Posts: 57; Likes: 9


  3. by   linnaete
    The Navy website says the cutoff age is 41, but I would talk to an OPO (officer programs officer) to get the full info. There are waivers for certain things/positions. Much of their bottom line is to ensure you can get your 20 years in before a certain age. Have you ever had any enlisted time? They can give you credit for time in previously. Enlisted and regular officer recruiters may not know the details, you'd be better off locating an officer recruiter specific to medical programs.
  4. by   newnavynurse
    I personally went in at 39 and had no issues. No waivers needed. Hope this helps! Go Navy!
  5. by   Pixie.RN
    I commissioned into the Army Nurse Corps at 38. Per the Air Force website, you must be between the ages of 18 and 47. They have a brochure here:
  6. by   redshott
    thanks all! I had found that info as well but the recruiter here didn't seem to know anything and just told me flat out 35. we won't be back in the states for almost another year and due to time differences, it's hard to talk to people there regarding this... plus I have no clue who to contact besides the website (which I tried previously).all of you that joined later, would you do it again? I've been in banking and real estate in NC before becoming a vampire 3 years ago. Was accepted into nursing school in charleston, sc before I moved here in 2011. I'm excited and nervous about taking another leap!
  7. by   Pixie.RN
    Army nursing is like my ... 4th career, I think? Haha. I went from graphic designer/desktop publisher/publications manager to paramedic/ER tech to ER RN to Army ER RN, over the course of many years. No regrets!

    Sounds like you talked to a general recruiter, not a healthcare recruiter. A healthcare recruiter will have better information for you. Good luck in school!
  8. by   oaktown2
    As a RN, the Navy will commission you until you turn 42, without a waiver.
  9. by   nurse2033
    I commissioned at 46 into Air Force as a nurse (currently up to 48 for medical). This is the oldest by far. I don't know about the other services because I was too old for them all. You need to contact a medical recruiter. This is a speciality. Or contact a recruiter at a unit that you know has medical services, they will be familiar with age exceptions for medical. Good luck.
  10. by   nurse2033
    Oh and finish your BSN. It will serve you well, even if you don't go military. Some employers require it, and many prefer it.
  11. by   midinphx
    I came in at 42. AF is 42 - unless you get an age waiver (fewer given now with cuts) then it is up to 47yrs.
    I thought I'd be the oldest person at COT - there were 48yr and 54yr old doctors.
    I think your asking the wrong recruiter. you need a medical recruiter. Home - Benefiting the US Air Force with jobs and careers on I think is the website you can e-mail for the right contact.
  12. by   jeckrn
    From what I understand you can come into any service in the medical field upto the age of 42 without prior service. This is because you must be able to complete 20 years of service (retirement) before the manditory retirement age of 62.
  13. by   staugnurse
    Jeckrn is correct. Also if you are less than 6 months until 40 or 40 and over there are more requirements to pass MEPS.
  14. by   redshott
    Thanks everyone! Yes, I plan on getting my BSN no matter what but if I wasn't going to try to go Officer, I was going to get my ADN then do a bridge program.

    I'm finishing up an associates in psychology currently and will graduate before we head back to the states from the UK so since i'm 90% sure I want to join (leaning towards USAF just b/c of my husband), I was just going to do a BSN program when we get back to the states instead of the other so that it wouldn't take as long. If all goes as planned, I should graduate with my BSN by or around the time I turn 35.

    Thanks again! I REALLY appreciate all the help!!