Commissioning Sources Post Service Academy

Discussion in 'Life After the Academy' started by AquaRain, Dec 14, 2014.

  1. AquaRain

    AquaRain Member

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    Hi Everyone,
    I was just wondering for anyone who separated from a Service Academy voluntarily or involuntarily, were there other possible ways to become commissioned officers?

    I know there are some former Midshipman and Cadets who made a mistake and regret it just as much as I do. We're human. Just because we screwed up doesn't mean that we're horrible people or that we can't be good officers or even good enlisted service members.

    For anyone who knows me, I did something incredibly stupid at USNA and lied about my height and weight. To this day I regret that decision as well as my entire attitude in my time at USNA. I should have been much more team oriented rather than me and accepted responsibility for my own actions, instead of blaming others as well as gotten along with my peers.

    In my time post USNA, I've restarted my life completely. I enrolled at another university, yanked up my grades and have lost over 20 pounds. My attitude has changed as well as I now understand what teamwork is and how to be a good teammate as well as a better person overall.


    I know OCS for me is a long shot but I figure why not try? The worst someone can say is no right? Even if I have to enlist first, I would like to try, as should other people who have been separated if they want to. What I want to know is the honest reality of the situation? Has anyone ever been in this situation and what have they done?
     
  2. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    What does your DD-214 say, in terms of classification code of your separation? If it's RE-4, then, you have an uphill battle. If not, the door may be cracked open a bit. You have to make the case, with evidence that outweighs every reason you were separated, that you deserve a shot at being commissioned.

    Yes, it can be done, but as always, the needs of the Navy prevail. If they are downsizing, OCS is where they start to reduce the intake.

    Up to you to do the research and take your best shot.


    Sent using the Service Academy Forums® mobile app
     
  3. AquaRain

    AquaRain Member

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    My discharge code was RE-3K which is what all former Mids get unless they break the law. I know I've got an uphill battle but I've got a shot so I'll take it.
     
  4. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I think the hiring environment is certainly better now than it has been in the past, as far the military concerned.

    I can't speak from my own experience, but I had a number of classmates at CGA that left after a year or so, went to a civilian college, and got their commissions in other services through ROTC programs.

    I know of one or two prior CGA cadets who also left the Coast Guard Academy (one failed out), who went to civilian colleges and then attended Coast Guard OCS.

    And finally, I know a number of classmates who left CGA after a year or so, and enlisted in other services (or in the Coast Guard).

    For the most part, folks leaving service academies have decided the military is not for them. For a smaller subset of that group, the service academy environment may not have been for them. They were likely accepted, in the first place, because they were very competitive applicants. If you leave on your own, I don't see any reason you wouldn't be considered in another commissioning or service program. I think applying to another or the same service academy, again, might be a real stretch. But OCS, or ROTC, or enlisting? I don't see a huge issue with that.
     
  5. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    A prep school classmate of mine left after our first year at USAFA...

    I ran into him about 25 years later..."Hi Colonel B! I said!" "Hi Colonel Steve he said!" And a big, totally against AFI hug took place in uniform! :eek:

    It was a great reunion.

    He went to college, ROTC, commissioned, and had a fabulous career.

    It can be done...a big hill to climb... :thumb:

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  6. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Several of my Academy classmates commissioned via other sources. All the ones I know who did left voluntarily. Not sure what your code is and I imagine that would be the first hurdle. If it is fine, then I would say your next hurdle is the explanation of what happened, how you have fixed it, what you learned and what is different now? Convincing others why they should take another chance on you is probably a bigger hurdle than anything. I had a friend who failed the PRT continually. They were eventually separated Firstie year. They commissioned later on via OCS. So its doable.
     
  7. AquaRain

    AquaRain Member

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    Thanks for the great tips guys. Sorry I've been gone for a long time but I've been working to change my life instead of ranting about it. Now I run off the stress, literally or lift it, lol.Anyway, does anyone know how challenging it is to get a waiver? I am applying for Marine Corps OCS along with another former Midshipman and Cadet and we are all going up for our boards in the Fall and are wondering what we should say to the OSO or if we should make other plans. We know the odds are not exactly in our favor but as our group our mentality is that it's better to ask because your chances are 50/50, whereas if you don't ask at all it's a 100% guaranteed no.
     
  8. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    AquaRain: What you should say to the OSO or any recruiter is that you made a mistake, have learned from it and that it won't happen again. Own you past - don't try to dance around it.

    From where I sit you have two major objections to overcome. You were overweight and couldn't fix the problem AND you lied about it. If you were standing in front of me I would expect to see a well conditioned young man who isn't even close to the height/ weight maximums. I would have you take the PFT and you had better score 275+. I would have a harder time reconciling your deceit and lies - as there is no easy measure of whether this is a character flaw or immaturity. I would question you hard about this topic. And my decision would be based on how well you take responsibility for the situation and what you have learned. I understand you "are human" but don't want to hear you say it - that feels like you are setting up an excuse. That said, I don't want a Marine Corps full of people who have never made mistakes. I want a Corps of honorable, calculated risk takers who focus on the mission and learn from their mistakes when they fall short.

    Best of luck!
     
    sheriff3 and cga82 like this.
  9. cga82

    cga82 Banned

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    USMCGrunt hits it right on. If you want it bad enough you can get it.

    I had a classmate graduate with his B.S. at USCGA '82 but was denied his Commission as an Ensign(reason by the CGA was -not fit to be an officer) . He had to pay back his time as an enlisted man. Well, he did such a bang up job as an enlisted man that he applied for OCS and was accepted. He earned his Commission and went on to do great things and was promoted on time and retired after 20 yrs. Did he do somethings wrong at CGA -yup but he turned it all around by determination to get his Commission. Trust me, he had to carry this rejection on Commencement Day and for sometime there after but I think it made him more determined.
     
  10. AquaRain

    AquaRain Member

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    Thanks for the information. I'll try to keep my head up in the coming months.
     
  11. oldcorpsdad

    oldcorpsdad Member

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    I had a classmate kicked out of USMA for grades. He didnt really like the college lifestyle at USMA. The intense pressure and all the add ons were not for him. He lasted 2 full years and left before commitment day. Years later I ran into him at the promotion of one of our classmates to Brigadier General. He was a Navy Captain. He had gone home, went to college and ROTC. He did fine.
     
  12. SpadGuy

    SpadGuy Member

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    maybe your former classmates (who were friends, kept in touch, etc) can help you out. You never know who are on the board....

     
  13. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Wow. I can't imagine that happens much these days. The only time I've seen anyone receive their diploma but no commission was after one was medically retired and someone who was deemed unfit to become an officer (not for any conduct reason) only to receive her commission later, upon appeal. I had a classmate disenrolled the week of graduation.
     
  14. cga82

    cga82 Banned

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    Did your classmate have to pay back anytime/money?
     
  15. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    The two who did not get their commissions due to suitability didn't have to repay anything (they both wanted to serve). I believe the guy who didn't get his commission also didn't get his diploma and had to "repay" his time with reserve enlisted time…. but I could be wrong. It was one of those things we didn't really dig into because it was…. well painful for him and not something we wanted to bring up. I'm not really sure though.
     
  16. AquaRain

    AquaRain Member

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    Sometimes though, even if you want to enlist and check the box, they don't recommend you for it due to the nature of your offense that you've been separated for. I know I have changed since I committed the offense, but some people don't believe that people can change. That's the hardest struggle for anyone who gets separated from a Service Academy or ROTC program. Getting better from the experience not growing bitter. The shame can be the second to worst part because so much can happen. Legally you are an adult. Parents can and do kick former Cadets/Mids out and then you have to learn to support yourself with this error on your record. After the Academy where so much is done for you (laundry, pay, classes, housing) it can be a challenge but doable granted it's not easy. I've taken it day by day. Proving people wrong, especially those who you went to the Academy with is another challenge. There are those that still believe in me and believe that I will be successful but there are those who believe that my one bad act defines me in their eyes forever. Then its the battle against yourself. Not dwelling on your mistake and not drowning yourself in self pity, shame, and guilt. And believing in yourself again. That's the hardest part. Believing that you're worthy of anything, let alone the privilege to serve your country again. It's hard. Very hard.
     
  17. majstlo

    majstlo Member

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    Anything is possible if you persist enough and show how badly you want to achieve something. Probably the best story ever is that of a West Point football player expelled in a cheating scandal back in the 50s, he transferred to a civilian college and got commissioned into the Army via ROTC and retired as a Lieutenant General
     
  18. AquaRain

    AquaRain Member

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    An update to the story: I was not selected for this upcoming OCC Class 223 or preselected for OCC 225 but I do plan to reapply and if that does not work, I will try to enlist. Thanks for everything.
     
  19. conrack

    conrack Member

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    Of course as an MD, RN or JD you are eligible for direct commissioning and as long as you meet the physical standards not likely to be rejected.
     
  20. MabryPsyD

    MabryPsyD Dr. G.

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    Clarification/correction:

    - RN with BSN or higher
    - JS from an ABA school and passed the bar
    - MD or DO with state license
     

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