Can I join the Military with a felony?

Felony is a big crime that attracts severe punishment in the US. It is a fact that no one can have a perfect life. However, the US military dismisses this theory. If you are a person who has effaced the charge against you and have the doubt, Can I join the military with a felony? The answer is NO.

The US military considers felony very seriously and has zero tolerance for such crimes. When you plan your journey for a life-changing experience in the US army, a felony can be a game changer for you. 

Since the troop follows hard and fast rules like a thorough background check, walking into the enlisting office and heading to boot camp by signing some papers would be a distant dream.

How can I join the military with a felony record?


It is challenging to join the US army, Navy, Marine corps, Air or space corps, and coast guard. However, it is not out impossible. You can improve your chances after a felony charge. The US army and Marine Corps follow a much more liberal enlistment policy than the US air force. 

Why do they consider a felony a disqualification?


If the question, “Can you still join the military with a felony” popped up in your mind, I would say that military is very hard on you. The military considers it a black mark and closes doors to those they feel might be a problem in the future. If you are an honest candidate, there is a shaky chance to join the US military.

Can you go into the military with a felony in case of expungement?

If you have any below-listed case or charge against you, you can’t get into the military in your lifetime.

  1. Multiple charges of drunken driving cases.
  2. Statutory rape or rape charges.
  3. Engaged in fraudulent activities relating to credit card payments.
  4. Kidnapped a child.

However, if you could secure a letter of recommendation from any authority of dignity, it is possible at the officers’ will. The officers can be any school authorities, policemen, or ministers. You should carry a letter endorsing your character and information that probation is over.

What can I do to improve my chances of enlisting?

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  • Be honest about your charge

When you walk into the enlisting office, the first question will be, “Were you ever charged with a felony?” If you were, inform them. 

They are going to catch you while running a background check. If you are dishonest, it will lead to another offense. Even if you got the felony against you expunged, inform them. 

  • Secure a copy of the criminal charges against you

If you are unsure about the criminal charges against you, it is better to get a copy. The criminal charge against you and the state you committed the offense will determine the process of obtaining a copy of your criminal record. 

Your felony records will get you an answer to the question, “Can you join the military with a felony?” Some get no waiver while some can get nullified their record by expungement. However, some don’t affect your application at all.

Can I join the military with a juvenile felony?


Juvenile felony isn’t a serious problem that keeps you out of the military forever. If your recruiter is ready to apply for a moral waiver, you can find your way into the army. The recruiter would file a case when he thinks you would pose any problem if recruited.

If you have a juvenile record, call your recruiter and inform him about the charge. Convince him that the offense is eligible to get you a waiver. Fix a meeting with him and show that you are keen on joining the army. Carry your birth certificate, social security certificate, and copy of your juvenile criminal record.

The Armed services vocational aptitude battery will help you determine the posts for which you will be eligible. You can finalize which position you are interested in when your recruiter talks to you. He will inform you of the ranks that accept candidates with waivers.

Frequently Asked Questions


Does a juvenile felony charge amount to disqualification from joining the military? 

Partially, yes. Some positions with high standing related to maintaining secrecy are not available for those with a felony record.

What are the minor convictions that don’t amount to a felony?

Jaywalking, Overspeed, violation of rules relating to seat belts, and driving a car when you don’t have a license.

Will I get a waiver for grievous bodily hurt without murder if I want to join the army?

If you are allowed to carry a forearm after a waiver, you can very well join the military.

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When you have a felony record, you might think, “Can you go into the military with a felony?”. The answer to the question is Yes, you can. Some positions allow candidates with a waiver. Hope this article will also help you to convince the recruiter that you are eligible to get a waiver.

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