A younger soldier is almost always going to fit in better (and be more inclined to do what heâs told) than an older entrant to Army life. I had one soldier in my last unit who joined up on the cusp of his 29th birthday with a wife and four children in tow (two of which were from another marriage). He may be the worst example to bring to this forum but I cannot help myself as he was the biggest drama merchant going and used his family as an excuse for everything.
Add to that the fact that he was the worlds most mediocre soldier; scruffy, unfit and bad mannered with a penchant for claiming illness at every mention of PT, Exercise or Operation. He was a severe case of spending too much time in civilian life learning (bad) habits that do not adhere to the military way of life and he did his level best to be a prize idiot at every opportunity.
He then got caught trying to pad-shag and got firmly booted into touch by the CoC. Good riddance!
If he reads this then heâll know who he is. I doubt that there could be another as useless as him!
On the whole the older entrants that I have come accross are a better standard than some of the young sprogs who are supposedly mouldable. Yes the guy who spends ten years as a civvy will be set in his ways but he may also be the more mature wiser decision maker and know what he wants from a career in the army and be less inclined to get drunk and cause havoc like some young sprogs like to.
I'm glad this subject has come up actually, I am 29 years old and come November this year I am apparently too old to join the Regular Army as a Driver, at the moment I am in the Territorial Army, I have only been there a couple of months and am still at the recruit stage, I was told by an officer that it is possible to transfer to the Regular Army from the TA past your maxium age, preferably of course if you have done a six month tour and have shown that you are capable? but I have heard from a girl that is an ex reg and left to get married 7 tried to get back in but at 29 years old was told she is too old.......help!!! any ideas someone?
I feel that the young Toms mould better. Even though they are better educated about what they can and cant do (and of course what can and cant have done to them), youthful exuberance and less responsibility gives them a greater rein to make decisions. Impulsive behaviour is something we, as a force once depended on. Maybe we spend too much time expecting people to complete an assessment of everything before deciding. Often there are decisions to be made that would be better done without worrying about any implications or effects on a career. Am I talking blx or what?
Impulsive behaviour is something we, as a force once depended on. Maybe we spend too much time expecting people to complete an assessment of everything before deciding. Often there are decisions to be made that would be better done without worrying about any implications or effects on a career.
I think "impulsive behaviour" is the wrong way of looking at it. Being decisive and making a decision is different from just being impulsive. This day and age everyone is worried about failing or making the wrong decision and thus nothing is done and nothing changes and if things do change then it normally takes years. There should be more praise for people who try even if occassionally it goes wrong. We remember people more for thier cock ups than thier successes. If you don't do anything then you don't get it wrong. More recognition and focus should be made on those who try and encouragement should encourage this. Lets get some OC's and CO's to remember this when it comes to CR time.
I started basic training at 21. I'm glad i left it till later in life because, unlike some of my younger counterparts, i knew how to iron and look after myself. Half of the 17 year olds in my troop had never touched an iron before and had their mothers to make their beds. I think life experience is essential. A very good friend of mine leaves the Army in a few months. She has been in since she was 17. She asked me how you get a job. It may seem trivial, but having a life before you join up stands you in better steed for when you leave. You know what to expect. Well thats my opinion anyway.
As a Troop Commander I found the Junior Leader soldiers, on the whole, to be better. I think that this may have been as a result of longer training and not necessarily age.
However, at Phase 1 trg I felt that the younger recruits were quite often still "institutionalised" and conformed quicker than older recruits. But the older recruits often showed better initiative, so often it was a good balance that was struck.
This is just a personal view that a balance would be better than more of one or the other.