Free Essay. Military Should Lower Age Requirement

Published: 2023-03-20
Free Essay. Military Should Lower Age Requirement
Type of paper:  Argumentative essay
Categories:  United States Army Personal development Social issue
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1923 words
17 min read

The military police are a law enforcement agency that relates to the state military. The military police are responsible for the armed forces, which ensures policing in areas and being against crime by civilians or the military (Stepan, 2015). From the federal law, the minimum age requirement to join the United States military is 17 with parental consent and 18 to those with no parental consent. The maximum age to be enlisted in the military is 35 (Benmelech & Frydman, 2015). To qualify to join the army, one must be a US citizen or a resident alien, have two or more dependents, and pass the military medical entrance processing station exam. Also, one has to have a high school diploma, be of age between 17 and 34, and pass the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) test. I disagree with lowering the military age requirement.

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Being 18 years in the United States, one is considered an adult. However, there are so many limitations to an 18-year-old. An 18-year-old has an opportunity of joining the military; they can vote, has a choice of drinking alcohol, and can change their name if they wish to (Benmelech & Frydman, 2015). These opportunities, however, seem less as compared to a twenty-year-old who can buy alcohol, buy tobacco products, and rent a car. Therefore, joining the military at a younger age may affect them physically and mentally.

Young age of less than 18 is not an appropriate age to serve in the military. These do not even have the physical capabilities to withstand the wars, training, and hard conditions in their minds and bodies (Stepan, 2015). The bodies of these adolescents should be left to mature a little bit to reduce events of serious injuries, damages, and even early deaths in the military forces. Also, the teens who end up joining the military might be those hopeless with no other options, and joining the military is their only option. Also, teens at a younger age have a twisted mind on whether they should go to the military or not; probably, they are influenced by their peers. Therefore, the military should not lower the age requirement as it would be inconvenient for these teens.

According to Steinglass M. (2010), the minimum age requirement should be raised and not lowered. Teens have a tendency doing wrong things, especially under the influence of peer pressure. Steinglass believes it is not a good idea to let teens handle automated weapons, as it may result in more mortality rates in the field. Another research shows that the brain's white matter is not fully developed until one is in the twenties. Raising the minimum age would ensure there is enough pay to recruit more soldiers.

Lowering the military age requirement may promote many school dropouts. Reducing the age requirement may encourage high school students who have no experience get out of school and fight for the nation and be able to handle guns. The military should consider students who are already done with high school and college. Therefore, there is no need to lower the age requirement, but rather raise it to at least twenty- one. Sending kids to the battle to fight adults is not a fair deal. The adults should not make the kids fight for them, but they should go themselves to fight those other adults. In short, enlisting underage kids is a bad idea.

Lowering the minimum age requirement may be ineffective because teens, especially under the age of 18, tend to make uninformed judgments and have a lot of misunderstanding due to their brain chemistry. Teens are too immature to make life-death decisions. Recruiting teens under the age of 18 to the military force is violating the US labor law that discourages teens from being employed, especially in harsh conditions like in the military. The international standards also resist the use of young teens to fight for the country (Stepan, 2015). Also, studies show that teens below 18 cannot deploy because they do not have the combat effectiveness and therefore recruiting a younger age will be committing a war crime. Lowering the age requirement would jeopardize the way the public speculates the military as an institution.

According to federal law, persons under the age of twenty- one are not allowed to own a handgun while those under the age of eighteen cannot hold a long gun. Only with some exceptions does the law allow possession of handguns to those at the age of 18 (Hartocollis, 2013). The federal law prohibits owning a gun to teens to reduce the availability of guns to young people. It is risky for a teenager to carry around weapons and firearms in public. The rate of gun violence and homicides is at the highest for teenagers. If the federal law restricts owning a handgun to teens under the age of 18, then they should also not be allowed to join the military. In the military, they will be given guns, which would be inconvenient as the teens will not be able to handle the firearms properly, especially under no supervision.

The age limit to buy tobacco products should not be increased (Hsieh, 2019). There would be more premature deaths from lung cancer. Smoking-related illness would cost the taxpayers money since smoking issues cost around four hundred billion a year. The government should, therefore, regulate teens' unhealthy lifestyles. According to Hsieh, the government should increase the life insurance cost to smokers as this would help cut off the rate of smoking to teens. One wouldn't prefer to pay more on insurance just because of smoking. Therefore, the age limit to start smoking should be raised to twenty-one. If one joins the military at the age of 18 or lower, then they may not be allowed to smoke, even if one suffers from stress due to war consequences (Hsieh, 2019). If an 18-year-old or below cannot be allowed to smoke while in the military forces, then they should not be permitted to join the army at first. Therefore, lowering the age requirements would not be convenient, especially when relating to smoking issues.

The Mothers Against Drunk Driving argue that drinking and driving-related deaths have significantly declined. The vehicle safety and good road conditions are the reason for the decline (Deniloff, 2010). The drinking age should be lowered but with teachings and awareness of the consequences of excessive drinking and unethical consumption by the youths. The alcohol consumption should be regulated to the teens. (Deniloff, 2010). If underage use of alcohol is prohibited, then the government should also consider raising the military age requirement to prevent young teens from going to fight in wars at a very young age.

According to McCalla (2019), the brain handles the psychological processes. It helps in decision making and error correction. However, these functions can be prompted by punishments or rewards. Also, the memory capacity maintains information through human thought; this is also a function of the brain. The more one is older, the more there is a decrease and increase of some brain skills. The peak of functioning skills is at twenty. Also, at twenty is when one can be able to regulate their emotions as part of the cognitive-linguistic function. The function of problem-solving or emotion prediction is high at twenty. Reducing the military requirement age, therefore, would imply that underage teens whose functioning skills are still low are recruited. The teens would not be able to perform well the functioning skills, which plays a significant role in decision making while at the military. Raising the minimum age for the military may motivate more recruits. A matured teenager may be more ready to fight for the country as they have prepared well.

Adults, however, find the recruitment campaigns less substantial than teenagers do. Adults do not easily fall to the idea of being aggressive and showing off their masculinity as compared to teenagers. Teenagers tend to think that in the military much of their time is spent on building collaborative relationships with the local community and drinking tea, and this may be an additional advantage. Recruiting a younger age also seems to be 30% cheaper than adults. Also, if one decides to join the military, then they should just be allowed, and they should not be forced out even if they are underage. If the teen is passionate about protecting, and serving the nation, then why should they be denied a chance?

The hard military lifestyle puts off members, especially in today's labor market and the availability of more civilian jobs. Potential recruits often hesitate to sign up to the military force because of the high unemployment among military spouses, constant moves, complaints among service members, and the back- to- back deployments (Benmelech & Frydman, 2015). Therefore, to encourage more recruits and to reduce the fast-growing divide between the civilians and the military, the military must be able to change the military requirements and the tactics used. They can also lower the minimum age requirement to join the military so they can be able to get more recruits. Recruiting in high schools should be increased. Awareness should be created for these teens. Also, the teens' perspectives can easily be changed while in the military as compared to recruiting adults whose minds are already formed.

In the past, teens below 18 ears were not allowed to join the military forces. Back then, the teens matured slower as compared to the current teens. Teens nowadays are triggered by puberty at a very young age. Early adolescence is due to the kind of foods we consume today. This means that the current teens can be able to handle military service. Therefore, lowering the minimum required age would not have any effect.

Analysts say that recruiting a younger age to the military may have unique fundamental benefits to the twenty-first century. The criminal records that tend to disqualify people from joining the military are usually not there in younger teens. No criminal records would ensure discipline is maintained while in the military. Also, one's age may sometimes do not affect the military.

Joining the military is not a guarantee that you will only go and fight. Others just stay in the offices or are given other jobs. So lowering the age requirement does not have any effect as the younger ones can be given lighter tasks to handle.


In conclusion, the military age requirement should not be lowered as there are more arguments to support the same. There are more advantages to maintaining or raising the military age requirements as compared to reducing the same. The United States government is also against lowering the military age requirement. Also, the humanitarian law of the first protocol in 199 Geneva Conventions prohibits enlisting young teens to take part in the hostilities in the field. The current draft treaty also advocates for the same.

However, lowering the military age limit may be useful in some instances. When the military would wish to change the military age requirements, then experts should be involved, and it should be done through a negotiation conference such as the Geneva Conventions.


Stepan, A. C. (2015). The military in politics: changing patterns in Brazil. Princeton University Press.

Benmelech, E., & Frydman, C. (2015). Military CEOs. Journal of Financial Economics, 117(1), 43-59., C. (2010), Drinking: 18 vs. 21

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