Can You Get Into The Military With A Criminal Record – Are you interested in joining the military? A criminal record doesn’t make registration impossible, but it certainly complicates the process.
The military holds recruits to high standards. When you visit a Military Entry Processing Station (MEPS), a recruiter interviews you to determine your mental aptitude, physical qualifications, and moral character. A criminal background check is also required.
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Can You Get Into The Military With A Criminal Record
Some types of criminal activity are grounds for immediate disqualification, while others require a waiver. Recruiters examine the circumstances surrounding each case to help them make a final decision.
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The military requires recruits to have “sound moral character” to minimize the enlistment of people who are likely to become disciplinary cases or security risks or who may undermine order, morals and discipline. The aim of the military is to disqualify applicants who:
Some felony and misdemeanor penalties can be waived. However, the procedure is not automated, and hopeful recruits must request a criminal record waiver to continue military service.
Be aware that you have a limited amount of time to file and apply for a waiver. For example, the Army board requires applicants to file waivers for “major misconduct” offenses eight weeks before the board meets.
Once filed, waivers are granted or denied on a case-by-case basis. They need personal statements, letters of recommendation from respected community leaders, supporting evidence, court papers and other documents to back up your case. The waiver consideration process involves examining the “who, what, when, where, and why” of the violation. Here are specific factors that affect how likely it is that the military will grant your waiver:
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The military will never overlook certain crimes. Any of the following beliefs may make you ineligible for service:
There’s no penalty for mentioning past legal issues to your recruiter, but lying on your application about a previous run-in with the law is an immediate reason for dismissal. Sealed or deleted records may or may not be accessible to recruiters during a formal investigation. Therefore, it is best to reveal this information or risk losing your military career.
If you aren’t honest about your history, lying might get you into basic training or beyond. However, you may be billed with old fraud registrations after completing basic training. These violations are covered under Article 83 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Maximum penalties include dishonorable discharge and imprisonment for up to two years.
Information about your criminal past can be found if you need a background check for security clearance later in your military career. The process of deep scrutiny can reveal the truth and land you in a heap of trouble. Of course, penalties vary depending on the nature, severity, and visibility of the fraud, along with how well you defend yourself.
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Are you not sure if you can join the military with a certain crime record? Did you hide past beliefs when you registered, and now you’re facing charges of registration fraud? Joseph L. Jordan, Attorney at Law, can help.
Mr Jordan has over 10 years of military defense experience, specializing in defending UCMJ offenses. He is passionate about seeking justice for Soldiers, Sailors, Coast Guards, Airmen, and Marines stationed around the world. To speak to Mr Jordan directly about your case, please call us toll free at 800-580-8034 or 254-221-6411. Can You Join the Military with ADHD? Can you join the military with ADHD? Do ADD symptoms hinder service in the Navy, Army, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and Space Force? Can you get waivers for each branch? If so, how? While the application process is more complicated for recruits with ADHD, it can be done. Here’s how.
Each year, thousands of young Americans join the Armed Forces, currently comprising approximately 1.3 million active service members that include the Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines, and Navy. (And, most recently, the Space Force.)
Military service is an interesting and often successful career choice for youth and young adults who thrive in high-energy situations, collaborate creatively with others, respond positively to clear expectations, and function best with structure.
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In many ways, it’s a perfect fit for individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) – which makes military restrictions on recruiting with ADHD all the more frustrating.
Enlistment steps and requirements are similar across militaries, only slightly different from branch to branch. Regardless of age and educational qualifications, the military outlines medical standards for enlistment and appointment, including a full list of physical, mental, and behavioral conditions that could disqualify outstanding candidates.
ADHD is classified as one of these restricted conditions. This doesn’t mean it’s impossible to join the military with ADHD, but it does mean it’s more complicated and may require advanced planning.
According to Department of Defense (DOD) guidelines last updated in 2018, ADHD is considered a disqualifying condition if any of the following are present with the diagnosis:
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Other potentially disqualifying conditions under the DOD’s “Learning, Psychiatry, and Behavioral Disorders” section include dyslexia, autism, mood disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and anxiety.
Candidates with ADHD who meet the criteria outlined above require a medical waiver in order to enlist in any branch of the military. Medical waivers are initiated and requested by certain branches of the military under DOD provisions that “allow applicants who do not meet physical and medical standards… to be considered for medical waiver.”
Securing a medical waiver for ADHD, however, is a lengthy, multi-step, and largely imprecise process that makes no guarantees.
Well-documented information on the process and medical waiver criteria for each branch, for example, is hard to find. What’s more, recruiters for each military branch (and even within the same branch) tend to be inconsistent in the information and advice provided to applicants with ADHD. In addition, the variation in candidate medical histories and enrollment pathways, makes it nearly impossible to find one uniform pathway for candidates with ADHD.
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Applicants usually learn about the medical waiver process when they meet recruiters—the first application step for any branch.
Most applicants disclose their history of ADHD in conversations with recruiters, but they must also indicate their history of ADHD in the medical documents they are required to complete as part of the application process.
One of these documents is the Accessions Medical Prescreen Report, or DD 2807-2, which requires applicants to check “yes” or “no” if they are being evaluated or treated for ADHD, and if they are currently taking or have been taking medication to improve the condition. Attention. Applicants must also explain all “yes” answers in a separate section. The consequences for not answering truthfully or making a false statement are recorded on the form.
This prescreen form is completed with the help of a recruiter, and reviewed by a medical professional at the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) — typically the second step in the recruiting process, where prospective enlisted persons take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test and undergo a medical examination.
The MEPS doctor makes a medical qualification decision, and can use the initial examination document to request additional medical records and/or make a decision (or preliminary decision) on the suitability of the applicant. MEPS doctor appointments are made on a case by case basis. If a MEPS doctor says the applicant does not meet medical standards, the respective military branch can initiate and request a medical waiver for that individual.
Each branch has its own waiver authority board, which will make a waiver decision “based on all available information regarding the issue or condition, as well as the specific needs of military service,” according to DOD guidelines.
But what exactly does each branch look for when deciding on a waiver? There are several factors that come into play that can favor ADHD applicants, such as time spent on medication and evidence of functioning well without.
Recruiters generally tell applicants that they will need to stop taking their medication for a sufficient period of time — — by far the most important action to take — — and demonstrate that they can function properly on stopping their medication prior to starting the enrollment process and to be considered for a waiver.
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The timeframe required to discontinue treatment differs across branches and even among recruiters within the same branch. Some also recommend a different approach to show proper function without medication.
Particularly in the Army, Navy, and Marines, most recruiters advise applicants with ADHD to discontinue all stimulant or non-stimulant medications for at least one year.
Some recruiters, especially in the Air Force, tell applicants that they must be off medication for 15 months or more (a glaring example of this inconsistency can be seen in the possibly outdated section of the Air Force website, which says applicants must stop taking medication for a minimum of two years to get relief). The Coast Guard — which represents just 3 percent of active service members — is widely considered the most difficult branch to successfully petition for an ADHD waiver.
Time spent on medication must be recorded by the doctor (usually the prescribing doctor) in the applicant’s medical and pharmacy records, and submitted as part of the waiver process. Records should also describe the history of ADHD, diagnosis, and treatment
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