Criminal background check concern

I was convicted of desertion in the Air Force which is not considered a civilian crime. Desertion is the intent to remain off post or not at work. I was gone from my job for 7 days resulting in this. How will a major airline see this and after to explaining to them what happened what are my chances of getting hired as a pilot. I’m 28 and have a bachelors degree in software engineering. I am going to start flight school and wanted to see how this will affect me before I decide to invest money and time in this considering i have to provide for my spouse and our kids.


My understanding is desertion is a serious offense and usually results in a dishonorable discharge which will not be viewed favorably by the Majors. Further the crime itself does not reflect well on your sense of responsibility. While not an automatic disqualifier, you will have some issues moving up the food chain.


I forgot to mention I received an other than honorable discharge not dishonorable. Thank you for the reply. Also since then I haven’t left any jobs and have had a great work study history in regards to quitting or not showing up on time.


I am going to take a different approach than Adam here and say that you have absolutely zero chance of having any career in the airline industry. The airlines are fully of military pilots, all former officers who served honorably, many of them Captain, Colonel, or above. These are all people who figured out how to show up to their job in the military everyday and serve with distinction. I can guarantee you that they will not take kindly to your seven day vacation. The fact that you now show up for jobs is not going to benefit you, that is what you are supposed to do.

I just had a conversation with a retired Navy Captain two days ago about the various types of discharge. He described the types as “honorable and then everything else”.

Now your results may vary and I could be completely wrong, but I doubt it. I recommend calling the recruiting departments of several airlines and asking them directly.


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Thank you for your quick replies. Very insightful.