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Whether you want to join "the few and the proud," or "be all that you can be," enlisting in the U.S. armed forces is a noble and honorable desire. Yet you may run into an obstacle if you do not meet one of the many qualifications to join, such as requirements related to criminal or medical history. In those instances, you can write a request for a waiver, but be certain to include valid and explainable reasons that will convince military recruiters you deserve special consideration.

Use a word-processing program and block format business-style and with 1-inch margins

Use a word-processing program and block format business-style, with 1-inch margins. Align the paragraphs on the left side of the page. Type the recipient's name and address, and the date. Type your name and address.

Begin the body of the letter

Begin the body of the letter by describing the kind of waiver you are seeking. For example, if you did not meet the weight guidelines, write, "I am writing to request a medical waiver because I failed to meet the weight requirements of the Army."

Provide a detailed reason

Provide a detailed reason why the waiver should be granted. Because waivers are difficult to obtain, be specific in listing an unusual circumstance or unique situation that justifies the waiver request. For example, if you failed to meet the weight requirement because you are taking medication that causes you to lose weight, indicate this and include details about the medication.

Attach any corroborating evidence or letters of support

Attach any corroborating evidence or letters of support from respected members of your community that will help sway the recipient. This is especially important in cases in which you are requesting a waiver due to a criminal record.


  • If your request is for a criminal record waiver, include any new details related to the criminal conviction that are favorable. For example, if a felony was downgraded to a misdemeanor or you received a reduced sentence, state that information in your request.

    Review your letter for grammatical and spelling errors.


  • Do make false statements. You risk permanently disqualifying yourself from joining the military if your lie is discovered.

    Waiver approvals require an investigation, which means someone from the military may contact your neighbors, friends and relatives to speak about your character.