If you have a criminal record and have developed the longing to join the military service, the first thing that you need to be clear about is that there is no sure way of getting to know whether you would indeed be successful in your endeavor.
Is joining military an option for a felon?
Having a felony conviction does not render you ineligible to join the military. However, the thing that you need to keep in mind is that military waivers are quite complicated and thus there is a whole process that you would have to go through.
A ray of hope that would keep you motivated is that the number of convicted felons admitted into the military has risen considerably in the recent years.
The crimes that might not hinder your path
When the military scrutinizes the record of a recruit, there are certain things that are taken into consideration. Your criminal record and the number of convictions are given importance to.
Before moving ahead, it is prudent to mention that attempts to hide your past would prove to be futile. When you apply for recruitment in the military, sealed records, as well as the expunged records, are dug out for examination. Thus, do not endeavor to hide anything which would only weaken your case.
As per the army’s policy, offenses are categorized into three groups. The first group comprises minor traffic offenses which result in a fine less than $100. The next group includes more than one misdemeanor or three instances of non-traffic offenses.
The last group is felonies for which one needs to obtain a waiver. It would be easier to acquire a waiver if the history is of juvenile offenses.
If the crimes were committed more than five years ago before you applied for enlistment, you would not get an automatic waiver. A waiver is also required if you have more than six traffic offenses or misdemeanor offenses.
Certain things are unpardonable in the eyes of the army. For instance, those having multiple convictions can bid their chances of acquiring a waiver farewell. You would also not get a waiver while you are on probation or out on parole. Pending charges also render you ineligible for a waiver.
The army does not forgive the crime of distributing or selling drugs. You would not be considered eligible to enter the army if you have a history of a dishonorable discharge.
You would also not get a waiver if you test positive for drugs during the application process. The positive test would forever become a part of your record, thereby preventing you from being enlisted throughout your life.
How to join?
If you want to join the military, you need to submit an application along with the request to waive the crime that you have committed. You would then have to wait for the committee to make its decision. Whether it will be in your favor or not depends on the individual case and the moral standing you have currently.