Constructive enlistment is the status of an individual who is in the armed forces under unconditional terms with full military benefits resulting from an invalidated initial enlistment.
The following are examples of case law referring to constructive enlistment:
An individual under the age of 17 is statutorily incompetent to acquire military status, but the government ordinarily may show a constructive enlistment where such a minor enlists but continues to serve after passing the minimum statutory age. [UNITED STATES v. BROWN, 23 U.S.C.M.A. 162 (C.M.A. 1974)].
The use of the constructive enlistment doctrine in military courts for the purpose of establishing court-martial jurisdiction was significantly curtailed by the courts and refused to apply this jurisdictional concept blindly to every case where a person simply received military pay and allowances. [United States v. Harrison, 5 M.J. 476,
481 (C.M.A. 1978)].