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A Merchant Mariner, serving aboard Military Sealift Command's fleet replenishment oiler USNS Joshua Humphreys , communicates with the guided missile destroyer USS Bainebridge by way of sound powered telephone during an underway replenishment-at-sea. USNS Joshua Humphreys was standing watch as the Military Sealift Command Atlantic Duty Oiler, providing logistic support for U.S. Navy ships operating in the region. (U.S. Navy photo by Bill Mesta)

US Navy Recruits Older Middle Age Sailors

John Konrad
Total Views: 22694
November 8, 2022

by John Konrad (gCaptain) The US Navy is facing recruiting challenges in a tight labor market, and has raised its maximum enlistment age to 41 in order to attract more sailors to the fleet. The Navy is also looking to increase its use of bonuses and other financial incentives to attract recruits.

While most of these middle age recruits will be eligible to serve in combat assignments in some of the most physically demanding Navy communities, including the NAVY SEALs, have age cutoffs that differ from the general enlistment age, reports the Navy Times.

“As we continue to navigate a challenging recruiting environment,” US Navy Commander Dave Benham told the Navy times. “Raising the enlistment age allows us to widen the pool of potential recruits, creating opportunities for personnel who wish to serve.”

The US Coast Guard is also looking for dedicated individuals to join its ranks, and the age limits are slightly more flexible. Active duty recruits must be aged 35 or under, but some officer programs welcome older recruits, and the age limit for new reservists is 40.

US citizens above the age of 41 have another option for serving their country at sea. Older individuals can obtain Merchant Mariner Credentials from the USCG and apply to sail aboard US Navy ships as civil service sailors with the Military Sealift Command. Recruits deciding on this option, however, must be able to obtain a security clearance and be capable of passing pre-employment physical examination. Those who want to sail as officers will need a USCG license and should contact a state maritime academy for information on enrollment.

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