Drug Use Question

Discussion in 'DoDMERB' started by Oxymoron, Aug 24, 2014.

  1. Oxymoron

    Oxymoron New Member

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    I'm a senior in high school and am considering doing NROTC in college. In freshman year I smoked pot habitually for close to a year. Will this be an automatic DQ? Since then I have picked up my grades, improved my attitude, joined clubs and college readiness programs and gotten a job. Pretty much made a 180 from what I was doing. Am I going to be wasting my time even trying? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Will you pass all drug tests now? Been clean for three years? Including alcohol?
     
  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    What do you consider habitual? They will require you to place on the exam if you have smoked marijuana, if yes how many times.

    Nobody knows the number that immediately places you into the DQ realm. Nor what the magic number is to obtain a waiver.

    DoDMERB's job is to follow the regulations set forth by the DoD. The commissioning branch, in your case will make the decision regarding a waiver.

    I would go to the NROTC unit and talk privately with the CoC about this matter. They will be the ones that can give you more insight.
     
  4. Oxymoron

    Oxymoron New Member

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    @fencersmother

    Yes, all the way down to tobacco. This October should mark 3 years.

    @Pima

    Every couple days and at parties. I'm starting to apply to colleges so one I find the choose the one I will be attending I will talk to the unit. It just discourages me a bit seeing other guys on the forum going crazy about smoking 2 or 3 times and I'm here having gone way beyond that.

    Thanks for the responses.
     
  5. Spud

    Spud BGO

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    "Every couple days and at parties"? I'd give you a 50/50 chance you will have a real alcohol problem at age 30. You need to treat alcohol with the same intensity you have treated drugs, with or without the military. One DUI in today's military and your career as an officer is over.
     
  6. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    So basically you are saying @150-200 times. Again, as soon as you have your interview, when they ask do you have any questions, that is the time to bring it up to them and discuss your options from there.

    The issue is going to be that you have gone past by @100 times the norm for what is considered experimental. The positive is you did it when you were 15, and I am assuming your grades, ECs are all competitive for the scholarship which can help to prove that you turned your life around, and haven't faltered since that time.
     
  7. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    Nice job!

    Oxy, as much as Spud's comment is out of line, his point that alcohol needs to be treated with the same level of seriousness in your own life as illegal substances, is valid.

    When you hit college, this will become glaringly apparent.
     
  8. Oxymoron

    Oxymoron New Member

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    I doubt it. I don't really like drinking and have only drank a handful of times.
     
  9. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    I can't speak for ROTC admissions but (from a USNA perspective) your situation would appear to be more a "character" issue than a medical one. DODMERB deals with medical qualification. If you have not suffered injury/impairment as a result of your substance abuse and are not currently using such substances, I don't know that DODMERB would consider it a DQ -- I'll defer to a DODMERB expert on this point.

    HOWEVER -- and it's a huge however -- officer accession sources definitely care about prior drug use and alcohol use/abuse. (Enlisted accession cares as well, but we're dealing with officer accession here.) They care for two reasons. First, as you undoubtedly know, the military does not tolerate drug use. Period. (Alcohol is also an issue if it involves your performance, leads to DUIs, etc.). They test and test and test for drug use and a single incident as an officer will get you thrown out -- and that's assuming you don't kill yourself or someone else in the process. So, officer accession sources worry that, if you used habitually at one time, you're more likely to return to that habit than someone who has never used. And they may not want to take that chance.

    The second issue is judgment. "Experimenting" even once evidences a certain lack of judgment. However, no one is perfect and, if the "kid" was young and learned from that experience, he/she might get a second chance. Obviously, the more times one uses the less judgment that person shows.

    USNA uses a "character board" to evaluate situations like yours. It is an individualized determination based on specific facts and circumstances. Not sure how ROTC handles this.

    In your case, the experience was lengthy and repeated, although it did occur 3 yrs ago. OTOH, the military is downsizing and there are plenty of extremely well qualified people who don't have your history. My gut feel is you'll have a hard time.

    If serving is your strong desire, you should pursue your dream. However, you should keep in mind that your past may well come back to haunt you and thus should be fully prepared with a Plan B that doesn't involve the military.
     
  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Not trying to throw stones, but the comment I have only drank a handful of times, is a little disconcerting when in reality you are not 18 yet. A sip of champagne for a special occasion is one thing, but anything else is not something I would condone as an adult if my child could have said that before they even start their senior year in HS.

    I am not naive by any means I know when they go off to college underage drinking is prevalent. There are several threads here on the ROTC forum discussing how getting in trouble at college drinking underage can have you disenrolled from the program.

    The temptation is much higher in college. I don't care if the school makes you sign a zero tolerance paper, it happens a lot because it is much easier to get than it is in high school.

    I am just putting it out there that to beware if you even clear the marijuana hurdle, there will be more temptations that you will really need to be cognizant of steering clear.

    Good luck.

    I also agree that I would plan for having a Plan B in place due to the downsizing of the military. You need to move forward with applying so you never will wonder what if, but you also need to be honest that several hundred times of smoking marijuana will raise a red flag in the interview and be able to convince them that it was youthful indiscretion.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2014
  11. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    I would strongly encourage you to have plan B ready to go.

    You not only used an illegal drug but apparently had plenty of access to it and chose to use it at a very young age. Alcohol use just as bad and just as illegal at your age.

    Miracles do happen, though; Make the appropriate calls
     
  12. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I am going to be brutally honest right now.

    I agree with USNA this is going to come down to character review with ROTC.
    ~ I am not sure you will get max points fron a PMS.
    ~~ NROTC scholarships are tied to the cadet, their major and the college. They have limited amount of scholarships to offer for each unit. Typically 18-20% are on scholarship.

    The minute they support you on the dotted line is the minute they put their name on the line. It is just not you that will be in this equation.
    ~ The harsh reality of how the system works. CoC supports you with max points over another can bite them too. They are active duty too. Their reviews for promotion will be based on the success of their unit as a leader.
    ~~ They also have subordinates reporting to them that may also be up for promotion.

    Do you risk your career, your staff's career for a kid getting a scholarship that has admitted to smoking pot and drinking at a young age?

    I truly believe you have learned your lesson, and would probably be a much better risk than the candidate that never touched the stuff because you KNOW that it was a mistake, but I am not sure that I would risk it if I only had 45 minutes to talk to you. Like I said I am not naive about college. In the back of my mind would be can you stand the more intense peer pressure in college?

    However, I am not sure I would take the risk since my name would be on the line too. I have family, a career and that is my priority.
    ~ I am pretty sure if you said you were going non-STEM and didn't have the stats (SAT/ACT, cgpa, APs, class rank, sports, ECs and a strong PFT} I would not give you max. Drugs or not!

    If not given a scholarship you should still go forward. Every year out, your chances get better. You can walk on to any ROTC unit as a freshman.

    FWIW, I would not lie or shade the truth. You eventually somewhere in your career will be given a Top Secret clearance and this will come up again. They will ask for references and ask if you ever smoked. If those numbers and stories don't jive that clearance will be in question.
    ~ If they require it for your career field and do not receive it, they can come back and demand every penny of the scholarship.
    ~ If they find out as a POC you lied about the level of usage when you go for your exit DoDMERB exam for commissioning and you shaded the numbers than, but forgot the actual number and a new one arises a flag will arise. They can ask for the money back again!

    Finally, people think sequestration was only last year, but in reality the DoD will feel it for years to come. It will impact the future of the military as we know it.
     
  13. Zero

    Zero Member

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    I completely agree with nearly all these posts, get a plan B that is solid. Even if you get into ROTC your security clearance would probably not go through.
     

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