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  • Age/Background Concerns

    Hi there,
    I'm thinking of joining, but it may not be for a few months yet. I have about 30 pounds to lose, so I'm concentrating on that first and foremost.

    But I have other concerns. I recently talked with a Navy Reserves recruiter, who was kind of jerk to me and told me that I would likely get disqualified because I was prescribed Xanax in the past. Now, I don't have panic attacks or anxiety problems. The doctor prescribed this to me and I think it was more a case of impulsive prescribing on her part. I don't have issues with that. But this recruiter said that I couldn't be on any prescription drugs of any kind, and if you were prescribed something like antidepressants in the past, that's also a likely disqualification. I took it when I was in college very briefly, but I don't think it was because I had depression, actually. Again...doctors over-prescribe medications.

    I'm also concerned with what he told me about age discrimination in virtually all branches during basic. I'm 29 and I'll be 30 in March. I'm kicking myself about the fact that I didn't join earlier, but I've just been working and in school (I have an MA and I'll have a PhD in 2015). There aren't many folks with PhDs who are also enlisted; an officer position isn't an option for me because I'd like to take advantage of the Student Loan Repayment Program, and officers aren't eligible for that. My concern is that I might get treated weirdly, as this guy seemed to suggest.

    I may have just been talking with an extremely pessimistic recruiter. But maybe not. It may be different in the Army National Guard. Thoughts?

  • #2
    Re: Age/Background Concerns

    The only historical medical issues that MEPS looks at are the ones that you bring up. They don't have the means to look through your past records or the like. Take that however you like.....

    Age discrimination is not really an issue. Many troops go who are 30+. You'll just be one of the few who wear an E-4 rank while everyone else is a PVT or what not. You'll get treated the same...

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Age/Background Concerns

      Thanks for the reply. I suppose the age thing is just in the Navy? Or in this guy's mind? I mean, I'm joining the guard, so being an older enlisted dude with a PhD isn't really an issue for me. Not everyone wants to lead troops and so forth. But I'm wondering if can hide past prescriptions though--I imagine they can obtain records for all that pretty easily?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Age/Background Concerns

        *See previous post.

        As for the Navy, who knows. It's the Navy. Personally, I find some of their policies and tactics to be quite insulting to enlisted... but that's me.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Age/Background Concerns

          Originally posted by derrible1014 View Post
          Thanks for the reply. I suppose the age thing is just in the Navy? Or in this guy's mind? I mean, I'm joining the guard, so being an older enlisted dude with a PhD isn't really an issue for me. Not everyone wants to lead troops and so forth. But I'm wondering if can hide past prescriptions though--I imagine they can obtain records for all that pretty easily?
          For someone who has a PHD you don't pay attention very well. MEPS only knows what you tell them, and what they can physically detect on your body.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Age/Background Concerns

            Originally posted by realitycheck View Post
            For someone who has a PHD you don't pay attention very well. MEPS only knows what you tell them, and what they can physically detect on your body.
            Neither do you...lol His original post says he'll have the PhD in 2015...

            So when he's concerned (now) about being treated weird....???

            OP, BCT (people treating you weird because you have a PhD) and MEPS are the same....no one knows unless you tell them. With the high level of immaturity at BCT you're more likely to be treated weird if they think your are 'bragging' about having a PhD, act above others because of it or expect to be granted special treatment because of it (here's your cookie)

            When you get it and IF you can enlist, expect to be an E4 but called a 'Private' throughout BCT. i.e. "MOVE Privates!" I personally wouldn't tell ANYONE because the first time you muck something up, and you will, it will be thrown in your face along with getting a neat nickname like "Professor Obvious", etc..

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            • #7
              Re: Age/Background Concerns

              Originally posted by Chris36 View Post
              Neither do you...lol His original post says he'll have the PhD in 2015...
              Lol, fair enough. You got me.

              To the OP, I like his advice. I would keep your educational credentials as quiet as possible. It would offer some unwanted excitement if the guy with a PHD fails a test or something of that nature..I'm sure you get my point.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Age/Background Concerns

                I was 35 when I went in (and with some grey hair at the time, I looked it or even older). Yeah I got some ribbing from the DS on the issue, but I wasn't the oldest and there were more than a few a couple of us. In most ways I wasn't treated any differently, but sometimes I think they gave me a little more slack on stuff because I showed early on I was responsible and did what I was told. Like locker inspections for me were mostly cursory, where others (especially the young privates) they would dig through everything they could. But I earned that by listening and following directions and not trying to get away with something at every turn.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Age/Background Concerns

                  Originally posted by Portree228 View Post
                  I was 35 when I went in (and with some grey hair at the time, I looked it or even older). Yeah I got some ribbing from the DS on the issue, but I wasn't the oldest and there were more than a few a couple of us. In most ways I wasn't treated any differently, but sometimes I think they gave me a little more slack on stuff because I showed early on I was responsible and did what I was told. Like locker inspections for me were mostly cursory, where others (especially the young privates) they would dig through everything they could. But I earned that by listening and following directions and not trying to get away with something at every turn.
                  I had the same experience when I went through at 37 but I WAS the oldest in my battery by 11 years (the next youngest) out of 274. They called me grandma (or effing grandma) but I didn't care, it wasn't exactly traumatizing.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Age/Background Concerns

                    Originally posted by realitycheck View Post
                    For someone who has a PHD you don't pay attention very well. MEPS only knows what you tell them, and what they can physically detect on your body.
                    Really? There's no need to be rude. I'm clueless about how these things go, just as I'm sure you're clueless about a lot of other things you're not familiar with. A buddy of mine didn't mention previous scripts, and they found out at MEPS. So go bark at someone else.

                    Thanks for your replies, everyone else. If I joined, I would be pretty secretive about it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Age/Background Concerns

                      It's not a HUGE deal, but you can see where it could come back to bite you.

                      One solider in my platoon made the mistake of mentioning that he was actively and enthusiastically into LARPing...yeah, his life s ucked for 10 weeks. Although WE all thought it was hilarious.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Age/Background Concerns

                        Originally posted by Chris36 View Post
                        It's not a HUGE deal, but you can see where it could come back to bite you.

                        One solider in my platoon made the mistake of mentioning that he was actively and enthusiastically into LARPing...yeah, his life s ucked for 10 weeks. Although WE all thought it was hilarious.
                        That is pretty funny. I bet the DIs had fun with him. I suppose that's the universal thing about basic--no one's entirely immune from critique, and the less you reveal about your personal life, the better.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Age/Background Concerns

                          OP, the reason your buddy got "caught" about his scripts is because he told them......

                          There is no magic database for the MEPS docs to pull your history, regardless of what line they try and feed you. It's hard enough for civilian docs to try and do this. To break it down very basically, there is far too much red-tape to cut through to allow that type of Big Brother access (HIPPA, etc.) *There are a very small amount of exceptions but I won't go into it... you are not part of it

                          No one is "barking" at your per se, but we see this particular question pretty often. We try to advise the OPs on what's up with MEPS.... and then, like clockwork, we get a post from some teary-eyed OP who got DQ'd because they felt it was necessary to disclose some one-time med thing from 15 years ago that has absolutely no bearing on today.

                          Use some grey matter, go at this with common sense and make your decision. It's ultimately up to you on how you want to handle it.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Age/Background Concerns

                            There's nothing wrong with getting to know people and making friends, I would just be 'selective', at least in the beginning how much you share.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Age/Background Concerns

                              Originally posted by Portree228 View Post
                              I was 35 when I went in (and with some grey hair at the time, I looked it or even older). Yeah I got some ribbing from the DS on the issue, but I wasn't the oldest and there were more than a few a couple of us. In most ways I wasn't treated any differently, but sometimes I think they gave me a little more slack on stuff because I showed early on I was responsible and did what I was told. Like locker inspections for me were mostly cursory, where others (especially the young privates) they would dig through everything they could. But I earned that by listening and following directions and not trying to get away with something at every turn.
                              I think if there were a way to disguise my age, I'd do that. No gray hairs yet for me, but I wouldn't doubt they're coming. I suppose those who are older are expected to be in leadership positions during basic and such, and while that's fine with me, I doubt I'd be the greatest at locker inspection myself. The physical stuff and the academics I can handle, but tidiness was never my forte.

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