James Dao is now covering what is known as "the Jaffe beat" for the New York Times, examining things like the cultures of the services and the military removed from its combat environment. (Greg Jaffe used to cover U.S. Army culture in particular ridiculously well for the Wall Street Journal. He is now at the Post.) Today's story is on older recruits:
[In] the three years since the Army raised its age limit for enlisting to 42, from 35, a steady stream of older recruits has joined the ranks, pushing creaky muscles through road training, learning to appreciate — or at least endure — Army chow and in some cases deploying to combat zones. And while the number of such recruits, more than 3,800, is small by Army standards, the pace of over-35 enlistment jumped sharply in the first months of this year. Motives vary, from a yearning for midlife adventure to a desire to serve their country. But rising unemployment is also a major reason, say Army officials, recruiters and training officers.