WASHINGTON, June 19 (UPI) -- The U.S. Army is increasingly accepting recruits who have criminal records for misdemeanors in the face of dwindling numbers, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Because recruiting levels have dropped from 75,885 in 2001 to 73,373 last year, recruiters are increasingly seeking waivers, the newspaper said Monday.
In 2001, misdemeanor waivers were part of applications for 3 percent of recruits, while last year it doubled to 6 percent, Army records show.
Douglas Smith, a spokesman for the U.S. Army's Recruiting Command, said the Army's waiver process allows people who have sorted out their mistakes to serve. "The enlistees who receive waivers are not coming into the Army to be rehabilitated," he said. "They have already overcome their mistakes."
The Army won't issue waivers for someone with more than four misdemeanor charges, more than one adult felony charge, a record of drug trafficking or violent sexual assaults, the report said.