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17 year old and the army

ladybug1974's picture

My step son wants to join the army, the kicker is he not beenin any sports since he was like 11 , has had no job, or volunteer work and isnt the best student . 

He still makes axuses about why he doesnt want to work or volunteer. I have offered him ideas many many times. He is so lazy how in the worl does he thik he can get in >?  He is so lazy, Stubborn, and such a procastinator did i say lazy lol ?

he comes on the weekend doesnt do anything but play games and eats. He really really should be studing and or working volunteer or a part time job at this age. its getting very old and im getting very angry at this point.  My spouse said what can i do i do i see him 4 times month and i still want to see him and spend time with of course . I do see that point really do but when someone comes over and is lazy and feels like everything is handed to him it really bothers me. he said good willing he graduates in june he wont be coming over for sleep overs anymore he can visit when ever he wants of course but not all weekend sleep overs when he really really should be doing something . I dought that will happen we will see. 

Rumplestiltskin's picture

Sounds like the army may be just what he needs if he can't motivate himself. If he can pass the basic physical requirements to get in, he will probably be fine. Most kids these days are unathletic and in a lot worse shape than kids of previous generations. He will likely not be behind the others in that regard. He will also have pay, healthcare, housing, and will not be a burden to you and your spouse. 

ladybug1974's picture

yes that is also wha my partner said about the army will be the best bet for him in the reguards of motivation ect, you dont think he would have trouble getting in  being he has not volunteered or worked even a little ? 

Rumplestiltskin's picture

I don't know what it's like in Canada, but here in the US, they've never factored in previous work experience when deciding who to accept as far as i know. Kids can sign up while they are still in high school and they just have to meet the basic physical and intellectual qualifications. My son's HS friend joined that way and he's had a pretty good career for the past 3 years, stationed in Germany. 

Rumplestiltskin's picture

ETA I don't know much about the military besides the experience of this kid and some of my friends' kids. My son's friend repairs weapons that are broken, and my friend's daughter was sent to school to learn a language and be an interpreter. There are various "non-fighting" jobs that they can do. 

ladybug1974's picture

Understood , i just thought ( mind you i dont know anything really about this ) they would look over him and grab kids that show like they have drive i would say. meaning showing your not to lazy like a job here and there ? 

justmakingthebest's picture

Nope! It doesn't matter if he has worked or did extra curriculars or played sports. 

He should be working on his run times and basic gym workouts though- or is butt is going to be hurting big time at basic (well, it will anyway but being prepared helps!). As long as he passes his weight and his ASVAB score allows him in, he is in there. 

advice.only2's picture

Do they offer ROTC in your area or at his school?  If so then he should join, it’s pretty close to what he can expect from the military.

notarelative's picture

If SS is set to graduate in June, it's probably too late to join ROTC. 

SS might want to look at the physical fitness requirements and,  if he doesn't think he can meet them, join a gym. If he can't meet the fitness goals he'll be sent home from boot camp.

la_dulce_vida's picture

It's been a long time since I was headed to the military (and ultimately did not go). I took aptitude tests and needed to be in a certain weight range, but there was no physical fitness test. I just needed to NOT have a disqualifying physical issue like severe asthma or a messed up knee from a car accident - which is what ruined my plans to join the Air Force in 1987.

You can be a slug and have done poorly in school as long as you have a basic aptitude - basic training will transform the slugs. LOL

Winterglow's picture

From what I've observed, most armies do their selection after enlistment. They don't have enough recruits,so they sign 'em up,put 'em through their paces and then spit 'em out if they're not up to scratch. If he enlists,they will take him but there's no guarantee they will keep him.

Good luck.


ndc's picture

The military isn't like competitive colleges, where they're looking for top grades, extra-curriculars, work experience and community service. We know plenty of people (including my DH) who've gone to the Army with none of that and they did just fine.

SeeYouNever's picture

The military is perfect for kids that can't do anything else. My DH is senior in the navy and constantly says he has to make men out of kids who's parents didn't prepare them to do anything.


JRI's picture

My 18yo son got his 17yo cheerleader gf pregnant and joined the army.  I thought he'd put a knife in my heart since my dad was killed in WW2.  The army was good for him and I was pleasantly surprised.  He's 58 now and says it was a good experience with experienced mentors.

Rags's picture

contributing members of a unit.

His mom and I were relieved when SS-30 enlisted in the USAF when he was 18.  Most of his last two years of HS were spent in Military School. He graduated at 17.  He was not motivated for college.  It took a while but he eventually enlisted on the delayed entry program in Dec and we dropped him off at MEPS in April.  He is approaching 12 years of service.  He is kicking ass professionally and as an adult.


TheAccidentalSM's picture

I read an article this week in The Economist about the army running a new programme to prepare unfit and overweight recruits for bootcamp. 

America’s army has launched a scheme to slim down its recruits | The Economist 

Army plans ‘prep course’ to help hopeful soldiers lose weight, improve test scores (

So he might get in even if he is unfit.  Maybe get his dad to research the programme.

reedle2021's picture

I would say definitely push for him to join the military - that might shape him up.  I work on a military installation and I can say it seems like they take about anyone unless they have some major illness or musculoskeletal problem.  Set him up to meet with a recruiter. 

I hate to say this, but your SS sounds a lot like my ex-SS who was 21 when I divorced his dad.  He was the same way:  wouldn't work, didn't want to work, lazy, got high all day, ate all my food, played video games, procrastinated about things he should be doing, daddy had to do his laundry, make his food and bring it to the table for him...the list goes on.  His dad and mother refused to intervene, rather, they catered the their son's laziness, made every effort to see to his comfort and spare his feelings of any criticism or having to deal with the real world.  I haven't had any contact with my ex since I left him and our divorce was finalized, but I'm relatively sure his son is still a mooch and not making any plans to change. 

Your SS needs to be pushed toward the military, in my opinion.  I think it will be good for him and give him a purpose and maybe some work ethic.  Also, the benefits are pretty good.  If no one intervenes with this kid, he may end up being a manchild loser like my ex-SS.  The older SS gets the harder it will be to change his behavior or motivate him. 

Whatever you do, don't let him move in with you - you'll never be rid of him if you do.

Please keep us posted!  Smile


EveryoneLies's picture

Although I don't think he could get in. (Similar issue, lazy, lazy, lazy, just expected to be taken care of. He is almost 16) The differences might be that we live with him full time, and that he's on the autism spectrum.

Multiple poeple had told me Military might be a good place for him since it will bring order and disciplines, that is actually what this kid needs. I just had no faith that he will be able to make in because he complains about the least effort had he ever been asked to do. 

but next time SS brings this up, I will definitely support his decision. (he brought it up because he thought military means you get free college, which is not wrong, but his GPA is about 2.0 now - I don't think military fixes this)

justmakingthebest's picture

Won't fix his GPA but he will also get college credits with training and it makes colleges more accepting of military members later in life. 

EveryoneLies's picture

Good to know! And I agree that people can change so we never know. It's just me being cynical lol 2.0 GPA was the result of him not turning in homework, not preparing for the tests (overly confident), and in general showing the lack of effort. It is not because he's dumb.

Rags's picture


If he graduates from HS, he may very well be able to get into the Service.  Once in, his training will start moving him towards completing a degree as most military training is accomodated via service Community Colleges (CCAF, etc...)  

My SS-30 scored in the top 2% on the ASVAB  and has completed his AAS degree (Associate of Applied Sciences) in Computer Science through the CCAF and is plucking away at finishing hs BSCS through UM-University College.

2Tired4Drama's picture

If your SS has been diagonosed with autism, he will be disqualified from joining the Army. 

DarkStar's picture

And I'm surprised, JMTB, that you would say that, given that your family is military and your SS is autistic!  

It is very unlikely that someone with autism would qualify for "harder" mililtary branches to get into, such as Coast Guard, Marines, and Air Force.  HOWEVER, it is very possible for someone with autism to qualify for army or navy, their requirements are not has high.  If the person is more on the "high-functioning/asperger" end of the spectrum, it is VERY likely that they can join the army or navy.  

Shoot......educate yourselves before making such blanket statments!

2Tired4Drama's picture

DoD Instruction 6130.03 Volume 1, "Medical Standards for Military Service: Appointment, Enlistment, or Induction," May 6, 2018; Incorporating Change 4 on November 16, 2022 

justmakingthebest's picture

We have always been told that Autism is a denying medical factor from all branches. And the Navy is no where near an easy branch. Army and marines are the lower ASVAB score branches, but the physical and emotional aspects would make them very difficult for someone who is autistic to handle. I would not want my autistic child in the military anyway- they don't have the support my kid needs.