Choices and Protocol

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by runslikeajohndeere, Nov 24, 2014.

  1. runslikeajohndeere

    runslikeajohndeere Member

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    Here is a hypothetical set of questions that are bothering me as I read about cadets making poor choices. As a civilian, I don't believe our society operates as the military does when it comes to punishments and responsibility; I am probably wrong.

    How difficult is it for a cadet to turn in a fellow cadet that is bringing alcoho/drugsl into a ROTC room and board location?


    AND

    What is the protocol for reporting an incident?


    AND

    What happens to the cadet that reports the incident?


    Thanks,

    runslikeajohndeere
     
  2. Craig

    Craig Member

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    Protocol

    Sometimes it is not easy doing the right thing. It is not easy because sometimes it involves turning in "your friends". But being good leader is hard and requires making the right choices. Your true friends are not going to put you in a position that requires you to lie and cover for them. You have to ask yourself, do you want individuals next to you in though times that you can count on and the people around you can count on. Do you really stand for something? Does honor and integrity mean something to you?

    Good values hold true in the civilian world as much as they do in the military world. Unfortunately, it feels we have lost our way as a society at times.

    There is a documented protocol for reporting cases. Been gone to many years to comment on those specifics. Following the chain of command is typically standard. When the chain is involved, their are procedures for that.

    Never be afraid to do the right thing. You will always sleep better at night knowing you did.
     
  3. Sampia

    Sampia Member

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    One thing I hope to have drilled into my DS is to go to the source and communicate. A couple of students aware of the situation should pull him aside and talk to him. An ROTC unit should be a team. At least that is the impression I have gotten about the marine battalion where my DS is. "These are your brothers and sisters" he quoted to me. Yes, one should not put people in a position where they have to cover and lie. But remember these are still young people learning and we want to use every opportunity to teach them and hope they learn. I would definitely prefer someone speak to such an unwise student and hopefully change his behaviors before taking the irreversible step of reporting him. Hopefully he could learn from that without his future being permanently altered.

    Just my opinion but I am a big softee.
     
  4. k2rider

    k2rider Member

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    Disclaimer: I don't pretend to know the Army's policies as they relate to ROTC cadets but my *assumption* is they give some leeway due to the fact they understand that these issues are part of the college experience. I know both my daughters and sons units had an open policy where you were encouraged to call if you had drank too much. I have no idea if that was meant only for those over the age of 21.

    My daughter had another cadet in her unit that was having alcohol related issues her 1st couple years, so much so that her roommmate (another cadet) moved out of the dorm. The cadre knew about it and in the end, everything worked out for all involved. The cadet graduated and was in the top 20% of all graduating cadets. Another cadet her freshman year was disenrolled from the unit immediately after getting convicted of a DUI.

    I know there have been cadets get tickets for minor in possession of alcohol that are still actively involved as well.
     
  5. sheriff3

    sheriff3 Member

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    If this is an isolated alcohol issue then the best course may be to pull the cadet aside and let them know this cannot go on and you will help them however you can this one time. Tell them if it persists then you will have no choice but to go to cadre. If drugs are involved time to go to cadre asap! Every PMS/unit will handle issues differently. Keep in mind once the cadre are involved it takes it a whole different level, no reason to wreck a budding career over a kid having beer or two IMPO.
     
  6. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    +1 to sheriff.
     
  7. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    With a position of authority, military officers are going to face the dilemma of "the letter of the law" versus using common sense and judgment nearly every day they serve. Do you write someone up for an obvious infraction or do you handle it in some other way? You would be surprised at the things you encounter and making that judgment call will test your resolve. You end up balancing a lot of factors and then being decisive. Sometimes its the right call, sometimes not. Hopefully, it doesn't come back to bite you.

    The responses thus far present just that dilemma. Yes, you could enforce rules/ regs according to the letter of the law or... you could pull them aside, counsel, badger, kick axx, whatever it takes to make it clear you will not tolerate it again. We each have a "line" that shouldn't be crossed: perhaps its drugs, theft, etc. But one person's line may not be the other's.

    It should be noted that failing to follow rules, breaking laws, etc is wrong and punishable. Failing to report someone could be also - depending upon the circumstances. When you choose to take a stand and make a choice to use your better judgment, you also subject yourself to potential punishment. Its a fact of life and will weigh into your decision process.

    More often than not, when my men made "stupid" mistakes, I handled it "in house" rather than employ the UCMJ. It allowed for counseling and team building as well as some sense of order. It allowed my NCO's room to exercise leadership. I know my peers at the time did the same.

    Quick example: Had a good Marine kill a seagull on base for fun. Stupid. Tied it to the back of a government vehicle and drove around base. More stupid. Brought to my attention by the NCO who caught him. Wildlife on base was protected. Could have written him up. Instead, after a good "conversation" had the Marine dig a full human-sized grave (with his E-Tool) on his day off and give the bird a proper burial. His NCO supervised the effort. In the interest of brevity, that's enough of the details to describe the event and action taken. You might disagree, but it worked for me.

    Future Officers may not face that particular event, but trust me they will face something just as silly. They will be called upon to decide whether to throw the legal process at the situation or use their judgment to find another approach.
     
  8. Boozebin

    Boozebin Member

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    Thanks for your post USMCGrunt. I've point it to my son to learn from. He's one of those letter of the law types which has a purpose attimes but it's not for every case like you say.

    thanks again!:thumb:
     
  9. runslikeajohndeere

    runslikeajohndeere Member

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    Thank you for the insight and varied perspectives. DS is letter of law, and I believe some leniency and tact may be beneficial in the long run.
     
  10. cravius

    cravius Member

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    Reporting a fellow cadet for responsible drinking while underage is a great way to ostrasize oneself from their class. Is it wrong? Yes. Is it hurting anyone? If it is then by all means have a conversation, whatever. But blowing the whistle on classmates is going to come across as petty and self serving. Just my 2 cents.
     
  11. Sampia

    Sampia Member

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    +1 Cravius. I have read forums about previous students kicked out for being caught with under age drinking. I believe that if it is brought to the attention of those in charge, they have no choice but to boot the student even if they would rather take an alternate path. Also, what kind of drugs could someone be doing with drug screens being routinely done? I know some are out of the system faster than others, but with the random nature of drug screens it seems like this person might not be 100% committed to commissioning.
     
  12. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    DS is in his 4th year and has never been drug tested. I do not think its routine, at least in AROTC.
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I believe our DS was drug tested twice. Once was random and the other was for his flight school physical at Wright Pat. When he did the random it was with @10 other cadets and the one thing they all had in common was they were contracted scholarship cadets that had been selected for UPT.

    JMPO, I think the way many cadets get in trouble all by themselves is because they don't understand the reach social media plays. They accept friends with no second thought and join groups too. They than go to a party get a pic of them with a beer in their hand and the ball starts rolling because someone tags them and meanwhile since they joined their details.fb page it is there for everyone to see.

    I know of a cadet at my DSs unit that was pulled in on a Monday a.m. and had no clue why. It was clear as soon as they showed him several pics with different time stamps that he had different beers in his hand. He never realized or thought that my generation were computer savvy and monitor them.

    My DD, not in ROTC found that out very quickly when she interned for Make a Wish. They gave her an IT job and it was because they saw knew she tweeted. Her response was how did you know that? Their response was we asked to be your friend and you accepted! She completely forgot that she did it for both her twitter and FB accounts.

    Seriously, how many of these cadets have 500, 600, 800, etc friends? Who truly has 500 friends? Acquaintances maybe, but not friends. Yet, if the acquaintance asks, you just hit confirm without thinking!

    Both my kids now understand that importance and I think they now have @150 friends. They also make sure there are only proper pics where they are posing.

    The net lives forever.
     
  14. runslikeajohndeere

    runslikeajohndeere Member

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    DS has done a number of readings the last two three years. Does anyone know of a excellent text on "tact"? This might benefit battalion.

    Thanks
     
  15. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    Not sure what you are asking here. The USMC considers "tact" one of the 14 Leadership Traits - search on Google and you should find some good descriptions. Here are a few quick comments I grabbed as an example...

    "The ability to deal with others in a manner that will maintain good relations and avoid offense. More simply stated, tact is the ability to say and do the right thing at the right time."

    Leaders must command respect, and part of that is respecting their subordinates. A leader helps prove that respect for their subordinates by tactfully and respectfully interacting with them (of course, that is unless a real Marine Corps ***-chewing is really warranted).

    "Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell and they look forward to the trip."

    Tact is nothing without the knowledge: "Nice words are not always true, and true words are not always nice!"
     
  16. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I agree I am not sure what you are asking. In the AF they call it SA (situational awareness). I don't believe anybody can be taught tact, they can learn through their own experiences, but I don't believe you can view it as an academic aspect via reading anything.

    Every circumstance is different because people are different. You need to be able to read the people in the situation and navigate the situation based on the personalities in that situation. You could say one thing and be the hero of the group, but say the exact same thing again the next time and you will be the devil. All because the personalities in the situation have changed. The subject and circumstances could be the exact same, the difference is the audience. That is where tact comes in and why reading any and every book could lead nowhere.

    Just me, but it is a pretty simple equation we were all taught when we were young. Listen and watch others before speaking. That will be your guide.
    ~ People will say the smallest of comments and if you listen than you will be able to navigate the situation. If you don't it can explode into a bigger issue.
     
  17. runslikeajohndeere

    runslikeajohndeere Member

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    @Pima and USMCGRUNT

    Thanks. Wasn't sure what I wanted, but this is very satisfactory.

    I don't believe anybody can be taught tact, they can learn through their own experiences, but I don't believe you can view it as an academic aspect via reading anything.:wink:

    Every circumstance is different because people are different. You need to be able to read the people in the situation and navigate the situation based on the personalities in that situation. You could say one thing and be the hero of the group, but say the exact same thing again the next time and you will be the devil. All because the personalities in the situation have changed. The subject and circumstances could be the exact same, the difference is the audience. That is where tact comes in and why reading any and every book could lead nowhere.:shake:
    Yes, some cadets make the same mistake every year despite seeing former cadets suffer the consequences. Those cadets that are diligent and true to the purpose benefit while those that err in their behaviors and beliefs fall below their original goal.

    Just me, but it is a pretty simple equation we were all taught when we were young. Listen and watch others before speaking. That will be your guide.
    ~ People will say the smallest of comments and if you listen than you will be able to navigate the situation. If you don't it can explode into a bigger issue.:smile:



    "The ability to deal with others in a manner that will maintain good relations and avoid offense. More simply stated, tact is the ability to say and do the right thing at the right time.":smile:

    Leaders must command respect, and part of that is respecting their subordinates. A leader helps prove that respect for their subordinates by tactfully and respectfully interacting with them.:shake:

    "Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell and they look forward to the trip.":thumb:

    Tact is nothing without the knowledge: "Nice words are not always true, and true words are not always nice!":shake:
     
  18. Sampia

    Sampia Member

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    It is unfortunate that all of the branches don't do the drug testing the way my DS's does. They randomly draw names and I would say over the last 2 years he has dropped four or five times-down to the point where they actually go in and stand beside the person who is giving the specimen. I think this helps keep the would be partiers in line. No Adderall to help study for finals. When that call comes, if they don't make it there when they are due heads will roll.

    This tact of which you speak, it sound like a difficult skill to learn, but a powerful. I wish I had more about myself.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2014

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