Frustration with ROTC!

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by KaranaE, Oct 17, 2014.

  1. KaranaE

    KaranaE New Member

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    My son is a forth year student on a 3yr ROTC scholarship. He has struggled with the running part of the fitness program. He usually passes with narrow margin by the end of each semester.this year he failed his first run so they pulled his scholarship. He is now left to figure out how to fund this semester before he can register for winter! I feel it unfair to pull a scholarship mid semester and think a kid is just come up with that amount of money. Additionally they required him to report to the school for pt during the summer months even though he said he would log his pt and report in each month. Because of this he had to rent an apartment near school and reduce his summer work hours both of which cost him money. At this point the ROTC scholarship program is costing my son more money then he is getting while creating an extremely stressful situation.

    My son finds great honor in serving his country and is from a military family but I must say I will discourage the rest of his siblings from going this route. I really would like to know if this is standard or if his commander my have a personality issue with my son and is trying to push him out.
     
  2. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    Actually you're fortunate your son was not separated from the ROTC program. Failure to pass the physical fitness requirements results in active duty personnel being discharged.

    One day, assuming your son successfully commissions (which means he must pass the PT tests), your son might need to call upon running endurance to save the life of himself or others in his charge... It's not like it's a dumb requirement... it makes total sense.

    Having said that, please make sure you don't let your current frustration influence your son as he progresses toward commissioning. For his sake, and that of his charges, he should receive his commission with enthusiasm.

    P.S. Yes, it is customary for a scholarship cadet who fails to pass the PT test to lose his scholarship, usually only until he successfully passes it. Which means he might get it back for next semester.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2014
  3. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    I predict that there won't be much sympathy offered on this thread.

    I will start by saying he is incredibly lucky that they has not been dis-enrolled thus far and if he doesn't pass by the end of the semester, that will probably be the end result.

    And that will make the summer rent look like chump change. If he does not take this as a straighten up and fly right message, he is doomed.
     
  4. k2rider

    k2rider Member

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    Hmmmm.....I'm surprised. I expected this thread to take off, turn ugly and then get locked up and/or deleted.

    I agree with goaliedad here. Your son knew from day one what was going to be expected of him. He then had his entire freshman year to observe the other cadets passing the test and actually seeing what was expected of him. Running is one of those things that is *generally* easy to improve your times just by merely getting out there and running more often as you push yourself harder.

    I have a sister in law that I was around her entire life. She was one of those people that did absolutely zero physical activity unless she was forced to. At age 42, she was challenged by a co-worker to run a 5K. Not only did she run the 5K but less than (2) years later, she was winning her age groups in events and now runs half marathons. Bottom line....work harder = run faster.

    Good luck to him!!
     
  5. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    I have discussed this with the OP on another thread in greater detail.

    Her son did pass the APFT at the end of last semester, attended LDAC and did well. He has started this semester and had trouble with the run at the beginning. He is in the National Guard and passed the APFT at his last drill with a 250, not stellar but still passing. The cadre will not count the APFT taken during his drill and has told him that he is losing his scholarship this semester even though he had passed it the previous semester. Most battalions I know of, including the one my son is with, does not revoke the scholarship unless the cadet does not pass the recorded APFT which he has not yet taken.

    The Army does not discharge an enlisted soldier if they do not pass the APFT one time, they are given time to improve before action is taken, Not sure where you have heard that.

    Even ROTC will give the cadet time to pass the APFT during the semester, as long as they pass the final recorded APFT of the semester.

    What surprises me is that this cadets cadre has told him the scholarship is revoked this semester before the recorded APFT.

    How many times have cadets been told that their scholarship does not kick in until they pass the APFT. MS1's even on scholarship are given until the final recorded APFT to pass, when they do their scholarship is paid.

    This cadet was in good standing when he started this year, by all accounts he should have until the final recorded APFT to pass.

    The cadets was told he had to stay in town and attend PT, most of the time there was nobody there to monitor the cadet so he had to just fill out a workout form. The cadet was told to stay because he did not get a 300 on his Spring APFT, while others with lower scores were not required to stay.

    Let's try not being too hard on someone that came here seeking advice, I understand that the whole story was not told in the OP's original post.

    I have spoken to a lot of cadets and over the years it is clear that not all Cadre are created equal. I'm sure those that have sons or daughters that have commissioned have relayed the same about some in their command. Let's not be too quick to judge this cadet.
     
  6. KaranaE

    KaranaE New Member

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    Failure to pass for the entire semester results in losing his scholarship. My son has passed the test be it by a narrow margin when it comes to the run part. His officers are telling him they are expecting a 300. Which is why he was forced to give up his summer job and rent an apartment for the summer. This was forced even after he offered up a better financial solution such as staying at home , working and reporting via a log his workouts. This seemed vindictive and a little like oh well if you can't come up with the money ,you will have to go active.
    I understand as does he that fitness is important and as I said he has passed the test and can easily swim for great distances, as well as push ups sit ups etc. the reason for losing his scholarship is that he missed the time cut for his run on his first fall test. He offered to re attempt it a week later however found out that the cam meander was going to go for removal from program if he failed that run even though my son asked to retake it so he could see if he was progressing.
     
  7. Craig

    Craig Member

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    First off, the blame is his and his alone. It's his job to be in shape. He gets paid to make good grades and be in shape. He should be up and out every morning for an hour hitting the pushups, sit-ups, run, leg pounders, pull-ups, etc. No excuses. His officers are telling him 300 for a reason. You're goal should be to max the test not just squeak by. It's a mental shift for many kids that only do enough to just get by.

    Get on a good running program. It not all about distance. Interval work some days. Medium distance others. Long once a week. Do pushups and sit-ups before, after and in the middle.

    Good luck. He can do this. He just needs to look inside and decide how bad does he want it. With the cutbacks, the military is going to show little mercy.
     
  8. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    While I agree in general principle, I don't think we have all the facts here. There are many reasons one might have a bad day on a run... recovering from an injury, illness, etc. I've no doubt OP and DS understand what needs to be done. I'm sure with the proper motivation the kid will pull it off.
     
  9. KaranaE

    KaranaE New Member

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    Craig,
    I can that and so does he. He has been running and will continue. My frustration is not that he is expected to get the run. My frustration is that they applied his scholarship to this term then pulled the money in October leaving him to come up with about 8000 within 6 weeks or he will be unable to register for next term. That in turn will force him to enter active duty forfeiting 3 years of college and delaying his degree in engineering. Their actions during the summer made it impossible for him to build savings to cover expenses in case of emergencies such as this. Since he passed in the spring we focused our finances on another child we have in school leaving us in an equally tough situation.
    The summer situation was particularly stressful and I feel unreasonable since he had passed! That situation has created a situation where I think my son is overthinking the run causing a negative impact and making the already tough situation even worse. The situation is snowballing to a point where I think they are making it into a situation he can't win. I think his commander wants him out of the program and is pushing him into a corner until he is unable to finance school.
    I am frustrated because my son loves the military and has wanted nothing more than to serve. I feel as though he would have been better of to use his internship to finance college then enter the military post college. I know it would have cost us less since his internship was a well paid position where they built him up and loved his initiative and leadership. Those are qualities that his commanding officers apparently are not seeing or are not appreciating. I must say that he appeared to love LDAC and the officers there loved him as I was given very good praise from a couple officers at LDAC.
     
  10. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    Look to see if your state has programs for financing college for his last year. It sounds like a very unfortunate experience. The good news he will move on from the people he is having difficulty with in 8 months.

    Best Wishes
     
  11. paradoxer

    paradoxer Member

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    finances

    Since he is so close to finishing make sure he's filed the FAFSA and used the $7500 in Stafford loan that is available since he's a senior. Although these funds are usually split between two semesters he could request all the funds to disburse in one semester. You may want to explore the parent PLUS loan to fill the gap, you could delay payments while he's in school and he could help you pay it back once he's graduated. I know borrowing isn't preferred but when you are so close to the finish line it seems worth consideration.
     
  12. AROTCPMS

    AROTCPMS Member

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    $8000

    "Leaving him to come up with about 8000 within 6 weeks or he will be unable to register for next term. That in turn will force him to enter active duty forfeiting 3 years of college."


    I don't know your financial situation but $8000 is not that much considering that your son will be an officer and will be able to pay that sum back because he will have a job after graduation. Keep in mind that there are a good number of cadets in ROTC who are on no scholarship and pay their own way through college.

    Would you or your son really want to forfeit college and go on active duty as an enlisted over $8000? Just sayin'.
     
  13. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    The cadet in question is in the National Guard, the scholarship is a GRFD so the cadet will not have that job as an AD Officer.

    For those that keep saying it is the cadets fault and his fault alone, realize, the cadet has passed his previous APFT, he missed the run on his first APFT of the fall, and the revoked the scholarship money already paid.

    How many cadets that are on scholarship failed the first APFT, their scholarships were not revoked, they had until the end of the semester, when they passed they contracted and the scholarship was paid.

    A lot of people are sure quick to just simply condemn this cadet, "It's all your fault", "Your not in shape", "Your lucky they haven't booted you out". All I can say is God help your cadet if they ever have a bad day, feel under the weather, or feel stiff and sore, and they miss the run time by a few seconds and fail a diagnostic APFT. I guess it will be ok to have the scholarship revoked. Really sorry I advised this person to come to this forum for any advice.

    Thanks for the good advice Norwich and Paradoxer.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2014
  14. KaranaE

    KaranaE New Member

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    The bigger issue AROTCPMS is that my son has tried to be responsible and work so he would not have debt, knowing he has siblings that due to health will not have ROTC as an option. ROTC boasts that school comes first yet they are putting roadblocks in his way. iE. Requiring him to attend events that make him miss work, requiring him to live away from home and participate in an AM workout program during the summer which hiddered his summer employment and cost him what little he could make. Then gave him his fall scholarship money only to revoke the funds! His father is a cross country coach and his youngest 2 siblings are runners. He runs with them while home so I know he tries and has been able to meet the requirement but it is difficult for him. If he is overly stressed or not feeling 100% that is enough to create an unsatisfactory performance.

    Not sure how many kids you have or your financial situation but coming up with 8000 in a 6 week period is not an easy task. Failure to do so will create even more stress and a snowball continues to grow. I understand some cadets pay their way and if he knew he had to do so then I doubt the his situation would be as it is because , like I said he HAD a good paying internship and but for ROTC demands he would have been able to pay his way.
    What I really wanted to know is if it is common practice for ROTC to behave in such a manner or is there someone he can see about the situation. He is beyond devastated and frustrated as am I because I am feeling like it is being made nearly impossible for him and I am not sure why.
     
  15. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I have to say I've never heard of it happening on a semester's initial PFT. Folks are normally given extra PT and are then expected to pass by the end of the semester. However, that's for incoming scholarship holders. I have to day I've also never heard of an upperclassman who failed an initial PFT without there already being some known injury or something. That's not to say it doesn't happen.

    The only things I can suggest is for DS to speak further with cadre to understand why scholarship denied instead of waiting until the end of the semester. Also, 6 weeks is plenty of time to get a loan approved. My own DS will be leaving college with $8,000 in debt. The amount scares the hell out of him but I tell him it's peanuts. I had much more debt to work off with a smaller initial income than he will have. Since your DS is GRFD, YMMV. (Hmmm, the GRFD makes we wonder if that's the difference in how he's treated vs "normal" ROTC scholarship?)
     
  16. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Of course the goal should be to max the APFT, requiring it is something completely different. Not everyone maxes the APFT, that may come as a shock but it is a reality. Bodies are built different, some can excel in PU and SU's others in the run, and then those that can do all three very well. Over the past seven years there have been cadets in my son's battalion that have done 110 PU's and well over 100 SU's, then get a 13:45 on the run on their best day. They do not get the 300 but I wouldn't want to be the one to tell them they are not in shape and it's no excuse.

    If a 300 was the required APFT score then a 240 would not be the minimum requirement for Rangers. Granted a 240 may not get you too far depending the their over all shape.

    The run is usually what keeps a cadet or soldier from getting the 300, some can run for miles but they just don't have the speed to be under 13:00.

    I can tell you I would be upset if my son's cadre said he had to stay at school over the summer to do PT when he had passed the APFT but didn't get the 300 the cadre wanted, and I had to pay for him to stay there, yep I would be more then upset, I'm sure most people would be upset. Had he failed the APFT I could see it as a requirement to stay in the program, but he did not fail, he passed. My opinion, the PMS was out of his lane in requiring this cadet to stay at school, like i said, not all cadre are created equal, and this will become even more evident when they hit the real Army.
     
  17. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    A friend of my son struggled with PT and a few other things in ROTC. Recycled IBOLC. During an afternoon in Afghanistan when it mattered most he rose above the occasion. Did something incredibly brave and essential.

    These young men and women always surprise you. Sometimes those with the gifts fall flat on their face. Sometimes the hopeless are the ones who do incredible things. You just never know.
     
  18. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    It must be frustrating. Tell him to be strong as he can and get thru it. He is months from graduation. In your position I would have the continous urge to call the PMS and yell and scream. Please, please hold back on that. Let him handle it. He must.
     
  19. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    :thumb:
     
  20. KaranaE

    KaranaE New Member

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    Thanks, yes you are correct but I have resisted the urge. It helps coming from a strong military family. I have gone to them when such an urge hits. They are able to help me resist, lol. I know he has to handle it but as a parent it is disheartening to see you child work so hard and continue to hit walls. I know he will do a great job when it matters. He is so passionate about honoring his country, he makes me proud.
     

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