According to this article, the Pentagon is thinking about allowing more people with minor criminal records to enlist in the military. Apparently this is a big issue where the waiver process to allow individuals with a minor criminal record is quite cumbersome. Also, the military is being told that they need to increase their numbers at the same time. The military commanders seem to feel that allowing more individuals to join the military with criminal records is a bad idea as the commanders in the field already have too many "problem children" to deal with.
This seem to be another case of the Pentagon and the civilian leadership in this nation not listening to their military leaders. it has been reported that many military commanders knew of many of the issues that we would face in Iraq and pushed for more troops from the beginning. There are also many reports to high ranking officials in the military who are vehemently against any invasion or military action against Iran. Yet, the civilian leadership ignores those people whose job it is to know how the military works and what is the best way to plan military strategy. This makes no sense.
The second issue is that the reason that there is more need for troops is because of the entanglements we have gotten into in Iraq and Afghanistan. The military is looking toward needing enough troops for both of these battles plus enough for other hot spots across the globe. We are stretching our military too thin and we are beginning to pay the consequences for this action. For soldiers who have a criminal record this may be an indication of the character and they may not fit into the military so well and cause more issues than they solve.
So rather than adding to the military, how about if we use the one we have more effectively and not get ourselves into stupid wars that are not our problem.