Why middle-agers shouldn’t join the army

Enlisting in the army is a significant life-changing decision, especially for someone who’s middle-aged. Apparently there’s an age cap of 42 for active duty. The reasoning behind this seemingly arbitrary number is that it allow for a 20-year military career before retirement. However, perhaps they should look toward a younger cutoff point in light of a recent study investigating the effects of sleep deprivation on arousal levels of middle-aged rats. But before we continue with this line of argument, lets define what being middle-aged really means.

According to the US Consensus middle-age ranges anywhere from 35 to 54. During this stage of life one begins to see visible signs of aging, loss of skin elasticity, and graying hair. In addition, physical fitness decreases, body fat accumulates, and a decrease in both aerobic performance and maximal heart rate ensues.

You may be asking yourself why any sane middle-aged person would ever want to enlist into the army, especially at such a physically disadvantageous age. Well…there ARE people out there who have their various reasons. One middle-ager, Russell Dilling, decided to follow through with his life-long dream and joined at the ripe age of 42 after divorcing a wife who refused to be in a military marriage. Another middle-aged aspirant of the military life posted, “I really wanted to be a cop or firefighter, but their qualifying standards are too tough. Also, cops and firefighters don’t get the great benefits that military people do, like free health care, housing, discounts at the PX, job placement assistance, and various other preferential treatment”, to which an incredulous military solider responded, “[I] think you have the Army mixed up with the Welfare system…”. Hilarious.

In any case, it’s no secret that soldiers experience long bouts of sleep deprivation during combat and perhaps even in training. This is why the U.S. military developed its very own sleep-reduction program. It seems as if the development of a drug to help cut down that pesky need for sleep is on the horizon (or already here). In an unclassified report the defense science advisory group known as JASON wrote:

[T]he maximum casualty rate depends strongly on the individual’s sleep need, ?0. Hence any effort to improve human performance to minimize ?0 for given tasks can lead to a significant decrease in the casualty rate, of [about] 20 percent. … Suppose a human could be engineered who slept for the same amount of time as a giraffe (1.9 hours per night). This would lead to an approximately twofold decrease in the casualty rate. An adversary would need an approximately 40 percent increase in the troop level to compensate for this advantage. 

So why might it be a bad idea for middle-aged adults to enlist into the army? Find out at TheQuantumLobeChronicles.blogspot.com

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