Can You Join the Marines When You're on Probation?

probation, a serious obstacle
••• Image by, courtesy of Scott Davidson

If you are serving a term of probation you may wonder whether it is possible for you to join the Marines. There are certain probation requirements and Marine standards pertaining to joining this branch of the armed services while on probation.


A common misconception is that no one on any type of probation can join the Marines. The rules of probation and the standards of the Marines are not this absolute.


If you are on a short term of probation (a year or less) for a non-violent and not particularly serious crime, Marine standards likely will permit you to begin the process of joining the Marines while serving your sentence.


A probation officer will approve joining the Marines provided the offender is serving a term of unsupervised probation. Supervision of a person on probation after joining the Marines is not feasible.


Fully disclosing your probation sentence (even if unsupervised) is crucial when applying to join the Marines. If you fail to disclose and your sentence is discovered later by the Marines, you face the prospect of a dishonorable discharge.

Time Frame

If your probation period is close to ending (within a few months), the process of joining the Marines is simplified if you wait to apply until your sentence is completed.

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