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Joining Army Reserves Infantry at Age 46

Truenorth101

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I recently submitted an application to join the Primary Army Reserves as an Infantryman. I am 46 years old, in good physical shape. My questions are: am I crazy to do this at my age? Will the physical training be too much for a person my age? What standards should I be gaging my fitness level against? Any insights greatly appreciated.
 

LittleBlackDevil

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If you are physically fit, I don't think it's crazy. Although take my opinion with a grain of salt because it's been almost 20 years since I was in the army reserves as an infantry officer, but from what I remember doing, I could definitely still do it now at 40 and I am actually in better shape now than I was then because I regularly go to the gym now (whereas as a young man I didn't think I needed to).

Standards to gauge your fitness level against would be at least the minimums required for the trade. I think if you can do at least double the minimum required on the FORCE test you will be in good stead to make it through training without hurting yourself.

I'm not sure what the minimums are and a quick google search does not immediately reveal a nice easy chart. I did find this older/likely out of date page: https://forces.gc.ca/en/news/article.page?doc=canadian-forces-physical-fitness-standards/hnps1vfu

I would say aim for the "incentive" level on that chart and you should be good to go if you can do that.

Also, link to the FORCE programme: https://www.cfmws.com/en/aboutus/psp/dfit/fitness/forceprogram/pages/about-the-force-program.aspx
 

Truenorth101

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Thank you LittleBlackDevil for your insights, information. I, like you, am also of the mind that I am in better shape as a 46 year old than I was as a 26 year old. A healthy sense of mortality I guess. The big unknown is the amount of running in Infantry school - everyday, no rest days, aging bones. The last thing I want is to be the slow guy in a group of 20 somethings.
 

LittleBlackDevil

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Truenorth101 said:
Thank you LittleBlackDevil for your insights, information. I, like you, am also of the mind that I am in better shape as a 46 year old than I was as a 26 year old. A healthy sense of mortality I guess. The big unknown is the amount of running in Infantry school - everyday, no rest days, aging bones. The last thing I want is to be the slow guy in a group of 20 somethings.

I trained with some guys in their 40s and they seemed able to keep up alright. It's true that with an older body you may be more at risk for an injury due to wear-and-tear type things.

I wouldn't worry about being the slow guy. The impression I always got was that the instructors were more interested in how much will/determination you showed than your actual results. I never saw anyone get "beasted" for not being the fastest or strongest, only for giving up. Also, there will probably be at least one or two who show up in not as good of shape as they should be. I'll confess that was me at 19 years old thinking I was invincible.

I never did basic training as an NCM. As an officer at Gagetown Infantry school, we did do running almost every morning but I don't recall it being particularly long runs although they were fast pace. You do get some rest days because you don't train every weekend plus sometimes they do obstacle courses or swimming instead of running.

I think being in the best shape you can be going in will help with the wear-and-tear issues. And maybe bring some supplements? I never used to use whey protein for example, but I do now when I workout and I find it assists greatly with recovery. I'm sure there are other options.
 

Truenorth101

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Thank you again LittleBlackDevil, your words are encouraging. I am excited to get going. Everything in the recruitment process is slowed down due to Covid. Using the time to train harder.

Definitely agree about the use of whey powder in aiding recovery.

 

Truenorth101

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A quick note to update this post...
I have spent the last year completing the application process to the Army Reserves which ended in my enrolment last Friday. I join my Regiment for the first time last night. I am officially a Pte awaiting training. Felt great to be there last evening...I was clearly the oldest recruit...by about 20yrs. Greatly looking forward to getting on a BMQ course and hopefully a DPL1 before the summer's end. Fingers crossed. Will update as I progress.
 

LittleBlackDevil

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Great to hear the update and that you finally made it through the recruiting process. Do keep us posted.

On the topic of "old guys" joining the reserves ... I myself signed my conditional offer of employment last week (albeit CIC officer, so not that physically demanding) and am now just waiting to be sworn in I guess. I know my paperwork now has to be signed-off on by my CO then goes to CFB Borden for the CIC honchos there to give it final approval.
 

daftandbarmy

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A quick note to update this post...
I have spent the last year completing the application process to the Army Reserves which ended in my enrolment last Friday. I join my Regiment for the first time last night. I am officially a Pte awaiting training. Felt great to be there last evening...I was clearly the oldest recruit...by about 20yrs. Greatly looking forward to getting on a BMQ course and hopefully a DPL1 before the summer's end. Fingers crossed. Will update as I progress.

Congrats! Whatever you do, don't let on that you already know way more than they do about important things... like Advil ;)


will ferrell yes GIF
 

Truenorth101

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Great to hear the update and that you finally made it through the recruiting process. Do keep us posted.

On the topic of "old guys" joining the reserves ... I myself signed my conditional offer of employment last week (albeit CIC officer, so not that physically demanding) and am now just waiting to be sworn in I guess. I know my paperwork now has to be signed-off on by my CO then goes to CFB Borden for the CIC honchos there to give it final approval.
Happy to see you still following this thread...congratulations of accepting your offer of employment.
 

Truenorth101

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Congrats! Whatever you do, don't let on that you already know way more than they do about important things... like Advil ;)


will ferrell yes GIF
Thanks for the comment, and advice...Advil is on the packing list for BMQ for sure. Keep my mouth shut, eyes and ears open. Do the work.
 
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