It is a known fact that once you commit a crime, and you’re convicted for it, your life changes drastically. The US government is bound to enforce many restrictions on a felon. Even after a felon comes out of jail, they lose many of their fundamental rights.
Not only the government but also the commoners will perceive you from a negative angle. And that negativity may affect your working life as well. Now, one of the questions ex-felons ask the most is “can I join the US Navy with a felony”?
Well, don’t worry. Here we will discuss just that.
Can A Felon Join The US Navy?
If you’re a felon, you are going to have a hard time joining the US Navy. The US Navy is known for strictly dealing with criminals. Mostly, they are not willing to allow an ex-criminal to join their ranks. However, that doesn’t mean the Navy will reject all applications from such candidates at once. The US Navy will analyze each application carefully.
And, then might consider accepting some of them. But, of course, a candidate with a felony has to be a bit special to make this exception happen. However, certain factors will lead the Navy to reject your application immediately. But discussing those, let us take a look at how the US Navy treats felony convictions.
How Does The Navy Define A Felony Conviction?
While applying for a position at the Navy, certain things will come to play. And, an automatic waiver is one of them. In case you don’t know, an automatic waiver is a type of legal provision. Under it, the Navy might consider an exception if the applicant committed a felony before 15. A Recruiting Division Commander might consider waiving the felony. That is, so long as it doesn’t fall under certain categories. That are sex crimes, violence, or substance abuse.
In all other uncertain cases, the Navy is very typical about defining a conviction. If a convict is imprisoned for an offense for more than one year, the offense is treated as a felony. If the state considers a crime a felony, the Navy will treat it as a felony as well.
The Navy classifies the offenses under four primary charts. The charts are A, B, C, and D.
To classify an offense, the United States Navy takes the help of court papers and refers to the court’s judgment. The four charts indicate the offenses committed and their severity.
- Chart A offenses include parking violations and offenses related to the traffic. The offenses listed under this category are usually minor. Six or more such offenses would generally require a waiver by the NRC.
- Minor misconducts and non-traffic offenses usually fall under Class B classification. If you’ve committed three or more such offenses, you would need a waiver. In such cases, the Recruiting Division Commander of the Navy must approve the waiver. Otherwise, your application will be rejected. Disturbance of the peace, vandalizing a road sign, careless firing, etc. are of this class.
- Class C offenses constitute non-minor offenses. Three or more such offenses will require a waiver by the Navy Recruiting Command. Class C offenses are comparatively more serious than Class A and Class B offenses. Assault and battery, breaking into a house, helping in a criminal escapade, etc. are some of those.
- The most severe offenses come under Chart D classifications. The US Navy treats these kinds of offenses as crimes. Any misdemeanor conducted under this category will require a waiver from the HQ of the NRC. If the applicant doesn’t get a waiver, they cannot enlist their name. However, you must remember that Class D crimes rarely get waivers. Serious offenses such as arson, burglary, carjacking, bribery, etc. are class D offenses. So, if you committed any of these crimes, prepare yourself for the worst.
How Can A Felony Come In Your Way Of Joining The Navy?
1 The Navy and similar services don’t recruit everyone, to begin with. They recruit only those individuals who meet specific moral and character criteria. It happens because of the unique nature of the commission. So, rest assured the Navy will conduct a rigorous screening test. And, needless to say, each applicant must go through this test to qualify for joining the service.
2 After the first screening test, the recruiter will arrange an interview. Each shortlisted candidate must attend this interview. In case you didn’t know, the interview will also include a background check. At this stage, the applicant’s past will come to light. Suppose the interviewer finds out anything suspicious or any misconduct during the check. It will reduce your chance to join the Navy significantly.
3 The recruiter will also conduct another check to determine your financial credibility. So make sure that you have a handsome credit history. Faulty credit history could have a decisive effect on your candidature.
Moral Character Of A Candidate
An applicant seeking to join the Navy must have a strong moral character. One primary reason for this requirement is to filter out crooked individuals. That’s because such individuals pose a significant threat to the security of the nation. Also, as you may already know, the Navy is all about discipline, order, and strength of moral character. Thus, the US Navy will reject certain applications based on these ethical standards.
The following set of individuals are the most vulnerable to rejection:
- People going through some kind of judicial restraint at present will get rejected. These judicial restraints include incarceration, probation, or parole.
- Those who have committed serious crimes may face rejection from the Recruiting Command. Now, you might ask, “I can always appeal for a waiver, right”? Yes, you can. But the process is not that easy. Whether a person will receive a waiver for a crime or not varies from individual to individual. The less the intensity of the crime you committed, the more the chances of you getting a waiver. In case you fail to get a waiver for your crime, your dream to join the US Navy is over.
- The Navy also considers your social life after prison before enlisting your name. The NRC will check whether you have to lead a decent social life after getting released from prison. If you have, your chances to get enlisted will increase. If not, your Navy career might be over before getting started. The Navy doesn’t want any antisocial element to be part of it. So, be careful.
These types of people will face automatic disqualification. That means, even if the person applies for a waiver, the NRC will not consider that application.
But otherwise, depending on certain factors, you might be able to join the Navy:
The severity and the class that your offense belongs to.
- Your age and maturity when you committed the crime.
- Whether you’ve committed any new offenses or not.
- The conditions under which you committed the offense.
- And last but not least, the freshness and frequency of your felony.
As you can see, felons can join the Navy. But they have to fulfill certain conditions. If you satisfy those criteria, you too can be a part of the Navy. Beginning a new life is a dream most felons have and the Navy can help you fulfill it.