What Military Branch Accepts Felons? – 5 Branches

Written by

John Cotton


Logan Miller

what military branch accepts felons

Once felons serve their jail time and get released, freedom is just around the corner. If they serve their sentences well and act accordingly inside the cell, they will be accepted in a lot of establishments.

If felons are interested in joining the military forces, they are welcome to do so. As long as they exhibit good moral character, the degree of their conviction, and pass specific requirements.

In this case, what military branch accepts felons? Let’s discuss more about it.

5 Branches of the Military That Accept Felons With a Criminal Record


Despite their previous convictions, offenders with strong moral integrity and honesty are permitted to serve in a variety of military branches, including:

  • Navy
  • Air Force
  • Coast Guards
  • Army
  • Marine Corps

Factors That Allowed Felons to Join the Us Military Forces


First of all, the U.S. Military accepts felons, but there are critical requirements. Felons must be evaluated with the following factors:

  • Age during the felon’s conviction or with a juvenile felony
  • What is/are the felony conviction
  • Current status: either on probation or parole
  • Current vacancies in any Military Branch
  • Consideration if felons still have pending jail time or court proceedings at the moment

Felony waivers


To start with your military enlistment, you need to secure a waiver. It is not only for felonies but also for other law violations. Felons can acquire waivers for the offenses or crimes they committed, such as:

  • Civil offenses
  • Personal traffic and non-traffic charges
  • Minor Civil Offenses
  • Misdemeanors and minor charges
  • Several serious misconduct charges

What are the charges that disqualify you from the military application?

While some minor offenses and charges allow convicts to obtain waivers, the following serious acts, sadly, preclude a felon from obtaining a waiver:

  • Drug felony, including selling, using, and distributing drugs
  • Assaults
  • Terrorism
  • Murder convictions
  • Kidnapping
  • Spousal Abuse
  • Multiple DUI convictions
  • Rape charges

Felon’s Legal Status


  • Felons must not have pending proceedings, parole, or probation before they can join the Army and other military branches of their choice.
  • If there is a case the felons have yet to serve probation or parole in time of applying for the military position, they must present a waiver to be allowed to join.
  • Felons cannot be given a waiver to join the military if they have pending life sentence cases, pending criminal proceedings, and the degree of the felony conviction.
  • Every history of a felony conviction from the felon must be declared. Dishonesty can cause a felon to not be allowed to partake in any military service.
  • Final judgment if a felon is either allowed or not to serve in any military branch is in the hands of the judge preceding the case. It is where felons need to plead their cases and submit all necessary documents to the court.

Factors supporting Felons joining the army

  • Before a felon is accepted into the army, he/she must present themselves to the court and testify that they have a letter of good moral character recommendation.
  • Some military branches, such as the Air Force, will be very strict and demanding with the felon they accept in their department. They don’t accept felons with criminal backgrounds.
  • There are basic requirements that the felon must successfully pass.
  • Felons must acquire a felony waiver for military, stating that they have served their sentences and can walk free as a citizen again.
  • Non-violent felons who were convicted of minor felonies only can be easily admitted to the Marines and Army departments. Also, these departments are the best to choose from because they openly support felons who want to change and protect the country.

What kind of sin allows felons to join the military?

Felons can be allowed to join the military with a felony only if:

  • Commits simple assault
  • Charged with drinking in public areas
  • Charged with driving without a license, without wearing a seatbelt, or overspeeding.
  • Charged with fighting someone in public, such as in open spaces or bars
  • Charged with disturbing peace, such as playing loud music and offending someone by being a racist.

Most of these minor misdemeanors need a waiver in order for a felon enlist in the military. Moreover, felons can also ask for letters of recommendation from specific agencies and institutions.

Examples of these are churches and schools that will vouch for their good moral character and change of ways.

Step-by-step to felons join the military


  1. First, a felon has already served his/her sentence to go in the military with a felony. There must be no ongoing trial or proceedings in court.
  2. Second, you must find a recruiter in the military branch if you desire to enlist. They will help you with the processing and assist you.
  3. Next, you must prepare your waivers. It is one of the essential pieces of evidence that you need to present to the court or military branch. Your recruiter will be the one that will process these and gather documents on your behalf.
  4. However, it is really hard work for you to obtain a waiver. There are many interrogations and checks in your entire life. Whether the court says you are not guilty, recruiters will still examine you.
  5. Furthermore, some military recruiters will ask personal questions, charges, offenses, plea deals, and other actions you did in your sentence time.
  6. Lastly, there are other requirements for each branch. It depends on your case and how you have finished your convictions. Present your evidence and clear intentions to join the Airforce, Marine Corps, or any military branch.


Now it is clear what military branch accepts felons. Every military branch has specific requirements and qualifications to qualify felons to serve in the military.

Though most military branches allow felons in their departments, a felon must pass their tests and background checks first. In 2022, the United States allowed fewer requirements for felons to enlist in the military for a limited timeframe.

If you are a felon with minor misdemeanor charges but have changed your ways, you can expect to get a second chance in a military branch. It depends on how you work hard on your application!

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