Navy, Criminal Records and US Visa


I've searched the forums but cant find any clarification on this.

Around 7+ years ago I received a 'simple police caution' for possession of class B substance. It was spent immediately and filtered after 6 years.
From what I can understand, the MoD recognises the Rehabilitation of offenders act and therefore I should not declare any spent/filtered caution. In relation to the RFA, I would assume that some sort of visa is required to enter the US/US waters, whom do not recognise the Rehabilitation act, meaning this would cause trouble getting the visa.
In the merchant navy, the crew are required to obtain a c-1/d visa,which everything has to be declared and an interview is needed, a caution for drug possession is a no-no from what I have heard.
My question is what happens if the RFA took me on and I couldn't get the visa needed? or do military personnel not need any such visa, e.g nato visa?

Here is a paragraph from the Advice to Applicants to HM Armed Forces:

"2. The purpose of The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974*, which applies to both civilians and Service personnel, is to give those who have been convicted of offences a chance to ‘live down’ their convictions. This means that if a certain period of time has passed since the date on which you were convicted, the conviction becomes ‘spent’ and you are therefore entitled to ignore the conviction and to fill in the application form and to answer any questions put to you by the recruiting officer or interview board as if the offence, conviction and sentence had never taken place. The periods after which the convictions become ‘spent’ are set out as to type of sentence overleaf. You should note that ‘conviction’ includes an absolute or conditional discharge, supervision, probation, care, hospital and community service orders and binding over. In the interests of national security, however, both spent and unspent convictions have to be declared to the Security Authorities. These details are to be inserted on a Security Questionnaire but are solely a matter between yourself and the Security Department. "

I assume the last two sentences is where the decision would be made to employ/not employ me?

any knowledge would be appreciated


Yes, I believe they are a civilian branch of the MoD but I just imagine there would be a lot of issues with them recognising the rehab act and then further down the line needing some sort of visa

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