End of Journey Thank you

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by acadadad, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. acadadad

    acadadad Member

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    Hi everyone,

    It looks Like DS journey has come to an end - at least for now.

    He was a 4.0 (97.5%) student who will finish with 8 AP courses (all tests to date at 5). 2100 SATs, 3 season varsity athlete, team captain in multiple sports and all-conference honors in several as well. Has over 500 hours of community service much of it as a certified Emergency care provider. Class president, honor society president, Academic bowl captain and all-around good kid. Attended both SLS and SS (USNA). In the end liked the broader based education that West point provided and what he perceived as an increase in the human interaction focus compared with the technical emphasis he perceived at USNA.

    In our state and CD you have to choose between the service academies when applying for nomainations, so he chose USMA. DODMRB disqualified him for history of a coagulation disorder because of tests he had done when he was four years old that showed slightly low levels of a clotting factor. (subsequent tests were slightly above normal leaving us unclear about his real diagnosis). Regardless, he was never treated any differently played multiple contact sports including hockey and lacrosse without incident over the years. His doctor provided a letter to this effect saying he had never been treated for any complications or problems etc. as part of the remedial. Nonetheless he was disqualified.

    Both USNA and USMA applied for a waiver. USNA granted full clearance for all duties, including USMC. This clearance was made withing 3 weeks of the waiver request. USMA reported back nearly 90 days after the waiver request - without any request for additional information; his waiver was denied. Unfortunately for him his nomination was to West Point... and so the process ends.

    Not sure if there are any lessons to be learned or things he should have done differently. I thought at this point in the process I would share his whole story, in the event it fills in any holes or provides any insights. The stories of others have added much to his application process and decisions through the year.

    I want to take this opportunity to thank all who have given advice specifically and generally on this forum. It helped make his application as competitive as it was and helped us negotiate this process which can definitely be long and sometimes confusing. The time you spend answering questions and checking in provides a ton of guidance and reassurance through it all. Most importantly, thanks for the constant reminders that you all provide to all these fine young men to keep a plan B and C in their sights. He is actively considering all of these now. While this was a massively disappointing and frustrating endpoint point for him - it is immensely helpful that he has many other good options in place.
     
  2. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    Best of luck to your DS, acadadad.
     
  3. Spud

    Spud BGO

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    Actually, I hardly consider the "journey over". I'd say your son has just hit an unknown ambush and now has crucial intelligence for the next assault. The figure of 40% of USNA's entering classes do NOT come straight from high school should be gratifying. Here's a thought, too. Since he is going to a civilian school and is going to knock the grades of his plebe-year-type-courses out of the ball park, why stick around in his home state and contend with your MOC nomination methods? He's leaving home anyway so why not pick a western school that not only has fewer SA applicants but whose MOC nominate to multiple academies? Changing residencies is not unknown. I attended 2 years of college (that is 3 applications) before being picked up. Really, if he wants an SA, he has just started. Just a thought and, as father to father, we both know it is up to him anyway.
     
  4. dsacto1

    dsacto1 Member

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    A viable option is a Service Academy Prep program. Our daughter attended the program at Marion Military Institute http://marionmilitary.edu/programs/programs-sap.da She attended on an AOG scholarship, however many of her classmates were not academy sponsored. She is now a member of the class of 2015. MMI's website answers many questions and a phone call would answer the remaining ones. I know other schools offer similar programs, however this is the only one I can recommend as it is the only one I have personal experience with.
     
  5. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    I Understand...

    I understand how difficult the journey is for our kids to get into a SA. Many will soon be receiving the "TWE" but its nothing to be ashamed of its just means SA didn't have enough chairs. I too, think the Civil Prep Schools are a very important options. There are several to choose from across the country. My DS had attended NWP and the Durbecks run a great program. In my DS class there were several "free agents" who received appointments.

    Good Luck!

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
  6. Falcon74

    Falcon74 Member

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    Journey may not be over

    Acadadad,

    Journey may not be over unless your DS wants it to be over. As I understand it, his medical waiver is good for next year as well.

    A relative of mine had the inverse problem (USNA nomination but USMA sought and received a medical waiver for admitting to 1-2 headaches each year).

    Regardless of the outcome, it would appear that DODMERB has a consistency problem to address.
     
  7. WestPoint2017

    WestPoint2017 Member

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    Will the SAs ask you if you would like to go to a prep school? Even if you didn't apply to them? How does that work?
     
  8. 845something

    845something Member

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    Its not a DoDMERB consistency problem, its a difference in the services' medical standards. Army and Navy have different requirements. DoDMERB Qualifies/Disqualifies to a uniform standard and then leaves it up to each service (both for ROTC and SA) to make waiver determinations based on their service's requirements and unique aspects about their training (so Army ROTC and USMA may not waive the same issue based on some of the unique training/classes that are a requirement at West Point or vice versa).

    Prep school really isn't an option for medical disqualification - if a waiver is denied one year and there is no new medical information, it is likely to DQ the next year as well. Also, anyone that applies to West Point is automatically considered for USMAPS and Civil Prep if needed. It is all one application.
     
  9. MD Dad

    MD Dad Member

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    Even though there is not a separate application process for prep schools (as was mentioned previously), it wouldn't hurt to let your RC know that you're interested in a prep school if an appointment is not coming your way (if that's how you REALLY feel). My DS was granted a civil prep scholarship, and we're fairly certain that expressing a strong interest in the prep program early on helped. In fact, before the scholarship was offered, the RC called my DS to see if he was "still interested" in the program. I think RCs are trying to avoid offering prep slots to candidates who may be reluctant to take that route. So, in my DS's case, I think he was more comfortable offering the scholarship to someone he thought was really going to take it (some candidates don't :confused:).
     
  10. acadadad

    acadadad Member

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    Thanks for the support - I passed them along. It is possible that reapplication is on his mind. I think at this point he feels a little let down at the process. He was at a high after the summer seminars where he felt very competitive (even got an award at West Point), then an LOE. Felt good through the 8 interviews to get the nomination and even when he got the quick clearance from USNA - I think the rejection of the waiver was unexpected.

    It is his decision - he loved the idea of challenge, he loved the idea of serving, he loved the idea of a world-class education. I think he feels he can achieve those goals in a lot of different ways and maybe the cards were dealt for a reason. I know he is not one to dwell too long on what he can't do and will find a way to do the things he does want - whether inside DOD or outside.

    Not sure how prep programs would really be appropriate or helpful in his situation as the issue seems to be this 13 year old blood test. With respect to DODMRB - this is my take (granted from the perspective of a parent and one who has no military background...)

    It is a hard sell for me to believe that a kid is qualified to serve as a Marine but not in the Army. They are both physical, demanding and potentially bloody occupations. I also think it is unfortunate that as a country we can't find something for bright, talented, committed patriotic kids to serve our armed forces when they are willing to give up 5 plus years of their life. It is also almost comical to me that DODMRB DQs people for situations like this, which have caused no health impact in a highly active lifestyle, and yet as far as I know there is no DQ for a history of or admission of tobacco use - a known contributor to cancer, heart disease, and loss of pulmonary function. Conditions which affect a large percentage of vets and which cost taxpayers billions per year in VA care.
     
  11. GoBlue1984

    GoBlue1984 Member

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    So Sorry to Hear Your News

    Acadadad,

    I'm impressed with your son's accomplishments and sorry to see your news of the medical DQ. He has amazing accomplishments. Please tell your son that he will do great things in the future. This process is a tempering process - just going through it makes you a stronger person just as steel is tempered by the quenching. Tell him that this disappointment will make him a stronger and better person in the future.

    Like you, it seems hard to accept that he could be waived for the Marines but DQ'ed by Army.

    A friend from work's son was QNS by USNA last year. His dad was a USNA alumni Marine. At the last hour the DS had to apply to another school and is now doing well and couldn't be happier.

    Let me quote Tug_Boat ... "Push hard, Press Forward!"

    May your DS find success in whatever he does.

    God Speed ...
     
  12. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    I do not know if this is an option, but possibly worth a shot. Back 5 years ago, my son had both noms to USMA. He had LOAs to both and had not decided. I called my MOC and asked if he could move my son from the USMA slate to the USNA slate. He did so, and DS got the appointment shortly after. Since your son qualifies for USNA, your MOC wants to have as many of his/her constituents in as possible...so I say nothing ventured, nothing gained. Go for it and see what happens.

    “The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.” --Randy Pausch
     
  13. FutureMidMom

    FutureMidMom Member

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    How was this discovered? Did you have to submit medical records which they reviewed or was this info provided by you on a questionnaire? I ask because I am wondering how closely we need to review medical records for anomalies that may have never been discussed/treated. Thanks for the info and so sorry for your DS. Hopefully he will not let this stop his quest.
     
  14. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    It's my understanding that one brings ALL of their medical records to their DoDMERB physical... at least a I recall from threads on this forum.
     
  15. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    This is, indeed, sad news. And I agree with your assessment that in many ways none of this makes any sense. I take solace in the fact that your son and his dad are very mature individuals who will move on and push forward. Best of luck to you both.
     
  16. Packer

    Packer Member

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    My recollection from my son going through this last year is that you only fill out the questionnaire and bring it to the DoDMERM physical. If there are any red flags on the questionairre they will request the associated records.

    We were concerned about two things on my sons questionairre and had the records gathered in anticipation of having to provide them. They only requested the records on one of the two things we were concerned about.
     
  17. sheriff3

    sheriff3 Member

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    I beleive the questionnaire is taken at face value and then DoDMERB will ask for any additional information if necessary. Other than the questionnaire and follow up remedial for OTC acne cream we have so far not provided any medical records or been asked for them either. The problem I see is the phrase "history of....". Often times a condition a kid had prior to 5 or 6 and no longer suffers from can get flagged. I know my DS is in the process of awaiting a waiver review for minor food allergies that he had 14-15 years ago. I think the poster who suggested you try your MOC to switch to USNA or MArine option is giving you great advice. Best of luck.
     
  18. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Thanks for clearing up my confusion Packer.
     
  19. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    For those suggesting they call to get the MOC to switch the nomination to USNA, I believe that ship has sailed. Slates were due Jan 31 and I don't think there is any changing them now. Further, at this point, it's possible that the appointment for the MOCs slate has already been made. Or is there something I'm unaware of here? Clearly if OP's DS is going to reapply I expect he'll ask for the nom to be to USNA.
     
  20. acadadad

    acadadad Member

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    Regarding discovery - it was via the questionnaire. Have you ever had a history of...?? Both Mom and I are in Medical field which is why we had him tested to begin with. Young kid , first child, had bloody noses - everyone thinks leukemia right:eek: Well that was our concern. The tests at the time showed a slightly lower level of vWF, a clotting factor. Deficiency is actually pretty common but often hereditary. Anyway - we were both tested and were negative he had some additional tests that showed levels slightly above normal. Bloody nose thing went away and we more or less forgot about it EXCEPT - never really knowing we always filled it out "possible vWF deficiency" or something on all school forms etc. He played Hockey, ski raced, played soccer and lacrosse -very physical kid. No major injuries but plenty of opportunity to bleed etc. Never did. When time comes to fill out the questionnaire it was never an issue - they asked the question - he gave the answer: "possible vWF deficiency". They asked for all the medical records as part of the remedial which showed the various tests on either side of normal as well as the Dr.s note as an adult. They still DQed which we kind of expected and then the various academies rendered their waiver judgments.

    No worries - as DS said at the time - when the doors close, you look for open windows. I wish I had the choices he will have at his age and the flexibility to adapt. He loves that Marine (?) saying "adapt, improvise and overcome". As a parent it was just a long, tortuous journey to be have it end for him on something completely out of anyone's control. Thanks Again!
     

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