Felonies and Very Serious Misdemeanors

Major Misconduct

Not an all inclusive list, but should help you figure out how you charges may effect your enlistment, and who the waiver authority may be when you use the moral waiver guide.

An offense is classified a Major Misconduct, “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.

Major Misconduct Examples

Aggravated assault, assault with a dangerous weapon, maiming.
Attempt to commit a felony.
Breaking and entering with intent to commit a felony.
Car jacking.
Carnal knowledge of a child.
Carrying of weapon on school grounds. (firearm)
Check, worthless, making or uttering, with intent to defraud or deceive (over $500).
Child abuse.
Child pornography.
Conspiring to commit a felony.
Criminal libel.
Domestic battery/violence, as defined under the Lautenberg Amendment.
Forgery; knowingly uttering or passing forged instrument. (except for altered identification cards)
Grand larceny/larceny (value over $500).
Grand theft auto.
Hate crimes.
Illegal/fraudulent use of a credit card, bank card, or automated card (value of $500 or more).
Indecent acts or liberties with a child, molestation.
Indecent assault.
Kidnapping; abduction.
Mail matters: abstracting, destroying, obstructing; opening, secreting, stealing or taking.
Narcotics, or habit forming drugs; wrongful possession or use. (marijuana not included)
Negligent/vehicle homicide.
Perjury; subordination of perjury.
Possession or intent to use materials in a manner to make a bomb or explosive device to cause bodily harm or destruction of property.
Public record: altering, concealing, destroying, mutilating, obliterating, or removing.
Rape, sexual abuse, sexual assault, criminal sexual abuse, incest, or other sex crimes.
Robbery, to include armed.
Sale, distribution, or trafficking (including “intent to”) of marijuana or any controlled substance. (Mandatory rejection)
Stolen property, knowingly receiving (value over $500).
Terrorist threats including bomb threats.
Violation of civil rights.

A major misconduct offense, generally, when the maximum confinement under local law for the offense is one year or more.

Traffic Violations
Non-Traffic Offenses
Misconduct Offenses

Read Comments (248)

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248 Responses to “Major Misconduct”

  1. Gerald says:

    Hi, I’ve been wanting to join the navy for a while. I committed a crime when I was 17 by stealing dvd’s at target and been told it was a felony, to a missdemeanor. I went to court as my last day and they told me less than 5 minutes that it never happened. they gave me a paper and told me “its like it never happened cause other people here have it worse than you do” so I left. Now I called the navy recruiting office near my town and they told me I cant join cause it was a felony but I’ve been told you can still join cause you were underaged and everything should be gone. So im sitting here wondering if i can still join or not with what I did in the past.

  2. Areione says:

    I am 19 years old. 3 years ago i was charged with theft for being in a stolen car. A felony. Am i able to join the navy …??

  3. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The age at the time of the offense is irrelevant. If you were adversely adjudicated for the crime, then for waiver purposes, you are as guilty as if a jury found you as such. Currently, waivers for Major Misconduct Offenses are not being processed; hopefully, this article can help explain why:

  4. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Same is true for you as I explained to Gerald in the above comment.

  5. John B says:

    2 years ago I was charged with 2nd Degree Home Invasion (Michigan’s Category for B&E), I completed everything that was asked of me (Probation, Restitution, Counseling) without any problems. Since it was my first charge I was put under HYTA which I know affects nothing in the military. One concern is if the military will consider the charge as two (B&E, and Theft) even though there is one charge, and if so would it be possible for them to see it as one considering they were exactly at the same time. Another concern is how would I become a “stellar candidate”? I opted out of my GED program with one test left to pursue a regionally accredited diploma online that does fit into the Tier 1 category, at this time I only have 3 acceptable college credits, am a 2011 graduate of the ChalleNGe Academy, and after education I will finish 40 hours of community service on my own time (should I do more?). There isn’t any way to justify my actions, or blame anyone else; It wasn’t something I was proud of,and my reasons for the action taken are more complex than I’m sure you have time for. Even with this adverse situation I can still prove that I’ve maintained a level of respect for authority (Instead of running I used the patriot act to help police locate me, and when they showed up hours later I confessed). I train 6 days a week awaiting the day Ill earn the privilege again, I fucked up once and I know it, but Ill never accept being disqualified forever. If I was a serious moral concern I don’t believe I would be able to legally own a firearm, which I am not barred from, and I shouldn’t be able to read to our nations youth, and enjoy all other freedoms with which HYTA has granted me. I’m very sorry for this lengthy reply, I do apologize, and appreciate every second you would take to answer my concerns. Unlike many, Ill still be bugging the recruiters for years to come, and quite honestly Id give up my pay to serve if it were possible, as long as im housed, fed, and trained Ill be more than happy

  6. John B says:

    The HYTA program reinstates full rights, I should’ve worded that better since it implies I could have lost some

  7. NCCM(Ret) says:

    John B.,

    I recommend that you sit down with a recruiter and have him/her review your record. If you were charged and adjudicated with a single violation, then it is that violation that will have to be considered. that said, if it was two charges, they won’t be combined. You wrote, “…considering they were exactly at the same time.” Therein lies the rub, they were not at the exact same time — breaking in is a completely separate action from stealing — they could have happened microseconds apart, but they are still different. Now, for example, if you were charged with breaking and entering and vandalism — the vandalism charge was a direct result of breaking the window to gain entrance, then that may ultimately be grouped as one (one action/thought, two charges)

  8. Jim says:

    A couple years ago I was released from probation for a felony that was resolved under a state deferment program resulting in the case being dismissed. Would I need a waiver and if so would I be more likely to obtain a waiver if I applied for a higher demand MOS such as EOD?

  9. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Because the charge was adversely adjudicated, you must receive a waiver for it — if the charge can receive waiver consideration; you didn’t specify what the charge was.

    Waivers for Major Misconduct Offenses must be considered at the Commander, Navy Recruiting Command level, and currently, waivers that require that level of consideration are not being processed. I recommend you contact a recruiter to see if he/she can give you a time frame as to when that may open up again.

    You cannot attempt to get into a rating or program until your enlistment waiver is completed.

  10. jack says:

    When I was 17 I called in a false bomb threat to an out of state middle school. I sm 19 now. Will this prevent me from enlisting?

  11. NCCM(Ret) says:


    You would require a Major Misconduct waiver, currently, waivers that require that level of consideration are not being processed. I recommend that you contact your recruiter because he/she will know before i do as to when those waivers will be considered again.

  12. Chris L says:

    I broke into a vacant home and stole speakers and a go cart. I was charged with Grand larceny and burglary, along with 2 misdemeanors: criminal possession of stolen property and criminal trespassing. I was given 100 days in jail and was given youthful offender and a sealed record. (Which I know doesn’t make a difference). Can I still join the navy?

  13. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Chris L.,

    You have Two Major Misconduct Offenses and Two Misconduct Offenses. A combination of 1 major misconduct and 3 or more additional offenses, other than traffic violations, is not authorized for a waiver.

  14. Chris L says:

    What about for the army?

  15. Chris L says:

    All of these charges were dismissed. What if I entered as infantry, which I believe requires only a confidential clearance

  16. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Chris L.,

    You would need to ask the Army; however, the charges may have been dismissed, but that doesn’t change the fact that they were adversely adjudicated — based on what you wrote, they all count.

  17. NavyTilDeayh says:

    Hey NCCM, I am currently in the process of entering the Navy I have already taken the practice asvab with a score of 65. I was wondering if a sexual misconduct charge that I believe was either dropped or defered would prevent me from being able to enlist active… I was 17 and my sons mother was 14. I turned 18 and she had him when she was 15 and social services pushed for the charge but nothing further could be done because her parents knew we were together and didn’t want anything done. I spent only a week in jail. I am currently 22 and dedicated to a full career in the navy. I’m going crazy thinking this will effect the chance

  18. NCCM(Ret) says:


    All the court records surrounding the case must be submitted for review. Additionally, you would need to provide the custody/child support documents for the child.

  19. Justin [Last name redacted for privacy] says:

    Sir, I am on deferred adjudication for theft of a firearm for knowingly receiving. It’s also a first time offense. When I complete my deferred have all of my other requirements for joining the service. How bad will this effect me from your personal experience?
    I have talked to a recruiter for the navy he tells me that they will look at it as a felony considering it is a class c felony but no conviction has been made.
    Is there a good chance I could still serve my country?

  20. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The recruiter is accurate, and, currently, it is my understanding that waivers for Major Misconduct Offences are not being processed, but of course that can change before you are completed with your court’s requirements, so stay in touch with your recruiter.

  21. John says:


    When I was a teenager I was charged with misdemeanor larceny for shoplifting (a total much less than $500). I went through the deferred prosecution program. I’m almost 100% sure that I will need to get a waiver for this but I’m concerned on if it is a major misconduct or if it is minor. I appreciate in advance for your help in this.

  22. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Based on your explanation, it will be considered a Misconduct Offense, and that would require a waiver for enlistment into the Navy.

  23. John says:

    Just a bit of a follow up. I was wondering the just chances are of such a waiver going through?

  24. NCCM(Ret) says:


    It is possible, but getting consideration and ultimately an approval depends on a ton of factors — your ASVAB score, education level, local waiver policies, etc., etc.

  25. Travis T says:

    I’m on a deferred sentence for Arson 2. I’ve completed regimented programs and counseling. I was 18 at the time. I am now 21. If I had a waiver would I be able to join any branch of service at all??? I have no bigger dream than to serve my country and protect it’s people and our freedom.

  26. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Once all of your probationary period and any other of the original (and any subsequently added) court requirements are completed/satisfied, a waiver could be possible; however, it is my understanding that currently no service is considering Major Misconduct waivers at this time.

  27. Jane says:

    Hi, My son at the time was 14, took some (6 pills) ADHD meds to school, after finding out it was a “popular” thing. He was caught right away since he didn’t think he was something “bad”. He was charged with possession to distribute . He was expelled from school but not arrested, but convicted. He did community service, did some weekend boot camp and attended classes, while on parole, he was drug tested. Judge said he would be eligible for expungement at 18.
    For the past three years he has been dreaming of joining the Airforce.
    He is now 18, already took the ASVAB test (AFQT score of 83). He had an interview with the recruiter on the phone and he said my son told him what happened. And today, I was asking about some documents he would need, the recruiter told me my son has no chance of enlisting, not even with a waiver. So I went online to research what this is all about and came about this website.
    What can you tell me about this all? Is he not eligible for enlisting? What would this be considered a Major Misconduct? Would he be able to get enlist to another branch? What or whom should he contact?

  28. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Your son has an adversely adjudicated drug charge that includes intent to distribute. Any drug charge with intent to distribute attached bans the applicant from enlistment. There are no waivers authorized.

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