What is “Sound Moral Character?”
Statistically, 1 in 3 adults has a criminal conviction in the United States. This means that there are approximately 70 million people who must contend with a less-than-stellar background check when applying for opportunities in the military.
The majority of those 70 million people want nothing more than to get on with their lives and be productive members of society.
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 good head for what is right and wrong. Sound moral character also means that you have a respect for authority including state and federal law.
By and large, the Navy wants individuals who won’t discredit the United States during times of armed conflict. But it’s more than that; the Navy would prefer not to spend the time and money needed to deal with a “problem Sailor.”
Therefore, in many cases, a felony conviction could prevent a person from joining the Navy.
So, is all hope lost? Not yet.