Waiver Charts for Criminal and Conduct Offenses

Moral Waivers for Enlistment

A couple of years ago, the Department of Defense (DOD) decided to try and make the waiver report uniform across all the military recruiting organizations. Previously, each service had their own way of reporting; as an example, what may have been called a misdemeanor by the Navy may have been ruled in a different category by the Marine Corps. Making the changes forced the Navy to change some of the terminology and limits of what is waiverable for enlistment to meet the DOD’s requirements. As an example of just the terminology updates, Minor Misdemeanors are now called Non-Traffic offenses, and a Felony is now considered a Major Misconduct. Also changed, was the various combination of charges that could be waived. Because of the consolidation of reporting rules, this guide should be in-line with all the military branches’ waiverable requirements.

I have been trying to avoid posting about this topic because of the numerous factors that go into a waiver determination, but because of all the email questions I do receive, police involvement and how it may have hurt enlistment opportunities must be the most common, and the most difficult to answer, I decided to give it a go. You see, just because a charge or group of charges is waiverable, it DOES NOT mean that you will get a waiver. This guide shows the waiver authority, but remember, anyone in the chain can decide not to have your waiver reviewed, and could disapprove it on the spot. Yes, even your Recruiter can decide not to process you.

Many factors beyond the type and number of offenses are used to determine eligibility, and they include, but are not limited too, your education status, ASVAB score, references from employers, community involvement (not court mandated community service), and more. This guide addresses basic enlistment only, and does NOT delve into the additional waivers you may require for a specific Navy job you are seeking; or, if your crimes involved physical violence, alcohol involved driving, multiple drug related offenses, drug use, domestic violence, or sex related crimes.

Remember, a waiver is only required because the circumstance being waived is disqualifying without one. Many people do not make it through the waiver process – in my experience, most of those disapproved were a result of the person being disrespectful, almost thought the process to be a waste of time. Also, during the waiver process, people would blame someone else for the charges, refused to take ownership of their past indiscretions. My best advice; be humble and man-up.

Why are moral waivers completed? The waiver process is a filter to prevent enlistment of persons whose social habits are a threat to unit morale and cohesiveness while allowing those who may have made a couple of prior indiscretions, but still have a good potential to serve.

Some important definitions:

“The completion of a legal process by which an arbiter or judge reviews evidence and argumentation including legal reasoning set forth by opposing parties or litigants to come to a decision which determines rights and obligations between the parties involved.” For the purposes of enlistment, if your charges are disposed with ANY condition, it will be considered a guilty finding and will be subject to, if otherwise qualified/required, a waiver by the proper approval authority. Example; a prosecutor tells you your charges will be dropped if you write a “letter of apology,” the condition requirement of having to write the letter is considered an adverse adjudication. This includes charges that were dismissed, pardoned or disposed of in any manner that required you to do something, anything!
Probation is the suspension of a sentence of an individual convicted of an offense. The suspension of sentence will usually always require the individual to abstain from further unlawful activity during the period of probation and may or may not include other conditions imposed by the convening civil authority/court. The term unconditional/unsupervised probation is used to define a period of probation where the individual has no restrictions concerning freedom of movement, no future reporting requirements, no outstanding balance of fines, restitution or community service to be fulfilled, or any other tangible condition that would restrict the individual’s ability to join and serve in the armed forces. Supervised/conditional probation is defined as any imposed condition that would restrict the individual from joining the armed forces due to movement restrictions, reporting requirements, unpaid balances of fines or restitution, or remaining community service requirements to be fulfilled. Persons under unconditional/unsupervised probation are enlistment eligible.
Non-Traffic Offense
Generally, if the maximum confinement under local law is four months or less, it is to be treated as a non-traffic offense.
Misconduct Offense
Generally, if the maximum confinement under local law exceeds four months but does not exceed one year, it should be treated as a misconduct offense.
Major Misconduct Offense
Generally, if the maximum confinement under local law is one year or more, it should be treated as a major misconduct offense.

You may not enlist into the service as an alternative to criminal prosecution, indictment, incarceration, parole, probation, or other punitive sentence. If a judge does reduce your sentence or punishment to join, then you are ineligible for enlistment until the original assigned sentence would have been completed.

All charges, citations, warnings must be listed in your enlistment paperwork, but it is only those charges and citations that have been adversely adjudicated that will have to be considered when determining if a waiver is required or even necessary. So, lets get to it, what can be waived and who can waive it.

The waiver authority based on the number of traffic, misdemeanor offenses, and combinations of those charges that you may have committed.

Offense Number of Offenses Waiver Authority
Traffic Violations
(Follow link for examples)
Up to 5
6 to 10
11 or more
No waiver is required.
NRD Commanding Officer
Non-Traffic Offenses
(Follow link for examples)
Up to 4
6 or 7
8 or more
No waiver is required.
NRD Commanding Officer
No waiver authorized.
(Follow link for examples)
3 or 4
5 or more
NRD Commanding Officer
No waiver authorized.

Combination Rules for Non-traffic and misconduct (not including major misconduct) offenses.

Combination Rules for Non-Traffic (NT) and Misconduct (M) Offenses
Combination of Offenses Waiver Authority
1 M and 4 NT
1 M and 5-6 NT
2 M and 3 NT
3 M and 2 NT
3 M and 4 NT
Total of NT+M=8 or more
NRD Commanding Officer
No waiver Authorized
No waiver Authorized

An offense is classified a “felony” without regard to the offender’s age when the offense was committed, or whether the offense was disposed of by juvenile or adult criminal proceedings. A felony charge that is adjudicated as a felony which is amended later to a lesser offense classification shall be considered a felony for enlistment waiver purposes.

Note: Criminal/moral waiver that requires consideration by the Commander, Navy Recruiting Command are extremely unlikely to be forwarded for consideration unless you are an otherwise stellar applicant.

Major Misconduct Offenses (Felonies)
Offense Number of Offenses Waiver Authority
Major Misconduct
(Follow link for examples)
1 or 2* CNRC
2 juvenile major misconduct offenses or a combination of 1 adult and 1 juvenile major misconduct.
If you have 2 adult or 3 or more major misconduct offenses. No waiver authorized.
* Cannot have more than 1 Major Misconduct offense adversely adjudicated as an adult.

A combination of 1 major misconduct and 3 or more additional offenses, other than traffic violations, is NOT authorized for a waiver.

The Moral/Criminal Waiver Matrix above is for both active and Reserve, enlisted and officer programs.

To be clear, about sealed juvenile records, several states have provisions for “sealing juvenile records” which serves to limit disclosures on the part of law enforcement officials and judicial authorities. In spite of the legal effect of such action, if you have a record, you must reveal the record, and a conduct waiver must be granted to authorize enlistment in these cases.

Self admitted crimes and offenses shall be processed in the same manner as adverse adjudications when the crimes or offenses are not revealed in police record checks or on file with civil authorities. Self admitted crimes and offenses shall be classified (charted) and waived at the appropriate level per this manual. However, any voluntarily disclosed, self admitted, or recruiter discovered form of police or criminal involvement by an applicant warrants further investigation and may be grounds for disqualification.

You receive an automatic, permanent disqualification if you have been convicted of rape, sexual abuse, sexual assault, incest, carnal knowledge, forcible sodomy, sodomy of a minor, prostitution involving a minor, indecent assault, assault with intent to commit rape, assault with intent to commit sodomy, indecent act with a minor, indecent language with a minor, kidnapping of a minor (by a person not a parent), pornography involving a minor, attempt to commit any of the foregoing, conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing, any other sexual offense, or solicitation to commit any of the foregoing, or if you are required by any state or federal court, statute, or administrative regulation, to register as a sex offender – NO WAIVERS AUTHORIZED.

Well, this should be just enough information to confuse the crap out of you. I just hope that this information doesn’t stop you from visiting the recruiting station and asking specific questions about your individual circumstance, and provides you with enough insight so you can be as prepared for the visit as you can be.

Read Comments (2,171)

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2,171 Responses to “Moral Waivers for Enlistment”

  1. droid says:

    Petty theft ($10), accelerated misdemeanor program then expunged. Disorderly conduct and a Misdemeanor theft conviction. This all occurred over a year ago. Have 32 college credits and wish to enlist, are the chances slim?

  2. NCCM(Ret) says:


    It depends. First — if either of the theft charges were of property worth $500 or greater, then the charge would be considered a Major Misconduct Offense — if one is a Major Misconduct Offense, a waiver for the time being would be highly unlikely to receive waiver consideration. I recommend that you seek out your closest recruiter so he/she can go over the specifics of the charges to see if a waiver is possible.

    An expunged charge is the same as one that is not expunged for military moral waiver purposes.

  3. droid says:

    The one was $10, the other was $100, does this offer any better outcome?

  4. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Yes, because both charges will be considered a Misconduct Offense, and the Disorderly Conduct Charge a Non-Traffic, your waiver can be considered at the local Commanding Officer level — if you are otherwise qualified, and the local command does not have any additional restrictions applied outside of the national guidance, a waiver is possible.

    I hope things work out!

  5. droid says:

    Thanks – it’s confusing I find some guidance that suggests anything under 3 minor’s do not require waiver, while another says 1-2 does, i assume the latter, 1-2 (as is this case) will require a waiver. Does the local recruiter, if personal/character familiarity is available, having any swaying power with RDC Command? High ASVAB and college credit (e.g. marketable with military rate), and demonstrated citizenship after a brief period of youthful immaturity, does all of this have positive bearing on process?

    Thanks in advance

  6. NCCM(Ret) says:


    All of those are great things that the waiver authority will consider when you are able to process — high ASVAB and college credits are good stuff. From a command’s perspective, if the recruiter is willing to process someone, then they must already think positively of the applicant.

    All services must complete a waiver for anyone with two Misconduct Offenses. Each service follows DoD basic instruction even though they may add steps/additional requirements to it — the chart above is for the Navy specifically; my understanding of the Army is that they do not require a waiver for a single Misconduct Offense whereas the Navy does — and that is where some of the confusion comes from.

  7. droid says:

    You’ve been a great help, i know this is very subjective, but in today’s world, based on what I’ve outlined and the history, is there a reasonable expectation that acceptance could be had? I know there are a lot of variables, I do understand that all branches see this everyday, many with more extraordinary circumstances, some with less, i am just tying to determine chance here, that is all.

  8. NCCM(Ret) says:


    All I can tell you, and I know it is not what you are asking me, is that it is possible — a high ASVAB and college will help — any more would be flowery stuff that would not offer you much beyond additional hope that may be misguided. I don’t want to do that to you.

    I highly recommend calling a recruiter and making an appointment.

  9. droid says:

    Will do, thanks much for this dialog

  10. tman says:

    Juvenile – Minor Driving with Liquor and Spirits in the body, I took a CD from a store, and maybe a Minor in Consumption at a party.

    Adult – When I was 18, I got another Minor Driving with Liquor and Spirits in the body. I violated probation. I was also charged with trying to buy alcohol in the same occasion, but I wasn’t, they just said I was. I also recieved a DUI in college, but that was 8 years later when I was 26.

    The Army turned me down with the DUI’s. I said that my friend got in with 3 DUI’s, and another friend was eligible to be E-4 with 2 DUI’s and a Possession of a Firearm Charge. He said all of this was acceptable, but only during the Iraq War. He said that category is closed now and he wasn’t sure when it would open.

    My dad was a Luietenant Colonel in the USAF. He worked in the Pentagon with John McCain. My dad was one of the main men who helped develop better topographical maps that pilots still use today. My dad flew F-104′s. I have 4 letters of reccomendation from high ranking military officers, a Bachelor’s Degree, job experience, and a lot of volunteer work, (a year and a half at a children’s hospital, and I also volunteer with the Red Cross on the Disaster Action Team and Service to the Armed Forces).

    I haven’t talked to an Air Force recruiter yet because I’ve already been turned down by the Army.

    Considering who my dad was, my degree, and volunteer work, I’m really hoping the Air Force will think about considering me, even just in the guard or reserves. I don’t have any felonies or drug charges. Do I have a chance with the Air Force?

  11. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Three Behind the Wheel Offenses is disqualifying, and there are no waivers authorized. I thank you father for his service, but that does not carry any weight for your enlistment opportunities.

  12. Hope says:

    I’m a simple guy. The only thing I’ve wanted to be for as long as I can remember is an officer in the us military. I’ve work hard and taken every hit that life gives me as a lesson for my future service. I had a child at 18 , to be clear I’m not using my baby girl as an excuse but is just so you can have a sense of what a go thru every day. To this I ad that I’m a single parent do to the indiscretion of my ex. I’m 8 month away from graduating and my bachelors in electrical engineering with a speciality in power. I’ve been researching for a wile and found a program that I like, the NUPOC program.

    Here’s the problem in the last 2 years I have berried 5 of my closes friends the one that changed everything was when they murdered my cousin hum I most say was like a brother to my 13 years of every day life with him and some guys decide to just kill him for the fun of it. When this happened I just started acting different like if I was gonna die to tomorrow. My train of thought was if i wanted something i wasn’t Gonna wait so one day at a store I took something that did not belong to me. Now I understand how stupid it was of me to put everything I’ve worked for in jeopardy. The value of the object is about 150 dollars.
    The question is: Are my dreams of becoming an officer gone because of my stupidity ?
    If you have any suggestion I will greatly appreciate.


  13. NCCM(Ret) says:


    A waiver is possible. If you are able to process, I am sure you are going to have to explain why, when confronted with adversity, you choose the path you did.

  14. tman says:

    One was as a juvenile, so 2 as an adult.

    Are they not more lenient on juvenile charges?

  15. tman says:

    A guy I know has 3 DUI’s and he is in the Army.

    How did he get in? Especially because he has no military family.

    My dad was a well decorated officer and I have a degree and none of that matters? Why? Why do they only look at criminal records? Why don’t they look at people like human beings, and look at other aspects of their life?

    What if I was at the top of my class in fitness, and got a perfect score on the asvab?

    What if I go and get a PhD in Military Science, Computer Science, or some other field the military is in demand for?

    Even with a PhD, that won’t matter?

    There are no waivers for people who change their lives and become geniuses?

  16. NCCM(Ret) says:


    No waivers authorized. The fact one was committed as a juvenile is irrelevant. Who your family is is also totally irrelevant — there has been sons and daughters of admirals and politicians that have been turned away because they did not meet the standard. I have no idea what the Army’s policy is/was concerning the number of BTW offenses.

  17. USMC says:

    Hi I recently enlisted in the Marine corps and am suppose to leave for boot camp in a month. Two night ago me and a friend went to Florida for spring break. We were walking down the sidewalk and I had an empty beer can in my hand and got stopped by the police. I am 20 so they gave me a citation but was given any opportunity to do a little community service and pay a small fee and they dropped all charges. They said this will still show up on my records. Will I still be able to continue or is there any kind of waiver I can get?

  18. NCCM(Ret) says:


    As long as you don’t have any preenlistment issues, you should not have much problem beyond not informing your recruiter when it happened. If you have his cell number, you need to contact him. I assume he gave you direction when you joined about keeping him informed.

  19. tman says:

    Are you speaking on behalf of the military as a whole, or just the Navy or Air Force, when you say no waivers authorized?

    I’m just asking because you stated you aren’t sure what the Army’s policy is concerning BTW offenses, and because I stated that I know someone who got in with 3 DUI’s. I guess I’ll just have to do some more research on how he got in.

    Also, I asked about furthering my education. Even if I got a PhD, that would not make a difference?

  20. Chris300zx6 says:

    This is NAVY cyberspace, he is an NCCM, though he may have knowledge of other branches he is mainly speaking on behalf of the navy. Honestly Ive been reading your posts and questions. In my honest opinion you seem to have a sense of entitlement due to your dad being a decorated officer. While I salute him, this doesn’t mean anything to anyone when it comes down to you. You will get no special treatment. This isn’t a school where you get in because of who you know and who is vouching for you. This is the United States Military, there is a code of conduct and moral standards you must meet to even be considered. Everyone must meet them, regardless of who you are, how smart you are, how connected you are and how desired you would be.
    On to your offenses. Regardless of two of them being juvinile they are still BTW offenses. Which are misconducts. 3+ is unwaiverable, thats just the sad truth about it.
    Sorry, NCCM is trying to be nice anout your situation.
    I’m sure your dad hasn’t tried to get you in because he himself knows he has no pull or ability to.

  21. tman says:

    It’s not about entitlement, it’s about legacy, and being damn proud of who he was. He can’t get me in because he passed away.

    I know people have to meet standards. I’m very aware. If I can’t, then it is what it is. I’ll pursue other things with my life.

    I was just trying to figure out how someone got in with 3 BTW’s in the Army and the NCCM is saying it’s not waiverable. If he is speaking on behalf of the Navy only, then that’s what I was trying to determine.

    I also knew a guy who had 2 BTW’s and a Possession of a Firearm charge, which to me is worse, and the Army told him he could go in as E4 with a degree.

    Both of those scenarios involve 3 Misconducts, do they not?

    Apparently, those categories open and close in the Army. I’m not sure about other branches.

    Thanks for the responses.

  22. NCCM(Ret) says:


    I am only relaying information about the Navy — the Navy’s instructional guidance prohibits waivers for three BTWs, and as I stated in my previous comment, I don’t know how the Army treats three BTWs.

  23. Kainoa says:

    Is the Navy accepting moral waivers at this time? If not, when will they? When will be a good time?

  24. Kainoa says:

    Will the original charges during the arrest be disqualifying or is it the final charges decided at the court determine if I’m qualified to join?

  25. NCCM(Ret) says:


    It depends on what the original charge was. If it was a felony, a domestic violence related, a drug charge, etc., then the court records must be sent to Navy Recruiting Command’s legal department of review and determination if a waiver can be conducted, and if it can, at what level it must be considered.

  26. Kainoa says:

    What do you mean by original?

  27. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The charge you were booked with, or the original charge on the ticket the day you were arrested.

  28. kevin says:

    Hi, I was in the army for 3 years did a tour in Iraq and went I got out I was in the reserves to finish my inactive time. I am looking into joining the navy, but back in 2007 I got a domestic battery charge because my sister said that I hit her. It was later brought down to a battery charge I had to pay a small fine and take an angermanegemt course I was only in jail for 24 hours. Which is a mandatory cool down time. I was never sent back to jail and it was considered a misdemeanor. I was wondering if that will effect me trying to get in the navy. That is the only offensive I have ever had except some traffic tickets.

  29. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The case has to be reviewed by legal to see if a waiver is possible — the Navy is very strict with this issue because of the close quarters in which we live. Prior service billets are few and far between — I assume the charge occurred post enlistment which means you have been out for a number of years, that too makes things even less likely.

  30. kevin says:

    My sister was not living with me, it is a very long story to be honest. So your saying that even though this hapend about seven years ago and I was not arrested nor charged with a fine more than 500.00 dollars that I might not be elligable.

  31. kevin says:

    The charged happend in 2007 I just got out of active duty and I did not join the reserves until 2009.

  32. NCCM(Ret) says:


    I have no idea how legal will interpret it — they may determine it to be a simple assault, but I doubt that — at the very least, based on what you wrote, I see it as a Misconduct Offense because of the involvement of a family member and the initial charge being DV; how long ago a charge occurred is irrelevant; you were in fact arrested and adversely adjudicated (you had to complete classes, etc.). The recruiter will have to review it and if prior service is being considered at all, the paperwork will have to be forwarded for review.

  33. Jay says:


    Thank you for the information you have posted so far. From what I’ve read it seems I have a bit of a different situation. I have been accepted for Navy OCS SNA program a few months ago, I have been waiting for my dates to go to OCS and for my TS clearance to finish. I was looking at sunglasses a few days ago and I stupidly put a pair in my pocket and tried to take them. As I was leaving, I got arrested and they’re trying to charge me with Larceny over $250 because the glasses were worth $260. That is considered a felony. Up until now I had been a model citizen and I had a complete lapse of judgement, but this isn’t the place for excuses or for me to try and blame everyone else. My questions are. 1. How does my arrest affect my current acceptance into the OCS program? What happens if my case is dismissed either WITH conditions or without conditions? Do I still need a waiver if I was arrested and charged with they dismiss my case without conditions? Do you know how this dumb move would affect my clearance? You can be honest if I just ruined my life.



  34. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Your fear will more than likely be realized. If they drop the charges because you didn’t do it, and based on your comment that isn’t likely, then your package may continue, but otherwise, expect your package to be pulled. If you hope to have any chance in the future (when all the police issues are completed), no matter how slight that chance might be, you need to ensure your recruiter is informed asap. Any delay in making him/her aware is also a reflection of character.

  35. rodger says:


    I have a DWI, an minor in possession of alcohol, a paraphernalia charge for marijuana, a trespassing charge for being in a park after dark, and a minor in possession of alcohol from when I was 16 that was dropped.

    I scored in the 90s on my ASVAB and have a bachelors degree. Am I qualified to join the Navy?

  36. NCCM(Ret) says:


    You have 2 Misconduct Offenses (DWI and the MJ charge) and 2 Non-Traffic Offenses — a moral (for the two Ms and 2 NTs)and alcohol abuse waiver (for the two alcohol related offenses) by the NRD CO would be required for that (if the local command is considering moral waivers for multiple offenses); however, the question comes as to why the other minor in possession of alcohol was dropped. If it was dropped outright, and no requirements were placed on you by the court to have it dropped/sealed/expunged, whatever, then you may be able to move forward, but if it was dropped after you completed a court’s requirement, then you would require a waiver by the Commander, Navy Recruiting Command, and currently, it is my understanding that waivers that require that level of consideration are not being considered.

  37. Matt says:

    I currently have a depending misdemeanor charge for a fake parking permit that is under deferred disposition. The original charge was a felony forgery, which didn’t make sense since the value of the parking pass under what was considered a felony forgery. I am currently a full time college student expected to graduate in 2-3 years. I am seeking to enlist in the reserves while I am still in school. When I look under major misconduct and it says for forgery that it excludes altered identification cards, I believe this includes me but I am unsure. I don’t know if my charge falls underneath this. My questions are should I presume having the charged dropped by the prosecutor? If that doesn’t happen, what would my charge be considered? Lastly if the charge is still considered a major misconduct, what are my chances of being accepted enlistment if major misconduct waivers are again accepted? Thank you very much for your time and look forward to response.

  38. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Any and all arrests that were originally charged as a felony must be submitted to legal for a review — it doesn’t matter what level of charge the courts ultimately considered it. Legal will then determine whether or not the charge will need to be considered as a Major Misconduct or a Misconduct Offense. If any requirements are placed on you by the court, then the charge has been adversely adjudicated, it won’t matter if the charge is ultimately dismissed, it must still be reviewed and waived. If it is dropped because you didn’t do it, then it won’t require a waiver, but the court records will need to bear that out.

    If legal determines the charge to be a Major Misconduct, then you would need to wait until all of your court requirements are completed and when those waivers are being processed again; if determined to be a Misconduct Offense, then once all the court’s requirements are completed, and you are otherwise fully qualified, a waiver should take really no time at all because it would be local (the local commanding officer would be the approval authority). Either way, I recommend that you contact, and keep in contact, with a recruiter for when either of those possibilities can come true.

  39. Matt says:

    Thank you very much for the information thus far. I talked to several recruiters today and they brought all of this to my attention so I decided to get as much information before I go back to them in the next few days and proceeding weeks. Since my charge is still pending and my court date isn’t until June, is it possible for me to send this to legal already to get an idea of what I will have to do following the out come. I reviewed my case and decided to clear things up for you and myself. The charge was originally a felony for “Other forgery/uttering” which was later amended to “Forgery” misdemeanor. Following that my continuance was made in deferred disposition with the requirements be that I complete 75 hours of volunteer work at a non-profit organization and that I stay out of trouble. Of which both are easily completable and almost already done. With all this information restated and clarified as best that I know, are my chances high that legal will rule this as a Misconduct offense? And with that, what are my chances that my wavier will be granted if it is seen as a Misconduct, being that I am completely honest and forth coming with my actions of course? I intended to stay in touch with my recruiters as often as possible. Thank you once again for the help. This has been very beneficial to me.

  40. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Legal will not entertain any documentation until the whole thing is completed and closed. I have no idea how legal will rule, but I will say that 75 hours is pretty harsh for a first offense. Also, it is expected that you be forthcoming and honest — that is the normal; to not be would be detrimental to your chances. I do hope it works out for you.

  41. Danielle says:

    If I have one NTO and one Misconduct offence, and legal turned me down how do I get a waiver?

  42. NCCM(Ret) says:


    If the charge itself is not authorized to be considered for a waiver, and that sounds like what legal has determined (you didn’t specify the charges), then you have no recourse with the Navy — another service may consider it differently, but again, it depends on the charge(s).

  43. Mic says:

    If someone is in the navy reserves and has been charged with two class 3 felony theft charges, are they eligible to stay in the reserves until convicted???

  44. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Whether or not you are discharged will be a result of an administrative board — the board will convene if/when your command decides to move forward with the proceeding.

  45. brooks says:

    So to keep a long story short I was arrested when was 15 for trespassing and burglary. Went to family court and got an ACD, paid a fine, and was told to keep my nose clean for 6 months and it would go away. Now from what I have been reading you are saying that this is the same thing as being guilty or a conviction. If that is true then why is it that my friend, who was arrested with me, and was enlisting in the army was told by his recruiter, after visiting the court house that there was no record of it happening and not to bring it up?

  46. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Your friend is being mislead — just because it doesn’t show during the cursory check doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Keep reading the comments on here and other pages and you will find many posts about how they got to boot-camp and were then discharged because the actual background check came back with something withheld. If it happened, there is a record.

  47. Nate says:

    I am currently working with a recruiter for the navy. I have a DWI, a parafenalia charge (not possession) a pipe with residue, misdemeanor thrown from court. And 2 poss of alcohol by a minor. My recruiter is busting his ass to find out what my standings are, just curious on your thoughts.
    I scored an 82 on the asvab and have loads of college credits. All charges are 3+ years old.
    Thank you for your time.

  48. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Besides the NRD moral waiver for the two Misconduct Offenses (one Misconduct Offense if the paraphernalia charge was unconditionally dropped), and you also need an NRD alcohol abuse waiver because of the three alcohol related offenses.

  49. Romello says:

    Hi I posted in here before but I have a new updated question, I’ve said that it have a drug possession charge less than 2 grams of marijuana as a juvenile misdameaners, that charge is actually what got me disqualified from the army, but the recruiter told me to talk to the usmc as there the only branch that works with possession charges . I then have a felony of a knifes possession that got reduced to a misdameaner in court as a juvenile. My main question is though, all those happened close to 4 years ago and I’m turning 20 next year. I got off probation and I have a lot of people willing to recommend me. If I get my college credits and live life productivity will that give me a better chance of joining.

  50. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The age at the time of the offense is irrelevant, but, to answer your question, if you don’t have a Tier I education and if you live unproductively, you will have zero chance.

  51. Martin says:

    I am 21 years of age. when i was 16 i was charged with 3rd degree burglary and 6th degree Lacerny both related to the same case. i plead Youthful Offender and was put on probation for 2 years after which the record was expunged. At 19, i was charged with 2nd degree assault, resisting arrest and breach of peace, all related to the same incident. All charges were dismissed. Do i have any chance at all at joining the Navy?

  52. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Expunged charges and ones that are dismissed after they had been adversely adjudicated count for waiver purposes just as if you were found guilty by a jury during a trial. Each offense that required a different thought or action to complete counts separately; burglary and larceny are two separate actions, so that would be two Major Misconduct Offenses (larceny is a Major Misconduct if the value of the things stolen were valued at $500 or over, otherwise, it may be a Misconduct Offense). Assault, resisting arrest, and Breach of Peace are also separate offenses — the court records for the assault would need to be reviewed to determine how that charge would be classified. Gaining waiver consideration for your charges even when Major Misconduct charges are being considered would be tough for you because you had another incident after your first arrest.

  53. martin says:

    I did go to trial and was found not guilty by a judge. Does that still count as adverse adjudication?

  54. NCCM(Ret) says:


    If a charge was dropped or dismissed after you completed any requirement of the court, then it counts; however, if the charges were dropped because you didn’t do the crime, then they still will be listed in your application, but they would not require a waiver. The court’s records must be submitted for review.

  55. martin says:

    So if it turns out that the other charges do not require a waiver, do I have a shot with the 2 major misconducts?

  56. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Currently, no because it is my understanding that waivers that require that level of consideration are not being processed. Keep in touch with a recruiter because he/she will know when that door may open again before I find out.

  57. martin says:

    Also, on the lacerny charge, the goods stolen were valued under $25. So I guess that leaves one major misconduct.

  58. NCCM(Ret) says:


    That still depends because the original arrest was for a felony charge, the legal department will make a determination based on the court records what each of the offenses level classification will be. If the larceny charge was by itself, I’d agree with your assessment, but we just won’t know until legal makes a determination about it — it is likely they will consider it a Misconduct, but it isn’t a sure thing — circumstances matter.

  59. Martin says:

    The problem is there are no records beyond a charge sheet that i can provide. It was all expunged.

  60. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Without proof to the contrary, I would expect legal to consider them both Major Misconduct Offenses.

  61. kevin says:

    How can I get a decision changed? My son enlisted and a recruiting chief/commander declined him due to an incident that he was never convicted of? I thought in our country you are innocent until proven guilty? A charge is an acquisition, and a conviction is a judgment from due process.
    Can I appeal this decision?
    thanks for your time,

  62. NCCM(Ret) says:


    I don’t have enough information about the specifics, but I’ll try and answer the best way I can with what is provided.

    If he was arrested and charged with an offense, and the charges were then unconditionally dropped, then he would not require a waiver for the charge.

    If he was arrested and charged with an offense, and the charges were dropped or dismissed or even reduced after completing pretrial intervention or another requirements of the court, then the original charge stands for waiver purposes.

    If he was arrested and charged with an offense; for instance, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and the distribute part of the charge was dropped, but the possession remained, then Navy legal would make a determination as to whether the applicant can receive a waiver or is barred from service.

    If his court records indicate that all charges were unconditionally dropped, then he should be able to move forward as long as he is otherwise fully qualified.

  63. kevin says:

    His FBI showed the incident, but he was never ticketed, ordered to be in court. Nothing. He went to the record’s office and got a print out of his record from Juvenile Hall and no record of this. He has a clean record. It what came from the FBI. Petty theft and interfering with a police report (he gave the police his brothers name, why I’m not sure other than the obvious?) I went to the recruiting office to see about challenging this but they were no help.

  64. NCCM(Ret) says:


    There would not be an FBI record if he was never arrested, and there is the rub — the fact that there is no record at the local courthouse is fairly common especially if the record has been sealed. Because he has the FBI record indicating an arrest that means there is a disposition to the arrest — somewhere. One of the biggest misunderstandings court perpetuate is that once a case is sealed or dismissed that the record no longer exists, but the truth is, once a record is started, it is not deleted from everywhere it is logged.

    When the applicant is filling out the application, they will list the arrest/incident, and write a handwritten statement to explain the circumstances — many times that handwritten statement goes a long way to help explain the circumstances when more documentation is not immediately available — sometimes, applicants leave out parts of their past because they believe it won’t be found — many have actually been told by the court/lawyer that they don’t have to bring it up; I wish they would say, “except for when processing into the military.” The charges that your son has can be waived, but it sounds like the local commanding officer has decided not to consider it because the charges were not made part of the original application; meaning there is now a question as to what else may be missing from the application.

  65. kevin says:

    But if a person doesn’t have their day to give their side, how can it be seen as guilty? This is putting the local police as Judge and jury, removing the due process of an American. Their given right of due process as an American?

    How is this legal?

  66. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The police are not the judge and jury — if he was arrested, then the arrest has to be disposed of. Dispositions range from cases being dropped to guilty findings as a result of a jury trial. Most cases never go to trial, they are pled out; the offender will accept a period of probation or a small find, community service, or even write a letter of apology, or make restitution — if the offender does anything, even apologizes, for the purposes of a waiver, they are guilty of the crime. As a matter of fact, a person only has to admit to committing a crime — an arrest does not have to occur — for a waiver to be necessary.

    I wrote this article a while back that might help explain some of it — here.

  67. kevin says:

    So even tho there was no ticket, punishment, apology, etcetera you see it that he is guilty? And with this he will need a waiver? So what does he do with the waiver? What is the intention of a waiver? Okay how does one best optimize this opportunity?

  68. NCCM(Ret) says:


    If he can prove the case was disposed of by it being totally dropped without having to complete a requirement of the court, he will not require a waiver, but absent proof that the incident was not unconditionally dropped, it will require a waiver. You insist that there was never an incident, but the fact that there is a record maintained at the FBI indicates otherwise.

    His recruiter can let him know what his options are; however, if the command has decided not to allow him to process, then his best bet is to try another service.

  69. Ryan. says:

    Four years ago, I was charged for two different offenses for drug related cases. One for being under the influence of a controlled substance (Schedule II) and possession of paraphelnelia (pipe). Both cases were combined into one case and was dismissed under the PC 1210.1 (e)(1) “deeming to never have occurred.” Since then, I have been sober and free from all elements. I have also recieved an AA and obtaining my Bachelors within the next year and half. Currently I am 32 years of age, and I know I am near that cutoff point.

    Upon reading your topics about drug policy, it interested me because I am applying to join the NAVY and want to know my chances of my situation being waived. I was able to turn in a handwritten statement and still waiting for the outcome. However, I want your thoughts of my situation and what are my chances as well. Please let me know.


  70. NCCM(Ret) says:


    As you have read in the post, the charges will count for waiver purposes regardless of what the courts may have done after the adverse adjudication — you had to complete a requirement of the court for it to be dismissed. Any illegal drug possession except for minimal amounts of marijuana is considered a Major Misconduct Offense, and the legal department will determine based on the court records whether or not the paraphernalia charge will be grouped with the possession into a single offense. Because you have at least one Major Misconduct Offense, you require a waiver by the Commander, Navy Recruiting Command — my understanding is that currently waivers that require that level of consideration are not being processed. Keep in close contact with your recruiter — if it is open, or will soon be open, he will know it before I do. If the paraphernalia charge is considered to be a separate incident by legal, then you would not be eligible for waiver consideration because two Major Misconduct Offenses are not allowed.

    I hope it works out for you. Keep up the great work in school.

  71. Chris300zx6 says:

    Hey NCCM, it’s me again with one last question for you. On Monday my recruiter took my handwritten statements for my tattoos and DU I charge up to MEPS. I went today to have them signed off on and do my interview for civil. Unfortunately, this was not the case. I was told I couldn’t do anything until I get the approval from legal. Another thing my recruiter had said my DU had two charges on it. Would this matter? One was for the DU and another for having BAC higher than 0.08 and having plead guilty to both due to the deal offered to me by the DA. Wouldn’t it still only count as one Misconduct charge? She had told me that the guy at MEPS had asked to have them combined as one instead of two. The main thing I am freaking out about is it not getting approved, as I have my mind set on the Navy. She said it could take anywhere up to a month. Have you heard of any being looked at and judged faster. I’m trying to stay strong in my resolve, but the constant running around and waiting is getting a bit discouraging. Any insight to my questions would be much appreciated.

    Once again, thank you for your continued help.

  72. NCCM(Ret) says:


    It sounds like those charges should be grouped, but if they are your only two charges, your waiver would be at the same level, so things should progress as normal once legal comes back with their determination either way. If all the court records are together, it should not take legal more than a couple of days to review the court records once they get them — no idea where the month comes from.

  73. Chris300zx6 says:

    Thank you very much for the reply, NCCM. You took a massive weight off my chest. If it was received on monday,how long should I give it until I start calling my recruiter for updates.

    The month time frame was given to me by my recruiter, the guy who does the paperwork for waivers and the like at MEPS had told her “It might take a while” with no estimate on “while” so she thought a month would be the best bet.

    Now when you say “If they are your only two charges” Do you mean for that DUI, or would a written statement I did for a speeding ticket contribute to the difficulty.

    If meant for the DUI, then they were the only two charges on my minute papers and for the actual DUI. I did not have to plead guilty twice. I just had to plead guilty once.

  74. NCCM(Ret) says:


    From what you wrote, I understand that you were pulled over once and blew above a .08 and was charged with a DUI and for blowing above a .08 — I assume you were charged with blowing the .08 because you were underage, so essentially, you received citations for underage drinking and a DUI — and if my guess is right, you will have the ONE Behind the Wheel (BTW) offense (the DUI) and one Non-traffic Offence (underage drinking) — if that is the case, the waiver level is the same — you would require a moral waiver for the BTW, and an alcohol abuse waiver for the two alcohol related offenses — again, both waivers would be at the local commanding officer level.

  75. Chris300zx6 says:

    No, I was 23 at the time of being pulled over for the DUI.

  76. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Then I would think those would both be grouped — I mean, you blow a .08 which proves the DUI, you can’t have the DUI without the alcohol in your system.

  77. Chris300zx6 says:

    Hahahah yeah. One charge was for the DUI. The second (which has the same penal code just one is (a) and the other is (b).) Was for my alcohol content being above .08, it was .12 I believe.
    If legal shouldn’t take that long, how long should I give it before I call my recruiters for updates. They never call me to update me on anything.

  78. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Call Monday early afternoon — they really should have something back by then because legal doesn’t sit on anything.

  79. Gregory [Last name redacted for Privacy] says:

    I am currently trying to enlist in the navy and it has been a long process to say the least. In 2006 she I was 19 I was arrested and charged with petty theft less than $100 i was given probation before judgement and completed all the terms. I then filed for the charge to be expunged in 2009 and it was granted. I have had no trouble since then but my problem is that because its expunged I can’t get a hold of any records of the incident to submit with my waiver. The court shredded the files and the police and my attorney no longer have the information. My attorney wrote a letter stating the charges but it wasn’t accepted as proof. I dont know how to get past this any help would be appreciated I have been upfront and honest from the beginning and I just need something to prove this was my charge to get my waiver approved any help would be truly appreciated

  80. NCCM(Ret) says:


    There should be no reason why you cannot move forward — the recruiter should run a local check, then you would fill out a handwritten statement explaining all of the circumstances (when the FBI check is returned, your statement had better match) — the waiver, if you are otherwise fully qualified, is possible. If you are not able to move forward with the Navy, go to another service.

  81. Gregory [Last name redacted for Privacy] says:

    Thank you for your quick reply I have done the handwritten statement and filled out the information for the check but I was informed today that despite that my waiver was denied because they need more proof it was less than $100. So my best course of action is to apply to another branch

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