If you are a member of the U.S. military, there is an expectation that you will behave in a manner that is upstanding and law-abiding. It is your job to act as an outstanding citizen. Therefore, facing a criminal charge could put your military career in jeopardy.
For most positions, you must qualify for security clearance. If you do not, you may face discharge or be unable to go on deployment or work in any military occupation. According to Military.com, criminal activity is a serious issue that will almost always have a negative impact on your security clearance.
Any criminal activity
A general association with anyone who has convictions or issues with the law yourself may be an indicator that you do not respect authority. The military may also consider it as your refusal to obey rules and laws. It may show that you are uncooperative and unable to control your own actions, which are both risky behaviors in a military situation.
Financial crimes are an area of concern because they show you are untrustworthy and lack the ability to handle your financial situation without resorting to crime. Such charges may also indicate that you are a higher risk to commit future crimes of other natures.
Any type of sexual crime could raise red flags with your security clearance. The concern is that such a criminal charge could indicate that you have a mental disorder that could make you a risk when out in the field. It may also show that you lack the ability to make proper judgments or that you do not react appropriately under duress.
Alcohol and drug crimes
A simple DUI is a huge deal when it comes to security clearance. Problems with alcohol indicate that you have an issue that may compromise your ability to do your job. It shows that you make bad decisions and that you may lack the ability to behave properly while on duty. The same is true for any involvement or charges pertaining to drugs.