View Full Version : Enlistment with the Armed Forces in lieu of prison sentence?

05-01-2009, 12:44 PM
We are curious as to whether or not my man would be eligible to enlist with the Armed Forces in lieu of incarceration in prison. He has not yet been sentenced for his charges (3 agg robbery) and is currently sitting in a Texas county jail. Is this a possibilty or is it just a shot in the dark? He has no prior convictions and had attempted to enlist in the army when he was 18 but had not yet received his GED (since then he has earned his GED). So its not like he is just all of a sudden interested in enlisting because he doesn't want to go to prison, it is a legitamate interest of his.

Thank you for any advice you may have!!:D

05-01-2009, 12:48 PM
If i am not mistaken he will not be able to do this. This is something they did a long time ago when they were drafting men (the whole uncle sam wants you) into the army and because they needed the ppl they were giving ppl the option. To do prison or go fight for =their country.

My husband was trying to go to the army before he got the same charge as your loved one, but he is currently doing 15 years here in TDCJ.

05-01-2009, 12:57 PM
I didn't think the armed forces taken felons.

05-01-2009, 01:01 PM
Why would the military who is a very rule oriented place take someone not able to follow societys rules? Being a representative for your country is of the highest honor and I would not want prisoners to become defenders. It's noble, but it won't happen. Pretty much anywhere is better than being in prison, but I seriously doubt that the military would take that on. Who would be watching these people?

05-01-2009, 02:14 PM
Won't work.

A felon can't possess a firearm under federal law.
The military won't take someone who's on formal probation; and it'd prety much impossible to comply with probation if teh military can ship you anywhere (including out of the country)
A military recruiter is prohibited from coming to court (or writing a letter) saying tha tif teh court dismissed they'll take the defendant. The recruitment paperwork can't be processed with a case pending. Therefore, if a court wants to dismiss in exchange for military service, it has to be done without any promise that the military will take the defendnat, without a promise that the defendnat will enlist, and the dismissal has to happen before anyone finds out whether enlistment is goin gto work out. I have been able to get this done for young defendants on non-violent crimes, but it isn't easy.

05-02-2009, 07:05 AM
Hmmm. I was with the understanding that if it's a non-violent felony they can be accepted. I recall hearing something about that, regarding first time drug offenders and the US Army.

Maybe I misunderstood what I read, I dunno.

05-02-2009, 11:12 PM
Adjudicated misdemeanors can be granted a waiver for enlistment in the armed forces once the sentence/probation is served. This waiver has to be granted by an authority higher than the recruiter. However, it is illegal now for a judge to drop a case on the condition that the defendant join the military. That used to happen years ago, but hasn't happened for a very long time. Gryphon is pretty close to completely correct in the assessment given.

Here's a blurb on this topic from

Another link with the Navy requirements:

For the rest just google "enlistment in the Air Force/Marine Corps/ Coast Gaurd with a felony conviction"

As Gryphon said, it's difficult to nearly impossible with a felony, especially if it is a crime of violence or a sex crime.