Welcome to the Veterans of Underage Military Service Web Site

"You don't have to be very old to grow up fast"

Admiral Jeremy Boorda,     United States Navy,   Underage Veteran


Thank you for your inquiry concerning our organization, Veterans of Underage Military service. We have only one requirement for full membership; U.S. military service under the age of 17, or under the age for which parental consent was required, whatever the circumstances or duration (under 16 for World War II Merchant Marine vets, and under 20 for women veterans of World War II.) If you meet this single requirement, Please join us now. Our members have experienced many of the same problems and joys as you did in the military at an age when most kids were still dreaming of high school proms. Indeed, some of our members joined too young even to have attended high school! Six of our members served at the age of 12, while most were  between 13 and 16.



Our main purposes are: to establish and maintain contact with those who served in the armed forces while underage; to assure all underage veterans that there will be no retribution from the government because of their fraudulent enlistment; to enjoy the friendship of comrades through meetings and our newsletter, and to record for history the unique experiences of underage veterans.


We publish a newsletter every other month. In earlier issues, we published letters and stories about many of our members. We wrote of our honored member, Jacklyn Lucas, the youngest recipient of the Congressional medal of Honor since the Civil War.  Jacklyn Enlisted at age 14 and earned the MOH five days after his 17th birthday. We told the story of 4-star admiral Jeremy Boorda , who enlisted in the US Navy at age 16, and became the Chief of Naval Operations, the top job in the Navy! We wrote of Calvin Graham, who served with heroism at age 12 during the battle of Guadalcanal, and on whose life the TV movie "Too Young the Hero", was based. We published letters from all branches of the service and the Department of Veterans Affairs on their policy for underage veterans, personnel, and retirees.  

Our book,  America's Youngest Warriors, published in March 1997,  is a collection of 199 stories contributed by members relating their experiences in the military as youngsters. A second volume of stories is scheduled for publication in mid-2002.


The highlight of each year is the annual reunion. The reunions are held at various locations throughout the country.


The Veterans of Underage Military Service was  incorporated in Ellicott City, Maryland in 1991 by Allan Stover,   He obtained  policy letters from all military branches stating clearly that underage veterans and military retirees have nothing to fear for enlisting underage. We provide free copies of "Underage Veterans Handbook: Government Policy on Underage Veterans" to any underage veteran.

The IRS and the U.S. Postal Service recognize us a Nonprofit organization.

No officer or member receives any pay from the organization.

We are a unique association of individuals who, as patriotic youngsters circumvented recruiting requirements, altered various documents, and in some cases, lied in order to serve this great nation. 

If you were one of that rare breed, a kid who enlisted underage, you should be very proud. Join us and share that pride. Whereas we once kept it a secret that we manipulated the system, we now strongly proclaim it a badge of honor to be an underage veteran.

If you served as a kid and want to join your underage buddies, just fill in the application and return it to the address shown below. For more information, call toll free: 1-888-OLD-VUMS (1-888-653-8867)   or contact  us on the web at: www.oldvums.com 

The Veterans of Underage Military Service founded by Allan Stover of Ellicott City, MD. in 1991. Now past Commander, Allan enlisted in the Coast Guard at age 14. Ed Gilley of Gulf Breeze FL.  our immediate Past National Commander, served in the Air Force at age 16.

Our National Commander as of 1 January 2002 is Ray D. Jackson, 710 E  La Jolla Drive, Tempe, AZ.   85282-5355. Call Toll Free 1-888-653-8867 (1-800-OLD-VUMS). E-mail [email protected] . Ray enlisted in the U. S., Marine Corps at age 16.


updated 02/22/2002 

Edited by : [email protected]

Sponsored by Edward E Gilley, Past National Commander


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