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The Army National Guard can be an attractive option for men and women looking to serve the United States. Because military requirements include moral standards, those with felony convictions may have a tougher time joining the National Guard. Serious offenses such as murder or drug trafficking will automatically bar a person from joining. But the Army National Guard may waive up to one felony, depending on the circumstances of the offense and the needs of the Guard.

Joining the National Guard With a Felony

Find a recruitment office

Find a recruitment office (see Resources) so you can visit or call the office to speak with a recruitment officer.

Set up an appointment for a recruitment interview

Set up an appointment for a recruitment interview.

Divulge all information regarding felony convictions

Divulge all information regarding felony convictions, including juvenile offenses, to the recruiting officer during the interview. Inform the officer about the type of felony, including how and why it was committed, the year it was committed and your age at the time of conviction.

Ask the recruitment officer

Ask the recruitment officer if you can obtain a felony waiver. The officer will tell you whether or not a waiver may be possible.


Continue with the application process outlined by the recruiting officer if he decides that a waiver is possible. The recruiter will let you know if your waiver was accepted, but that may take several months.

Speak with another recruitment officer

Speak with another recruitment officer if the first tells you that a waiver is unlikely. The process can be subjective, so a second opinion may differ.


  • If your waiver is rejected, reapply when the timing appears more favorable. The policy on felony waivers changes with the needs of the military, and circumstances may cause more lenience in acceptance.