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Navy Enlistment Policy for Prior Drug Usage

Navy Drug Waivers

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Published: October 5, 2010
Updated: February 13, 2019

There is not a day that goes by that I do not receive an email or comment that goes something like these few examples, “How many times could I have smoked marijuana and still be eligible for an intel job?”, “My charges say I was arrested for possession with intent, but it was my friends stuff he had. Do I need a waiver?”, and just today, “Any information on whether a single instance of hallucinogenic mushroom use is waiverable?” As those of you know based on the email responses, I will not describe to you how many times you could have used a drug and still be within waiverable limits. I expect you to be honest with the Navy, and I do not want to influence an answer by showing limits.

The Department of the Navy’s policy on pre-service drug use/abuse;

Department of the Navy policy is that drug and alcohol dependent applicants, current drug and alcohol abusers, and those individuals whose pre-service abuse of drugs and/or alcohol indicates a proclivity to continue abuse in the service, are not permitted to enter the naval service. The Navy recognizes that some people have clear potential to become creditable performers despite past exposure to drug and/or alcohol abuse. Recruiting procedures must include positive measures to identify and screen out drug and/or alcohol abusers at the point of application for enlistment.

The Navy’s policy is pretty clear. If you desire to continue use or abuse controlled substances, the Navy does not want you, period. But if you have stopped the use, completely stopped, and have no desire or intent to illegally use or abuse controlled substances again, you may be eligible for a waiver that, if granted, would allow you to serve in the United States Navy.

The use of controlled substances such as, narcotics, depressants, psychedelic, stimulant, synthetic/designer, hallucinogenic (LSD is two year) is a minimum of a one year waiting period after use before a waiver could be considered. If you ever tested positive for any illegal drugs at the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS), there are no waivers, no do overs, you’re done. So, where you can process after using marijuana, understand it had better have been your last time and you had better not have any residual THC still flowing through your veins when you go to MEPS. Consider yourself notified.

If you have ever been a distributor, trafficker, supplier, seller, for profit or not, of illegal drugs, and even if you are arrested for possession with the just the intent to distribute of illegal drugs or any controlled substance that you are not legally certified to distribute, you are banned from joining the military forever. There are no waivers, no do overs, you’re done.

If you have been convicted or adversely adjudicated for two or more drug or alcohol offenses, you require a drug or alcohol waiver. Keep in mind that an alcohol and/or drug offense waiver is in addition to any conduct waiver that you may also need.

The Department of the Navy’s policy of in-service drug use/abuse is ZERO TOLERANCE. One time and you are done; no do overs, no waivers, done, and in most cases, say goodbye to any benefits you may have earned – even the GI-Bill and VA mortgage benefits.

Applicants with pre-service conduct waivers (drug, alcohol, or criminal) are disqualified for overseas assignment for their first duty station.

Policy UPDATE as of November 5, 2013:

“Program eligibility has been revised for AIRR, EOD, ND, SO and SB ratings. BUPERS-32 has authorized Navy Recruiting Command (N32) to approve program eligibility determinations for drug abuse offenses involving marijuana only. Approvals may be made on a case-by-case basis for applicants with no more than one misdemeanor drug abuse offense (e.g. possession of marijuana or paraphernalia). Drug abuse offenses involving drugs other than marijuana will not be considered. Use of marijuana while in DEP will result in loss of AIRR, EOD, ND, SO or SB rating guarantee for those previously approved with a drug abuse offense. Policies involving use of other drugs remain unchanged.”

“For the Nuclear Field Program, any marijuana use while in DEP is disqualifying. No waivers are authorized.”

Drug testing while in the Delayed Entry Program (DEP):Current policy per COMNAVCRUITCOMINST 1130.9L, released on October 20, 2014, the drug test for drugs such as cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamines will be given at your 30 day and 24 hour DEP recertification completed before boot-camp; additionally, the commanding officer of the Navy Recruiting District can order up to three additional tests at his/her discretion (random). You will again be tested within 24 hours of arriving to boot-camp.

This is about as detailed as I will get on the subject of drug waivers.

MAJOR UPDATE: effective immediately (July 16, 2015), the Delayed Entry Program Non-Instrumented Drug Testing program (NIDT) has been eliminated. Drug testing in the Navy DEP will no longer take place. The rules for a positive drug test at MEPS and at boot-camp remain the same “” it you are positive for any illegal drug, you will be discharged immediately “” no waivers authorized.

2,921 Responses to “Navy Drug Waivers”

  1. NCCM(Ret) says:


    For all the Navy CT ratings, he would be ineligible for entry into Class “A” School within 6 months of last MJ use. May be enlisted in DEP with appropriate eligibility determination, but must meet six month criterion prior to shipping to boot-camp.

  2. Jerome says:

    Good afternoon sir i have a couple question if you dont mind .
    So while i was active duty air force . I got roped into a possession of paraphernalia and marijuana charges. The air force picked up they case and the charges were dropped . Nothing came of it and i got a 5 on my EPR the same year and served 6 years with a honorable discharge 1J. I also received a dui in 2014 as a civilian. Can i qualify for waivers. A recruiter told me i had to wait at least for years for the dui waiver ?

    Thank you for your time

  3. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The police and court records concerning the drug charges must be reviewed. They will be ensuring the charges were dropped because you didn’t commit the offenses. For the Navy, the wait before you can ship to boot-camp is one year from the date of the DUI arrest. If he told you two years, it is likely he determined you are not best qualified due to the DUI, the drug offenses, and the fact you are prior service. To be sure, you’d have to ask him/her.

  4. Sam says:

    Good afternoon Sir. I’m hoping you can answer a couple questions and clear some things up for me. I have a Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, speeding ticket, and failure to appear charge on my record. All happened in one incident, pulled over for speeding with friends who had the paraphernalia, officer searched the vehicle and gave all of us the charge and I got the speeding ticket. I didn’t appear in court and didn’t have the money to pay it off on the court date. I did however pay it all off a month later. This was in 2016.

    Fast forward to February 2020 I got a 89 on the ASVAB, passed an additional test for Nuke, and my recruiter said I’d have to write a statement for a waiver which it was approved. At MEPS I failed my color blind test which disqualified me for the Nuke program. The only contract they offered me that day was CS, which I didn’t sign. I talked to the Chief at the liaison office and he said I should schedule to take the DLAB for a CTI contract but when my recruiter submitted my paper work it was denied because of my 2016 charge. I then asked about getting a HM contract and again was denied.

    My question is who approved my waiver pre MEPS and why is it now being denied for other contracts? My second choice of rate is HM or one of the CT rates.

  5. NCCM(Ret) says:


    An adverse adjudication for a drug offense renders you ineligible for program waiver consideration for all the CT ratings, and also for HM and HMDA; HM-ATF would consider a single marijuana offense, but, sadly, you must have normal color perception to be eligible.

    The “waiver” you had at the start was not actually a waiver — it was a permission to process further (they expected to consider and approve the waiver); however, they cannot approve a waiver until all other qualifications are met, and that cannot happen until after the physical.

    Recruiting command does not control what ratings require what qualifications. Those standards are developed by the individual rating program managers — they work for BUPERS. Some things can receive program waivers, but for the ratings you are interested in, those issues cannot receive a program waiver as outlined in COMNAVCRUITCOMINST 1130.8K (change 3) pgs. 218/219.

    I wish I had better news. On this Navy ratings and programs page, there are links to each, and on those pages it will say if normal color is required, and whether a drug offense can be considered.

  6. Jo says:

    Hello. I am vying for a recruitment as a naval officer. If I applied for a police department and I’m on an eligibility list will the navy be able or want to see this application in the background investigation? I’m not sure if this hurts it helps my competitiveness in either pipeline. Thoughts?

  7. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The things which made you competitive for the police department may also be considered positive for the military, but by itself, the fact you made an eligibility list would be irrelevant.

    What does this have to do with drug waiver possibilities?

  8. Sam says:

    Good afternoon, This is Sam again from the March 24th comment. I’ve gotten some contract offers in the SeaBee rates which I qualify for and my recruiter was also saying after a year or so I could put in a packet to request a job change and and I could possibly get into the HM rate. My question is how rare or frequent that happens where sailors re-rate to a different job? Also since I do have a 2016 Drug Paraphernalia charge would that still disqualify me from going into HM after already being in the Navy for a year or more?

  9. NCCM(Ret) says:


    I have no idea what the future holds or what a rating community manager (ECM) might consider in years to come. That said, DO NOT join the Navy with a belief you can switch to another rating. When you enlist, keep the mindset that you will at least complete your first enlistment in the rating you joined for. Although remotely possible, changing your rating isn’t a given. Too many factors to consider — if your current rating is undermanned, it is highly unlikely your own ECM can justify letting you go. Let’s suppose your ECM does let you go, but the HM ECM might not be able to accept you due to the manning level — they might already be at or near 100% for the year-group you are in at the time you wish to switch.

    Yes, changing ratings is possible; I for one did it after I had ten years in (was an Electronic Technician and switched to Navy Counselor), and everything may work out for you, but don’t make that chance your driving force. If you join the Navy, do it in a job you could see yourself serving in, and if you can someday change, then consider it a bonus. Don’t join because you think you will switch to the rating you want after a few of years because the chances of that happening is actually very slight.

  10. Alex says:

    1. I see that I can submit a waiver for previous (>2 years) one time use of LSD and ~10 time use of MJ. Does this waiver block any career fields? I am asking from the perspective of SEAL contract.

    2. Also, are you aware of why the Air Force (apparently) does not allow any waivers for the LSD use, no matter the time past vs Navy allowing waivers? Is there information available to verify this myself? I cannot seem to find any up to date documentation for the Navy or the Air force? (thank you for being a conduit for this hard to find info)

    3. In reading the well publicized story of Adam Brown (Navy SEAL with extensive use of drug history and criminal activity), it does seem that there is truth behind the statement “there’s a waiver for everything”. If there is a disqualifying factor, but the individual demonstrates strong aptitude otherwise and is aiming at an undermanned rate, does it eventually come down to someone high in a chain of command saying “okay, as a whole person, I decide to waive this individual” regardless of what a recruiter might say?

    Thank you

  11. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Any history of illegal drug use, other than experimental use of marijuana, renders one not eligible for waiver consideration for the following Navy ratings: Nuke program, AC, AIRC, AIRR, EOD, GM, HM, HMDA, ND, SB, MA, MN (MN will not consider a waiver for prior MJ use either), CSS, ITS, MT, SECF, MMS, LSS, and YNS.

    I do not know whether or not the Air Force will consider such a waiver, but it would not surprise me at all if they didn’t.

    When Adam Brown joined the Navy, the Special Warfare Operator rating did not exist. SEAL Teams at that time were made up of various source ratings. He enlisted in one of the source ratings with an enlistment waiver. He was in the Navy for a couple of years before he applied to join the Teams. Back then, a person could not join to be a SEAL directly. In 2006, when the Navy created the SO rating, the SPECWAR Enlisted Community Manager (ECM) had to put together enlistment requirements for recruiting command to follow when considering applicants for the rating. In those requirements, they disallowed a waiver option for a history of controlled substance use. About a year and a half ago, the ECM did change one disqualifier — prior to this change, any MJ adversely adjudicated offense rendered one not eligible — the change now allows a single offense consideration, but they did not budge on the controlled substance use. I have no idea what the policies may be in the future, but other than the change I mentioned, they have been steadfast since 2006.

  12. Alex says:

    Thank you for the quick response.
    So in a case like this, there is no “whole person” card I could try and build based on qualifications (physical, education, etc)?
    Also, after your clarification on Adam Brown’s situation, is it possible to enlist in some rate that allows drug waiver, and then cross into BUD/s after already being in the Navy?

  13. NCCM(Ret) says:


    It doesn’t appear so. The Report of SO Rating Conversion Screening form attached to MILPERSMAN 1220-300 states, “…was screened for application for assignment to SEAL training following the procedures specified in reference (a).”

    Reference (a) is the Navy recruiting manual.

    That said, the article also states, “Except where specified “no waiver,” BUPERS-324 may waive one or more entry requirements if the applicant is considered otherwise qualified.” If that is the only issue you have, and you do well in service prior to application for conversion, they may waiver that one requirement as the article itself doesn’t address it specifically as “no waiver”.

    That is my interpretation; I could be wrong.

  14. Jim [Last name redacted for privacy] says:


    I am retired naval aviator (O5) now attorney and one of my colleagues at work approached me with an enlistment question regarding his son. His son is interested in enlisting as a Navy SEAL, but he experimentally used MJ in high school (no citations or legal record). He disclosed this to his recruiter and his recruiter advised him indicate no illegal drug use on his application. He is concerned with both lying on his application and any follow up with his high school friends during his SSBI for his TS clearance. I told him this could also be considered fraudulent enlistment. I have read the comments, and it would seem that experimental use of MJ could receive a waiver. Is the recruiter trying to help him out or does this simply help the recruiters quota because of the waiver? I recommend that he tell the truth and seek a waiver. Is this sound advise?

  15. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Yes, experimental use of marijuana requires a program waiver, considered by the local commanding officer, for the Warrior Challenge ratings. Your advice to tell the truth is the absolute right course to take. His and your concerns are valid.

    Having an applicant withhold this information is not helping the applicant out, nor does it affect the recruiter’s quota. Such waivers would be fairly routine. Laziness is the only reason I can fathom; it certainly isn’t the applicant’s best interest.

  16. Kayla says:

    Hello so I recently went to MEPS for the navy and failed my drug test. Is there any way I could get a wavier? Or could enlist with a different branch?

  17. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The Navy will not consider a waiver for anyone who tested positive on the MEPS drug test. As to whether the other branches will, you would have to ask them.

  18. Miguel says:

    Hello, I am currently in the process of enlisting in the Navy. I am waiting to go to MEPS for the second time to take my physical. This past September I voluntarily entered a private rehab program for smoking marijuana. A lie was told for me to enter the rehab, It was said that I was dependent on both alcohol and marijuana. I am now clean and no longer smoke, nor am or were dependent on alcohol at anytime. I mentioned this to my recruiter officer and I was told to not bring it up or say anything at MEPs because I can pass the drug test. I was also told to not worry about the security clearance. Is that right? Do you have any advice about what I should do before getting called in to MEPS? Thank you

  19. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Do not lie or withhold information. Make sure you supply all the rehab records for submittal to MEPS so they can be reviewed and considered. Within the comments of many articles written in this blog, you will find numerous examples where people were told to withhold information only to be found out later — each time they stated the recruiter told them to not mention it. That excuse WILL NOT help you; the recruiter will deny ever saying it, and you are the one signing a document that you didn’t withhold anything. DO IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!

  20. Ozzy says:

    I submitted an sf-86 to a government agency in 2017 that I unfortunately did not get fully hired with. In this sf-86 I disclosed information in regards to my substance use. It involved the experimental use of marijuana and other substances that would be considered worse than marijuana.This use did not dq me from this particular agency but it appears that it will dq me from navy recruitment (I think…). Now, I have never been charged or arrested and I do not have a record of any kind but I did fill out the sf-86 so my information is out there. I spoke with a recruiter and he told me not to worry about it and I should be good but for some reason I don’t buy it. Could I receive a waiver for this use? Should I tell MEPS about my history even though I don’t have a record but it could dq from the military? Will they even look at my previously submitted sf-86? Im not sure what to do bc it feels like I put my foot in my mouth by telling the truth to this agency and because it did not work out with them it seems like I am now ineligible for any other service. Thank you for your time and your response!

  21. NCCM(Ret) says:


    List all your drug usage when joining. A general enlistment drug abuse waiver for use of controlled substances is possible depending on how long ago the use occurred. The waiver authority will take many factors into account when considering the waiver such as the frequency of use, work history, education, ASVAB score, etc.

  22. Bailey says:

    I know this forum says no more than 1 MJ misdemeanor, but I sadly have two possession arrests for concentrated cannabis on a high school campus from when I was 15 that are 1 month apart. I was very stupid at the time and have changed drastically and have been clean for 2 and a half years. I want to get a SEAL challenge contract and I have very competitive PST scores and have been training very hard for the past year. Is there any way I could get approved a waiver or am I permanently disqualified? I could get a few letters of recommendation from some Master Chiefs in the Navy I know from the Sea Cadet program I’m in. Any response will be greatly appreciated.

  23. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Program waiver consideration for any of the warrior challenge programs with two MJ charges are not authorized.

  24. Bailey says:

    I was never charged, never went to court, it was just arrests that ended up being sealed for good behavior through a diversion program, does this make a difference?

  25. NCCM(Ret) says:


    No. Pretrial intervention is an adverse adjudication — for military waiver purposes, that is the same as being found guilty by a jury.

  26. Seth says:

    I have a question I would like answered if able. 8 months ago I went to the navy recruiting office and was given a drug test there. I passed everything and the recruiter knew I had prior use of marijuana. Although I passed the one at the recruit station and I was clean for 3 months I was told I was in the green to go to meps. Unfortunately the drug test at meps said I still had thc metabolites in my system and I failed. I was informed by the recuiter and some research that after 6 months I would be re-eligable to try again. Howevr I contacted the office again in 8 months and was told that even though a waiver is applicable for me they the navy will not sign off on it. Ive really put my all into making my life better and have been clean for over a year just so I could retry. Now I’m really dissapointed. My question is is there any way I can receive a waiver or convince the navy I’m completely done with any drug usage and want to commit to the navy as I have been waiting anxiously for almost a year to retry?

  27. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The Navy will not entertain a waiver for any failed MEPS drug test. No exceptions, and has been that way for a couple of decades. You may want to try another branch of service.

  28. G White says:

    If a recruit used weed a number of times only in high school but was never arrested or has any record of it for any reason, could they still be in EOD? Is there a difference between using it in high school or in college if it has been several years since using? Where is the line drawn for someone who has no record of usage and it has been a long time? How much usage and how long ago? Thanks

  29. NCCM(Ret) says:

    G White,

    An applicant with a history of marijuana use is eligible for a program waiver for the Navy’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal rating.

  30. AJ says:

    I plan on attempting to enlist in the Navy to get an HM-ATF contract towards the end of the year. When I do I’ll have a college degree and should meet PST requirements. I don’t have any legal convictions for anything besides two traffic citations. When I was 12-13 years old I experimented with marijuana perhaps 7 or 8 times and once more in 2017, but never again since. I’ve read through many posts and a waiver if needed for MJ seems easy enough; however, when I was also 13 I experimented briefly 3-4 times with a cough medicine. I learned if I took a large dose I felt different, again I was quite young. The final time I tried it I was caught by my parents and taken to the hospital as a precautionary step, and the hospital admitted me for the night to observe me. I stayed for a couple hours before I was released. Now I know the active ingredient that caused that effect was dextromethorphan. Currently medicines containing that drug do not fall under controlled substance laws and is on the same level as Tylenol or Ibuprofen. Will this particular usage cause problems down the line or even be an abrupt wall in enlistment maybe not to the whole of the navy but HM ratings specifically? Any information would be greatly appreciated.

  31. Brian says:

    Hi, Question regarding criminal history and joining the Military. Specifically Army National Guard. Is a misdemeanor drug possession with intent a non-waiverable offense. Even if it has been expunged?

    Thank you

  32. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The medical records for your hospital visit need to be submitted for a medical document review, but if as you state, that should not be a disqualification for HM as it did not involve a controlled substance. The marijuana usage is a disqualification for HM, but a program waiver is possible.

  33. NCCM(Ret) says:


    No waiver is authorized for any drug offense that involved any trafficking related activity. That fact does not change if the offense is later expunged, pardoned, etc.

  34. SJ says:

    Hello NCCM(Ret),

    I smoked marijuana approximately 5 times over 10 years ago. At the time, my parents found out and had me meet with a drug counselor. There was no diagnosis of a substance use disorder but the office/clinic where I met with the counselor no longer has any records on file due to length of time (and I have an official letter from them that there are no records). Before I meet with a recruiter and begin the enlistment process, would it be helpful for me to receive on my own a current evaluation and letter/documentation from a substance use specialist showing that I have no substance use problem? Is there any other documentation I can obtain or steps I can take to maximize my chances of being able to enlist? Thank you for your time and expertise.

  35. NCCM(Ret) says:


    If they desire any additional documents or evaluations, they will tell you. I don’t recommend expending the time and effort trying to gather stuff they might not even want. Relax and let the process work.

  36. Colton says:

    Hi my name is Colton I have a possession of a controlled substance felony 3. Its mot .arijuanna it’s methamphetamine s. I attended drug rehab and am curdently attending outpatient rehab. Can I enlist?

  37. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Once you have completed your rehab, and once a minimum of three years passes post treatment (including outpatient), you can submit his medical and criminal records for review.

  38. Matthew says:

    Good Evening,

    I put the numbers together. I was looking to go to school, get my bachelors, and attempt OCS. I have a major misconduct for controlled substance that was expunged/dismissed when I was a minor. Also, I have a misconduct (DUI) about a year ago. And all in all I have about 8 traffic tickets. Am I dust? Would a stellar application and asvab do me any good at this point? Time and distance?

    I was thinking of just making them tell me “no.”

    Thank you

  39. NCCM(Ret) says:


    I always recommend making them tell you no before moving on.

  40. Sally says:

    Voluntarily went into a detox program for pain pill usage. Is this an automatic DQ? Thanks

  41. Tyler says:

    Hello, Thinking about joining the Navy. I was pulled over in 2009 (19 then) and charged with a misdomeanor for a small amount of weed and pipe. Have not touched the stuff since, and no other criminal history. Would I need any sort of waiver? Also I am turning 30 in October, will I not be eligible for certain positions if I don’t join before? Eod?

  42. Joseph says:

    I applied to army 10 years ago, got denied because a class b drug possession. I had my uncles depression medicine in my back pocket that i forgot i had during cops searching me. Recruiter told me to get the case annulled, i did then went to a different recruiter in a different state, got offered a position that needed additional clearance, they ended up finding the annulled case and denying me entry a second time. I was heartbroken. Nonetheless, its been almost ten years, im in the best shape of my life, and have heard the navy sometimes waives drug possession charges. Is this true and do you know any branch that would waive my class b misdemeanor, i had no idea depression medicine would cause such a ruckus, i still dont even remember what the name of them were and i didnt even take them. Sucks, any way around this? I could use the life change of joining the military, my sister loves it and i really dont have much going on holding me back, any advice, knowledge?

  43. Sandra says:

    My granddaughter while a younger teenager was briefly on anti-depressants due mental abuse from a step father. Once her mother moved out of the situation she no longer required the anti-depressants. Because her mother and step father were both active duty her medical record shows that use and the prescription for it. She has not taken anti-depressants in almost 2 years and has had no need for them. She really wants to join the navy. How hard is it to get a waiver? Her therapist is no longer in the military.

    She graduated high school last year and was accepted into college, but changed her mind once evaluating the cost of. her education. She tested well in her pretest. She knows she has weight to lose and is actively working on that. Our worry is the anti-depressant use. Does she have a chance?

    Thank you

  44. NCCM(Ret) says:


    All of the treatment records would have to be reviewed by MEPS medical. You do require a Drug Abuse waiver, and depending on the documents, you may also require a medical waiver.

  45. NCCM(Ret) says:


    For Navy EOD, you must not have yet reached your 31st birthday by the time you get to boot-camp. Adversely adjudicated drug abuse offenses will not receive waiver consideration with the potential exception of a single misdemeanor charge involving marijuana (only on a case-by-case basis).

  46. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Yeah, for whatever reason, many applicants, and even some recruiters, think that when you get a charge expunged, it no longer exists. That is just not true. Yes, they do eliminate the access to the written court documents, but the record of arrest doesn’t go away. Same thing at MEPS, after a period of time, the paper records get destroyed, but the electronic record with its coding remains.

    To move forward, you would need a recruiter that is will to work with you. Some local commands will not allow Major Misconduct waivers to be processed. For those that may let the waiver proceed, having the charge expunged does make it more difficult because the waiver authority wants those documents to read about the specifics of the case.

  47. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Minimally, one must be off treatment for depression for a minimum of three years. It is not from the day she may have decided to stop taking the medication. MEPS will consider such factors as the length of time one was treated, the original diagnosis, and the person’s success after the treatment has ended (school and work performance, police involvement, etc.).

  48. Jaden says:

    I Made a stupid choice and got a medical marijuana card, does that disqualify me from being able to join ? I stopped smoking and haven’t in about a year

  49. NCCM(Ret) says:


    As long as the card is expired, that should not pose an issue, however, the documentation for the underlying medical issue that led to the issuance of the card must be reviewed by MEPS medical.

  50. BW says:


    I messaged back in February regarding my son, his MJ use, and becoming a CTI. I confirmed your answer (OK as long as last use was at least 6 months prior to start of A school) with my son’s recruiter and an active duty friend whose most recent job was recruiting. My son is currently at RTC, and when being interviewed for CTI, was told that he is not eligible because his last use of MJ in January was too soon. He is well past 6 months of no use, and would be at 8 months at the earliest possible start of A school.

    Does he have any recourse at all?



  51. Wayne says:

    I have a marijuana felony DUI conviction from 2018 and have since quit smoking and am set to complete my bachelor’s of architecture next May. I have a desire to become an Officer in the Naval Civil Engineering Corp and am hoping to hear that my dream is still possible. By the time I want to join next summer I will be 3 years clean and will have cut 150 lbs to get in shape (still got 50 lbs to go). Does this one mistake define me in the eyes of the Navy as nonworthy?

  52. Brian says:


    I take conserta prescribed by my doctor for my ADHD. Is there a waiver for that or do i have to wait a certain amount of time?

  53. NCCM(Ret) says:


    I don’t know. I can only assume there is confusion somewhere on the last use date.

  54. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Adversely adjudicated felonies are not normally processed for officer programs. The fact the offense occurred just two years ago would make it even more unlikely. You would have to contact your local officer recruiter — I don’t know if the Civil ENG designator may be more lenient than most.

  55. NCCM(Ret) says:


    First, you must have completed your treatment for ADHD and off medication for a minimum of two years before processing could even start (it is clear in your medical records the doctor stopped your prescription — wasn’t that you just stopped taking it). If you had a recommended or prescribed Individualized Education Program, 504 Plan, or work accommodations, or a history of comorbid mental disorders, or documentation of adverse academic, occupational, or work performance, a medical waiver is very unlikely.

  56. Otis S. says:


    I apologize if this is redundant, I’ve read through this entire thread and cannot find a similar situation.

    I am 23. I went through 4 years of college and during my freshman year, I picked up a minor marijuana possession charge that was conditionally dismissed (still technically an adverse adjudication). I am not liking my line of work (software engineering, with a computer science degree).

    On a mock PT test, I average in on around 70 chin ups, 96 pushups, 90 sit ups, 9 min 1.5 mile run and an 11 minute 500yd crawl swim. I have been clean since my dismissal and have not accrued any sort of legal trouble (maybe some parking tickets at most), and my credit/financial history is stellar. I also have an older brother who is a highly decorated chief petty officer and SAR medic, if that makes any difference at all.

    What are my chances of getting into OCS and obtaining a crypto role/information systems role as an officer? What are my chances of getting into a more physically demanding role such as a SAR officer program or SOAS?

    I appreciate your time, thank you.

  57. NCCM(Ret) says:


    If you meet the minimum requirements for Cyber Warfare, they may consider the waiver for the possession charge.

    I recommend you contact your local Navy Officer recruiter. To find out who that is, enter your zip code on this page.

  58. Kathryn says:

    Long story short, when I was 17 (currently 23) I was arrested for possession of marijuana. It was not mine, but because my boyfriend left it in the car when I was pulled over (he wasn’t present, I didn’t know it was there), I was subsequently arrested. Fast forward a few months, and the case was dismissed “In the Interest of Justice”. I never went to court, never had to do anything, but my lawyer presented me with paperwork stating this. Fast forward another several months, and I received paperwork granting me “expunction”. Again, I never had to do anything, but this expunction was granted because the limitation had passed. The documents state, “The Court finds that the Petitioner (me) has been released, that the charge has not resulted in a final conviction and is no longer pending, and that there was no court-ordered community supervision under Article 42.12 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. The Court further finds that the prosecution of the defendant for the offense for which the defendant was arrested is no longer possible because the limitations period has expired.”

    My ultimate question is, would this require a moral waiver in the eyes of the Navy? Again, I never was ordered to do anything, no probation, no fines, no apology letter, etc. Would this be considered an unconditional release? The case was originally dismissed “In the Interest of Justice” and was then further expunged without any conditions because the time had passed.

    As a final note, the Court documents then listed all of the “agencies” which may have my record, and through a court order told them to either destroy any record on file having to do with the arrest or at the very least remove any personally identifiable information about me. Would I still need to bring this up to a Recruiter? I know you are supposed to disclose any arrests (Lawyer says I won’t need to, but I don’t want to risk an integrity violation if something does return as a match). Just want to get all of my ducks in a row before speaking with a Recruiter, but don’t want to volunteer more information than needed that could jeopardize anything.

    Final note – I promise. I tried marijuana twice, and did not like the way it made me feel. This arrest occurred after I tried it; although I didn’t smoke, my boyfriend still did. I cut all ties and turned my life around. I graduated college in May with a B.B.A in Accounting (3.72 gpa) and am currently pursuing my Master’s in Accounting. I have always wanted to serve and still do, that feeling has never gone away. Upon graduating with my Master’s in May 2021, I want to look into it. Just want to know what obstacles I may face, if any, and what I need to bring up when it comes time to talk with a Recruiter. If a waiver is required, I imagine it will be in my best interest to speak with one sooner to get the process going.

    I guess the main thing it comes down to is whether or not the Navy will see this as an unconditional release and therefore not require a moral waiver. Thank you very much for taking the time to help me out.

  59. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Yes, you must absolutely bring it up and ensure it is part of your application. The arrest will show up during the T-3 investigation no matter what you may have been told. I highly recommend that you ensure the paperwork pertaining to the offense you have are made available so legal can make a judgement. Absent proof to the contrary, such as the documents you indicated you may have, they will generally side with caution and do the waiver for the offense.

  60. Dave says:


    I am writing you to gain further clarification on the prior drug-use policy regarding AIRR, EOD, ND, SO and SB ratings. My understanding is that any prior use of controlled substances are not waiver-able for these specific ratings other than experimental MJ use. However, this may be circumvented by obtaining a rate that does allow a drug use waiver, and then converting over to the desired AIRR, EOD, ND, SO and SB rating after time in service? Is this the correct interpretation? And a genuine thanks to you for taking the time to respond to the thousands of people in the comments.

    Thank you,

  61. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The manual used by Navy Recruiting (CRUITMAN); specifically, the requirements listed in it for each rating, is written with the guidance of each of the individual rating’s Enlisted Community Manager (ECM). The CRUITMAN is used when a person enlists, or reenlists as a NAVET or OSVET through CNRC. It is the MILPERSMAN that is used for those currently serving who attempt to convert to a different rating or program. For instance, for conversion to the Navy Diver rating, one would refer to MILPERSMAN article 1220-100 for the rating’s requirements, and also MILPERSMAN 1440-010 for conversion authorization.

    The CRUITMAN’s requirements are rigid with few exceptions. The MILPERSMAN is also rigid, but may offer more opportunities and pathways to an ends because the Sailor at that point has a track record within the organization. Ultimately, it’s up to the chain of command and the ECM.

    My advice, when joining, think you will work in the rating you enlist for the entire time you are serving. If you are able to change your rating, then consider that a bonus — don’t join thinking it WILL happen.

  62. Marilyn says:

    If my 19 yr old, soon to be 20, grandson,
    wants to join the navy But has been using marijuana, what are his options? Should he detox naturally then contact recruiter.

  63. NCCM(Ret) says:


    He must stop using it, of course, and he needs to ensure it is out of his system. I recommend 90 days; 90 days will usually ensure it is totally out, and it is also a pretty good period of time for him to determine he is finished with it. If he fails the drug test at MEPS, he will be banned from joining. No waiver for it.

  64. Ryan says:


    I am interested in applying for a SNA slot at Navy OCS once I complete my degree. My major concerns however are my 5 usages of marijuana from three years ago as well as a lowish GPA for my Biology degree (It is a 3.0). For reference I have no legal charges or record regarding my prior drug use. Would I require a waiver for my prior use of marijuana? I’m asking specifically since in the Navy Officer Recruiter Training Guide it states “Non-nuclear officers no longer need a drug waiver for marijuana use only. They must reject further drug use.” This however seems to conflict with the accounts of other who needed to obtain a waiver for prior experimental marijuana use.

    Thank you for your insight thus far.

  65. NCCM(Ret) says:


    I have been answering questions for years; over that time some policies change. In the past, a waiver for use was required. Currently, although some programs or designators may, a waiver for general enlistment or commissioning is not required for the MJ use you describe.

  66. Rob R. says:

    Dear Sir,
    My son had no prior legal issues or drug use other than adderall prescribed by a physician for ADH. He joined the USAF and within 2 weeks of graduation was isolated over an argument with another trainee. Upon questioning he admitted to counseling for ADH and adderall use 8 mo’s prior to his enlistment. He was given and “non entry separation” with a “fraudulent enlistment letter”. He had completed his Associates Degree prior to enlistment and is now planning on earning his Bachelors. He hopes to re-enlist and possibly even attend OCS with the Nave. My question to you is simply,… based on what I’ve shared and your experience do you think he will be allowed to re-enlist in the USAF or Navy and if yes, how long do you think he would need to wait. Again, no legal substance issues, law enforcement issues etcetera. Just the prescribed adderall. My understanding is he should have not been on the drug for a period of 15 mos before his initial enlistment.

  67. John says:

    I received a DUI and Minor mj possession charge in June 2019.I have no prior drug use or DUI and have completed all requirements by the court to get the dui and possession charge removed from my record. I Graduated this year with a 3.1 GPA,pilots license,and a bachelors degree in commercial aviation. I am looking to find out if these charges prevent me from being able to join or be commissioned as an any officer job in the Navy.

  68. Blake says:

    I work at a state job and in my background investigation for the job it asked about past drug use I did put in there that I used marijuana 1 time almost 6 years ago. Will they look to access this background packet that was submitted to my current work and would that one time use almost 6 years ago even cause issues. I am looking to become a seal also if that matters?

  69. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The background investigation is very thorough. Make sure you list honest answers to all questions. The marijuana use you describe should not be an issue for the Warrior Challenge programs.

  70. NCCM(Ret) says:


    You require a Conduct waiver; whether one would be considered for an officer program, you would need to contact an officer recruiter.

  71. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Rob R.,

    I have not been a member of a command has processed a waiver for fraudulent enlistment; I would suspect finding any command willing to do so will be difficult.

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