The Air Force Category System
The AFRS Instruction 36-1901 is the policy that the US Air Force (USAF) has developed to instruct recruiters on how to deal with recruits who may have a criminal history. In this policy, the USAF has developed a classification system that breaks down crimes into five different categories.
Category 1- This category is for major crimes that involve harm to other people, with or without dangerous weapons. Crimes in this category are the most difficult to get a waiver for and must be approved by the Air Force Recruiting Service Commander or Vice Commander. Examples from this category could include murder, manslaughter, arson, aggravated assault and other serious felonies.
Category 2- This category is also considered for serious offenses, but the crimes may be slightly less serious than category 1. Crimes in this category can only be waived by recruiting group commanders.
This list is not all-inclusive but some offenses under Category 2 could include:
- Aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon, intentionally inflicting great bodily harm, with intent to commit a felony.
- Attempting to commit a felony.
- Breaking and entering a building with the intent to commit a felony.
- Carrying a concealed firearm or unlawful carrying of a firearm.
- Carrying a concealed weapon (other than firearm), possession of brass knuckles.
- Child pornography offenses.
- Conspiring to commit a felony.
- Criminal Libel.
- DUI or DWI: driving under the influence of, or while intoxicated or impaired by, alcohol or drugs.
- Grand larceny.
- Grand theft.
- Indecent assault.
- Involuntary manslaughter.
- Leaving the scene of an accident (hit and run) involving personal injury.
- Marijuana: simple possession or use.
- Negligent homicide.
- Prostitution or soliciting to commit prostitution.
- Sedition or soliciting to commit sedition.
- Selling, leasing or transferring a weapon to a minor or unauthorized individual.
- Willfully discharging firearms so as to endanger life or shooting in public place.
Category 3 – Again, these are slightly less serious than category 2, but can be waived this time by Air Force Recruiting Squadron Commanders.
Some offenses under Category 3 could include:
- Breaking and entering a vehicle.
- Conspiring to commit a misdemeanor.
- Contributing to the delinquency of a minor (including purchase of alcoholic beverages).
- Desecration of a grave.
- Discharging a firearm through carelessness or within municipal limits.
- Drunk in public, drunk and disorderly, public intoxication.
- Failure to stop and render aid after an accident.
- Indecent exposure.
- Killing a domestic animal.
- Liquor or alcoholic beverages: unlawful manufacture or sale.
- Malicious mischief.
- Resisting, fleeing, or eluding arrest.
- Shooting from a highway or on public road.
- Stealing property or knowingly receiving stolen property.
- Use of telephone or any electronic transmission method to abuse, annoy, harass, threaten, or torment another.
- Wrongful appropriation of a motor vehicle, joyriding, or driving without the owner’s consent. If the intent was to permanently deprive the owner of the vehicle, treat as grand larceny or grand theft—auto.
Category 4- This category of crimes can be waived by the Air Force Recruiting Squadron Commander and he or she will also be looking for repeat criminal behavior; for instance, 3 offenses in a year may disqualify you. When in doubt, the Air Force will consider any offense in which local law allows for confinement for less than 4 months as a Category 4 offense.
Some offenses under Category 4 could include:
- Abusive language under circumstances to provoke breach of peace.
- Altered identification when intent is to purchase alcoholic beverages.
- Careless or reckless driving.
- Check: $50 or less, insufficient funds, or worthless.
- Curfew violation.
- Committing or creating nuisance.
- Damaging road signs.
- Fare evasion (including failure to pay turnstile fees).
- Fighting, participating in a brawl.
- Illegal betting or gambling: operating an illegal handbook, raffle, lottery, or punch board.
- Juvenile noncriminal misconduct: beyond parental control, incorrigible, runaway, truant, or wayward.
- Liquor or alcoholic beverages: unlawful possession or consumption in a public place.
- Littering of dumping refuse near highway or another prohibited place.
- Possession of indecent publications or pictures (other than child pornography).
- Purchase, possession, or consumption of alcoholic beverages by a minor.
- Racing, drag racing, contest for speed.
- Shoplifting, larceny, petty larceny, theft, or petty theft (committed under age 14 or stolen goods valued at $50 or less).
- Trespass on property.
- Vandalism, defacing or injuring property.
- Violation of fireworks law.
- Violation of fish and game laws.
Category 5- This category is reserved for traffic offenses however, a pattern of irresponsible driving, for instance 5 traffic violations in a year, will require a waiver. A waiver for traffic offenses can be granted by the Air Force Recruiting Squadron Commander. Offenses in this category are the easiest to get a waiver for.
Some offenses under Category 5 could include:
- Disobeying traffic lights, signs, or signals.
- Driving on shoulder.
- Driving uninsured vehicle.
- Driving with blocked or impaired vision.
- Driving with expired plates or without plates.
- Driving without license in possession.
- Driving without registration or with improper registration.
- Driving wrong way on a one-way street.
- Failure to display inspection sticker.
- Failure to have vehicle under control.
- Failure to keep right or in proper lane.
- Failure to signal.
- Failure to stop or yield to a pedestrian.
- Failure to yield right-of-way.
- Faulty equipment (defective exhaust, horn, lights, etc., illegal window tint).
- Following too close.
- Improper parking (does not include overtime parking).
- Invalid or unofficial inspection sticker.
- Leaving key in the ignition.
- License plates improperly or not displayed.
- Operating overloaded vehicle.
- Playing vehicle radio or stereo too loud (noise or sound pollution).
- Spinning wheels, improper start.
- Seat-belt violation.