TA Virgin @ 37 too old ??

I am 37 and am thinking of joining the TA as a CMT(V). I have been out of the RAF for 10years taking redundancy as a Sgt Techie and am now a Bank Manager !!! I keep myself fit, train 3/4 times a week and was talking to a TA stand at an outdoor event last week. I have no dilusions of rank and am happy to be a Pte and to use it as a hobby / interest and hopefully go on some Ops overseas. I have done Gulf War 1, Bosnia & NI in the field on the Support Helicopter Force so have been to towards the sharp end. The guy I talked to was a 42 SSgt in the RAMC and did not seem to think it would be a problem. I am happy to go in and keep quiet about my 12 years as a crab and just nod and agree at a 19yr old PTI during my phase 1. Are there any other 'elderly' TA recent entrants that could give me a heads up. I am off to their depot this afternoon for an informal chat and an intro. Any advise appreciated. Cheers


Book Reviewer
Go for it
I joined the TA at 32 after 9 years regular came out in 96 joined 2003
You will have been out long enough for you to have to go back on the two week basic training course
The fact that you have been in and been about will help but remember
The Army do alot of things differently to the Airforce so the sitting nodding along will happen any way
Plus first aid and things like that have changed
If you are joining a speacialist unit then I don't think the age limit will hamper you
I served at 34 on Telic as a trooper just like any other 19 yo and there is still a learning curve to be had
The lads will accept you for what you are not what you did
The lads who seem to have a problem where the ''when I was in boz we did it like this'' Ans 'Were not in Boz are we?''
Freind of mine went to Iraq and he was a civvy bank manager he ended up working in the iraqi treasury at Basra Palace (own gaff beer chits etc) whilst the rest of his muckers slummed it
Remeber 3 words Fitness Fitness and Fitness
You will have to do a CFT and the BFT (mile and a half plus press ups and sit ups)
So if your fitness is lacking try and get ahead now(trust me I really struggled to start with)
Good luck
let us know how you get on
Cheers Boy Syrup. My wife and family are fully supportive and I am being a realist. At 37 I am too old for Infantry but believe I have skills to contribute to either the RAMC or RLC as a TA bod. I have trawled all over the ww.ta.mod.uk site but could not seem to locate the Fitness standards for TA. Could you PM or send me the link with the sliding scale for ages and the 1.5 mile run as well as the situp and press ups. Many thanks for your encouragement.
retiredCrab said:
I am 37 and am thinking of joining the TA as a CMT(V). I have been out of the RAF for 10years taking redundancy as a Sgt Techie and am now a Bank Manager !!! I keep myself fit, train 3/4 times a week
Pains me to say, but you're probably fitter than most potential recruits, and even members of the TA.

retiredCrab said:
Are there any other 'elderly' TA recent entrants that could give me a heads up.
I joined in my early 30s, not too much older than you, with no prior experience. No specific advice I can give, but if you get through to your 2 week CMS camp, I'd be surprised if there weren't quite a few others in their 30s there - I certainly wasn't alone. (We had one EFI bloke - about 40? - who did his mile aand a half in about 9.15.) Saw no evidence of age discrimination - the instructors seemed to dislike all STABS equally!

As TBS said, give it a go!
I joined at 34 after 10 years out. Did TAOC with all the 19 year old blades and busted them into bits out in the field. Young chaps now don't seem to be as robust nowadays.

Had a young lad that was going Regular Para Officer and after a weekend exercise that culminated in section battle drills, we had to go and retrieve our kit. I invited him to tab there and back, and he lasted there and I put about 1Km between us on the return leg. He then said I should go Para!!!! I put a brew on, gleaned my rifle in double time and skipped off to the RLC :D
age is no barrier to being an Individual reinforcement

Go for it.

You too can volunteer for the sandpits
Just completed the CMSR at 35. There were quite a few of us 'oldies', a couple of them in early 40's.

Won't be a problem, as you've already said - keep your head down and make sure you are fit enough.

Although it has taken me old bones two weeks to recover........ 8O
"You'rw never too old" as a recruiter once told me

I'm in a very similar boat to you, I also am 37 and am currently applying to join the TA after 12 years in green, although the recruiting staff have admitted they may have to cross fingers and hold breath, they are fairly confident that it will be accepted.

This BTW is the SECOND TA unit I have spoken to and the first was of the same opinion.

What has helped mind is that I am joining the same capbadge I left some 6 years ago and I have trades through my ringhole which they are keen to use. Another factor is that they need more olduns in the ranks, I was amazed at how young the lads and lasses were and there was a massive gap between the junior to the senior, another reason why they are keen to sign me up
im 43 rejoined after an 18 year gap, for i lost 5 years toying with the idea that i could not be allowed to rejoin because of my age only to find out they would accept me when i applied so my advice is go for it what have you got to lose
Im 37 and like you I train 3 times a week I left in 98 after doing 10 years in the Signals.I have an interview tomorrow with the CSM of an infrantry regt based in St Helens with a bit of luck I might get back in.
In my experience the age thing depends who you speak to and on who you are.

37 is too old, I know that because I am 37 and have just joined. This was after being knocked back by the first unit i asked, just aswell really as it was miles away (but they have really nice badges)

Exceptions to the age limit can be made by the head shed, I am one, and if the unit you approach want you they will ask the question.

If they say they can't they either don't want you or don't know their arrse from their elbow.
rich17 said:
I was told online yesterday by the qa recruiting team that i was too old at 35, maybe you get better sevice at the tac's themselves.
Never rely on "Offical" info or phone up, you will nearly always end up talking to a jobsworth qouting the offical line.

My advice is find a unit and rock up and ask, they will give you the once over and as long as you don't come over as being a mong you'll be alright
As a 33 year old and sometimes feeling like Grandad on weekends it's great to know there are more off us on the other side of 30 out there. I think we bring maturity to the party (thought I would say that) and more comittment as we're drinking at the last chance salon as it were.
Also I'm alot fitter than some of the yonger ones, mile and half in 9.45
Update - I went down on Sunday afternoon and had a chat with a very friendly recruiter. She said they would warmly welcome me and she had a few reservations about an ex RAF Sgt getting bored but I explained the RAF are not really that military as we go to war with Delsey suitcases. They seemed a great friendly bunch I have taken the papers away to complete. Perhaps there may be scope to form some type of Geriatric Badged Corps for us wrinklies and grey haired folk. They told me that I would be better suited to the RLC rather than the RAMC. So I am currently thinking hard which one I could serve the best. Without starting a flaming war and any immature/slagging match am I better to go in to the RLC rather than have nil medical expirience and join the RAMC and have to learn from scratch ?
The thing abot age mate is the pros and cons

On the plus side you have military experience, maturity, leadership, common sense (I know thats saying a lot for an ex-crab) etc

On the neg side your a limited resource, not part of the long term plan. They have to question the cost of training you if you only manage a few years, now I know they have no idea if the youngsters will stick it but thats the gamble. The arguement may be that by the time they have got you fully up to spec on the CMT (or whatever its called now) side you might be close to "retirement"

I think what they are gettting at with the RLC is you can (presumingly) drive and have driven Mil vehicles, instant employable positon for you driving the ambulances for them. If you have any radio experience, another useful trade, an eighteen year old straight off the street won't have that skill.

What you need to do is talk to them, tell/show your past exp/qualsand see what roles are on offer, reseach them (come on here and ask on the appropriate board for advice), find something you like, speak to guys in role in the unit and make your decision
Cheers Welly thats what I thought. I am lucky and work for a major bank and I can have shed loads of time off free. However, yes the training to qualify as a CMT will be a lot longer than and thus I will be closer to retirement. I concur that perhaps the RLC is a better option. I have a good civilian career with nice pay and banking benefits. I am more than happy to be a junior rank and to be an asset to my unit, rather than a power crazed TA bod wishing to change the world. Well hopefully I will get accepted soon. Cheers guys
Same topic slightly different question - what about 1 30/31 year old infantryman? I was in for a year until this May, am out to go overseas for a while and think I'll be 30ish when I get back - will this raise eyebrows? :?
You can join the TA up to 32 without any prior militarty experience, the upper age limit for ex services is 34 but that, as you can tell from this thread, is well up to the unit what it really is


You were in for 1 year ? Why did you leave ? Was it medical or discipinary ? If it was one of those you may have an issue. If you didn't like/couldn't hack/dog threatened to leave etc then you would probably be taken on as per the civie limit what you will still be within. If it was one of those reasons then you need to have a bloody good long hard look at why you want to do it, please don't think its an easy route to waltdom

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