Call from my son's Battalion Commander

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by cb7893, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    My son is an AROTC MSI at a large state U with a large ROTC program. He finally contracted last week.

    The other night I received a call from his Battalion Commander. Before he introduced himself I took him to be a telemarketer. (I hope I didn't sound rude.) He called to tell me what a great son I have and what a great job his mom and I did with him. I told him he has it backward and to keep my son's canteen full of whatever they've been puttting in it.

    Is that a phone call among a long list and simply part of his responsibility as a Commander? Or should we treat it as somehting special?

    I know the question seems self-serving. It really isn't. No one, and I mean no one saw it coming that my son would go ROTC. Let's say he has a "history" with authority figures. He is scary smart and can spot a phony from a mile away. When he does, it's game on. At the same time, if the authority figure is the real deal, my son will take a bullet for them. The commander himself epitomizes "the real deal". My son's statement was that the commander is the single most impressive person he has met.

    He says that ROTC is his favorite part of college. Last night he told me that when ever he spots another cadet on campus, they look at each other knowing that the other was up before dawn doing a 7 mile ruck march in 15 degrees. We couldn't be prouder.

    For all of you fretting over getting scholarships, the experience, for a motivated young man or woman is worth it without the $. I know the $ makes it easier, but that knowing glance across the quad at the person you carried on your back for 100 yards, is priceless.
     
  2. bjb2016

    bjb2016 Member

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    who do you think you are? Your statement makes you sound arrogant and self serving.
     
  3. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    ....what the....?
     
  4. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    A phone call like that can really put a smile on your face.

    Personally, I would treat it as something special.

    Congratulations to your son on getting contracted.

    Our younger son is a MS1 as well, he contracted a couple days before school started in the Fall. We were luck to still be there at school and were able to see the contracting ceremony. We share your excitement. He was the only MS1 Scholarship cadet to pass his APFT that morning so at the contracting ceremony the LtCol. suprised him and asked him to do 25 push ups to show the proper form, he said he was so nervous he was afriad he would mess up.

    We have an older son at the same school who will graduate and commission this spring, my wife has already stocked up on Kleenex.

    Your son is in for an exciting 4 years and you will have fun watching him grow through the years. Make sure he brings his uniform home with him, makes for a great family picture.

    Edit: Just saw the post by bjb, Really? First you call JROTC whiney little posers, now this, I sure hope this isn't the parent posting, bad enough if it's prospective cadet, your first year could be a rough one with this attitude.

    Sorry if my post above is too self serving for you.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011
  5. solon

    solon Member

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    Am thinking your parents won't be getting one of these calls. Sorry, just realized you ARE the parent. Surprised to hear an adult talk like this on a public site.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011
  6. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    cb,

    Be proud of him.

    The freshman yr even as a parent is the hardest.

    I am with Jcleppe...relish the moment.

    Congrats to him for adjusting so well and proving to the unit he is an asset.

    Congrats to you for raising him to have the strength.
     
  7. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    I suspect the parent and the son share the same sign-on. At any rate, the "temporarily banned" says it all.

    OP -- congratulations. I think it's great that your son found a nitch in which he can really apply himself and feel proud. As you know that is not very common, and when it happens, it's nice to see. Most of what kids apply themselves to -- most classes, most jobs, etc., are without passion or purpose.
     
  8. gstudent99

    gstudent99 Member

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    I interpret the sentiment of the OP to be that he has seen ROTC be a very positive program for his son. In particular, an extremely powerful maturing influence. They take good stock (that has some rough edges) and mold them as necessary. Kuddos to your family, son, and Batallion.

    Your authority figure comment struck a cord with me. I remember the day of the awards ceremony at my son's High School his senior year. Apparently earlier in the day my son had decided he didn't need to respect the authority of his teachers anymore now that he was "done" with high school. Well the teachers didn't agree :shake:. When we arrived for the ceremory (where the LTC from a local University ROTC Battalion was there to present his scholarship) the dean of students called me into his office to discuss the my son's attitude. He, in no uncertain terms, told me that there was NO WAY my son would make it through ROTC and in the Army because of his problem with submitting to authority.

    Fast forward 6 months and my son is thriving in the program and, as you mentioned, ROTC is his favorite aspect of college. He has tremendous respect and admiration for everyone in the program, cadre and fellow cadets. No phone calls :smile:, but I have talked with the ROO several times and have heard nothing but positive news.

    Like you, I attribute most of his maturing to the ROTC program and the people involved. Yours is a great testament to the quality of the program and the Army.
     
  9. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    Thanks to all of you for the nice words and understanding of my intent.

    With all due respect to the many things kids can occupy themselves with at college, I can't think of any one that can match rotc for inculcating accountability in emerging adults. Quite a job given the example set by much of our culture.

    gstudent, I know exactly what you are talking about. I could tell you even better stories and so could you. To be honest, my first thought on the call was, "okay, what did he do?" When my wife got home I told her that his battalion commander called, the first thing she said was, "okay, what did he do?"

    Thanks again.
     
  10. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Very cool. The PMS was clearly demonstrating an understanding of a basic and important leadership principle. to really make someone feel like they are doing a good job- don't just tell them- tell someone else! In this case even if you son puts up a cynical front- you know that underneath he also is feeling really good about having the colonel go out of his way tell his parents that he is doing a good job. That will stick with him and you for a while - so congratulations to you and your son for the nice Attaboy.:thumb:
     
  11. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    LOL. That would have been my response too. How typical of us. Then again we're used to only hearing bad news. Congrats on raising a great kid. And Congrats to him for keeping his nose to the grindstone.
     
  12. catchthefever

    catchthefever Member

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    OP ... You made me laugh because you reminded me of my father's reaction when, out of the blue, I informed him that I had enlisted in the Air Force. He was a career Army officer, who I'm sure saw something of your son in me at the time. He said, "You know, dear daughter, in the military, you can't tell everyone exactly what you think right when you think it." LOL. I think people were pleasantly surprised to see how the military grew me up too. It has a way of helping some young people who otherwise can't see how they can contribute in an adult world find their purpose and sense of value and really kicks off their future for them. At least that's what I feel like it did for me and I've seen the same thing in a nephew of mine. Sounds like that has happened for your son, too.

    How truly special for you to get that feedback directly from the Battalion Commander. Be very proud, and thanks again for sharing. It's always nice when we as parents get validation that our children are realizing the potential we always saw in them even though they gave us moments of doubt. Ha! Personally, I think it's great when parents express their pride in their children, and I've never felt that takes away from the outstanding qualities of anyone else's children, including my own.

    I think this subsequent poster nicely summed up what I wholeheartedly believe was the true intention of your post. I think it's an excellent observation and am so glad you shared it. :thumb:

     
  13. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    CB I am glad you shared this post. I wish you and your son the best. As a MSIV parent the one thing that hits me all the time is when people ask me why would I let my son do ROTC. They ask how could I let him join the Army. I think how could I not let him do it. Where would the world be if no one stepped forward. I also see the maturity he and his friends have gained in the last four years. How could I not let him do it? I tell these people I am proud and honored by my son.
     
  14. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    Inspiring post, NorwichDad. I think the one aspect that makes me feel at home here on SAF is being among so many similarly situated parents who place their kiddos' willingness to serve our nation above their own personal interests.

    bjb2016: Please check your attitude at the log-in page.
     
  15. Packer

    Packer Member

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    My son is pursueing an academy appointment as well as ROTC. I get asked the question occasionally "Are you going to let him do that?". My answer is it is his decision and my job is to make sure he has all of the information to make that decision. What I think is, I feel so sorry for your kids.
     
  16. catchthefever

    catchthefever Member

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    If sons and daughters are making decisions about "their" future plans when they become of legal adult age, why would there even be a discussion about what a parent would "let" them do? (Unless the parents intend to continue being financially responsible for the child well into adulthood, then maybe so.) But I think that would be a topic for the "Helicopter Parents" thread. :shake:
     
  17. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Well, I think most of us, with kids heading to college, plan on being financially responsible for them well into young adulthood anyway! :biggrin:

    However, I certainly agree. I can't imagine a parent not supporting their children in what they want to do, while making sure they understand the pros and cons. I never encouraged my son (at least initially), but never discouraged him either. I just kept asking, up until freshman orientation, "Are you sure you want to do this? It ain't paintball!". The only rule we had, which his Mom laid down, was if he was going to be a Marine he was going to do it as an officer.

    Now I can't wait to hear about his PT, and other triumphs in the battalion. He has grown so much as a person and is far more disciplined in his studies and work-outs than he ever was in high school. ROTC is the best thing that ever happened to him, besides having his Mom as a parent.

    This had been a dream of his for quite some time. He and two other friends had pledged to enlist in the Marines together. That didn't work out. One went off to Parris Island right after Thanksgiving. Another is in AFROTC as a College Programmer, and of course DS is NROTC MO. So they're all still pursuing their dream.
     
  18. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I think many people have fears and associate the military as a higher chance of death than if they were in the corporate world.

    I recall my SIL asking me if I would support our DS if he decided to join the military when DS was @18 months old. I said Yes, if that is what he wants.

    She point blank asked aren't you afraid of him dieing? No, because if I was, I might as well enter the looney bin now, Bullet was an F-111 WSO at that time, with his next assignment...joint with the 82nd AB jumping out of perfectly good planes :eek:

    I continued to tell her that he had a higher chance of dieing in a car accident on the NJTPKE commuting to work than flying a fighter plane in combat. OBTW combat is not where we lose the majority of our AF fliers, it is training missions.

    It is this perception that the media plays out daily. Yes, we have lost thousands of military soldiers over the past 10 yrs due to combat. That is tragic, but we also lost thousands of Americans in 1 day on Sept. 11th.

    Could you imagine if the media kept a daily total of how many people die daily in car accidents across the nation and lead off with that number in the news? Would you stop driving your car? No, that is the same for me.

    I worry, but I am not about to lock them in a room and pretend I can keep them safe that way.

    I hate to say it this way, but to me by informing people that the likelihood of death is really slim, we also remove that stigma of we as parents are sending them in harms way nonchalantly.

    What I always find funny from strangers, are the odd questions like:

    1. You mean he has to keep his hair that short? They actually make them do it, I thought they just did because everyone does.

    2. You mean he has to move there. Can't he say he wants to go somewhere else?

    3. Lucky you, maybe he'll get to live in Hawaii and you can visit.
    ~~~ In the 20 yrs Bullet served Hawaii was never offered, but KS was, NC was (3X), Idaho was too. Along with some great places like UK and AK. My joke was always, join the military and the world, parts you probably never wanted to see in the first place...Almogordo, NM; Cannon, NM, Del Rio TX; Mt Home, ID; Leavenworth, KS; Goldsboro, NC; Fayetteville, NC were all places I didn't think would be names of places I never knew of prior to the AF. I am still a Jersey girl at heart, and although I may love living there... I am pretty sure it wasn't Hawaii.

    4. At least they pay your mtg.
    ~~~ UMMM. so does your job. Your employer doesn't expect you to live in your car. Part of your salary is to pay your rent. The military just basically says this is how much you should spend. Spend over it and that is your choice.

    5. What do you mean, they leave behind the family members when they hurri-vac the jets? They actually will leave you there?

    6. My all time favorite...What do you mean that it could be 6 weeks without your car when you move overseas?
    ~~~ My favorite because my response was always, you an rent a car, but household goods, such as cribs and kids toys you can't live so much without.
    The bewilderment on their face is priceless. One time when we moved from the UK to the states, my stuff sat in storage for 5 months, while Bullet did TDY enroute. We endured that again when we moved from NC to AK.
    Our car was the least of my concerns.

    Welcome to the military just a few of things that the 'real" world, including your family don't get.

    It does have funny points, like when you come home and realize you only speak in acronyms or slang believing they all understand you.

    I.E.

    DS will PCS to Laughlin with a RNLTD of 4 days after commissioning. He will be on casual status until he goes to IFS, after that he will start UPT. He will find out his FTU assignment prior to winging. From there he will probably do water survival and SERES. He will than PCS to his op base, and it usually takes about 45 days to be MQ.

    Translation for new comers and non-AF.
    Son will move to Laughlin AFB, and must be there within 4 days after graduation and pinning on. He will have no official job there, but will work a normal work duty day until he attends Initial Flight Screening. After that he will go back to Laughlin for a yr an attend pilot training. Right before he graduates as a pilot they will tell him his plane assignment. Depending on the schedule he may go for more training like how to survive if your plane goes into the water, or if you are in a war. Once that is all done, he will move to his permanent base for the next 3 yrs and before he is considered as officially one of them, he will spend 45 days more training to be operational.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2011
  19. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    Nothing sharpens a parent's mind more than affirming that there are recent dental records.

    LOL not!
     
  20. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    Most people I know think that these days, the parents are morally obligated to be the financial backstop for the child until age 21 (not age 18), or graduation from undergraduate college if it is within a reasonable amount of time (at most 5 years for our house). The reason is that the High School degree of 50 years ago is the college degree of today. That has shifted the move by most kids into the adult workplace from what was 17-18 years of age to the current 21-22 years of age. Sure, there are those who skip college and get right into the workforce, but that is less common than going (or *wanting* to go) to college these days.
     

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