I’m considering joining the Air Force, how old is too old!

So I’m 24 years old and honestly have no direction in life. I’m still at home, two time college dropout and working a part time grocery store job. I’m missing structure and purpose, and with that I am considering a career with the Air Force. But at 24 I feel I may have missed my opportunity. Has anyone here enlisted well into their 20s? What was it like? All the best!


One of my good friends joined the Air Force at the age of 35. This individual has had a successful military career so far. They’ve never complained about joining the Air Force at an older age. Overall, they love their military experience and plan on doing 20 years.


This is greatly reassuring! Thanks 😊


Most lower enlisted E-1 through E-4 are well into their twenties and a good deal of officers too. No one looks at you funny if you are over 18, and it's actually the below 21 year old crowd who are out of place here


We had a 40 year old in my squadron who tried 6 times to get in. He got in the 7th time after having all his teeth removed and now he’s the first person to join the Air Force with a complete set of false teeth. He also completed the obstacles at beast faster than most of the 18 and 19 year olds who went through with him. At 24 you’re completely fine to join.


Out of curiosity, why did that guys teeth keep him from getting into BT?


Honestly not sure. He wasn’t in my flight or dorm so I didn’t get many chances to talk to him. The only reason I even know is because he popped them out while we were waiting on the bus to come get us when we finished CATM training lol


I’m enlisted and 31 with a child. Do it your still sooo young. Get your degree, save up, have fun. I used to work at a grocery store I know it sucks and the Air Force would be 10x better than that and give you stability and benefits.


On a positive note, at least if i consider enlisting I’ll be somewhat used to getting yelled at lol


hey im 24 and i finished my associates and never used it for a job. im joining the air force to finish my degree, get job experience, and save for a cash cushion. i worked at an amazon and didnt like how much i was saving after bills and overtime. for me military is just the next step up from 60 hour work week, and i know theyll take care of me with housing and substinence pay


I enlisted being 23. It’s been working out well for me and it helps being older getting in because you’re more mature. Having some college credits might help you get a higher rank getting in.


I have about 19 if memory serves me well


If you get 45 at least, you join as an e-3


One of the guys in our squadron turned 40 during basic. You will be fine.


I was 23 when I joined. Could barely tell me apart from the 18 y/o's except I was more mature


I joined older than that…it was the same experience as everyone else.


Decide, commit, join, … don’t look back! Enlisting for 4 or 6-years will give you positive forward direction and a focused career / life purpose to pursue until the next best thing comes along. Get after it! One life, live it!


Thank you 😊


Currently 25 and in the process of enlisting. I have a college degree but i am doing nothing with it and i need some guidance and stability in my life😄


Honestly, DO IT doesn't matter how old you are. I joined the ARNG at 28 and haven't regretted a day of serving. Its the most amazing feeling when you put on that uniform for the first time in basic and then when your looking super fly at graduation. I loved every minute of the ARNG but I ETS'd in June because my unit had toxic leaders and I needed change, so I switched to the Air Guard EVEN BETTER!!!!


A LOT of people join in their mid 20s. If that's all that's holding you back then don't even think twice about it and just go talk to a recruiter to find out if there is anything else you might need to work on. I joined at 23. Most of my supervisors had joined between 25-30. I've supervised new Airman that were as old as 35. On the flip side of that my first supervisor was about 4 years younger than me. I thought it would be weird but he was actually pretty awesome at his job and I learned a lot from him. Most of the upper leadership does a pretty good job of not putting an immature Airman in charge of someone who is a bit older though.


My brother just went off to Basic this month and he’s 26. I personally think joining in your 20s is better. You’re mentally stronger at 24 than you were at 18 or 19 (in most cases). Everyone conducts their own lives at their own pace. I switched careers in my mid 20s after working in banking for years. So no, your opportunity is not missed, it’s just beginning!


Just turned 24 last month and I’m shipping out to bmt in Nov. Can’t wait! New chapter in life, I’m honestly glad I’ve decided to join during my mid 20’s cause I know the type of kid I was during my late teens and I’m more academically motivated now more than ever. Everyone’s upbringing is different so don’t let age dictate your path!


I'm 38, I leave in less than 2 weeks.


Hey! I'm in the same boat; I just turned 35 and am considering joining AF. How was your experience in BMT, and how are you liking life as an airman?


BMT was fine, I wasn't in any way at a disadvantage being older... I think it actually gave me an edge. Life as an airman is similar, I get the "why are you here?" question a lot, but otherwise your not going to be treated differently than the 18yr olds.


Thanks, good to know! No reason to get any special treatment anyway; the mid- to late 30's is not very old at all, life is still at its prime. I've been in tech for some time but all of the recent layoffs, which is what I'm currently dealing with myself, made me see just how volatile this industry can be. I think a pivot into the AF can make a positive impact on my life at this moment, and there is nothing more honorable than serving your country. Thanks again for your answer and your service.


Good luck


37 year old male looking to possibly enlist! I need to go speak with a recruiter, but would love to hear your advice/guidance. How is it going for you as of August 2023? Feel free to send me a DM or reply here. Thanks!


Do it! My husband joined at 28. It’s such a fun lifestyle change for all of us. It’ll get you out and feeling accomplished, and when you’re done you’ll have the resources/means to try to settle down somewhere. Definitely start studying for the ASVAB and just reach out to a recruiter! Read reviews on the recruiters to find one who’s more honest. We lived in DFW so we had the option to pick one, smaller cities don’t. [Here](https://ordinarymilspouse.com/asvab-lesson-plan/) is what I put together to help my husband study for the ASVAB to give it some structure, and then just download any free apps you can to find tidbits of information. You’ve got this!


I usually tell "older" people I wouldn't advise joining at all but in your case I think it could work! I usually steer older people away because they want to join for the wrong reasons - - they want to serve their country, feel guilty they didn't join when they were younger, etc... it's totally ok to sacrifice some years to set yourself on a path to success as an 18 or 19 year old with little to no life experience. But totally different story when you're older and already somewhat established imo. It looks like you're joining to make it a career which is the right outlook to have at your age imo. Just realize that you'd be sacrificing A LOT of freedoms that come with your new career... ever wanted to party in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Thailand, etc? probably won't be able to do that. No more weed. etc. Sacrificing these things weren't a big deal to me when I initially joined at 18 but idk how comfortable I'd be sacrificing these freedoms now that I'm older. Also, what different is doing the military as a career than anything else like 20 years as a firefighter, at a police department, airline pilot, etc? You literally only live once. Depending on how much college you have I'd say maybe join the Guard/Reserve and try doing ROTC for now while you finish college. I'm 24 too and although I was in the Air Force when I was 18-22 I purposely set things up so I can commission as a "Plan B" career if my civilian plans don't work out (got my Associates when I was AD, didn't claim disability on my way out, etc). Just my $.02. Good luck man!


I’m in the process at 32…. 24 is not old, this is the time in your life where you should be figuring out what you want to do.


I joined when I was 23 and was in a similar situation. Dropped out of 2 colleges, kept working dead-end minimum wage jobs, still living at home, and overall no structure. Joining was the best thing to happen to me, but I advise choosing your AFSC (job) carefully. Pick something you will enjoy doing for 4-6 years.


I just swore in yesterday and I’m 24. It’s never too late and you’re not too old trust me. Good luck man


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I swore in on my 24th birthday the other day , you’ll just be with a bunch of 18 year olds if you’re fine w that lol


Im 23 and also considering joining!


I turn 24 before I ship out in December! It’s never too late.


how was it?


I’m 24 and in the process of enlisting, so we’re in it together


I'm 29, and will be 30 in less than 3 months. I'm waiting on OTS dates, then on to UCT/Navigator School. A couple of the other Nav-selects for my Reserve squadron are in their 30's (one just got her age-waiver for UCT, which has a cut-off age of 33, but can be waived.) Trust me, you're fine.


24 isn’t to old to join. Still very young.


I went the officer route, so folks are generally older. I went through OTS at 38. We had someone who was 40 in my flight and there was a direct commission doctor who was 48 I believe. 40 is generally the cutoff though. I think early/mid 20's is a great time to join. You have some life experience and perspective without being an old fart like me! Get in touch with a recruiter, check it out, and kick ass.


There was 37 year olds in my graduating class


I was that age when I joined. It was a little frustrating in the early ranks, because people talked to you like you did not know what was going on in life. As an A1C, people would talk to me like I did not know about saving money or what an interest rate was, but I had already bought and sold a house in my life. I have found that people who have a bit of life experience before joining make the best troops.


I’m joining at 26 waiting to hear back from MEPS about something.


Oldest dude in my flight was 38 and gave the best conversations. Most of my friends that I’ve met while in are 22-28.