As long as you can do the job and are willing to do the job, my view is that age should not be a factor.
I knew an RSM of a South African reserve infantry battalion that was still volunteering for and being accepted for 3 month operational tours in South West Africa/ Angola at the grand old age (so it seemed to me at the time) of 58. This was in the mid-1980s. He had started his military service in the Western Desert in WW2 and his wide experience was respected and welcomed by one and all.
There is quite a few "old and bold" working private security in Iraq right now. One ex-Regiment NCO was nearly 60!
The car he was in was bumped. He and his oppo. return fire, killing two ragheads and wounding the third. The old boy walks over to the wounded terrorist and beats him to death. Good effort!
Soldier's fitness and skills degrade at individual rates. Some retain their combat capabilty longer than others.
This is all very well but what does it say for the future structure and age span of the average Officers Mess?. If we carry on like this the units will be split between a bunch of very old enablers and the rest will be 'two tour' mobilisees with an average age of 20 who then leave.
I'm paraphrasing from memory here so appologies if ti isn't totally accurate!!!
TA Officer upper age limit has been extended to 60 and was effective from some time in October 2005. There is no word at moment on whether this will be extended to ORs but if it did the terms would mean it was pretty much restricted to SNCO's who would be willing to join the watchkeepers pool.
The way it works is that you will still have the same age brackets for the various levels of command (I Can't remember them just now but the jist of it is that you will have had your chance at Unit Cmmand by 45, for arguments sake, and after that you will not get another chance) This will prevent the change in age limit turning the officers mess into even more of a crusty retirement home...
It will allow those officers who have had their Sub-Unit/Unit command and reached their career ceiling to continue to serve in staff jobs at Headquarter units or within the watchkeepers pool. The main point is that there will have to be a job for them to go to, they will have to continue to pass medical etc, and when they finish their 2-3 year posting in one job they need to move to another job or go onto the unposted list. They then stay on the unposted list were they will have a finite period of time to find a new job (12-24 months?) before the decision is taken to ask them to retire.
As I say this is all from memory but I have seen it explained in some official bumph from Bde so it is deffinately in force and when the supply of free booze dries up sometime after Jan the 1st I'll have a dig around the office for the document and post the facts!
On another side of the Age thing, can anyone tell me what the actual minimum age is for entry to TA is? All the booklets and Careers lads have told me 17 but as i phone up my local unit im told they dont recruit till 17 1/2 so i have to wait about another six months or they might just lose me totally if i get a "real/more boring/less fulfilling" job to get money in College.
Just seems a bit of a contradiction to me that the TA are calling for recruits yet im beingmade to wait around six months before even being able to start the induction process. seeing as id have to be doing two years of training before a deployment anyway. I might just be lost to them seeing as i intend to be going for entry to the Regs anyway.
Is this an actual national age limit but the Booklets havent been specific or do COs often enforce their own age limits? Guess it would make sense if the unit im going for (3 Btn PWRR) has enough recruits or they have a thing about 17 year olds doing infantry work as opposed to an 18 year old...
Units are always willing to bend the rules if it suits them or if you bring something special to the party. I know of one 38 year old who's just passed his 4 Para jumps course. He was ex-reg infantry and his local 4 Para unit was seriously understaffed. So they turned a blind eye to the age limit.