He might drop out of ROTC

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Peridot, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. Peridot

    Peridot New Member

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    How can I counsel my son?

    He’s a freshman ROTC cadet at a very selective and expensive university. He had an enjoyable and successful first semester. GPA is fine (3.3), and he enthusiastically participated in battalion extra-circulars like color guard and some “public appearance” outings.

    So imagine our surprise when he hinted through "hypotheticals" and “what ifs” that he may drop out of ROTC. We’ve asked what he means when says he “might” or he “can” drop out without penalty before the upcoming Fall. But, he's unable to articulate how seriously he's considering it. In 2 conversations all he said was, "I don't know. Let's talk later." So, we've dropped it for now.

    With savings and current income, we are blessed that the financial aspect of ROTC need not be a factor in his decision. Sure, if he gave up ROTC he'd have to take out Staffords, then work full-time in the summer and part-time during the school year. But that's normal for college kids. One could hardly say he'd be facing a hardship.

    We are reluctant to press him on his delimma because a) he has 6+ months to decide, and b) he's got a lot of things going on right now that may be in the way of thinking clearly. These are:
    - illness (he's had broncitis for 2 weeks and really feels crummy),
    - an upcoming court appearance for a misdemeanor (this will probably result in community service and some sort of paperwork/discipline wtih the PMS before his public record is expunged),
    - fraternity rush. (He's likely to join the frat that attracts the most cadets. But then again, he says maybe not.)
    - 18 credits (4 classes + the ROTC class)

    Based on nothing but hunches, his dad and I think he's just overwhelmed mentally and physically and has realized the ROTC honeymoon is over. We wonder if he sees dropping out as a way to lighten his load at school. And this leads us to wonder if he realizes that dropping ROTC just means assuming a whole new set of obligations: loans and jobs. If asked, our opinion would be that the ROTC path through college offers more freedom and security than the loans-and-always-working path.

    But ROTC is more than just college, isn't it? His choice needs to be based on whether he wants to serve after he gets that degree. And I think that's where his conflict lies. We think he wants to serve. In fact one of his "what if scenarios" was "what if I drop ROTC and then enlist after college?" Good grief. This is the last thing this mother would want. No, strike that. Dropping out of college to enlist would be worse. But you get what I mean. This kid is really conflicted.

    So, if he were your son, how would you help him come to a decision? We really don't want to push him toward sticking with ROTC. But we don't want him to think the other grass is any greener, either.

    Thanks.
     
  2. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    I'll bet he's just overwhelmed and looking for a way to get some breathing room ... the 2 weeks of bronchitis just knocked him on his arse. A lot of kids who get mono or are otherwise very sick for a couple of weeks simply drop out that semester.

    I'd re-take it up with him in about four weeks and as you already said, support whatever he decides. The good news is that you say that financially he will not need to transfer schools. This give him until the first day of class next August to come to a firm decision. You can help him come to an adult decision by slowly, without pressure, working through his thinking with him over the next seven months. Maybe he just needs to know he's not trapped by your financial condition. Then he can continue with ROTC in the absence of that external pressure. Or maybe he just got a girlfriend... haha.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2011
  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I would drop it and wait until spring break. Don't even approach it with him, because reality is by approaching it you maybe adding more stress.

    It will be him who serves for us. It is his life. As parents we need to cut the apron strings, time to cut at least 1 string. You raised an intelligent child, who by your posts sounds like he is acclimating just fine to college.

    Kids get this way.

    If he brings up the enlistment, again, say okay...let's go on the net right now and pull up DFAS (that is the pay chart for all ranks all branches). Treat him like an adult and say, ROTC is gone, you have graduated and have 20K in loans, a car pmt and rent, this is what you will earn as an enlisted member...do the math!

    From there say, if you are unsure of ROTC and are looking at enlisting as the back up plan, why can't you put OTC on the table? Have you even thought about that route?

    Maybe he is unsure of what he wants to do in the military. He was 17 when he started this route, and now that he is in it and realizes he could be 27 when he gets to leave he feels that it is too much of a commitment especially if at college he fell in love with a course that is not a military career option.
     
  4. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    I agree with the assessment of give it some time (spring break), unless he chooses to broach the subject himself.

    OTC may or may not be an option (Uncle Sam's choice and given the current purge mentality, I'd bet against it), so I wouldn't necessarily bring it up unless you put that caveat in there.

    As to enlisting, I'd put it to him that if he is going to do it, he may as well do it now to avoid racking up student debt (see the do the math post above). Oh, and how does that work with your other current priorities (school life seems to be what he wants as judged by the desire to rush a frat)?

    I think his actual problem is that he needs to learn how to prioritize important life choices. This is typically new to young adults, so the fact that he is discussing it with you (or at least may discuss that with you) is a good sign. What he needs to understand coming out of any conversation is that life's opportunities expand to fit 25 hours in a day. Unfortunately, there are only 24 and one must choose a set of priorities that fits both their immediate wants and their longer term goals. Yes, there are ways to manipulate both, but you have to understand the price you pay up front before making an informed choice.

    I would say based upon the thought of rushing a frat and having a small brush with the law, that the shorter term (not that fraternities lack a long-term benefit but most do not join for the post-college business networking) priorities seem to be getting a slight upper hand, especially when weak from illness.

    One last thought/question... Is there a reason why he is taking 18 credits? Is he in one of those majors where you must take this load up front or requires more than the standard 120? Not that one less class will make a difference in a student who is seeking to expand the social time at school (there is no limit to the possible extra curricular distractions), but perhaps he is a bit overwhelmed by his studies and feels like he is missing something (a typical insecurity that occurs when a hard-working student sees the party going on around him/her). What he doesn't factor into that equation is how much more he is getting achieved (more credit hours, higher GPA, ROTC training) than the peers who if they survive freshman year (plenty of partiers go home in the summer not to return) end up graduating with little to show except the sheepskin (note how many graduates end up waiting tables or folding jeans at the GAP).

    He has a very workable plan (College with ROTC with an officer commission in the military upon completion) that will succeed unless he derails it. He just needs to affirm that his goals are still his goals and make sure he knows the order of them.

    Best of luck.
     
  5. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Peridot,

    What branch of ROTC is your son in.

    I have a son that is a MS3 (Junior) in Army ROTC. He had a lot of the same issues his first year. He never considered dropping the program though he was very similar to your son in the load he was carrying.

    During his freshman year my son was also taking the similar number of credits including the ROTC classes. He rushed a Frat the first week of school, and was on the Color Guard. Things were very busy and he always seemed to have some kind of cold or flu due I'm sure to all the guys living so close together in the Frat. There was a bit of frustration on his part with time management, he seemed to be pulled in all directions.

    While joining the Frat added more distractions it also added a sense of community that was outside the ROTC. There was a feeling we got that he did not want to quit because he felt a real connection to his Frat brothers. We had figured that there would be the same connection with his fellow ROTC cadets, we soon came to understand that while they were close there was always a certain amount of constant competition among them. Remember everything is a competition, his place on the battalion OML, who gets the summer schools, who gets the leadership positions, who gets on the varsity Ranger Challenge team, and so on. The Frat gave him a bond with others without all the competition which in my view helped him a lot.

    Things will only get busier as time goes by, he will have more responsibility, and more of a time commitment. Since his freshman year my son has carried at least 19 credits and as much as 22. For comparison, at his school they receive credit for all the MS classes, for example:

    Freshman year:
    MS1 1 credit
    MS Lab 1 credit
    PT 1 credit
    Color Guard 1 credit
    Ranger C. 1 credit

    So, if a cadet takes all the above he adds 5 credits to his load, some schools just roll all the above together into one class with 1 credit the freshman year. If his school does the latter then 18 credits is a pretty heavy load.

    Has your son had his counseling session with his Cadre. He should talk with them to see what guidance they can offer, they are there to help him succeed.

    You mentioned he had a court case comming up. He must have a very understanding PMS. My son's battalion was told that any arrest or even a MIP from school will result in being dropped from the program. Glad to see they are willing to work with him on this.

    A couple posts advised dropping it and waiting until either spring break or the summer to discuss it. That may work but it could also cause other problems. I assume he has started his 2nd semester, if he is on semesters, and is registered for the MS classes. There is a deadline to drop classes without an academic penalty. If he decides he wants to drop ROTC he would need to drop those classes before that deadline, if he does not he will be stuck in them. If he is thinking he may not keep going with ROTC and he is still enrolled in the classes he may just stop going which could result in failing the classes, which will have a big effect on his college transcript. He may also decide that once he has had more time to think about things he'll decide to return to ROTC his sophmore year, if he doesn't do his best the rest of his freshman year it will be a hard road back.
    I hope some of what I said made sense, I kind of rambled a bit.

    You are correct about one thing, his load won't get any easier if he has to get a part time job during school. The stipend is designed to allow the cadets to carry the extra responsibilties without the need to work outside school, at the least it helps.

    I can relate how thin the line is between trying to help and being perceived as butting in. I do think you should try and find out what the causes are and let him know how the decisions will effect his life later. Cutting the apron strings is fine but I know that the guidance I received when younger, whether I wanted it or not, sure helped me in the long run. I would at least try talking with him before he makes a rash decision that will have negative results.

    In the end, ROTC is not for everyone. Every program has those that don't finish for one reason or another, there is no shame in it at all. It is after all their decision, all we can do is guide them through the tough decisions and support the with whatever they decide.

    I hope for the best for you and your son.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2011
  6. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    Peridot, this is actually a concern that I have with my own son. He, too, is evaluating ROTC at probably the same pricey, civilian schools as your son.

    I'd bet there are two things at play here:

    1. Your son's circle of friends are non-ROTC and are making jokes about why he has to be the lone wolf dressing up in a "Tree" costume on a regular basis and why he has to do that "color guard thing" on Saturday when he could be spending the whole weekend having fun with his frat brothers. I always laugh whenever I see the ROTC brochures that depict a student in uniform surrounded by his fellow students in civilian clothes. The clue-deficient ROTC marketing folks THINK they are telling our kids, "You'll be a HERO at your school", but the message that is REALLY being conveyed is, "You'll be a LONER at your school." (oh geez, now I am about to get flamed by clarksonarmy after making that statement!).

    2. He doesn't fully comprehend the benefits of being a military officer. In his ROTC unit, he is surrounded by career-military types. I would also bet that none of his civilian friends at the pricey college have ex-military parents (unless you count a weekend yachtsman on an expensive boat, a "Captain"). Unfortunately, what he likely doesn't have a full picture of is that there are gajillions of ex-ROTC folks in finance, law, medicine, university faculty, real estate, etc. who did serve on active duty and have followed entirely different career paths than what he currently sees. His ROTC instructors can't really help him with that, because they have elected to make the military a career. In my experience, many career-military types find it really odd that anyone would even consider ANY other career than the military. In short, finding someone you trust who really benefitted from his or her military experience but is now a successful businessman is ideal.

    Am I at least half-right?

    If it were my son, I would ask him what he wants to do long-term. If he says, "Gee, I think I'd like to get an MBA and make gajillions like Uncle Ralph." Then march him over to the Business School (call first to make sure you're not setting him up for a meeting with an Army-hating liberal) and have your son ask the admissions officer whether they value military-officer experience when making admissions decisions for their MBA program. Most will say YES. Or you can have him talk to someone who has been there -- an ex-ROTC or SA grad who is doing well in business, law, etc. (most are). If he is interested in law, there are TONS of ex-military officers in that profession. I am one of them. In short, if he wants business, law, medicine or anything that requires leadership to do well, he needs to understand that he will benefit from learning leadership from the best our nation has to offer. He is young and doesn't fully understand yet that military leadership is DIRECTLY transferable to the vast majority of civilian jobs -- he is not "doomed" (as his friends might describe it) to dressing up in "Tree" costumes until he is very OLD (like, 33 years years OLD, which is WAY, WAY, WAY over the hill!).

    But if he says "I'd like to teach high-school English" or "I'd like to be a movie director", then maybe serving as a military officer will not add much to his ultimate end-game, and maybe it is best that he does NOT go into the military.

    If he says, "I dunno, Dad, don't have a clue what I ultimately want to do in life" (which is perfectly legitimate!), then have him watch the movie "Top Gun" and explain that he can have a lot of fun during his short time in the military. A LOT of fun! I certainly did.

    I wouldn't get into the whole "military career" thing with him at this point; he will evaluate that issue for himself when he's on active duty and hanging out at the Officer's Club, talking to his fellow Lieutenants or Ensigns as they approach the 4-year mark and are winding down their "payback" time. When I was in, it is a subject that we junior grades all discussed during that period.

    Peridot, I feel a bit uneasy about giving you this advice, because you have at least one year more experience than I do in this "ROTC Parenting" game -- I'm really stumbling through this myself. But I do want to help, so I'm just giving you my thoughts.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2011
  7. tonk002

    tonk002 Member

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    Im in high school, so Im not in ROTC yet. But maybe a students perspective would help here. I'll use the best example that I can: wrestling. (I know that the Army and wrestling are two completely different things, but stay with me).
    I wrestle on the 7th ranked team in the country (a prep boarding school). I came to the school knowing of the high expectations of the team, and also knowing of the pride that I would get by being on it. My guess is that that is similar to the feelings that your son had when he joined ROTC. He was proud, excited and nervous.
    Now, wrestling has been going great for me, and I love the sport to death. But when I go through the hardships, (like the most stupid act in the history of mankind- cutting weight:thumb:) I look at my friends having fun, and want to be like them, going to parties and eating whatever I want without a care in the world. Im also guessing that your son feels like this when he sees his non-ROTC friends at school. They don't have as large of a courseload, responsibility, or the decision to make when deciding to pursue active duty. His attitude towards ROTC while with his non-ROTC mates is probably different than when he first went to college.

    So basically, without knowing your son, Im guessing that the he just wants to be like the other college guys at his school. But, if he joined ROTC in the first place, there must be something in his mind that told him that the military was something that he wanted to pursue. Im betting he still does, but seeing the other kids being "normal" deters from the motivation he had going into ROTC.
     
  8. P-Flying17

    P-Flying17 Member

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    Don't float him. Tell him good luck paying for school without his scholarship. I would also let him know that if he drops his scholarship, and he wants any help from you, then he will need to come, live at home and go to the local community college. College is when our kids need to start learning responsibilty. I honestly believe that kids don't learn real responsibility with mom and dad floating them their whole life. This is his first chance to do something for himself, to go to a great school, and come out debt free.
    Support him emotionally but not financially.

    Keep an eye out, I have a feeling your son is partying and is attempting to make time for that opposed his college job. Because essentially ROTC is a job while you are in college.
     
  9. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    "Tough love" has, in fact, worked wonders in the patentesq household as well.
     
  10. Ohio2015Parent

    Ohio2015Parent Member

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    It is a way of life in Ohio household. DS knows we cannot afford his #1 choice school, even with instate tuition merit scholarship. He doesn't want loans. So, he has that additional motivation to pursue ROTC as his main school involvement.

    I don't see, however, that Peridot's DS is in need of such extreme intervention right off. Discussion in the near future, perhaps, since I'm not one for waiting to talk something thru, but he doesn't sound like he is in immediate danger (3.0+GPA, still involved in the ROTC program etc) so some time to get heathy maybe in order. Sick kids rarely make sense and 18 hours is a heavy load. DD carries 18 a semester as a Chem/Physics secondary ed major and she isn't a lot of fun, especially with any illness to complicate her life. Questioning your self in college doesn't seem in and of itself a warning sign, but in my life experience, a normal developemental milestone - similar to the teens and terrible twos:wink:
     
  11. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Are you serious???
    There are several flaws to this logic. One being Community college is only for TWO years. He will have completed his first year - possibly more. What then?

    Secondly, this is tantamount to bribery. You want the parents to say - you can only go to college if you choose to make the Army your career. If this was not the agreement a year ago this is switching horses in midstream.

    I don't know the family structure - if there are other children are they being forced into ROTC? If not this 'bribe' probably won't fly.

    I suggest Mom and Dad go back a year - hopefully you talked about financing college with or without ROTC. If there was a discussion that centered around the expensive college only being affordable on a ROTC scholarship then go ahead and hold him to that.

    If he were my kid (and he is not) - I would not entertain an heavy duty discussion over the phone at the beginning of the semester. Clearly, there are some issues he has yet to discuss with you and is working out in his mind. Suggest that he make a pro/con list and share it with you.
    When/if he brings up the subject - tell him you are going to wait until spring break (or some date in the future). If possible, one suggestion might be to pay him a visit at his school, on his turf. Take him out to dinner and talk about what is going on.

    If he just got back - perhaps his confidence is shaken. If he just got his class ranking maybe he is upset he is not ranked higher. Maybe his first semsester evaluation was not as good as he hoped. Maybe he is figuring out he is not meant to be an Officer. These are some questions you can lead with to begin a discussion.
    Good Luck

    (BTW - In case no one told you - parenting does not end at age 18! :wink:)
     
  12. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    I actually think that your son's reaction is normal. Everyone involved in ROTC should go through a serious discernment process. It is important that they understand what they are getting into and do so willingly. Whether his peers (and all the others we know in this program admit it or not) I would hope they all go through this thought process. It is important that they do.

    That said, it sounds to me like he is VERY involved and perhaps overwhelmed. Good grades, extracurriculars, a little too much fun (misdemeanor), etc. Coming off a 2 week period of illness. Time will tell. Perhaps he will bounce back and this will be a non issue.

    Be there for him. Be glad he brought up the subject- at least he feels comfortable speaking with you.

    Finally, as has been said many times on this forum: ROTC should not be about the money. There is a serious committment and if your head isn't in it, you will have a rough go on active duty. Participation in ROTC needs to be self-driven.

    Best wishes.
     
  13. Peridot

    Peridot New Member

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    Thank you all for you input. Son texted last night to give us an update from the doctor. (He got more Rx, but is still OK for PT.) In the process he asked that we skype tonight at 7:00. So this might be first of our discussions to help him sort this out. In the meantime, I'll respond to some of your questions...

    Yes. Last semester he started with 15.5, but dropped math when it was over his head. Ended up with 12.5. This semester's 18 is partially a "catch-up" and partially just the way it worked out. They won't be too difficult, it's just a lot of class time:
    4 cr. French (this will be easy since it's lower level than the AP he took in HS)
    4 cr. Stat (same, AP in HS)
    4 cr Writing Seminar (mandatory for freshmen)
    3 cr Social Psych (his major)
    3 cr. ROTC

    Thanks for the suggestion, but I have to rule this out. He's known all his life that we will provide his college education. If he got loans and a job and we contributed everything we've saved for his college, there's no reason he'd have to leave his current school.

    Further, his dad and I aren't exactly thrilled with the prospect of him going to war. So, leaving ROTC would be an emotional relief for us. Since money is no issue, it would be completely unfair for us to impose your punative consequences on something that lets us sleep better at night.

    I honestly believe that kids learn real responsibility when they're out of the house, away from mom and dad's control. And paying for college is not a "whole life" float.

    Ok. But he knows ROTC is his job. That's how we've positioned it all along.

    One other kid in 11th grade. She's not the least bit interested in ROTC, and that's just fine with us. She's a stronger student than her brother and will probably find other scholarships.

    These are two very insightful posts and I'm grateful you took the time answer. I will probably refer to the themes of both of them when we skype tonight. Thanks.

    Keep the perspectives coming. I'd love to hear from another cadet or a member of the cadre somewhere. I'll read all day, but may not be able to reply until tomorrow. Thanks.
     
  14. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Two things:

    1. I agree with JAM's POV. I wouldn't call it bribery, but I would call it a threat.

    He may decide to stay only because it is his only option. What if I does stay and hates it? DO you want him to resent you for forcing this upon him.

    Anyone who has ever served in the military understands it is a 24/7/365 days a yr job, where they can force him to go wherever they want. They want him in SKorea and he will be in SKorea.

    They want him in Afghanistan and he is in Afghanistan...there is well thanks, but I quit option.

    2. Many kids do go through this, but in various levels. As others have stated it can be all of his buds are in his dorms and he has yet to make that transition from dorm buds to ROTC buds. For our DS his 1st semester all of his friends were in the dorm, and there were times that they all were hanging out and he had to leave because he had to be up at 5 for ROTC, or go clean up the football stadium.

    As time went on he transitioned and joined a military frat, while his friends joined traditional frat. They all started to hang with different groups. He still sees them socially, but he lives off campus with his AFROTC friends and his friends live with their frat buddies.

    I would suggest he hang out in the BN lounge and get to know these kids more. It just might be he feels like an ROTC outsider right now, which is very common for freshman. As time goes by he will start moving one way or another, and that is when he should decide.
     
  15. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    I don't think P-Flying17's point is about bribery or a threat. It's about teaching an important lesson to our kids that they ultimately need to take charge of their lives. Some kids respond well to a "jolt", some don't. Some parents interpret a "jolt" as bad parenting; others view it as excellent parenting.

    The kids attending a service academy or senior military college get this "jolt" immediately after the parents leave campus on the FIRST day. At a civilian school, this doesn't happen. In this respect, ROTC students at civilian schools have greater challenges in the "peer pressure" department.

    I visited a lot of these pricey schools with my DS last summer, and the one question that I quietly asked myself as the "student ambassador" was leading us on the campus tour was "Can this kid survive in the wild?" The answer to that question usually informed my appraisal of the particular school we were visiting.

    My own observation is that the "less-prestigious" schools -- including community colleges -- are filled with students who genuinely feel LUCKY to even attend college. They understand the value of a college education and chase it. Because these kids seem to be more serious about education, I would argue that the overall quality of the total educational experience is actually better at a "less-prestigious" school. At the pricey "prestigious" schools, however, my own observation was that there are a TON of kids who view college more as a "hassle" or transition period where they can have fun before they have to enter real life. In an odd way, the ROTC faculty at these schools has a tougher job of preparing our kids to lead troops than their counterparts at the SAs or SMCs.

    My personal view is that if a kid TRULY understands the value of a commission, everything else will fall into place. This is NOT about finding money to pay for college -- it is about being an officer in the armed forces of the United States. Only a very few number of citizens grab that brass ring, and it is a distinction that will follow them their entire life.

    If a kid does not appreciate the value of a commission, he or she will never chase it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2011
  16. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    This is true, but making them transfer schools because they have to pay for it will never make them value the commission, it will only create resentment.

    They will be the 1st to say, I only stayed in ROTC because otherwise my folks were going to cut me off and I would have to leave the school.

    They aren't staying for the eventual commissioning they are staying and dealing with ROTC for the school. Fastest way to get the crappy career assignment is by not putting any effort into ROTC, so now he is twice as boffed...he has to serve and most likely in a field that he never wanted.

    Not everyone is meant to go the officer route or the military route. I would never want my kid to feel that they MUST stay in ROTC to stay at that school if I had the ability to financially keep them there. Like I said, it is not you the parent being shipped off to Afghanistan for a yr., it is them. This is just me, but I would never want my kid sitting in the sandbox knowing he hates every second of it while bullets are flying, and the only reason he is there was because I decided to play tough love.

    Look at it differently, your child attends school for engineering, after their freshman yr they come and say to you I want to major in education, would you demand that they stay in engineering? Would you threaten to cut them off fiscally if they changed majors, but were pulling good grades and still wanted that degree?

    That is what he saying, I think I want out of this path. The OP stated that fiscally he would have do FAFSA, but the money was really not the issue. They also stated academically he is doing fine. This was all about a career decision, and still an IF, MAYBE.

    Pulling the checkbook to me as parent is extreme, and I do not predict a happy ending, more likely resentment and anger for quite sometime, yrs and yrs and yrs...he will be 50 at the T-DAY table and still say tongue in cheek, to his kids in front of his parents...if you think I am hard, your grandparents refused to pay for my education because I decided I didn't want to be in the Army.

    Don't fool yourself, my SIL is 50 and the entire family do not have enough fingers or toes to count on how many times she has stated that she had to go to the IS college (Rutgers), because her brother went to Bucknell and they couldn't afford 2 private colleges at one time. That's coming from someone who loved going there once she got there.
     
  17. CadetMom777

    CadetMom777 Member

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    When we had our parent meeting when my son officially signed up for the Corps at his Senior Military College, we had multiple senior officers tell us that they expected all the cadets at some time to question whether they wanted to stay in the Corps. If they didn't, then the staff felt their training was not hard enough. They want to test these young men and women "under fire" so they know they have what it takes to withstand the stresses of leadership when and if they are really under fire as commissioned officers.

    Another officer told us he had decided to leave the Corps when he was a freshman cadet. He told his parents and they just said, "Okay, whatever you decide, just finish this month before you quit." He expected a more animated reaction. Weeks went by, and he brought up the subject again. "Okay, just finish this semester before you quit." And on it went. End of story... he not only finished the Corps, he is now a full bird colonel in the Army and assistant commandant of the Corps at this university.

    I like the quote from the movie "A League of Their Own" where Gina Davis is about to quit the baseball team because she said it was too hard. And Tom Hanks responds, "Of course it's hard... the hard is what makes it great!"
     
  18. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I agree at one time or another every cadet doubts the path they are on, be it joining the branch or the career field and usually it is just a fleeting moment. That is why I say leave it alone, don't broach it unless he does. Let him work it out by himself.

    Like I said before, the best thing you can do is know you raised an intelligent child and cut one of those apron strings. If he knows you respect him as an adult, that will carry more weight in him becoming an adult than anything else you can do.

    Trust me, as a C300 parent, there were ups and downs every yr regarding his ROTC career, and I am sure before he gets commissioned there will be more of them. All Bullet and I do is let him talk it out to us, the more he talks, the more he is able to come to an understanding on his own. Just let him talk when he is willing to talk and the path will become clear.

    Right now you are preparing for a fork in the road, and that fork is 10 miles away, maybe when you get there you will know that you are suppose to take a left or a right and the fear of what to do that you had 10 miles ago was all for nothing.
     
  19. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    I have a vivid memory of lying in my bunk at Norwich and staring at the ceiling after "lights out" on the first day of rook week. You can't imagine what I was thinking about at that moment.:wink:

    Parents Who Have Kids Reporting to SAs or SMCs This Year: When you return home after dropping your DS/DD off at the SA/SMC, the only thing you can do to help your DS/DD at that point is to say an extra prayer before turning in for the night. I suspect your kids are all thinking what I was thinking at that moment. Rest assured, though, the kids do sleep well that night (wake-up is another matter).
     
  20. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    Wow. Seems like a lot of credits for a freshman ROTC class.
     

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