Father and son enlist in Army together

July 8, 2008 at 1:48 PM

VAN NUYS, Calif., July 8 (UPI) -- With U.S. Army regulations changed to allow recruits up to age 42, a California father-and-son team say they're enlisting together.

Gary Rankins, 40, and his son Joseph Rankins, 19, will be sworn in together this week at the U.S. Army recruiting station in Van Nuys, Calif., the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

Army officials said that although they don't keep of track of such unusual recruitments, they did admit this was a rare one. S. Douglas Smith, a spokesman with the Army Recruiting Command in Fort Knox, Ky., told the Times he knew of one father-daughter pair who enlisted in Florida recently.

Since mid-2006 when the recruiting age limit was raised from 35 to 42, some 665 people over age 40 have signed enlistment papers, Smith said.

Gary Rankins said he was signing up for a second stint in the military after his civilian job prospects dwindled. Meanwhile, son Joseph had quit his job at a printing company, bored and dissatisfied with the work. So they decided to take the plunge together, the Times said.

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