||Age. As shown in Table 4.4, officers, on average, tend
to be older than enlisted personnel. Upon commissioning in FY 1998, the average officer was 23 years old in contrast to 20 years old for the average enlisted accession. The mean age of all active officers
was 34 years and that of enlisted members was 27 years. The mean age of officer accessions varies by source of commission. In FY 1998, the average age of newly commissioned officers ranged from 23 years for
Service academy graduates to 33 years for officers commissioned directly.(5)
Figures 4.3 and 4.4 (together with Appendix Table B-31) highlight the military's emphasis on youth. In particular, Marine Corps officer accessions and officer corps
were younger than those in other Services. About 6 percent of Marine Corps officers were 31 or older upon entry. The proportion within this age range among the other
Services' newly commissioned officers was greater but still notably small. The percentage who were 31 years or older was 10 percent in the Army, 22 percent in
the Navy, and 16 percent in the Air Force. The rigorous physical demands and rapid deployment of Marines, and this Service's absence of officers in medical and ministry
fields, no doubt are related to the relative youth of Marine Corps officers.Figure 4.3. Age of FY 1998 Active Component officer accessions, by Service.Figure 4.4. Age of FY 1998 Active Component officer corps, by Service.
Figure 4.5 shows that along with age, there has been a steady increase in the tenure of officers. On average, as of FY 1998, the typical commissioned officer was around
34 years old and had been in uniform for nearly 11 years.
Figure 4.5. Active Component officers' mean years of age and months of service, FYs 1973–1998.
4.4. FY 1998 Mean Age of Active Component Officer Accessions and Officer Corps in Comparison to Enlisted Personnel
|Active Component Accessions
|Active Component Force
|Also see Appendix Table B-31 (Age by Service).
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- Data from Defense Manpower Data Center.