Law Offices of Christopher T. Campbell
The Law Offices of Christopher T. Campbell

Effect on Military Service

Effect of a Criminal Conviction on Military Service

Effects on Military Service:


No felony convictions, no pending or current legal procedures (trial, serving sentence, on parole, unpaid fines, civil lawsuit filed), no history of drug or violent crime arrests or convictions.


Marine Corps:

Drugs/alcohol - Recreational use can get a waiver. Dependency on alcohol or drugs is a disqualifications.

Drug convictions are potentially waiverable, but selling drugs disqualifies. If you fail the drug test at MEPS, that will disqualify you and you will be immediately discharged.

No one may enlist if he is currently in a criminal or civil process (trial, sentence, parole, unpaid fine). It must be, at least, 90 days after parole, probation, or confinement was completed to be eligible. Waivers are required if you have numerous minor infractions or a couple of serious (traffic or misdemeanor) offenses. More serious violations, including felony offenses reduced to a misdemeanor, could possibly be waived by someone at the district level. It is possible, but not likely, for a felony to get a waiver, but that can only be granted by one of the nation's regional headquarters when they determine that recruiting rates are low.

Air Force:

Drug use, alcohol abuse, other substance abuse, as well as law violations or convictions will prevent your enlistment.


You will NEVER be allowed to enlist in the Regular Army, US Army Reserves, or Army National Guard if you admit to or are determined to have any of the non-waivable disqualifying conditions below, Depending on abundance of recruits, standards may be more strict than listed:

  • Drug dependence

  • An open law violation or fine

  • Intoxicated or under influence of alcohol or drugs at time of application, or at any stage of processing for enlistment

  • Having history of psychotic disorders or state of insanity at time of application for enlistment

  • Questionable moral character

  • Alcoholism

  • Sexual perversion

  • History of antisocial behavior

  • History of frequent or chronic venereal disease

  • Person unable to present written evidence (official documents) of prior service claimed, until such service has been verified.

  • Person whose enlistment is not clearly consistent with interests of national security under AR 601–280.

  • Person retained on AD under AR 601–280 with annotation “not eligible for security clearance or assignment to sensitive duties, AR 601–280.”

  • Criminal or juvenile court charges filed or pending against them by civil authorities. Note: Pending charges include unpaid traffic violations. Authorized reception battalion commanders and IET commanders may consider that, in certain meritorious cases, unpaid minor traffic tickets that are subsequently paid after entry did not constitute fraudulent entry. In those limited circumstances, separation processing under AR 635–200, chapter 7, is not required. All other cases meeting the provisions of fraudulent entry criteria must be processed in accordance with AR 635–200.

  • Person under civil restraint, such as confinement, parole, or probation.

  • Subject of initial civil court conviction or adverse disposition for more than one serious criminal misconduct offense.

Person with a civil conviction of a serious criminal misconduct with any one of the following:

  • Three or more offenses (convictions or other adverse dispositions) other than traffic.

  • If you have juvenile serious criminal misconduct offenses but have had no offenses within 5 years of application for enlistment, you may be considered for a waiver in meritorious cases without regard to any history of chronic cannabis (marijuana) use or psychological cannabis dependence.

  • You have an initial court conviction or other adverse disposition for sale, distribution, or trafficking (including “intent to”) of cannabis (marijuana), or any other controlled substance.

  • You have a history of chronic cannabis (marijuana) use or psychological cannabis dependence (as defined in AR 40–501).

  • You have two or more convictions/other adverse disposition (OAD) within the 3 years preceding application for enlistment for driving while intoxicated, drugged, or impaired.

  • You have a confirmed positive result for alcohol or drugs (test administered during enlistment processing) There are procedures for an optional retest and waiver if later test results are negative.

  • You have convictions or other adverse dispositions for 5 or more misdemeanors that occurred preceding application for enlistment.

  • You have a conviction/OAD of two or more separate charges of possession of any illegal drugs/drug paraphernalia within 3 years preceding application for enlistment.

  • You have been previously barred from reenlistment by HQDA and coded RE–4.

  • You have prior service with two or more convictions/OAD within the 3 years preceding application for enlistment for driving while intoxicated, drugged, or impaired.

  • You have prior service and have incured a serious criminal misconduct conviction during or after military service. You have prior service and have tested positive at enlistment processing for any drug use.

  • Any applicant (officer and enlisted) who has been convicted of a sexually violent offense is not eligible for enlistment or appointment. Further, personnel separated as a result of the convicted sex offender policy are not eligible to reenter. There is no grandfather clause to this policy. The following offenses are covered under this policy:

  1. Rape

  2. Carnal Knowledge

  3. Forcible sodomy

  4. Sodomy of a minor

  5. Conduct unbecoming an officer (involving any sexually violent offense, a criminal offense of a sexual nature against a minor or kidnapping a minor)

  6. Prostitution involving a minor

  7. Indecent assault

  8. Assault with the intent to commit rape or sodomy

  9. Indecent act with a minor

  10. Indecent language to a minor

  11. Kidnapping of a minor (not by a parent)

  12. Pornography involving a minor

  13. Conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline or assimilative crime conviction (involving any sexually violent offense or a criminal offense of a sexual nature against a minor or kidnapping of a minor)

  14. Attempt to commit, conspiracy to commit, or solicitation to commit any of the offenses in 1 through 13 above.