West Texas Recruiters See Interest from Older Crowd

By Camaron Abundes   
NewsWest 9

ODESSA- Early in 2009, Army Recruiters reported a surge in the number of older recruits trying to join the ranks. Seven months into 2009 and local recruiters say the trend isn't slowing down.

"With a lot of the good career paths shutting down they're trying to get the good job opportunities we provide," Staff Sergeant Louis Pulse said his office in the Music City Mall is seeing continued interest from older recruits. "Some have prior service, some don't. The oil field is shutting down so were seeing lot of the older people from the oil field."

Recruiters like SSG Pulse think the advantage to an older recruit is the maturity they bring to basic training but he says not everyone will qualify under the Army's guidelines. The recruiters are allowed to enlist people between 17 and 42 years old.

"They come in they tell us their age and then they ask if they're at the age limit," Corporal Aaron Sanchez, said. "Most of them have families at that age and they're looking ahead to their families well being."

Recruits must pass a physical and meet weight and other physical requirements. A soldier must have a high school diploma and can not have a criminal past.

"I believe a lot of the older folks that try to come in are a lot more mature," SSG Pulse said not everyone just wants a steady job. He says recruits young and old join to serve the country.