The story so far - After training for months, and really making an effort to get in shape, I make the first step of going down to my local detachment for an informal chat. At this point I am 100% sure I am ready for a career in the TA, and know it would make the world of difference to me mentally and physically, and is a chance to break away from my mates who in 10 years will still be on the dole fcukin around and doing nothing with their lives. At which point, the matter of my 2 convictions come up (You really wouldnt believe how minor they are). Now I am told that I have to wait until my conviction is spent, this will either be between 12 months and 5 years. Before you ask, I'm not a chav who goes round nicking cars etc, I just got caught up with the wrong crowd. I have heard of people being offered the choice of prison or army - why do I have to wait up to 5 years to join for minor offences which would never get you sent to jail? Now I don't know if I will ever make it into a career in the army as I am now caught up in the same lifestyle and surroundings which got me into trobule in the first place - ironically the only thing I want to do is to get out.