AFROTC Issue - need advice please

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by dreinecke, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. dreinecke

    dreinecke Member

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    Quick recap as I've not been on the forum for a long time.

    My son was offered and accepted a Type 1 Scholarship. He began as a Chemistry major, a technical degree accepted by the AF.

    Halfway through his Sophmore year, he requested and was granted the ability to switch his major to Engineering Physics (EP). He still has the email trail of this change between himself and his ROTC instructor.

    He just completed Field Training and during the course of his return was asked to clarify his major. He replied that is was EP. Apparently there is a conflict with this and he has been informed that EP is not technical and that he will have to change his major to a technical degree.

    The approval from his ROTC instructor reads "Physics", and is probably the reason that he is just now hearing about this. His school does not offer a pure Physics degree, only the Engineering Physics (EP) one, which the AF does not consider technical.

    After many phone calls and emails to his current ROTC instructor, he has been told the following: he can switch to another technical degree, forfeit his scholarship, or switch schools to one that has pure Physics.

    There is a problem however, in that every other technical offering at his school is going to put him a year behind, meaning he would not graduate in 4 years. His ROTC Instructor has told him he has to complete in 4 and has no further options.

    While he is calling every department at school and looking into a "quickie" possible transfer to another school, I have to ask as a parent - what are his options? He requested a change in degree (that his school says is comparable to another school's Physics degree), was given approval, and is now being told his is in danger of not being able to accomplish his dream of becoming a USAF Officer. Does the email trail and the fact that this was not his mistake count for anything? Can he not get an extension to 5 years to complete?

    If the answer above is "no", how hard is it to transfer schools in ROTC, especially considering that classes start next week?

    Any help and advice is very much appreciated!

    David Reinecke
     
  2. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Re-read that email trail. Does it say Physics or Engineering Physics? This is going to be the make or break.

    If it says Physics and not EP, than that is going to be the case. If it says EP, I would fight it. Take the email trail and have him meet with his CoC. If that fails, he might have to take it to AFROTC HQ, showing the paperwork as concrete proof.

    You may want to also look into is pulling the course requirements for his EP and what the school he would transfer into for Physics requires. This may allow you to fight it harder and allow them to say, okay they are identical courses, so we will allow it.

    The really bigger issues are what to do now if they don't budge on this issue.

    1. If he transfers most colleges require that the core courses for the major be taken at their college, or at least the last 60. That would still put him up against the wall for 4 yrs.

    2. If he does transfer he will walk into the new det as a 300, but nobody will know him, and that may hurt his OML. By spring jr. yr. they are putting in for their career fields, and a commander's rec is on that form, along with jobs held. Since jobs for fall semester are given in the spring, he may not have a job for the fall, thus again hurt is OML.
    ~ Rated boards meet before non-rated. However, rated requires the cadet to take the TBAS, which is a big test for the OML. Creating more stress on him spring Jr. yr.

    The problem you are facing is that the yr group he is in, is tight on numbers. If I recall correctly, this yr group was the 1st yr group not to offer IS scholarships, which means they were already over crowded to begin with. Plus, this yr group had less % going to SFT than previous yrs.
    ~Upside, he has proven his worth by being selected for SFT. Hopefully at SFT he proved himself even more by graduating at least in the top 10% (for this battle reason only).

    Good luck
     
  3. dreinecke

    dreinecke Member

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    ROTC

    Pima, thank you for your input, it is much appreciated.

    The email from my son states Engineering Physics - the reply from his ROTC Instructor states that yes, Physics 8HYY is an approved technical major. So, since everyone at his school calls it "Physics", the issue never came up again until now.

    So, we think what derailed the entire thing is that she responded Physics, put in a form (16?) with that on it. When he returned from FT and filled out a new Form 16, they realized that the one he did had Engineering Physics on it. That stopped the process. The CoC is the one that contacted him initially for clarification about his major and then had the ROTC Instructor (different one from this issue started with) contact Chris to work this out.

    The good-ish news is that it wasn't caught until after FT, or he would not have gone. On the other hand, as he was in the last Flight for FT, that left zero time to fix the issue before the new semester. He just got back from FT last week.

    Much has transpired since yesterday. While 2 other schools close to his current one offer pure Physics, they are no longer open this close to enrollment. Fortunately, a good University local to us is. The good news is that all of these schools are in the same Detachment, so there is no issue there. He knows a number of the Cadets there, so he's at least got folks he knows where he will have to go and that won't affect his ranking in the DET.

    So, we are meeting with the school this morning to get the registration sorted out so he can start classes on Monday.

    He'll have to move in with us and break lease on his apartment, but those things are all do-able. We were worried that he wouldn't want to live at home again after 2 years out, but he's fine with it and is looking forward to saving a little more money from the ordeal. The bottom line is that he knows the ends justify the means - he will have the degree he wants, he will hopefully end up in the career he wants, and he'll be an Officer.

    The thing that doesn't pass the logic test is that his school stated that their EP is equal to all other P majors. The fact that the new school looks like it will take his all of his credits (we'll know this morning for sure) proves that out. If only it didn't say Engineering before it on the major...

    I love logic. I'll let you know how this morning goes.
     
  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    So in essence, you are saying it was the ROTC detachment that filled out the form incorrectly? I am assuming this since you said SHE, and you have a DS. May I ask was this an NCOIC or was it the CoC? It does make a difference, because if it was the NCOIC, the COC may have no clue.

    I think your DS is being smart for many reasons.
    1. He has to be concerned with his OML, and by going to HQ over them to fight it may burn bridges.
    2. He is still in the same DET. This allows him to not only move forward as plan, but ironically he will gain respect from their screw up...again OML includes the CC's input.
    3. Smart from a fiscal decision. It allows him to save money. Obviously he is close enough to maintain his college friendships since he will attend the same DET, but not be at the Host college.
    ~~~JRs. in college are different than freshman, they have their groups, and it isn't so much about the FB games anymore, but what you are doing Friday night.


    He will do fine. The one thing to keep a strong eye on is if he does transfer make sure that the scholarship paperwork follows, otherwise he could have a "lock" on his bursar account because the money is floating out in space. As a parent this will be the hard part because he will need to keep an eye on it, while being in school, and some schools are hard and fast with that deadline.

    Don't dread it, all he will need to do is talk to the NCOIC, get a letter from him to hand to his new school. Just be prepared for the Just In Case.
     
  5. dreinecke

    dreinecke Member

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    ROTC

    Pima,

    He says it was neither the NCOIC or the COC that did it, but the instructor.

    Thus far, this is working out well. The University was able to do everything but get him registered for classes. That will happen Sunday when his user ID is provisioned electronically. All the classes he needs have room in them, so no issue there. He was also able to talk with one of the head Physics Profs. and he was able to review his incoming classes. So, it looks like with one exception, he gets credit for everything and is on target to get a pure Physics degree - proving that the entire issue is simply one of nomenclature.

    He is a VERY smart cookie and had zero intentions of burning bridges, hence the reason he's handled this as well as he has. I think this has been harder on his parents as we were concerned his dreams were going up in flames. Thankfully, that is not the case. He's already talked to a few of the Cadets where he'll be going as he does know them, so they kind of gave him the who/what/where/when on his new location.

    The other major bonus as you pointed out with the OML is that he was able to stay with his detachment. That was HUGE!

    Thanks again, I sincerely appreciate the input!
     

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