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DOD sets joint standards for enlistee waivers.

THE Department of Defense has now set standards for how individual services will offer conduct waivers to those it recruits.

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The policy, announced in July, standardizes how the Army and other services classify offenses, how many offenses a recruit may have committed before requiring a waiver, and in what combination those offenses may have been committed.

"Terms like felony and misdemeanor get confounding. What is a felony in one state is not in another. And what is a misdemeanor is the same thing," said Bill Carr, deputy under secretary of defense for military personnel policy.

Now the department has classified individual offenses into four categories. The classification for each of those offenses is based on how "most states" classify the offense. If an offense like grand theft auto is a felony in most states, it would be classified as "major misconduct," Carr said.

Other categories include "misconduct," which would be offenses that in most states are classified as misdemeanors; "non-traffic," such as not depositing change at a tollbooth; and "traffic offenses."

The department gave examples of how many instances of misconduct a recruit might have before requiring a waiver: one major misconduct requires a waiver; two misconducts requires a waiver; one misconduct, along with four non-traffic offenses, requires a waiver.

The services remain free to create their own stricter policies, Carr said. He also said the department has found that problems with recruits are more likely to happen with those who have a pattern of minor offenses rather than with those who have only a single major misconduct offense.

An Army study showed that the differences between Soldiers who entered service with conduct waivers and those who did not are negligible--the Army lost about 2.3 more waiver Soldiers per 100 due to "adverse losses" than it did among the non-waiver population.

"Statistically, it is kind of insignificant," said Lt. Col. Val Siegfried, the Army G-1 branch chief for enlisted accessions.

--C. Todd Lopez, ARNEWS
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Title Annotation:ARMY NEWS: From the Army News Services and Other Sources; Department of Defense
Author:Lopez, C. Todd
Publication:Soldiers Magazine
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2008
Words:327
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