US Army Hiring Overview For 2023

Founded 1775

Type Private

Headquarters Arlington County, VA

Size Large Corporation

Industry Military

Have you ever wondered if the United States Army hires felons and people with criminal records in general? Not only is a job in the Army an opportunity to serve your country, but it offers reliable employment and skills training.

Looking for a job with a criminal record can be tough. That’s why Relaunch Pad reaches out directly to employers, including the US military, to find out their policy for hiring felons. We also do independent research to help you apply with confidence. We follow this procedure for every company we profile, and we’ve done over 1,000 in the States!

We’ll also help by giving you answers to questions like these: Does the United States Army do background checks? How can I prepare to meet with a recruiter? What are some good tips for how to get hired at the United States Army?

Many of us have criminal records ourselves, so we’re on a mission to help you re-enter community life. Read on to learn more.

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Does the US Army hire felons?

Confirmed felon employer

US Army logo

Official company policy for hiring felons

We can’t tell you this yet since we’re still contacting the armed forces. As soon as we make direct contact, we’ll update our information.

Has the US Army hired felons in the past?

The United States Army has been known to recruit felons at job fairs.

Does the US Army hire people with misdemeanors?

Getting hired with a misdemeanor is possible according to online comments. Depending on the circumstances, the United States Army might issue you a conduct waiver.

Will the US Army hire you with pending charges?

They might, depending on the charge, since they’ve taken on former felons before.


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What are the chances of the US Army hiring a felon?

Is the United States Army on the Ban the Box list?

No, the Ban the Box list doesn’t include them. If it did, then we’d know that there wouldn’t be a criminal record checkbox on the application form. Employers on the list remove it to make sure that they look at job qualifications before criminal history.

Also, the United States Army hasn’t signed the Fair Chance Business Pledge. By taking the Pledge, employers confirm that they’ll give all applicants the same fair chance.

Does the United States Army have special programs for hiring felons?

No, they don’t.

What are the odds someone with a felony will get hired?

Average likelihood of hiring felons

We believe the odds are average. There are comments online that suggest it may be difficult to get a job at the United States Army with a felony and could depend on the type of record you have. It’s possible to receive a felony waiver to help make your military career possible, as well.

How to get hired at the US Army with a felony

What are some entry-level jobs?

There are quite a variety of job opportunities in the United States Army. The good news is that you’re trained for the specific career that you want once you join.

All new recruits first complete 10 weeks of Basic Training called Boot Camp that’s physically and psychologically demanding to adjust to army life. Once you decide what position you’re interested in, you complete Advanced Individual Training for the particular job. This training lasts from four weeks to seven months, depending on what skills you need for the job.

Here are examples of jobs that have some of the shortest training programs:

  • Construction Equipment Repairer
  • Unit Supply Specialist
  • Tactical Power Generation Specialist

Tips to get hired here with a felony

To join the army, you must meet with a recruiter. Even so, it’s good to do a little homework first. Here’s our advice:

  1. Start at the United States Army’s home page and read up on what it’s all about.
  2. Then, go to the army career match site to view available jobs.
  3. Prepare a good resume that describes your work experience and qualifications to take to your interview.
  4. Plan ahead by making an appointment with an army recruiter rather than just showing up.

When you meet with the recruiter, treat it like you would any job interview. Being accepted depends on making a strong first impression. The following is what to expect in the interview and some tips to get ready:

  1. You’ll be asked a number of personal  questions including about your mental and physical health, any drug use and your criminal record. Be ready to answer truthfully and completely.
  2. “Why do you want to join?” and “What do you have to offer the army?” are quite typical questions. Don’t try to be humorous or answer off the cuff — give some thought ahead of time to come up with your best response!
  3. New recruits complete the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery Test to help choose a career that’s a good fit. So, give yourself time to sit the test.
  4. You may be given a medical questionnaire. Expect to fill in a second one later when you do a physical examination with a doctor.
  5. It’s okay to bring a friend or family member along. Choose wisely — you want to be comfortable with what they may be hearing in your answers.
  6. Unlike a regular job interview, you can ask as many questions as you need to. Here are some common ones that you might consider:
    • What happens at Boot Camp?
    • Can I go to college while in the army?
    • Where will I be based after Boot Camp?

Does the US Army do background checks?

Yes. Background checks for the United States Army can be very involved. Because the army places a great amount of trust in its recruits and depends on discipline, they need to be sure that new hires can handle it. Therefore, be ready for any information you give them to be verified.

The following is what you should know about what background checks generally look like in each state:

Only the last seven years will be checked for criminal activity in the states below:

  • California
  • Colorado*
  • Kansas*
  • Maryland*
  • Massachusetts
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire*
  • New York*
  • Texas*
  • Washington*

(* sometimes certain pay or salary bracket positions require one.)

Here are states that won’t consider not guilty verdicts:

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Hawaii
  • Indiana (limited check)
  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • New York

These states will review your whole record — even if you were found not guilty:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • DC
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Indiana (extensive check)
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Company ratings

The United States Army gets a really great score on Glassdoor — 4 out of 5 stars! This is based on 22,000 reviews. What’s more, 79% say they’d recommend a career in the army to a friend.

Here the main pros and cons:


  • Job security
  • Great benefits
  • Career training


  • Long hours
  • No control over where you’re based
  • Deployed away from family

What felonies US Army will not hire

There are undoubtedly convictions that would make them pull your resume, but they might depend more on the circumstances. Read on for more.

What felony convictions might have a hard time getting hired here?

If you have impaired driving offenses, you might want to know: Does the United States Army hire felons with a DUI or DWI history? This will depend on the number of charges and how recent they were. One of your army responsibilities will be to operate some pretty powerful vehicles and machinery. Therefore, a history of driving while impaired will raise a red flag.

Drug convictions, specifically trafficking, may alarm the recruiter. The Army can’t risk that you might carry on this behavior with them.

Other serious charges, such as those that involve violence, arson or grand theft, might make it harder to get a job at The United States Army with a felony. With the demands and duties of an army career, there’s no room for conflict with others and damage to property.

You need to be able to hold your gun rights to be employed by any branch of the military. Felonies that prevent you from doing so will stop you from getting hired.

Does the US Army hire sex offenders?

This one is unclear. We saw no evidence about the US Army hiring sex offenders, nor did we hear from the military on this.

Does the US Army drug test?

Yes. This is part of the mandatory medical examination when you sign up. You should also know that you are given a drug test at least once a year on a random basis.

Have you applied for a job or worked here? Share your experiences!

We want to hear from you! Tell us what you know about how does the United States Army hire people with misdemeanors or felonies.

If you’re not sure the Army is for you, try another branch:

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