AROTC Cadet Removed from Penn State Battalion

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Jcleppe, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    http://xfinity.comcast.net/articles/news-national/20120827/US.Penn.State.Abuse.Riot/?cid=hero_media

    There has been many posts on this board that talk about the fine line a cadet must walk. This story illustrates just how fine a line it can be. One lapse in judgement can change everything, one "It seemed a good idea at the time" can end your career before it even starts.

    For College ROTC Cadets there is sometimes an disconnect between cadet life and college life, alway remember that the two are closely tied together. While SA cadets have the stress of living a regimented life style 24/7, a college ROTC cadet has the stress of sometimes having to balance college and cadet life using only their own judgement to guide them.

    Just a reminder to always think twice, if your gut tells you this may not be a good idea, go with your gut.
     
  2. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    This is sad for this young man. It does remind all readers that you need to get away from trouble whether it's a riot or a dorm room with acohol or drugs. Avoid troubling places and avoid friends that seek trouble.
     
  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Interesting article, it is a strong example to illustrate to candidates and cadets how getting caught up in what you see as school spirit can cause a world of hurt.
    I really feel for this cadet. I also admire him for stepping up and saying he should have never placed his hand on the car, never been in the vicinity and never left his apt.

    I do disagree with Jcleppe on one point
    Unless, Jcleppe is stating ROTC cadets may forget that although they are a college student, in the eyes of the military they still represent the military and their actions as a college student may bear a price to pay.

    I don't see it as stress regarding balance. DS was at UMDCP when that school made national news for their riot after the Duke game in 3/2010. DS was at a sports bar in town with 4 AFROTC friends. Game ended, they walked out and RTE 1 was already a battle zone with police in riot gear, and riding horses down the street. He didn't join in and climbed light poles or started a fire in trash cans. He got his butt out of there as fast as his feet could take him. It wasn't I am a UMDCP student let's join the mob, it was I am an AFROTC cadet let's get out!

    That is where Strine fell in my opinion. He heard it on the news. He did the following.

    1. Left his apt
    ~~~ Could have stayed
    2. Got in his car and drove to the district where the mob was at
    ~~~ Could have said Bad Idea and turned back while he was driving
    3. Got out of his car
    ~~~ Again, his judgement said get out join the mob, protest and show our anger
    4. Worked his way through the crowd of 4-5K people to get near a car
    ~~~ Again, his judgement call, pushed through people to get into the crowd; did not say let's go home!
    5. Put his hand on the car and kept it there as people were shaking it.
    ~~~ Again, he put his hand on someone else's car, someone else's property. Didn't say, that's someone else's car I am destroying. Didn't say Oh CRAP I am destroying someone else's car, what if it was my car?

    He was part of mob mentality.

    There were a lot of times he used poor judgement, and he openly admits it now, but I am only saying that in this case, and if Jcleppe is saying there is stress regarding judgement for a ROTC cadet and college, in this case I disagree.

    I get the 20 underage drinking, but let's be honest SA's have had issues too, such as drugs and sex at the SAs. I don't bite off on the ROTC cadets have more peer pressure. I do believe that SA or ROTC cadets are young and they don't think before they act. Maybe an SA cadet is more aware, but it doesn't mean it is any less stressful.

    JMPO 0.01694 cents.
     
  4. Packer

    Packer Member

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    I doubt Pima and Jcleppe are actually in disagreement here. The ROTC cadet has more freedom and is not a part of a regimented system in the way that SA cadets are. The ROTC cadets are surrounded by peers that do not have the same level of restrictions on them. I can see it being somewhat easier for some ROTC cadets to get in trouble than their SA counterparts. Obviously, both sometimes do.
    Pima, your son is obviously an example of a cadet with the self-discipline and foresight necessary to avoid getting caught up in these kind of things. Unfortunately, all have not matured to that point yet when the opportunity to get caught up in the moment arises.
     
  5. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    I never intended to imply that ROTC cadets have more stress then their counterparts at the SA's, just a different kind of stress.

    College ROTC cadets live, at least for the first two years, a more traditional college experience. There is nobody there to make sure they get up on time, no march in formation to certain events. These cadets are responsible for themselves, it is their responsibilty to get to PT on time, make it to the meeting place for a FTX ready to go. For many cadets they live in dorms, Frats, or even their own apartments, these cadets are not surrounded by others that are doing the exact same thing they are doing each day.

    College ROTC cadets need to make judgement calls on everything they do, they are not always surrounded by other cadets when these judgement calls need to be made. This was the balance I was speaking of, the need to make these decisions on their own. What may be just a youthful indescretion for some college students can casuse big problems for a ROTC cadet.

    SA cadets have there own issues to deal with, their own stress levels to overcome. Living in such an environment can be tough, these cadets have no more or no less the stress then the average ROTC cadet, it's just different.

    That was pretty much what I meant.

    I do agree with you, the cadet in question had many opportunities to stop and think before he acted, very sad for this young man.

    Packer,
    Cross posted with you, but you summed up very well what I intended in my original post, Thanks.
     
  6. Gojira

    Gojira Member

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    Well, I never thought a kid could get kicked out of ROTC for failing weight standards a couple of weeks before graduation, so what do I know? :eek: I guess I should be happy my kid just got lazy, instead of felonious.

    This kid took part in a riot. Bad stuff happens in riots, even if he didn't throw a Molotov cocktail.

    He is lucky he only owes a fraction of what others have to pay back for losing their ROTC scholarships.

    Probably got off easy, all things considered.
     
  7. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    Maybe I'm just a callous jerk, but I really don't have piles of sympathy for this kid. And why does he get a Fox News article?:confused:
    Sure, cadets and mids make mistakes. My friends and I at USNA used to have a pet theory that no one graduated without having committed a major conduct offense (or several), it was just that most people never got caught. That doesn't make it "unfair" when someone does get in trouble. Everyone take the risks and knows the consequences, but not everyone pays the price every time. I don't know, but it's probably similar in ROTC.

    Were there 5,000+ people "rioting?" Sure.
    Were some of them ROTC cadets? Maybe.

    But this kid was the ROTC cadet who was identifiable on film pushing over a van and got a suspension. Thousands of other kids were smart and mature enough to NOT go out and "just put their hands" on a van that "happened" to be flipping over.

    I'm sorry, I just don't see how he feels he has any room to complain or feel victimized like this. For the SAs-again, no experience in ROTC, but I'd be shocked if it were super different-the expectations are clear cut. You need a certain GPA, a certain fitness level, certain other seemingly arbitrary requirements, and to keep your nose clean.
    Being booted from ROTC or a SA for violating any of those pretty clear expectations shouldn't be a surprise.
     
  8. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    There are two separate issues here:

    1) Actions that place one's employer/school in a bad light:
    Not just AROTC, or all ROTC, or even Military -- there are clauses in most Mangement employment contracts in civilian businesses, especially large ones, that essentially hold a management employee responsible for damaging the reputation of the employer simply by staying in the wrong place, wrong time. In other words, for the APPEARANCE of impropriety even if there is no impropriety taking place. ROTC is to train Officers = Management.

    I didn't say BEING in the wrong place, but STAYING in the wrong place. If a cadet (management trainee) finds themself at a party where at a point in time drugs become visible, and underage drinking becomes visible, even though the person is not participating in drinking/drugging, that person needs to LEAVE. Imaging the fallout from "IBM executive arrested at party with drugs and prostitutes". Staying is implicit condoning. Staying says the values of the employer that manager represents are OK with the activities taking place in front of the employee.

    Most colleges have very strict rules about drinking in the dorm rooms. There are lots of posts over at College Confidential Board with a similar theme: a good kid who STAYED in a neighboring dorm room where the tequila, vodka etc. were being poured, while not drinking themselves. No matter, most University rules hold that if a person STAYS in the room after the Alcohol starts getting poured, they're as guilty as those pouring and drinking.

    2) Bad Judgment
    Legality isn't the only issue here. It's just bad judgment to joing a crowd, and STAY there, when the crowd is becoming agitated. There are only two good judgment actions at that point: First, try to make the situation better, using any leadership skills a person may have, and second, failing the first, LEAVE, immediately. This cadet didn't take either action that could have helped the situation, or helped himself and those he drove there. ROTC is interested in cadets who have shown good judgment in the limited scope of their ROTC activities, school, and social life. If they have trouble showing good judgment at college, it is just too risky to assume they'll show better judgment after commissioning, when all heck has has broken loose, and they have to lead soldiers by making quick and correct decisions in the midst of chaos.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2012
  9. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty Member

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    "The van was already going over", "I touched the van". Too bad he didn't hire my cousin Vinny to get him out of it. Perhaps he was trying to see if the car's hood was still warm and be of service to the community (the ephemeral and boisterous community of rioters, that is)

    True, it's a harsh punishment, but all his statements exude denial.

    The article was hard to follow because of the author's lazy reporting, or rather, blogging, and I'm embarrassed to say I read parts of it more than twice. What year was Strine in? When was he suspended? When did he go to Airborne? What is he going to do now? Does he think he should be excused and the other rioters punished? Why is the article timely just now?

    And why was there no mention that in Australia he'd be considered a hero? (In Australia "Strine" is the way you say Australian: "djoo speak Strine"?)
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2012
  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    The issue I have is his father's position. His father is an officer in the Army and has been for 28 yrs. If an enlisted member did this at the same age, they would have punished them with at least an Article 15.

    I understand this is his son, but if son had come home and said Cadet Smith did this, would his father have felt the punishment and dis-enrollment was just? I am willing to bet he would say exactly that. He would have reminded him that this is about making the right choices and being a leader, not a follower, thus there is no place in the Army for Cadet Smith since he illustrated he was a follower and did not make rational choiced.

    You can't have it both ways, if you as an officer commanding troops would punish them, than it must be the same for your child reporting to another officer.
     

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