US Army – more waivers for criminal backgrounds
In response to the recruitment shortage with the ongoing war in Iraq, criminal background waivers for new US Army recruits have increased to 65% from 2003 to 2006, according to DOD records.
The US has an all-volunteer Army and the Bush Administration pledged not to have a draft, the US Army has employed various strategies to build a diminishing pool of recruits. Larger signup bonuses, relaxing test score requirements, physical fitness, raising the maximum recruitment age, and admitting more high school dropouts.
The greatest increase in criminal backgrounds waivers are for 1st Degree Misdemeanors, such as aggravated assault, burglary, robbery and vehicular homicide. Waivers for felony convictions has inceased slightly. Soldiers with criminal histories currently make up about 11% of the Army, but there is much concern that the Army has gone a bit too far to meet it’s recruitment goals.
In most states, convicted felons and those convicted of violent misdemeanors are not permitted to own or handle firearms.