One of the best options for a felon is to join the military as it gives them a way out of their current situation and allows them to change their life positively. While this is great, not all branches of the military will accept felons. A question that many felons ask is, does the marine corps accept felons? And today we will answer that question.
Major Points Covered in this Article:
- The Reasons Applicants are Screened
- How Waivers Work
- When Waivers are Considered
- Basic Enlistment Requirements
Reasons for Screening
Like other services of the U.S. Military, the Marine Corps screens applicants for criminal history or assesses each candidate’s moral qualifications. This process is done –
- To ensure that enlistees have social habits that are not a threat to the cohesiveness and morality of a unit. These habits may include a history of arson, theft or resistance to authority.
- To screen anyone who may eventually become a serious disciplinary problem or affect the performance of military missions.
- To ensure that an enlistee is not communicating with criminals.
Any applicant who does not hold a criminal conviction is therefore morally eligible to enlist in the Marine Corps. A waiver is normally needed of a moral disqualification in order for a felon to enlist in this branch of the Armed Services. Federal law dictates that all military applicants divulge every facet of their criminal history on recruitment applications, including records that were sealed or expunged. If you have a criminal history as a juvenile, this must be revealed as well. All the aforementioned records are available to investigators in the military, although you may have heard otherwise.
Remember, do not lie on your application as doing so can subject you to a trial in Federal, civilian or a military court. That’s because supplying false information or not being forthcoming about required details is an offense subject to prosecution.
How Waivers Work
Some offenses in the Marine Corps can be waived while others simply cannot be sanctioned. Therefore, various offenses require waiver approval at various levels in the chain-of-command. Also, any applicant who needs a waiver is not qualified for enlistment until a waiver is approved. Therefore, the burden is on the applicant to show military authorities that he has overcome his disqualification(s) and that his enlistment in the Marine Corps is in the best interest of this branch of the Armed Forces.
When Waivers are Considered
Waiver authorities in the U.S. Marine Corp review a person’s qualifications based on the concept of the “whole person” during assessments. Generally, waivers are needed for the following reasons:
- Five to nine traffic offenses of a minor nature;
- Two to five traffic offenses that were serous
- Class 1 minor non-traffic offenses (two or more)
- Class 2 minor non-traffic offenses (two to nine)
- Serious offenses (two to five)
- One felony
Any applicant who has more than the number of stated offenses or a felony cannot apply for a waiver or accepted in the Marine Corps.
However, that being said, the armed forces will make exceptions in times when the demand is high for military candidates. Still, if you have more than one felony, especially one that involves a drug conviction, your chances of becoming a marine are slim to none.
Therefore, if you do have a felony conviction, be upfront with the recruitment officer and tell him about the circumstances for the arrest or other more minor offenses. Even if you have your criminal record expunged, the military will be able to access the file. You simply cannot hide any kind of information from Uncle Sam.
Basic Enlistment Requirements
According to the Marine Corps website, anyone who joins this branch of the military as an enlistee should be at last 17 years old or over 29 years of age at the time of enlistment. He should be a citizen of the U.S. and show proof of legal residency. Recruits must undergo a physical exam and show proof that they graduated from high school. Recruit training is conducted at MCRD San Diego or MCRD Parris Island. The site underscores that special waivers can be issued in certain cases. It just depends on the circumstances.