Do Felons Get Drafted?

Due to the bad reputation attached to Felons, it is natural to be confused if Felons get drafted.

Do Felons get drafted ? Yes! Felons get drafted. Nevertheless, this is under certain conditions and some requirements. 

What exactly does it mean to get drafted? 

This article will discuss everything you need to know about that and how Felons get drafted.

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What Does It Mean To Get Drafted?

In the military, there is a process called “draft.” Getting drafted refers to selecting people who want to join the armed forces. This process involves selecting people based on their qualifications and fitness for service.

The military draft is not necessarily bad news, though: it can provide opportunities for felons who may otherwise have limited options due to their criminal history but also gives them a chance at something they’ve always wanted.

They will have the opportunity of working alongside others like themselves instead of being isolated away from society’s norms.

Undoubtedly, humanity is being held accountable by its laws against certain behaviors such as drug use, etc.

Read Also: Can Felons Go To Gun Range?

Is There A Way For Felons To Get Drafted?

The United States military draft is a process by which the government of the United States can conscript members for limited periods. 

In addition to registering with Selective Service, the military has a screening process for felons, but they must meet specific criteria to get drafted. 

One typical way for felons to get drafted is by possessing a waiver from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). 

The DoD has established criteria that must be met for someone convicted of a felony or other crimes related to military service.

It will enable felons to be eligible for enlistment into any branch of service as an enlisted member or officer candidate—including naval aviation cadets, airmen pilots, and submariners/naval officers/marines/amphibious marine corps personnel—as well as other specialties such as cyber security specialists (Hackenbush) or intelligence officers (Intelligence Corps).

Felons can also get drafted if they have a record expungement. 

Additionally, it’s hard to get drafted as a felon if all they have is a pardon because their service would be considered untrustworthy and could jeopardize national security.

Other criteria that felons must meet include:

  • Passing an extensive background check.
  • Proving rehabilitation efforts such as education/employment opportunities during incarceration with no new charges or outstanding warrants.
  • Having no other history of violence against others. 

Eligibility To Be Drafted

Whether being a Felon or not, specific criteria must be met to be drafted. These criteria include:

  • You must be 18 years old.
  • You must be a U.S. citizen or have permanent resident status. If you are a non-citizen, you may join the military if your country allows it.
  • You must be able to obtain permission from your state’s governor or another state official who has jurisdiction over military enlistment policies. This person may decide on a case-by-case basis whether or not to approve enlistment based on various factors such as age and physical condition (see below).
  • You must pass an exam called the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test, which measures aptitude in specific areas like math, verbal reasoning, and science literacy—all of which a person needs during basic training at boot camp! However, if a court unjustly discharges you from military service before joining again, this requirement does not apply since having served already makes one ineligible for reenlistment.

Nevertheless, a Felon comes with extra eligibility. Felon eligibility depends on the type of offense:

  • A felony conviction for possession of drugs or theft will make you ineligible to serve in the military draft. 
  • Murder and rape convictions are not considered when considering which people should be drafted into service by their commander-in-chief (whoever that happens). 

If someone has been convicted of either crime, they must apply if they want to enlist in any branch(s) within UDCs.

Felons can enlist in the Army Reserve or National Guard but will not be drafted. Felons must have a waiver to enroll in the military, and not all felonies are eligible for waivers. 

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Decision Of A Military Branch

The decision of whether to draft a felon is up to every military branch. Each branch has its policies for felons, and you may have to apply for a waiver on your own. 

You will probably not be eligible for the military draft if you have been convicted of any felony, including drug possession charges and theft offenses.

Some felonies might qualify for waivers; other types of crimes may not be considered by the government when considering the set of persons to be drafted into service.

Law enforcement agencies or Congress have no timeline regarding when individuals can apply for waivers.

However, once an individual has applied successfully and has backing or approval from their commander-in-chief, they must wait until after enlistment before serving in any capacity with any branch(s) within UDCs.

What Does The Screening Process Involve?

The screening process is extensive and a long one. It begins with criminal background checks and ends with credit reports, which can take weeks or even months to complete.


The decision of whether to draft a felon is up to every military branch. Therefore, the screening process varies from branch to branch and depends on the offenses the person has committed against the law.

For example, there may not be any restrictions placed on military service if someone has been convicted only for a minor offense like traffic violations or public intoxication with no jail time spent in custody (i.e., less than one year). 

An individual with multiple felony convictions would not be allowed back into the armed services unless they receive an absolute waiver from their commanding officer.

Additionally, this commanding officer must prove that the Felon is physically and mentally fit due to their past actions and that it would not threaten national security if they were drafted again.

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