joining on probation

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I have been interested in joining the army ever since i got out of Highschool. I talked to a recruiter told him i was very interested but just not right at the moment. I wanted to explore other options first and take some time to really think about it. Two months later i decided to drink one night and i got in trouble with an underage. Now that i want to and im positive its what i want to do i feel like i cant now. I just feel like i made the biggest mistake by not joining earlier. So basically my question is there anyway of going about this? Something i thought about is my brother is a very repectable lawyer around here and i was just wondering if maybe me and him could go back into court with the recruit ive been talking to and maybe get all this expunged so i can join now. Waiting till im 21 just seems so far away. By the way im only 18..

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admin's picture
Joined: 12/21/2009
You can't join if you are on

You can't join if you are on probation, have a fine to pay, or still have to serve any jail time or community service.

Once your probation or fine is all cleared up, then you are free to join...except now that you have a record, the Army might not take you. There is no way to get your record totally expunged - even if it's buried somewhere, the recruiters and the Army will find out about it, and if you aren't completely up front and honest from the get-go, they'll permanently black-list you. So don't try to hide your mistakes!

Also, if you had joined, and then gotten in trouble you'd be in the same boat - right now with the Army getting smaller, they don't need anyone that can't keep their noses clean. It takes several months from when you sign to when you actually ship off to BCT.

Good luck with the recruiter - since he was interested in working with you before, he might be willing to do more work to get you a waiver, but it's getting increasingly harder for recruits who have no legal problems.

Good luck!

derek1234 (not verified)
I have absolutly no clue how

I have absolutly no clue how a waiver works. If you could explain that it would be great. And i just went and talked to him not that long ago he told me theres nothing he can do while im on probation. But he told me i could try to get the court to let me off in the sense that i want to join the army. I have no confidence that is going to work though because im sure people go to the courts and say this just to get off but dont actually join.

MSG Glenn
Joined: 08/31/2010

Like Admin has told you - expunging won't help. All records - juvie, sealed, expunged can & will be found by the Army. If it's found after lying about it ever happening you can be punished. It might not even be found until after you're in & certainly if you need a security clearance. Be totally truthfull. Under normal circumstances your offense can be waived although waivers are hard to get.these days. But the fact that it didn't include drugs & wasn't a felony(?)might get you in.

Even though it's getting harder to get into the Army by the time your probation is up things might have changed. Iran brings to mind.

derek1234 (not verified)
The recruit told me after im

The recruit told me after im off probation i could join and that the underage on my record wouldnt be a problem so thats not really the issue. So basically its just me trying to get off probation so i can join. But i guess thats waiting it out.

MSG Glenn
Joined: 08/31/2010
How long is your probation for?

I think what your Recruiter meant is that if you can get the judge to let you off of probation then he can get you in. He can't work with you until all of your legal problems are resolved.

A waiver just means that for some reason or another you can't join the Army but the Army will make an exception & let you in anyhow. Those waivers are getting harder & harder to get. With the civilian job situation what it is & more people wanting to join the military because they can't find jobs the Army has all of the recruits that it needs. Now the military is out of Iraq, in the process of pulling out of Afghanistan & has been ordered to downsize its forces. The Army can pick & choose who they want to serve. Several years ago even felons could join in certain instances. Then that closed down & eventually misdemeanors have been having a hard time enlisting.

I assume you have a high school diploma or GED plus 15 college credits. Without that you won't be able to enlist. The basic enlistment policy is H.S., clean police record & clear health record. There still are some exceptions but they're getting rarer.