Discharged from AFROTC - can you still wear uniform?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by hotwheelsearl, May 21, 2015.

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  1. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Member

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    So I was having a discussion with a fellow cadet the other day about ROTC cadets, and how their Reserve ID has a rank of "AMN".

    So the question is: if you are contracted and honorably discharged from AFROTC, are you still allowed to wear the uniform (with your enlisted rank), for formal occassions like weddings or funerals?

    Because, if you are honorably discharged, then aren't you technically "retired" from enlisted service?

    Since you are contracted in the AF Reserves, doesn't that mean that you can wear your uniform after your "retirement", like any normal retired guy would be able to?
     
  2. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    No. Just because that ID says Airman doesn't mean it's your rank. Same way with AROTC, a lot of their IDs say E-5/SGT, but they aren't in any way, shape or form a Sergeant. Unless you have orders putting you as that rank, you aren't anything but a cadet.

    Simply getting out of service after 1 enlistment or a couple years of ROTC does not qualify you for retirement. You won't even meet the legal definition of veteran if all you did was a year or 2 of ROTC.

    Additionally, you probably turn in your uniform when you leave ROTC so you shouldn't have any uniform to wear to weddings or funerals. But if you did, and took it to go have Airman rank sewn on, then you have real issues.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2015
  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I agree, especially from the uniform aspect. You would have to turn it in. Plus, if you are disenrolled they will ask for your ID card back.

    Retirees from the military are issued a completely different looking card.

    I think even if they did let you keep the uniform why would you wear it. Can you hear the conversation? Hey, I didn't know you are in the AF, where at you serving? What do you do? Your reply: no I am not, I was in AFROTC, but left.
     
  4. Non Ducor Duco

    Non Ducor Duco I am not led, I lead

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    Don't mean to be harsh. But you weren't "honorably discharged", you were dis-enrolled. There's a big difference. We had a cadet a few years ago get T-boned by a van while riding his motorcycle home a few days away from commissioning. Paralyzed from the waist down with minimal upper body movement. AF wouldn't pay his medical bills b/c he was a few days shy of being an officer, VA couldn't help him b/c he never served on active duty so he didn't qualify as a veteran. 5 years of ROTC, rated select, they tried really hard to do something for him but inactive reserve while in ROTC does NOT equal 'retired enlisted member'. If someone like that can't receive veteran status, what makes you think you can with 2 years of ROTC?

    In the off chance that you aren't asked to give the uniform back (really there's probably zero chance of this, army may have enough money to let go of a few uniforms now and then, but AF will track you down), wearing it without really earning it would be immoral and idk how anyone could stand to. I had to run into a store the other day to grab something after an ROTC event. I was in and out in under 3 minutes but I still had 2 people come up to me and thank me for my service. It's so awkward having that happen as a cadet. I haven't started serving yet, but there's not enough time to respond with anything more than "Umm..thank you". It sounds like your disenrollment/possible disenrollment is based on the medical condition you mentioned in past posts. That really sucks. Hopefully things work out and you can stay in AFROTC or go to another branch, but if not you're going to have to let go on the military thing. There are other ways to serve. I'd be pretty freaking pissed if anything prevented me from commissioning and I know it'd take me a long time to move on so I can't really blame you for wanting to hold on. But trying to still wear the uniform or receive military benefits is not a good look.
     
  5. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I would think the stolen honor folks would be on you like white on rice if you were to wear the uniform.
     
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  6. Sled

    Sled Member

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    The rank is just there in the case that you were pulled into your active duty commitment for whatever reason. That is the rank you would enter as.
     
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Nonducor said something that struck a chord with me. You have to move forward. Leave everything else aside, wearing the uniform to me would be like wearing your HS varsity jacket in college. All you are doing is reliving what in your mind you believe was your glory days. You need to leave your past in the past.

    Honestly, jmpo and probably anyone that has ever served or had a family member served, we would be polite to your face when we saw you, but when we walked away we would turn to our closest confidant and say can you believe they wore their ROTC uniform? There would be no respect for that person, and more than likely it would be PITY. Pity because you have not moved on with life.

    Maybe just me, but the last thing I would want in my life is PITY because I couldn't get passed the life I lived as an 18/19 year old.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2015
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  8. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I think the guy like Bullet that served 20 years AD wearing a suit or tuxedo (not mess dress) would be like WTH? Bullet and I recently went to the Royal Australian Air Force Ball. As not only a veteran, but the only GS AF F35 guy invited he could have worn his mess dress. He didn't. He wore the classic black tux because he felt that was more appropriate.

    Just saying if retirees feel this way what do you think they would think seeing someone that never commissioned wearing a military uniform?
     
  9. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    I wore my uniform once after I got out of the USMC (I was technically still in the IRR at the time)... it was to a wedding. I was the "best woman" for a great friend of mine and he was in uniform. He asked me to wear my blues, so I did. Even then I felt awkward. Agree with statements above; you aren't discharged, you are separated. You won't have an ID. Don't wear the uniform.
     
  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Bullet has worn his mess dress three times since he retired back in 08. He has worn his blues twice.
    The first was to commission a poster here at USFA (Blues and Mess)
    The 2nd was to commision our DS as an O1. (Blues)
    The 3rd was at our DSs winging from UPT. (Mess)
    The 4th was for our DSs wedding. Our DS is also an AF officer. Our DILs father was also retired AF (enlisted). They requested the fathers to wear their uniforms. Color theme for the wedding was Blue and silver.

    ~ Just to drive home the point and make people laugh.

    The uniform sat in one of our closets for so long it had to go to the dry cleaners because of the dust it collected on the shoulders.
    ~~ Come on I threw it in the closet and forgot about it! Who knew?

    Than it was Bullet having to buy new studs for the shirt because the AF changed them during those years. Don't even get me started on trying to find all of the medals and that stupid bowtie we put away years ago!

    It also meant Bullet had to start exercising to fit in it.

    In the end it cost us more to get his mess dress back to regs than if we rented a tux. I am sure that my DD will ask him to wear when she gets married, and it will probably the next time he will pull it out of the closet. She is not engaged, it could be years before she is. Which means for us...repeat....dry cleaners, finding that dang bowtie, and buying all of those medals again because as I age my memory is not getting any better.
    ~ If she truly loved us she wouldn't ask Dad to wear his uniform!

    JMPO, but most in the military would prefer to wear anything, but their uniform. Uniforms are a pain in the arse if you do it to regs. compared to wearing a suit. Suit just throw on a shirt and tie...done!
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2015
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  11. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Hahaha! Pima, it was costly for me. I had to get my medals and ribbons redone. Dry cleaners. I had been promoted while on terminal leave and never bought the new stuff, so new rank was required. My uniform fit (that was a miracle) but a new Sam Browne belt was required as mine no longer fit. Also new white gloves for the sword arch. Not like I kept those things when I got out. I think all in it was $150. My last bridesmaids dress was $140. Then again wearing pants and no heels to a wedding was wonderful. We were in nowhere Kentucky and a woman in Marine Dress Blues was quite the spectacle so at least I didn't pay for any drinks that day or night.
     
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  12. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Glad to know we weren't the only ones!

    I will add this...at DSs wedding, he made a toast, it ended with him saying, so let's get these penquin jackets off and enjoy the night!

    He is ADAF and didn't want to be in his uniform at his own wedding.

    Maybe it is just me, but those that serve have no desire to highlight it or live in the sunlight. They are secure enough to jot brag.

    Bullet did wear his mess dress to a wedding once. Children were invited to the wedding. By the time we left he had no ribbons or medals left on his mess dress. Kids asked if they could have one. He gave it to them...who could deny a child. Parents that didn't have their children attend asked if they could take one to give to their child at home.
     
  13. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Member

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    Thanks for the responses, everybody. My friend and I had an uber long discussion about it - thanks for clearing things up!

    Being thanked for my "service" happens wayyy too often. I'll be in uniform after a ROTC day, getting lunch or something, and I get pmmeled by the "thank you for your service"s...

    Anecdote: one time I was walking back from the bus stop in blue jeans, a white tank top, but my dad's Marine Corps duffel bag (which I've used for everything from Boy Scouts to use as an overnight bag). I was waiting at a stoplight, when some homeless guy came up to me and asked if I was in the military. I was like "...yea...". This guy was probably a Vietnam vet or something, and was like, "oh, did you just get back from deployment" and questions like that. At that point, I knew I f'ed up. So I tried to deflect questions until the light turned green and scurried away as quickly as I could. Ugh that was awkward.
     
  14. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Member

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    Very true. It's a shame that I'm the first guy in hundreds of years in my family not to be a legit military man, but that's life. I'll display my ribbons in a shadow box as a memento of the good ol' days...

    Was hoping I could wear the uniform for all my buddies' weddings, but I look better in a tux and top hat anyways :p
     
  15. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    You have a shadow box as an AFROTC cadet?
     
  16. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Member

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    I went pretty hardcore with stuff - ended up buying a saber, belt, service cap, all that fun stuff. Kind of a waste of money at this point, though. Oh well.

    Besides - I worked hard for those ribbons! The AAS Membership one took months to earn.
    Maybe I'm weird like that - every now and then I admire my Ad Altare Dei medal from Boy Scouts, that one took about 10 months of study to earn.
     
  17. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Okey dokey
     
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  18. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Said this on another thread....I believe you are a troll.

    BELT?

    AF members belt is never shown....okay it is shown when you don't wear your service coat. It is blue, with a silver buckle. I am betting you can buy something like it at WalMart. Their uniform is not like the Marines.
    Service cap ....you mean flight cap right? It is not something you need to buy as a cadet. They give it free as a cadet.
    Saber? ROFL. I don't know any AFROTC cadet that is given this as a graduation gift. Arnie Air Society.... gives chords.

    Please prove me wrong regarding you being a troll, because I am more than happy to eat crow than accept the fact that you think it is funny to yank the chain of posters here pretending you are going to defend this great nation, which includes freedom of speech that allows you to yank the chain.

    Curiosity question....do you dip/indent your flight cap? Anybody at your unit? Also what color prop wings do you have?
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2015
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  19. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Member

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    Please see the other post, where I easily and efficiently crucify your efforts to discredit me.
     
  20. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    Hahahaha

    This is great. Well, actually, it's not, but it's entertaining.
     
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