The majority of those 70 million people want nothing more than to get on with their lives and be productive members of society.
For its part, the USMC puts a strong emphasis on recruiting Marines with “sound moral character.”
Strictly defined, moral character is the existence of virtues such as integrity, courage, fortitude, honesty, and loyalty. In other words, it means that you’re a good person and a good citizen with a sound moral compass. Sound moral character also means that you have a respect for authority including state and federal law.
By selecting applicants with strong moral character, the Marines is ensuring that new recruits have social habits that are not a threat to the morality of a unit. They also want to make sure that their new recruits are not in contact or communicating with criminals in the civilian world.
But most of all, the Marines wants individuals who won’t discredit the United States during times of armed conflict. But it’s more than that; the Marines would prefer not to spend the time and money needed to deal with a “problem Marine.” There are studies that show a correlation between pre-service criminal history and in-service misconduct.
Therefore, in many cases, a felony conviction could prevent a person from joining the military. So, is all hope lost? Not yet.