Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Saturday | March 6, 2010
Home : Saturday Features
Attention! The requirements for joining the army

Carl Gilchrist, Gleaner Writer

A career in the army can be a rewarding experience - at least in some countries. Getting into the army isn't necessarily difficult. In fact, in some countries there is compulsory enlistment.

In Jamaica, the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) requires that applicants be between 18 and 23. Persons under 18 need parental consent. Persons with a degree are accepted up to age 27 and would enter at the level of officer.

Other requirements to enter as a private include being Jamaican, with a minimum education of the Grade Nine Achievement Test. Applicants are also required to sit a JDF entrance test.

There are other entry requirements, including physical tests. There is also a vigorous training schedule for several months, which prepares you for life in the army.

Hectic training schedule

There is a similar situation in Barbados, where the minimum age for voluntary military service is 18. You may also enlist earlier, but with parental consent. There is a hectic training schedule involved.

In the United States (US), the minimum age for enlistment in the military is 17 with parents' consent and 18 without. The basic qualifications for enlistment in the US army include: being from 17 to 34 years old, being a US citizen or resident alien, being single with no children or married with no more than two children. There are tests, including a physical, to pass. There are also weight and physical fitness requirements, among other things. Certain law violations may also disqualify you from enlisting.

In the United Kingdom (UK), the age limit is a little lower. At 16 and a half years, you can enlist in the British army. At that age, though, you will not be able to take part in operations but will have to wait until you become 18. At the other end of the scale, the maximum age for recruits has been raised from 26 to 33, the change meaning servicemen and women could remain in uniform up to age 55 in the UK.

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