During periods of increased military activity, the U.S. Marine Corps. grants waivers to felons, says CNN. In 2008, 350 recruits with felonies enlisted in the Marines. In 2014, 80 percent of applicants to all branches of the military were rejected because decreasing military activity has reduced recruitment goals, explains RT.
The decision to grant a waiver is a command decision that takes into account the number of offences, notes Military Spot. Enlistment waivers are not granted for some offences, including three or more drunk driving convictions, five or more misdemeanors and any drug sales conviction. A felon's behavior after his sentence is an important consideration in granting an enlistment waiver.
When U.S. military forces experience difficulty meeting their annual recruitment goals, standards for recruits may be relaxed, explains CNN. The Army's Department of Public Affairs notes that changes in society are reflected in changes in the pool of available recruits, and offences that were previously considered minor become cause for rejection.