Do felons get drafted? Before going into details about the main focus of this write-up, we shall first be looking at what a draft really entails.
What is Draft?
The term draft, which is often known as conscription is a mandatory enlistment of individuals in national service, usually a military service. The draft can be dated back to many years ago and it is regularly practiced in different countries, but comes in different names.
The new system of near-universal national conscription for young males dates back to the French revolution in the 1790s (1). At that time, it was the basis of a very powerful and huge military.
The majority of the European countries later followed suit, so that when a man gets to a certain age, he would serve one to eight years on active duty and then move to the reserve force.
In the United States, the first military draft was experienced in 1940, when the then-president, Roosevelt approved the Selective Training and Service Act (2). The draft was on through war and peacetime until 1973.
During WW II alone, more than ten million men were enlisted in the military service through the Selective Service System.
To reinstate a draft, Congress must first pass legislation to start the process and the president needs to sign the legislation. The Selective System may give prior notice of about three months before it institutes a draft.
Under this law, almost all Male Americans and male strangers are mandated to register through the Selective Service, which was reintroduced by President Carter in 1980. Currently, you can even do the registration online by visiting the Selective Service’s website.
If any male fails to register with Selective Service before the age of 26, even if not prosecuted, he won’t be eligible for citizenship federal jobs training, federal jobs, and federal financial aid.
As for strangers, they will miss out on becoming citizens. To be admitted, men have to meet the mental, physical and administrative standards put in place by the military arm.
Read also: Does the Army Accept Felons?
Draftees were chosen by lottery. The first set of people to be called were those whose 20th birthday falls during that year. Then if necessary, they would be followed by folks aged 21, 22, to 25. According to the Selective Service System, if you are 18 or going on 19, you wouldn’t be drafted into the military.
When a person is selected, a notification will be sent to the address the person used on his registration acknowledgment card.
After about ten days from when the notice was sent, the Selective Service System will request that the draftee report to a location for induction.
It could take at least forty-five days from the time the president signs the order to implement the draft to the day that the first recruits start showing up at training camps.
According to recent plans, the Selective Service must send over the first set of inductees to the military within 193 days from the onset of a crisis. The basic training usually lasts for 8 weeks.
The duration of time for the advanced training depends on the complexity of the job the individual has been assigned. A new intake can be on the ground in combat for 5 months from the day he was drafted.
Do Felons Get Drafted?
Now, moving on to the main topic, do felons get drafted? Let’s take a look at this.
A restructuring of the draft – Criteria for service in the military
If the United States restructured the draft, a number of felons could get waivers so as to render their services for their nation. Drafting a felon is a similar process to enlistment.
All the military forces still have to do a background check on the individual being enlisted or drafted into the Force. Women and men who are enlisted still need to pass through a similar enrollment process just as the enlistees who voluntarily join.
Why the Military is more careful in choosing enlistees that enroll today
Following the criteria for enlisting in the army as a model, enlistees, or individuals being drafted pass through thorough checks and examinations. Due to the recent technologies on the ground, however, the Arm Forces can be fussy about the people they draft or enlist.
The Screening Process for joining the military
A thorough background check is done in the Arm Forces – All sealed criminal records are revisited and reviewed.
The United States army is a strict arm of the Armed Forces that look into the criminal records of individuals when it wants to consider for recruitment.
This also includes his juvenile record to assess all his list of offenses. A sealed record or expunged record is also unraveled and reviewed.
In the Supreme Court case, Goldman vs. Weinberger, (3) the zenith judiciary system in the country opined that to serve in the armed forces is seen as a privilege. So, any arm of the military had the right to scrutinize an applicant’s background and credentials.
Automatic Bar to Enlistment
If you are enlisted or drafted, you’ll be automatically prevented from enlisting in any of the forces if you’ve been charged with various felonies, are presently on parole, or probation, or incarcerated.
There is no way to waive this situation and it also includes instances of pending charges, unless the charge covers unpaid traffic tickets.
You won’t be allowed to serve if drafted, either if you possess, again, various felony records, 1 conviction or 1 felony, and 3 (more or less) severe offenses for the sale or distribution of drugs.
There is no arm of the Force that will like to enroll or draft you if you have a bad behavior record or dishonorable discharge prior to military service.
The arms of the Force will not allow recruits who are physically or psychologically dependent on drugs or who possess 3 or more convictions for DWI/DUI.
Also, the army won’t allow anybody to be enlisted for service if he’s had five or more misdemeanor convictions within the last 5 years.
The Military Standard for Enlistment
There are certain standards that are put in place in the military. For you to be enlisted, you must follow those requirements.
As a recruit, you should meet a certain standard of fitness to be able to carry out orders related to physical strains and stresses. The Air Force, Navy, Marines, and Army have also established a standard that covers moral character.
How are Military Waivers Granted?
Crimes that waiver can be granted
When you meet a recruiter one-on-one for enlistment, one question he usually asks you is if you’ve any criminal record.
At this juncture, it is essential that you are honest and truthful as the army is still going to run background checks, regardless of what you say.
Naturally, it will make more sense when you don’t possess a criminal record. However, waivers can still be used in a few instances. Below is a list of crimes that can attract a waiver:
- Mild non-traffic related offenses
- Certain misdemeanors
- Civil offenses
- A combination of minor offenses and misdemeanor charges
- 1 severe misconduct offense, depending on how serious it is – or a felony
Therefore, when recruiting or drafting people into the Force, a list of things is thoroughly checked and considered.
So as a felon, the degree of severity is considered as well as your behavioral conduct after conviction. If you are considered being good enough, a waiver can be granted to you.
Robert Gomez was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. He currently lives in Northern California with “the wifey,” “the kids,” “the dog,” and “that cat,” 🙁 He is also a former journalist who has interviewed murderers on death row. Felonyfriendlyjobs.org was born to help ex-felons get a second chance in life.