Prior Military Service Factors That Can Disqualify You

The following situation are not necessarily permanently disqualifying but they should be mentioned to your recruiter to avoid repercussions if they are discovered at a later date.  There is no harm in talking with your recruiter about all relevant issues as they will be able to offer advice and guidance in dealing with any problems. 

Prior military service applicants

If you were a prior Armed Forces member and are seeking to enlist again, be aware that some circumstances will require a waiver for reentry. 

A waiver is required for any applicant or current member of a Reserve Component who had been discharged or separated from any component of the United States Armed Forces for any of the reasons that follow and must wait a period of 2 years following this discharge or separation to submit a waiver:

            AWOL or Desertion

            Court Martial conviction

            Concealment of an arrest record

            Discharge for the good of the Service

            Entry level performance or conduct

            Fraudulent entry

            Failure to meet weight standards

            Misconduct

            Personality disorder

            Trainee Discharge Program

            Unsatisfactory performance

            Unfit for duty

            Unsuitability

  • A waiver is required for any applicant who had been discharged or separated from service with a field bar to reenlistment issued or denied extension or reenlistment by any component of the United States Armed Forces at the time of last discharge or separation and must wait a period of 2 years following this discharge or separation to submit a waiver.
  • A waiver is required for any applicant who had been discharged or separated from any component of the United States Armed Forces for any of the following reasons and may submit the waiver at any time after the discharge or separation occurred except in cases otherwise indicated.
  • Alien not lawfully admitted to the United States.  Current citizenship criteria must be met
  • Defective enlistment/reenlistment
  • Dependency
  • Erroneous enlistment
  • Hardship
  • Failure to meet medical procurement standards
  • Minority
  • Parenthood
  • Pregnancy
  • Unfulfilled enlistment agreement
  • Void service

Absent Without Leave and Lost Time

  • A status of AWOL or lost time are situations in which a waiver will be required for enlistment. 
  • Those applicants with an AWOL status or lost time of 5 days or less during a previous time in service, regardless of type of separation or RE Code must provide a waiver for enlistment.
  • Those applicants with an AWOL status or lost time for 6 days or more during a previous time in service, regardless of type of separation or RE Code must provide a waiver for enlistment.

Conscientious Objection

  • Those applicants who profess conscientious objections or religious convictions upon applications for enlistment which make unrestricted assignments impossible and are desiring a noncombatant job must be granted special approval.
  • Those applicants who were previously declared conscientious objectors during a prior time in service and now wish to no longer be considered a conscientious objector must not have been discharged for any reason of conscientious objection. 

Reenlistment Codes

  • Applicants who have received any RE Code that is disqualifying for reasons not mentioned above require the submission of a waiver before enlistment.

Reserve Component Separations or Transfers

  • A waiver is required for any applicant who was last transferred from a troop program unit or between components of any Reserve unit or control group for being an unsatisfactory performer, apathy, or other reason that is an unsatisfactory condition, other than participation. (See c below.) The waiver may not be submitted until 2 years from the date transferred.
  • A waiver is required for any applicant who is a current member of a RC who is pending adverse or administrative actions considered disqualifying under chapter 4 and may not be processed until such action is completed. Waivers will be submitted based on final action in these cases.
  • A waiver is required for any applicant who has been transferred to the ING, IRR, or other Services' control group for being an unsatisfactory participant and is not currently serving satisfactorily in a troop unit. Waiver may be submitted at any time (members of the IRR who transferred to a TPU after being an unsatisfactory participant may not be processed until 6 months after transfer. A waiver is not required after 6 months have elapsed.)

Age

  • Waivers are not accepted for applicants over the maximum age criteria for admission to the Regular Army.  This criteria is a government statute and does not allow exceptions regardless of whether or not the applicant has prior military service.
  • Waivers for age may be submitted for enlistment into the United States Army Reserve if they have had prior military service. 

Dependents

  • Dependent applicants who do not meet the dependent criteria of this regulation and a waiver is authorized by the specific paragraph will require a waiver.

Surviving Son or Daughter

  • Applicants who previously separated from any component of the United States Armed Forces as a surviving son or daughter requires a waiver for enlistment.  Surviving son or daughter is defined as any son or daughter in a family in which the father or mother or one or more of the sons or daughters:      
  • Were killed in action or died when serving in the United States Armed Forces from wounds, accident or disease
  • Are in a captured or missing in action status
  • Have a permanent 100% service-related disability, either physical or mental, as determined by the Director of Veterans Affairs or one of the military services and are not gainfully employed because of this disability
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