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Is 29 too old?

Hi all,

Sorry if this has been discussed before, but I went to a recruitment evening recently and really enjoyed it.

But i am a bit worried that at 29 i may have missed the boat...

Also i would like to know if other farthers/mothers find hard/easy to fit in around family life.



War Hero
No I will be 29 in feb currently awaiting my start date. I will most likely be 30 when started. I have no family or responsibilities though so a slightly different situation to you.

Once in though you will be away from your family for months at sea on operations etc, if you hadn't already considered that.

Sorry I just realised this is in RNR not newbies you will be fine just knackered from working full time and attending unit, course training in your spare time, then taking care of the family.


War Hero
Are you asking about the actual restrictions or whether you will be a bit of an oddball at such an advanced age?

RNR Recruitment documentation says normal entry is permitted up to age 40. If you are worried about family responsibilities or whether you are going to be the oldest in the NE class then that is a different issue. The following is my two-penneth on both aspects.

Age - 29 is not likely to be a problem provided you are a reasonably fit 29 and haven't let yourself go the minute you stopped playing school rugby/football etc

Family commitments - like anything worth doing, the more you put in the more you will get out - get some balanced feedback on this site and from yopur potential RTC about what the current commitment is likely to be (I am far too old to be of any help since the world has moved on massively since I left) and then discuss it with your family and see what they think. You will have to go away for weekends and periods of ORT and possible mobilisation so get a chit from her indoors first before you land it on the family.
Not too worried (i hope) about the fitness side, i run and play rugby.

Commitment wise, i understand that you only get out what you put in, and if the recruitment evening was anything to go by the opportunities for training are massive.....and free.

I guess my age related question was a slight worry of being an 'oddball'...but i think you have reassured me.

On a slightly different note, do people generally find employers to be ok with the RNR? Do they take the 2 weeks training per year as holiday or unpaid leave, as i am sure work would not wanna pay me!

Also when must you inform you employer? when i go to AFCO? once i have been accepted?

Sorry for all the questions


War Hero
Absolutely no issues with being 29 - if anything its a bonus as you'll have a slightly more realistic take on life at that age. If anything some branches prefer taking slightly older recruits as they provide life experience missing with younglings :)

On leave, it depends on who you work for, but I would have a discrete chat with them in advance to say that you are thinking (note thinking) about joining, and what their views would be. If called then your job is legally safe, but it helps to have your employer on side. Most employers give up to two weeks paid or unpaid depending on how nice they are - let them see the skills they gain from you in return for free and they mat bite.

Dont inform employers officially until you are in and doing a new entry class.


Lantern Swinger
Book Reviewer
No it is not.

I joined at 29 and found it to be great.

The oldest person on my course at Raleigh was a 42 year old female.

One of the things that I enjoy most about the RNR is that there is a real mix of ages and backgrounds which means that I mix with and have a strong common bond with people who I may never have interacted with in the normal course of the rest of my life.

Any reasonable employer should hopefully not be a problem as the majority of your commitment initially is evenings and weekends. The people that you will really have to have the support of is your family.

Most units have regular open evenings where you can pop along and see what it involves and meet a few people, get yourself along to one of these as soon as you can and take it from there.
Yeah have been to an open evening type thing, really wanna fill in the application form tonight.

Thanks for all your help guys, i'm 100% convinced, just need to work on the wife..

Think the best way to sell it to her is 'lets see how it goes'....if it really doesn't work out i can always leave. Plus she might find she enjoys having the telly all to her self


Lantern Swinger
Book Reviewer
I justify it with "well at least I am not playing golf or shagging my secretary" also the tax free bounty is pretty much hers to spend when it comes in as compensation for any inconvenience.
Hum, don't play golf and i don't have a secretary (unless you count the wife, and then the no shagging statement would probably win her round!!!).... wouldn't wanna give up my rugby tho

Yeah the bounty is probably gonna be a winner. When do you start getting it? Once training starts? or after passing out?


War Hero
I was the oldest person on my PEDA, being 29 years. Everyone else was either early 20s or late teens and by heck the fitness of some off them was shocking. As mentioned get your fitness sorted and you will be fine.

Good luck.
Thanks daffy,

I think (hope) my fitness will be ok.
I play rugby and run. My runs are usually between 5-8 miles, and i usually go 3 times a week, or twice a week and a rugby match, or once a week, rugby training and match - would love to be able to fit more in tho.

I am a little worried about the time for the 2.4k, as all my runs tend to be longer and my average min/mile would be just outside the target i think - but then again it is on a treddie (?) and i wont have the other 10k to complete afterwards!


War Hero
Mate it's just a ball's out effort for the 2.4k, and from what you have mentioned you will have no problems.
Application form posted, can anyone tell me what order things happen in...PJFT/Medical/Interview? and are we talking weeks or months or does it depend?
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