So, you have a felony and you’re thinking about joining the Navy. But the obvious question to answer is, does the navy accept felons? The answer might surprise you…
The Navy will accept felons in certain cases. However, it is not a hard-and-fast rule of this branch of the military to readily accept felon candidates. Nevertheless, exceptions are made in certain instances. Any violation that is considered a felony has to receive an approved waiver from Headquarters Navy Recruiting in order for an individual to enlist. Felony waivers, though, even waivers involving juvenile felonies, are rarely authorized. It’s probably best not to make an attempt to enlist either if the offense you committed entailed any kind of violence.
Major Points Covered:
- Automatic waiver
- The Navy’s Definition of a Felony Conviction
- Referenced Lists and Charts Used by the Navy to Classify Offenses
An exception may be made if a single felony was committed prior to an applicant turning 15 years old. The offense may be waived by a Recruiting Division Commander as long as the violation did not involve the use of drugs, alcohol, sex crimes, physical violence or weapons.
The Navy’s Definition of a Felony Conviction
In cases that are uncertain, the following rule is normally applied. If the maximum confinement for an offense, under local legislation, surpasses one year, the offense is considered a felony. An offense, which is considered a felony by the state where it is tired, is deemed to be a felony for the purposes of enlistment.
Referenced Lists and Charts Used by the Navy to Classify Offenses
In order to classify an offense, the Navy refers to the court paperwork to see how the state adjudicated the case. The Navy also refers to charts A, B, C and D, which define the offenses that are committed and their severity. For example the offenses on Chart A include parking violations and traffic offenses. Six or more traffic violations of a minor nature, listed under this classification, necessitate a waiver by the Navy’s Recruiting Division Commander.
Under Chart B, offenses are considered to be either minor misdemeanors or non-traffic violations. Three or more of these kinds of violations require a waiver. For three to five violations, the waiver must be approved by the Commander of the Recruiting Division. Some of these offenses might include a breach of peace or abusive language, carrying a concealed weapon that is not a firearm, damaging a road sign, or discharging a firearm as the result carelessness.
Non-minor misdemeanors fall under Chart C offenses and require a waiver for up to three violations by the Commander of Navy Recruiting and an approved wavier, signed by the Navy Recruiting Command, for more than 3 violations. Offenses which fall under the Chart C category might include assault or assault and battery, accessory before or after the fact in a misdemeanor crime, breaking and entering, contributing to the delinquency of a minor or criminal mischief.
Chart D covers felony offenses under the Navy’s classification of crimes. Any violation under this category needs an approved waiver from the HQ Navy Recruiting Command in order to enlist. Again, this listing of offenses, when reviewed for a waiver, are rarely authorized. Some of the offenses listed in this category include the attempt to commit a felony, arson, burglary, bribery, car jacking, and even cattle rustling.
As you can see, the criteria for enlisting in the Navy is strict. Therefore, when you talk to a recruiter, you need to be completely honest about your past. If you have shown that you have paid for your crime or crimes and made retribution, you may find that a wavier will be granted after all. However, the military considers enlistment to be a privilege, not a right. Therefore, some past mistakes are not always forgiven as one might hope.
Own Up to Your Past Mistakes – Honesty is the Best Policy
After you have been in prison, you will find that, when applying for a job or trying to enlist, that honesty is the best policy. The Navy will check your background thoroughly. Therefore, regardless of the branch of the military in which you are applying, you need to tell the enlistment officer upfront about your history.
It is important to remember that a waiver is only needed in cases where the circumstances that are being waived will disqualify an applicant. Most of the people who are disapproved, from recruiters’ experiences, are usually disrespectful. Also, during the conduct waiver process, many applicants often blame someone else for the charges that were made. In other words, they don’t own up to their past indiscretions. Recruiters suggest, if you want to truly enlist, that it is best to be humble and own up to any past offenses and show that you are sorry for any past misconduct or mistakes.