Madame Butterfly

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Posts posted by Madame Butterfly

  1. The National Mall (in the US) is a national park and I always had a fondness for sitting on the steps of the Lincoln memorial at night and looking out over the reflecting pond, other mall sites include the cherry trees in bloom, the Vietnam memorial. 


    Oh the National Mall is lovely, I always seem to be in DC when the cherry blossoms are in bloom. It's very beautiful. But I'm more of an outdoors person than a city person. Though I do love DC, there is so much to do and see and learn.

  2. I agree. It is a wonderful place. I also love Grand Teton, just south. I have hiked around most of the lakes there and have been there 4 times. Its variety with mountains, lakes and sagebrush country is great! I camped there each time


    Never fails, everytime I go, one of the campsites we are in, has a bear visit at night!! :nono: Lord do they smell awful!!!



    Well on another thread I've listed Grand Teton as my favorite park in the States.

    It's simply breathtaking.

  3. Having traveled extensively in the North America, I'd have to say the there are many beautiful spots here/


    Some of these trips were long ago but the memories around them are strong.


    Victoria Island, Canada:


    We went way down a logging road and came across a very primative camp site. It was on the edge of the ocean, which was protected by wild thick trees. In the morning the "guide" took us along the beach and told us of the many shipwrecks that were off the island, but the density of the trees kept survivors from journeying inland. They also showed us the extensive sealife found at low tide. I have many good memories of foggy mornings along that beach.



    Grand Teton Nation Park:


    Simply my favorite place in America.


    Beautiful, clean, breathtaking.


    The best part of that trip was horseback riding all day, and after sunset, we came to a camp where a roaring fire was waiting, the steaks grilling over it, and a wonderful evening was had by everyone.


    The family did go to Yosemite long ago, and the best family vacation ever had was a week long white water rafting trip just about a 45 minute drive away. We explored caves, sat in natural hot spring waters, did some spectacular and many unspectacular dives into the river and basically had an adventure of a life time together. Sadly, the state of California damned that river. :(


    There are many fabulous places to visit in North America, but I think these are my favorites because of the memories associated with them. :nono:

  4. Do You Qualify to Enlist in the United States Military?



    As I have often said, there is no right granted to anyone to serve in the United States Military. The respective military departments do have the absolute right to reject you for any reason it deems appropriate. Regardless of how recruiting commercials may "sell" the military, it is not a "jobs program." It's serious business, involving the security of the United States of America, and our country's national interests.


    Congress and the courts have held that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which ensures all individuals are treated equally before the law with respect to civilian employment, does not apply to the military profession. No less than seven major Supreme Court decisions are distilled in the these words from Goldman v. Weinberger:



    The military is, by necessity, a specialized society (separate) from civilian society....

    Click For Spoiler
    ‘The military must insist upon a respect for duty and a discipline without counterpart in civilian life,’ in order to prepare for and perform its vital role.... The essence of the military service ‘is the subordination of the desires and interests of the individual to the needs of the service.’ The history of the courts deferring to the judgment of military leaders on matters affecting the Armed Forces is one of the most consistently upheld principles of constitutional law. Furthermore, serving in the military is a privilege and sometimes an obligation, conferring neither the right to serve nor the right to avoid service... (see Kennedy v. Mendoza-Martinez 372 U.S. 144 (1963)).


    As such, the military doesn't accept just anyone who wants to join. You must be qualified, under current federal laws and regulations and/or you must receive an approved waiver for the condition which may make you disqualified.


    So, what are the general qualifications to enlist in the military? This can be a difficult subject, as -- within limits imposed by Department of Defense (DOD) policies and various federal laws, each of the services are allowed to determine their own standards. In this article, we'll try to cover the main standards, but -- without writing a novel -- it would be impossible to cover them all. For specific questions, it's always best to ask your local military recruiter.


    I want to mention right up front that it is a federal offense to provide false information or to withhold requested information on any United States Military Recruiting Document. For details, see our article, I Cannot Tell a Lie.




    One would think that age would be a simple category. One is either old enough, or too old, right? Unfortunately, it doesn't quite work that way. By federal law (10 U.S.C., 510), the minimum age for enlistment in the United States Military is 17 (with parental consent) and the maximum age is 35. This is to ensure than anyone who enlists on active duty can be eligible for retirement (20 years of service) at the mandatory age of 55 (60 in some cases). However, DOD policy allows the individual services to specify the maximum age of enlistment based upon their own unique requirements. The individual services have set the following maximum ages for non-prior service enlistment:



    Active and Reserve Army - 34

    Active Air Force - 27

    Air Force Reserve - 34

    Active Navy - 34

    Naval Reserves - 39

    Active Marines - 28

    Marine Corps Reserve - 29

    Active and Reserve Coast Guard - 27


    However, prior service enlistees can receive an "age waiver." In most cases, the amount of age that can be waived depends upon the amount of time the individual previously spent in the military. For example, let's say that an individual has four years of credible military service in the Marine Corps and wants to join the Air Force. The Air Force could waive the individual's maximum enlistment age to age 31 (Maximum age of 27 for the Air Force, plus four years credible service in the Marines). For the Marine Corps, the maximum age of enlistment for prior service is 32, after computing the prior-service age adjustment.


    For the Army and Air National Guard, the maximum enlistment age for non-prior service is age 34 (cannot have reached 35th birthday, by date of enlistment). For prior service, the maximum age is 59, as long as the member is able to complete 20 years of creditable service for retirement by age 60.




    While there is a statutory requirement that only a United States Citizen may become a commissioned officer, this is not true for enlistment. Certain non-citizens can enlist in the United States Armed Forces. To be eligible to enlist, a non-citizen must:



    (1) Entered the United States on a permanent residence visa or has an Alien Registration Receipt Card (INS Form 1-551/I-551 greencard or stamped I-94), and


    (2) Established a bona fide residence, and


    (3) Established a home of record in the United States.


    The visa and/or "greencard" must have sufficient time remaining on it (expiration date) to be valid during the entire term on enlistment. While non-citizens may enlist in the U.S. Military, they are not allowed to reenlist (stay in beyond their first term of service), unless they first become U.S. Citizens.


    However, there are accelerated citizenship procedures for non-citizens on active duty. For details, see our article, U.S. Citizenship in the Military.


    I get lots of email from non-U.S. citizens, who do not live in the U.S., asking how they can join the U.S. Military. Quite simply, you can't. In order to join any branch of the United States Military, one must either be a U.S. Citizen, or one must be a legal immigrant, currently living in the United States, with a "green card." The United States Military cannot and will not assist in the immigration process. In order to join the U.S. Military, one must legally immigrate first, and then apply to join the military, once they are living in the U.S.


    For enlistment purposes, citizens of the United States include citizens of: Guam, Puerto Rico, The U.S. Virgin Islands,The Northern Marianas Islands, American Samoa, The Federated States of Micronesia, and The Republic of the Marshall Islands.


    Not all non-citizens may be eligible to enlist. Applicants who have been residents of countries considered hostile to the interests of the United States require a waiver. See your local recruiter for the most current list of countries considered hostile to the interests of the United States.


    While non-citizens may enlist, they will find their job choices extremely limited. DOD policy prohibits granting security clearances to non-U.S. Citizens. Therefore, non-Citizens. who enlist in the United States military will be limited to those jobs which do not require a security clearance.




    In general, DOD prohibits the enlistment of any applicant who has more than two dependents under the age of 18. While the services are allowed to waive this policy, they often will not. In fact, most of the services are even more strict in their policies.


    The Navy, for example requires a waiver for any applicant with more than one dependent (including the spouse). To receive a waiver, the applicant must show that they are financially responsible (which means the Navy will check their credit report).


    In the Marine Corps, a waiver is required if an applicant has any dependent under the age of 18.


    The Air Force will do a financial eligibility determination (see below) if the member has any dependents at all.


    The Army requires a waiver if the applicant has two or more dependents (in addition to the spouse).


    The Coast Guard requires a waiver if there is more than one dependent (other than spouse), unless the applicant is enlisting in the grade of E-4 or above, when the limit is two dependents (other than spouse).


    For enlistment purposes, a "dependent" is defined as:



    a. A spouse, to include a common law spouse if the state recognizes such; or


    b. Any natural child (legitimate or illegitimate) or child adopted by the applicant, if the child is under 18 years of age and unmarried, regardless of whether or not the applicant has custody of the child. The term natural child includes any illegitimate child when: the applicant claims the child as theirs, or the applicant's name is listed on the birth certificate as the parent, or a court order establishes paternity; or if any person makes an allegation of paternity that has not been finally adjudicated by a court; or


    c. A stepchild of the applicant who resides with the applicant if the stepchild is under 18 years of age; or


    d. Any parent or other person(s) who is/are, in fact, dependent on the applicant for more than one-half of their support.


    In general, for enlistment purposes, an applicant is considered to be without a spouse (unmarried), if:



    a. Common law marriage has not been recognized by a civil court, or state law.


    b. Spouse incarcerated.


    c. Spouse deceased.


    d. Spouse has deserted the applicant.


    e. Spouse legally separated from the applicant. (For the Army, separation by "mutual consent" is sufficient.)


    f. Applicant or spouse has filed for divorce. (Note: If the divorce action is "contested," the service may deny enlistment until after the dispute is resolved in family court).


    Before a dependency waiver is granted for any of the services, the recruiting service will conduct a financial eligibility determination.


    Financial Eligibility Determinations


    Some recruits will have to show that they will be able to meet their current financial obligations upon enlistment. This includes recruits who are married (or who have ever been married), recruits who require a dependency waiver, recruits with a history of collection accounts, bankruptcy, closed uncollected accounts or bad credit. In the Air Force, it also includes any recruit who is at least 23 years of age. In general, the services are attempting to ensure that the recruit can meet current financial obligations on military active duty pay. For example, the Air Force uses the "40 percent rule." Any recruit who's monthly consumer debts (not counting debts which can be deferred, such as student loans) exceeds 40 percent of his/her anticipated military pay is ineligible for enlistment.



    The Navy policy examines total indeptness, rather than monthly payments. The Navy Recruiting Regulation States:



    No person may be selected who has a history of bad checks (unless through bank error), repossessions, cancelled or suspended charge accounts, or indebtedness exceeding half the annual salary of the paygrade at which the person is being recruited. If indebtedness includes a long-term mortgage, total indebtedness must not exceed 2 ½ times the annual salary.


    The Marines use the same Financial Eligibility Determination forms that the Navy uses. However, the Marines only do a Financial Eligibility Determination when the individual requires a Dependency Waiver. As part of the Dependency Waiver approval process, the applicant is interviewed by the Recruiting Commander (or his/her representative), who ensures, as part of the interview/review process that the recruit would be able to meet their current financial obligations on military pay.


    Like the Marines, the Army only does a Financial Eligibility Determination when a Dependency Waiver is Required.


    Single Parents


    Single parents are not allowed to enlist in the military, period. In the "old days," some recruits would try to get around this restriction by giving up legal custody of their child(ren) until after basic training and job school, but the military has wised up to this practice.


    For example, in the Marine Corps, one must give up legal custody (by court order) of their child(ren), and then wait one year or more before being eligible for enlistment. In the Army and Air Force, single member parent applicants who, at the time of initial processing for enlistment, indicate they have a child or children in the custody of the other parent or another adult are advised and required to acknowledge by certification that their intent at the time of enlistment was not to enter the Air Force/Army with the express intention of regaining custody after enlistment. These applicants must execute a signed statement testifying they have been advised that, if they regain custody during their term of enlistment, they will be in violation of the stated intent of their enlistment contract. They may be subject to involuntary separation for fraudulent entry unless they can show cause, such as the death or incapacity of the other parent or custodian, or their marital status changes from single to married.


    The military's refusal to accept single parents for enlistment is a valid one. The military is no place for a single parent. Due to a divorce, I spent the last six years of my military career as a single parent, and it is the singularly most difficult thing I have ever done in my life. In the military, the mission always comes first. Absolutely no exceptions are made in assignments, deployments, duty hours, time off, or any other factor for single parents. Single parents in the military are required to have a nonmilitary person (in the local area) on call at all times, 24-hours-per-day, seven-days-per-week, 365 days-per-year, who will agree (in writing) to take custody of their child(ren) at no notice, in the event that the military member is deployed or called to duty. Failure to comply with these " Family Care Plans" can (and does) result in an immediate discharge.


    In general, an applicant who has joint physical custody of a child by court order or agreement, and the applicant does not have a spouse, he/she is considered a "single parent." If local or state court allows modification, if the other parent assumes full custody, the applicant is usually qualified for enlistment.


    Military-Married-to-Military with Dependent(s)


    Like single parents, applicants who have minor dependents and are married to a military member are a special concern, because of the possibility that both parents could deploy. While waivers are possible, they are relatively rare. At a minimum, in order to even be considered for a waiver, the applicant would have to show a detailed "Family Care Plan."




    For enlistment purposes, the military breaks education into three overall categories: Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3:


    Tier 1 - High School Graduate


    This means a diploma, not a GED. It also includes those who have completed at least one semester of full-time college (defined as 15 semester credit hours or more). The vast majority of enlistees (well over 90 percent) fall into this category.



    High School Diploma: Based on attendance and completion of a 12 year or grade day program of classroom instruction; issued from the school where the individual completed all the program requirements.


    Adult Education Diploma: Secondary school diploma awarded on the basis of attending and completing an adult education or diploma "external" program, regardless of whether the diploma was issued by a state or by a secondary or post-secondary educational institution.



    For adult education diploma holders to be categorized Tier I high school graduates, their educational program must include attendance which is comparable to that of traditional high schools. Diploma holders possessing attendance not deemed comparable, and/or have been credited attendance based on some form of test-based credential, are usually classified as Tier II status.

    The Army allows applicants who is currently enrolled in an adult education or college program, and who further is expected to graduate or attain the required credits within 365 days may to enlist in the Delayed Enlistment Program (DEP).


    Completed One Semester of College: A person who attends a college or university and successfully completes at least 15 semester or 20 quarter hours of college-level credit. "Successfully completed" means that the individual earned college-level credits (level 100 or higher) toward a degree in higher education from an institution listed in the degree granting section of the current version of the Accredited Institutions of Post-secondary Education (AIPE), published by the American Council on Education for the Council of Post Secondary Accreditation. NOT all institutions listed in the current AIPE are considered as offering college-level credits. The credits must have been earned through actual classroom participation at the institution awarding the credits.


    Note: For the Army, completion of college courses below the 100 level will be accepted for enlistment if the course is clearly identified as a college level course and credit will be recognized by the college towards graduation and degree completion requirements. An original letter on the college letterhead stationary is required to verify the status of courses completed.


    Tier 2 - Alternative Credential Holder


    The services limit the number of Tier II candidates it will allow to enlist each year. In the Air Force, the limit is less than one percent each year. In such cases, the applicant must score a minimum of 50 on the AFQT to qualify (Note: The "AFQT" is the overall ASVAB score).


    The Army will allow up to 10 percent each year to be Tier II candidates, but they must score a minimum of 50 on the AFQT.


    The Marines will only allow about 5 percent each year to be Tier II, and the Navy about 10 percent. Like the Army and Air Force, Tier II recruits must score a minimum of 50 on the AFQT to qualify.


    The Coast Guard only accepts Tier 2 candidates if they have prior military service, and even then requires them to score higher on the AFQT (50 for prior Coast Guard Service, 65 for prior service in other branches).


    The following programs are considered to be Tier 2 Education credentials:




    Test-based Equivalency Diploma Graduate: An applicant who possesses a GED or other test-based high school equivalency certificate or diploma. This includes, for example, statewide testing programs such as the California High School Proficiency Examination (CHSPE), whereby examinees may earn a certificate of competency or proficiency. A person who subsequently obtains a local or state-issued diploma solely on the basis of such equivalency testing is not considered as a Tier I high school graduate for the Marines, Army and Navy, but may (depending upon State laws) be considered as Tier I for the Air Force.


    Certificate of Attendance. An applicant who possesses an attendance-based certificate or diploma.



    These are sometimes called certificates of competency or completion, but they are based on course completion rather than a test such as the GED or CHSPE. A person who subsequently obtains a local or state-issued diploma on the basis of an attendance credential is not to be considered a Tier I high school graduate in the Navy, Army and Marine Corps, but may (depending upon State laws) be considered as Tier I for the Air Force.

    Alternative/Continuation High School. Those applicants who do not meet the Tier I criteria as described above.


    Home Study. An applicant who earned a high school diploma or certificate awarded by a state, based upon certification by a parent or guardian that the individual completed his/ her secondary education at home. (Note: In the Air Force, many home study programs are considered Tier I graduates, depending on state law).


    Correspondence School Diploma. An applicant who earns a diploma or certificate upon completion of correspondence school course work, regardless of whether the diploma was issued by a correspondence school, a state, or a secondary or post-secondary educational institution. (In the Army & Air Force, such diplomas (issued by a State) may be considered Tier I, depending upon the laws of the State.


    Occupational Program Certificate (Vo/Tech). An applicant who has attended a vocational/technical or proprietary school for at least 675 classroom hours and possesses a certificate of attendance or completion indicating such. Correspondence schools offering vocational certificates are not included.


    Tier 3 - Non-High School Graduate.Individuals who are not attending high school and are neither high school graduates nor alternative credential holders. The services almost never accept a Tier 3 candidate for enlistment. (Added Note: March 14, 2005 -- I've been informed that the Navy Reserves is currently accepting Tier III applicants).


    Drug/Alcohol Involvement.


    The United States Military does not condone the illegal or improper use of drugs or alcohol. It is DOD's stated contention that illegal drug use and abuse of alcohol is:



    (1) Is against the law.


    (2) Violates the high standards of behavior and performance expected of a member of the United States Armed Forces.


    (3) Is damaging to physical, mental, and psychological health.


    (4) Jeopardizes the safety of the individual and others.


    (5) Is fundamentally wrong, destructive to organizational effectiveness, and totally incompatible with service as a member of the U.S. Military.


    (6) Is likely to result in criminal prosecution and discharge under other than honorable conditions.


    All applicants are carefully screened concerning drug and alcohol involvement. As a minimum, you can expect the recruiter to ask:



    a. "Have you ever used drugs?"


    b. "Have you been charged with or convicted of a drug or drug related offense?"


    c. "Have you ever been psychologically or physically dependent upon any drug or alcohol?"


    d. "Have you ever trafficked, sold, or traded in illegal drugs for profit?"


    If the answer to the last two questions is "yes," then you can expect to be ineligible for enlistment. If the answer to the first two questions is yes, then you can expect to have to complete a drug abuse screening form, detailing the specific circumstances of your drug usage. The military service will then make a determination as to whether or not your previous drug usage is a bar to service in that particular branch of the military. In most cases, a person who experimented with "non-hard" drugs in the past will be allowed to enlist. Anything more than experimentation may very well be a bar to enlistment. An "experimenter" is defined as:



    .."one who has illegally, wrongfully, or improperly used any narcotic substance, marijuana, or dangerous drug, for reasons of curiosity, peer pressure, or other similar reason. The exact number of times drugs were used, is not necessarily as important as determining the category of use and the impact of the drug use on the user's lifestyle, the intent of the user, the circumstances of use, and the psychological makeup of the user. An individual whose drug experimentation/use has resulted in some form of medical, psychiatric, or psychological treatment; a conviction or adverse juvenile adjudication; or loss of employment does not fall within the limits of this category. For administrative purposes, determination of the category should be within the judgment of either the district or recruiting station commanding officer, aided by medical, legal, and moral advice, with information as available from investigative sources."


    While not a "hard and fast" rule, one can expect that any admitted use of marijuana over 15 or so times, or any admitted use of "hard drugs," will be disqualifying, and require a waiver.


    In any case:



    1. Dependency on illegal drugs is disqualifying.


    2. Any history of drug use is potentially disqualifying.


    3. Any history of dependency on alcohol is disqualifying.


    Even if enlistment is authorized, many sensitive military jobs will be closed to individuals who have any past association with illegal drug or alcohol use.


    In the Air Force, anyone who admits to smoking marijuana less than 15 times does not require a waiver. More than 15 times, but less than 25 requires a Drug Eligibility Determination (basically, a trained Drug & Alcohol Specialist will examine the exact circumstances of the use). An approved Drug Eligibility Determination is not the same thing as a "waiver," in that it will not preclude enlistment in most Air Force Jobs. 25 or more uses of Marijuana in a lifetime is disqualifying, and requires a waiver.


    As a minimum, recruits will undergo a urinalysis test, when at the Military Entrance Processing Station, (MEPs) for their initial processing, and again when reporting for basic training.


    Moral Standards


    The United States Military Services make every attempt to assess the moral quality of potential recruits, and several categories of moral offenses may preclude enlistment. This is primarily accomplished based on criminal record.


    I should note here that there is no such thing as a "sealed record," or an "expunged record" as far as the military is concerned. The recruiting services have access to law enforcement and FBI investigative records, which -- quite often will list arrests in these categories.


    Even if an offense is not found during the recruiter criminal background check, it is likely to come up during a possible (probable) security clearance criminal records check. If an applicant fails to disclose criminal history and it is later discovered, the individual may be charged under federal law, or the Uniform Code of Military Justice for False Statement, and/or Fraudulent Enlistment.



    (See the article, I Cannot Tell a Lie).


    Military applicants are required by law, as part of the enlistment process to disclose any and all incidents that resulted in arrest or in charges being filed. When determining whether or not an offense "counts" for enlistment purposes, the services are primarily interested in whether or not the applicant actually committed the offense, not whether or not a "legal" conviction resulted.


    Any offense that resulted in either conviction, or any kind of "adverse adjudication" counts.


    When it comes to criminal offenses, enlistment qualifications, and waivers, the following definitions apply:



    Conviction. The act of finding a person guilty of a crime, offense or other violation of law by a court or competent jurisdiction or other authorized adjudicative authority. This includes fines and forfeiture of bond in lieu of trial.


    Adverse Adjudication (adult or juvenile). Any conviction, finding, decision, sentence, judgment, or disposition other than unconditionally dropped, unconditionally dismissed, or acquitted. Participation in a pretrial intervention program as defined below must be processed in the same manner as an adverse adjudication.


    Pretrial Intervention/Deferment. Every state has a program by which offenses are diverted out of the regular criminal process for a probationary period. While the programs vary from State to State, they all require the defendant to meet some requirement (e.g., reporting or non-reporting probation, restitution, or community service), after successful completion of which the charge is disposed of in a way that does not result in a final adjudication of guilt. Charges disposed in this manner must be processed as an adverse adjudication.


    Stet Processes. A judgment that all further action in a case be stayed. Frequently referred to as a "stet", it is often used by prosecutors to dispose of criminal action without actually having to try a case on its merits. A "stet" may be considered as equivalent to dropping charges if the prosecutor does not contemplate any further proceedings on the case and the case has not been handled through a pretrial deferment program. A letter from the district attorney is required to verify a stet.


    Nolle Prosequi. Commonly called "nol pros". A formal entry on the record that the prosecutor will not prosecute the case any further. A "nol pros" may be considered equivalent to dropping charges if the prosecutor does not contemplate any further proceedings on the case and the case has not been handled through a pretrial deferment program.


    Army. The Army divides criminal offenses into one of four categories. Applicants with six or more minor traffic offenses (where the fine was $100 or more per offense), or three or more minor non-traffic offenses, or two or more misdemeanors, or one or more felonies, requires a waiver. For detailed information, see our Army Criminal History Information Pages.


    Air Force. The Air Force divides criminal offenses into five categories. Category 1 offenses are considered the most serious (felonies), and category 5 offenses are the most minor. Applicants with one or more convictions or adverse adjudications from category 1, 2, or 3 offenses require a waiver. Those with two or more convictions or adverse adjudications in the past three years, or three or more convictions or adverse adjudications in a lifetime for a category 4 offense also require a waiver. Air Force applicants with six or more convictions or adverse adjudications in any 356 day period within the past three years from a category 5 offense also require a waiver. For complete information, see our Air Force Criminal History Information Pages.


    Marine Corps. The Marines divide criminal offenses into one of six categories. In general, a waiver is required for: five to nine minor traffic offenses; two to five more serious traffic offenses; two or more Class 1 minor non-traffic offenses; two to nine Class 2 minor non-traffic offenses; two to five serious offenses; or one felony. Individuals with ten or more minor traffic offenses, six or more serious traffic offenses, ten or more Class 2 minor non-traffic offenses, six or more serious non-traffic offenses, or more than one felony are not eligible for a waiver. For details, see our Marine Corps Criminal History Information Pages.


    Navy. The Navy divides criminal offenses into four separate categories. Applicants with six or more minor traffic violations, three or more Minor Non-Traffic Violations/Minor Misdemeanors, one or more Non-Minor Misdemeanors, or one or more felonies, require a waiver.

    For complete information, see our Navy Criminal History Information Pages.

    Let me mention that although, technically, felonies can be waived, the services almost never do this. This is especially true if the crime involved sale of narcotics, sex crimes, or violence. Additionally, those convicted of "domestic violence," by federal law, are prohibited from owning or possessing firearms. That pretty much makes the individual worthless for military purposes, so such waivers are not likely to be approved.


    Whether or not a waiver will be considered or approved depends on several factors, including the exact circumstances of the offense, how old the applicant was at the time, how long ago the offense occured, and how bad that particular military service needs that particular warm body at that particular point in time. In general, during years when the services are having few problems attracting qualified recruits, fewer waivers are considered and approved. During years when the services are having a difficult time finding enough qualified volunteers to meet their quotas, one can expect more waivers to be considered and approved.


    One also needs to understand that the wavier approval process is somewhat subjective. What I mean by that is there is some human being (usually a commander), in the chain of command who will ultimately approve or disapprove the waiver request. If, for example, that person recently had their house burglarized, they are probably not going to feel very "generous" towards any waiver request involving burglary or theft. For more detailed information, see our Criminal History Waiver Information Page.


    Enlistment As An Alternative To Prosecution


    Applicants may not enlist as an alternative to criminal prosecution, indictment, incarceration, parole, probation, or other punitive sentence. They are ineligible for enlistment until the original assigned sentence would have been completed.


    Homosexual Conduct


    Don't Ask, Don't Tell is the current policy for the United States Military. What that means, in a nutshell is that the military will not ask about someone's sexual preference. That means that homosexuals can service in the military, but they cannot engage in any homosexual conduct, nor can they tell anyone about their sexual preference.



    (1) Applicants for enlistment will not be required to reveal their sexual orientation. However, homosexual conduct may be grounds for barring enlistment. Homosexual conduct is any homosexual act, a statement by the applicant that demonstrates propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts, or a homosexual marriage or attempted marriage.



    (a) An applicant will be rejected for entry if he or she makes a statement that demonstrates that the applicant has a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts, unless there is a further finding that the applicant has demonstrated that he or she does not have a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts. A statement by the applicant that he or she is a homosexual or bisexual, or words to that effect, creates a reputable presumption that the applicant engages in homosexual acts or has a propensity to do so. However, under DOD policy, the applicant shall be advised of this presumption and given the opportunity under the procedures prescribed below to rebut the presumption by presenting evidence sufficient to demonstrate that he or she does not engage in homosexual acts and does not have a propensity to do so.


    :blush: If it is discovered that an applicant or a member of the Delayed Entry Program has engaged in, attempted to engage in, or solicited another to engage in a homosexual act and the information is received by a credible source, including, but not limited to, police records check or National Agency Check, the applicant will be denied enlistment. If the circumstances meet (a) above or © below of this paragraph, then the procedures below will be followed to determine eligibility.

    © If the act was a departure from the applicant's customary behavior, and the act is unlikely to recur because it was the result of immaturity, intoxication, or coercion, that the behavior was not accomplished by force, coercion or intimidation, then the applicant may be processed for enlistment in the same manner as (a) above in that a written explanation may be submitted to the approving authority who will rule on the conditions under which the act was committed and determine propensity to further engage in such acts.



    (2) An applicant may submit a rebuttal to the presumption that he or she will engage in homosexual acts by presenting written evidence other material the applicant believes relevant. The applicant is responsible to provide his or her recruiter such documents/evidence. The recruiter will submit applicable documents to the Recruiting Commander concerned for final determination.


    Mental Aptitude


    The primary method of determining if someone has the mental aptitude required to be an enlisted member of the United States Military is the Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude. Test (ASVAB). The overall test score determines whether or not you are qualified to join the military, and individual composite scores derived from the ASVAB test determine what jobs you may qualify for. For more information about the ASVAB, see my feature article, ABCs of the ASVAB.


    Height Standards


    The cause for rejection for Armed Forces male applicants is height less than 60 inches or more than 80 inches. The cause for rejection for Armed Forces female applicants is height less than 58 inches or more than 80 inches. The Marines are more restrictive. For the Marines, height standards for male applicants range from 58 to 78 inches. Height standards for female applicants range from 58 to 72 inches.


    Weight Standards


    The services don't really have "weight standards." What they have are "body fat standards." However, it takes extra time and effort to measure body fat, so the services use weight charts to do an initial screening. Individuals who weigh more than the limits on the chart are measured to ensure they fall within the service's body-fat standards. There are no waivers for exceeding required body fat limits.





    If the applicant exceeds the weight shown on the above charts, they are measured for body fat. Body-fat standards for each of the services are:



    Army: (Accession standards)

    Male 17-30 - 24%

    Male 21-27 - 26%

    Male 28-39 - 28%

    Male 40+ - 30%

    Female 17-30 - 30%

    Female 21-27 - 32%

    Female 28-39 - 34%

    Female 40 + - 36%


    Air Force: (Accession Standards)

    Male 17-29 - 20%

    Male 30 + - 24%

    Female 17-29 - 28%

    Female 30 + - 32%


    Navy: (Accession Standards)

    Male - 23%

    Female - 34%


    Marine Corps: (Accession and Regular Standards)

    Male - 18%

    Females - 26%


    Medical Screening


    The medical officials at MEPs do not work for any of the individual services. They work for DOD (MEPS). Their job is to use a set list of medical standards to determine whether or not one is medically qualified to perform military duties. Using these set standards, the MEPs medical officials either certify a candidate as medically qualified, or medically disqualified (there's no "in-betweens"). For a list of medical standards that DoD considers disqualifying, see our Enlistment/Accession Medical Standards Information Pages.


    However, while DOD sets the overall standards, each of the military services are allowed to individually waiver the standards, depending upon the particular needs of the service. If the medical officials at MEPS disqualifies an applicant, the chief medical official will usually make a recommendation about whether or not he/she recommends that the service waiver the disqualification. The doctor normally makes this recommendation based upon his/her professional opinion as to whether the precise nature of the medical disqualification will significantly interfere with the proper performance of military duties (either now, or in the future). The waiver request is then considered by medical officials assigned to the individual service. If the chief medical official at MEPs recommends a waiver, the chances of receiving the waiver from the service concerned is pretty good (although still not a certainty). If the chief medical official at MEPs does not recommend a waiver, the chance of receiving an approved medical waiver is slim.


    Before even sending a candidate to MEPS, the recruiter will complete a DD Form 2807-2, (Applicant Medical Prescreening Form). The Form was developed to help recruiters screen out applicants who are obviously not medically qualified for military service. Use of the form helps the military to avoid needless expenditure of funds, and discourages applicants from further processing if they are obviously unqualified (e.g., missing a limb, missing an eye).


    Miscellaneous Provisions


    In general, the following additional conditions will render one ineligible for enlistment, and waivers will not normally be granted:



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


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


    3. Questionable moral character.


    4. Alcoholism.


    5. Drug dependence.


    6. Sexual perversion.


    7. History of antisocial behavior.


    8. History of frequent or chronic venereal disease.


    9. Previously separated for unfitness, unsuitability, unsatisfactory performance, misconduct or bar to reenlistment, with 18 or more years of active Federal service completed.


    10. Applicants for retirement and persons receiving retirement or retainer pay, except for combat-wounded personnel.


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


    12. Persons whose enlistment are not clearly consistent with interests of national security.


    13. Last discharged or separated from a component of a U.S. Armed Force, with other than honorable discharge, or general discharge.


    14. Criminal or juvenile court charges filed or pending against them by civil authorities.


    15. Persons under civil restraint, such as confinement, parole, or probation.


    16. Subject of initial civil court conviction or adverse disposition for more than one felony offense.


    17. Civil conviction of a felony with any one of the following:



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


    b. Applicants with juvenile felony offenses who have had no offenses within 5 years of application for enlistment may be considered for a waiver in meritorious cases.


    18. Subject of initial civil court conviction or other adverse dispositions for sale, distribution, or trafficking (including "Intent To:) of cannabis (marijuana), or any other controlled substance.


    19. Prior Service with an RE-Code of "4."


    20. Persons with a Bad Conduct or Dishonorable discharge.


    21. Persons with prior service last discharged from any component of the Armed Forces for drug or alcohol abuse, or as rehab failure during their last period of service.


    22. Three or more convictions or other adverse dispositions for driving while intoxicated, drugged, or impaired in the 5 years preceding application for enlistment.


    23. Confirmed positive result for alcohol or drugs (test administered at MEPS) (May be waived by some of the Services).


    24. Persons with convictions or other adverse dispositions for 5 or more misdemeanors preceding application for enlistment.


    25. Alien without lawful admittance or legal residence in the United States.


    26. Permanently retired by reason of physical disability.


    27. Retirement after 20 years of active Federal service.


    28. Officers removed from active or inactive service by reason of having attained maximum age or service.


    29. Discharged by reason of conscientious objection.


    I hope this information helps you out in some way.


    (spoiler box added due to length-AE)

  5. I think this depends on the outcome of the situation with the courts that you are currently involved in.


    If you get some sort of conviction, than they won't take you at all.


    I had a friend not be able to get in due to taking a statue off someone's front lawn on graduation night, and got busted for it and fined.


    He couldn't get into the military because he was convicted of a crime. A very minor one.