2nd term setback - recognized or not

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by kpbaseballmom, Nov 3, 2010.

  1. kpbaseballmom

    kpbaseballmom Member

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    What is the Academy's policy regarding plebes sent home on set back after 2nd tri but returning after 1st fall tri? Are they considered recognized and no longer having to perform plebe duties or are then considered mids? Is this decision a school policy or under the company commander's discretion?
     
  2. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    It is based on whether the class was recognized or not prior to them being set back.
     
  3. kpbaseballmom

    kpbaseballmom Member

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    The class was recognized about 2 weeks after they returned to start the 3rd tri. Is that too long? And should all returnees be treated the same regardless of the company they are in?
     
  4. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    Were they recognized before being setback or not? Even if they watched their former classmates being recognized as they were packing to leave it makes all the difference.
    Its a class thing, not a company thing. I seem to recall several people returning at the beginning of third quarter (we were on quarters then) who were actually in our class but had been recognized prior to being setback so they wore 3rd class insignia to avoid confusion about who had what priveleges. Once we were recognized they reverted back to 4th class. Of course things are likely to be very different now, the passage of time has a way of doing that.
     
  5. 2013Parent

    2013Parent Member

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    What is happening, as we speak, is that some companies are allowing mids in this category to be "4th Classman" and some are requiring them to participate in Plebe activities and be a Plebe.

    2013 was not recognized until the very beginning of 3rd Tri. So, by a definition already posted, they are Plebes. BTW, there are plenty of examples where setbacks from other classes, not recognized before leaving, came back and then were not Plebes. This is just another example where conistency does not always rule the day......just like life. However, the second question about should they all (setbacks from 2013 coming back for 2nd Tri) be treated the same is still out there.... and before someone tells me to park my damn helicopter, please know IMHO this is something for the Regiment of Midshipmen to work through.

    If I was a setback, I would hope that my attitude would be; either one is fine with me- I am happy to be back and ready to ACTA Non Verba!
     
  6. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    Whichever way it turns out doesn't matter, but I strongly disagree with it varying by company. It ABOLUTELY should be the same across the entire class.
     
  7. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    I don't get the point of this question from a parent's perspective. As I've noted here before my perspectives from several vantage points - graduate, active alumni, and parent current member of the regiment.

    From what I can tell here we have parent (kpbaseballmom) asking about how the class rate system will/is being applied to setbacks:
    As a parent the only reason I'd begin to care about this was/is if it in some way affected my own DS/DD who had received a setback and was now returning to campus.

    However when I personalize it and put on my own parent "cap" I still come up with an answer to the "s this something I should be involved in?" question or care about - a whopping NO. If this were the case my kid would be at the beginning of a second chance to grab the golden ring - a college degree from a great school and likely one of the higher paying jobs and careers immediately upon graduation, without the burden of loans. Given they already basically "screwed the pooch" on their first chance at grabbing the golden ring, whether or not they have to follow "Plebe" Class Rates, 4th Classman Class Rates, or 3rd Classman Class Rates really wouldn't be something I'd personally care about at all. Further if my own DS were the affected person and he didn't feel it fair as it might be different in a) a different company/dorm or b) wasn't how he saw it and thought it would be when he returned to campus as a setback based on how it was done last year but it's different now; what I'd basically tell him about how to treat the situation, would probably be on the order of look at it and thinks about/put up with it and the other things that he feels are illogical or BS, all as part of the "work" part of the "work/study" program that pays for the ~$250K+ education he is getting.

    So what I'm saying while I'd offer a sympathetic ear, I certainly wouldn't wouldn't coddle on such subjects nor would I add any fuel to his fire on the subject if he had an issue with it. I'd just try and make sure he was focusing on making sure he addressed everything he had to during the rest of his resumed academic year, then got out to sea and got back in a manner that made sure he graduated within five years of reporting for INDOC and have both of us thank our stars he got a second chance so he could do so.

    As an alumni I have even sterner thoughts when parents, who have no direct experience as members of the Regiment at USMMA or the similar groups at Federal Service Academies, seem to want to participate and offer "suggestions for improvement" to the non-academic portions and aspects of Midshipmen Life. I guess it's like how the an involved/proud graduate member of a storied Fraternity/Sorority might feel if some perspective member/rush's parent had issues with the whole initiation rite of passage their child was undergoing. I'm not saying the parent should offer their advice/opinion to their child - regardless of the age of the child - au contraire. What I am saying is it is impossible for the parent to fully understand context of the situation their child is in and other than basic encouragement, there's really little else of value we can offer our kid, IMO, in these sorts of situations. I say that because a lot of time when these sorts of things don't make sense and seem illogical - they are indeed so and that's really just the way it is/will be. In those cases adding our own emotions and feelings on the subject matter only either a) is a waste of energy for us and our kid; or b) actually exacerbates the negative feelings and emotions our own kid has on the subject and like my dearly departed mom would say -"no good can come of it."

    Just one man's opinion on the subject.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2010
  8. KPMum2012

    KPMum2012 Parent

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    I agree with jasperdog. If this were my DD, my response would be "It is what it is. Deal with it. Make it work and get through to graduate." Yes, it would be nice to not deal with plebedom again. But you do whatever it takes to get where you want to be. Seriously, whether a returning setback is treated as recognized or not is the least of their worries for the next 3 2/3 years. JMHO

    Oh, and I have used that line, more or less, on DD several times, after letting her vent her frustration.
     
  9. 2013Parent

    2013Parent Member

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    Good Lord!

    The lady ask a couple of questions on a forum because she is a parent of a fine young person and simply ask for some clarification on a specific subject that seems to part of what is being experienced by her child.

    Kp2001 gave her a nice direct answer. I gave her an answer based on what I KNOW is happening right now. KPEngineer weighed in with a preference. She never complained or even hinted that her candidate was complaining and BAM! A peson that I have great respect for, opens up and, let's her have it.

    Come on folks. Show some compassion here. Not everyone has had the same experiences. Not everyone knows everything about being a parent of a Service Academy student. Not everyone has matured through the stage of REALLY making the transition to parent of an adult. Bottom line, not everyone is as good as you are!

    Help each other people, don't cut them off at knees. This is not the place for tough love of your fellow parent.....unless of course they cross the line and commit the cardinal sin of directly contacting the Academy with a question!

    That is just another man's opinion on the subject.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2010
  10. dblomomkp2013

    dblomomkp2013 Member

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    Well put...

    2013Parent,
    THUMBS UP!!! :thumb:
     
  11. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    2013Parent and others - obviously I sounded harsh to some and right on to others - that's how opinions are when we choose to voice them and I will admit to reacting to reading between the lines of the original post by kpbaseballmom and actual words of 2013Parent's post:

    The reality of life at the USMMA today is there seem to be numerous aspects of Midshipmen Life where there are vagaries in how things are graded/judged and administered from one company to the next. The truth is this is really not all that different from 30 years ago as I remember my life at KP. There were certain things a key do's and don't's we in Third Company had that Commissioned Battalion Officer (our equivalent today's CO's) LCDR Harry Richards USMS (a retired USN LCDR) that folks in 2nd Company who had LCDR Ken Lyons, USMS for their Battalion Officer didn't have to do or worry about and versa. This really isn't that unlike shipboard life where 2nd or 3rd and or A/E's like and what they have to do and is expected of them to make the Capt or Chief happy (and thus find things like overtime easier to come by) can and often does change when the Capt or Chief rotates onto vacation... So from a practical perspective one can justify these sorts of company to company variances on at least two levels: a)Within broad general terms, legal statutes and codes of conduct like union contracts and work rules each "leader" be they Captain, Chief Engineer, Corporate COO, etc has to have the discretion and authority to exercise that discretion required to motivate their subordinates to achieve the required results if they are to be held accountable for those results. So for that reason the folks in the midshipman officer ranks and "chain of command" have a reasonable amount of discretion in how they handle things like the administration of Class Rates. I believe this is how it should be. I also believe that by and large KP would be be more like the old days where: i) the First Class had more, vice less authority and discretion in such matters; ii) the 2nd and 3rd class had less authority and fewer responsibilities in the administration and management of the Regiment; and iii) the entire 1st Class was more committed to "self-policing" their classmates when they get carried away and have too much "Marine" and too little "Merchant" in how they perform their responsibilities and duties in the conduct of their duties as Midshipmen Officers.

    All that aside, from the entire whole "Plebedom" thing is really far less of a "big deal" now when both the Second and Third Classman on campus are B-Splits Third Trimester rolls around and the 2013 A splits return to Campus the entire point either will be moot or soon be so. Finally characterize it as tough love if you so choose and like you point out and I admit I could have worded it more softly. However, I'll stand by my original point which is rooted in that children cleared the same hurdles to be admitted to the USMMA, the biggest difference between those in a particular class who "need" a setback to who don't and graduate in four years is the ability to separate the Wheat from the Chaff and prioritize where they focus their mental energies and spend their time. At the end of the day, to me and many, many successful graduates - Class Rates is an easy thing to safely put into the Chaff basket.

    I have taken up enough of everybody's bandwidth reading my opinion(s) on this subject and while I admit to offering "tough love" intent was not to be mean spirited but rather to point out that to offer a sympathetic, supportive not mean or require us as parents to always agree with the things our children choose question or battle.

    Thanks for your time, I promiseI'll just watch this thread from this point forward.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2010
  12. 2013Parent

    2013Parent Member

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    Gross oversimplification.

    While they indeed have cleared the same hurdles, like life itself the field of play is not level. Some come in at 17 years of age without even ever marching in a school band. Some come in at 22+ years of age with prep schools and/or prior service experience and maybe a couple of years of college under their belt. Some get extra special attention because of their athletic associations. Blah Blah Blah I could go on and on.

    Yeah the bottom line about Separating the Wheat from the Chaff is spot on, standards have to be met, performance has to be acceptable and leadership must be developed. However, I for one, have a deeper appreciation for offering a setback to someone now than I did in the summer of 2009. It is all part of my maturing and knowing more about this fine place and it's traditions.

    Keep in mind there are several categories of setbacks too.....Academic, Personal, Medical/Physical............So, not even all setbacks are the same.

    BTW,............the rest of a direct quote from my earlier post, it sounds a lot like a condensed version of JDog's position:

    "This is just another example where conistency does not always rule the day......just like life. However, the second question about should they all (setbacks from 2013 coming back for 2nd Tri) be treated the same is still out there.... and before someone tells me to park my damn helicopter, please know IMHO this is something for the Regiment of Midshipmen to work through.

    If I was a setback, I would hope that my attitude would be; either one is fine with me- I am happy to be back and ready to ACTA Non Verba!"


    And, what the heck was there to read between the lines about in my post? My DS is in a Company that is directing these Setbacks to be Plebes. He has friends in others Companies that are not (were not....hell I have not talked with him in a couple of days...so I don't know what is happening as we speak now and really could not care less!......refer back to my original post again...."IMHO this is something for the Regiment of Midshipmen to work through".....)
     
  13. kpbaseballmom

    kpbaseballmom Member

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    Geez Louise!!! :eek: First:

    It's not my kid I'm asking the question about.

    Second:

    Just looking for a yes or no,

    "Yes, something like this can be decided on a co. to co. basis" or

    "No, dictates like these are applied across all companies"
     
  14. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Help me understand this whole "setback" thing. :confused:

    So a candidate is accepted to USMMA, (s)he reports and completes his/her summer training, but for some reason or another (s)he is disenrolled (grades, medical, or physical fitness).

    But after (s)he is kicked out......(s)he is allowed to come back? Without re-applying the next year? Like some sort of "automatic" re-try?

    Under what criteria are these "setbacks" returned?

    If they were disenrolled for failing grades, must they demonstrate some type of new academic competency before they return, or are they simply re-admitted without going through any vetting?

    If it was physical fitness that they lacked, do they need to pass some sort of new PT test to ensure they can now hack the physical demands of USMMA?

    And for medical, I can only assume(?) that they must be re-qualified/waivered by DODMERB before they return?

    I understand the "personal" reason, as I believe all the academies allow a cadet/mid to take a one-year sabbatical/gap year and return (I may be mistaken about that though), but I'm having trouble understanding the disenrollment of a cadet/mid for grades and then allowing them to come back and "try it" again?
     
  15. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    That makes it easy - Yes at this point in time, something like this can and is decided on a company by company basis within some reasonable Regiment wide guidelines set by the Commandant and Regimental Midshipmen Officer staffs (RTOA, etc.).
     
  16. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    Luigi: I believe that within the level of detail you are looking for the information, everything you seek answers for is defined in the relevant CFRs. Given your background and experience with them I'd suggest that is the best location to get the correct, accurate current answers to your questions on the topic of "setbacks".

    That said the starting point is for receipt of a setback is not after they've been disenrolled and no they are not treated as "outsiders being processed back in to the USMMA." The handling of them under the CFRs, etc. is as current enrolled students who are subject to and/or in need of some corrective action/assistance, the same sort of status as a Midshipmen who is given an extra year to graduate for personal reasons, etc. So this is not a case where someone has been dis-enrolled and then is let back in, it is the case for example where someone is given the extra time required to repeat a failed class or classes, etc. instead of disenroling them and basically "throwing away" 100% of the Government's "sunk cost/investment" in a particular midshipman who is otherwise a solid "citizen", etc.
     
  17. 2013Parent

    2013Parent Member

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    You're correct, and for my part in adding confusion, please accept my apology.

    1- There does not appear to be an Academy Policy on the subject.
    2- Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Sometimes, it is based on whether Recognition has taken place prior to their exit. Sometimes it does not.
    3- This year it, it started out to be company by company, and there were initial differances regarding how the setbacks were being handled as they reported back this past Sunday. I am not aware if anything consistent has been worked out yet between the Companies.

    Those are the facts that have been directly communicated to me, by my son, and another Midshipman 1st Class (who just happened to have been setback during his first year, prior to recognition, as was not directed to "be a Plebe" when he came back) ........... thay are both there now.

    However, as JDog and I both have said, in different ways, it really does not amount to much in the overall scheme of things and The Regiment does as they see fit. It is what it is.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2010
  18. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Thanks, that's the answer I was looking for. :beer1:

    Why do that when I've got you here to give me the answer? :biggrin:
     

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