Huge AFROTC Application Concern

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by AFROTC2016, Aug 4, 2016.

  1. AFROTC2016

    AFROTC2016 Member

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    Hi everyone, I'm a new member here. I'm a rising senior in my university, where they offer 3-year and 4-year programs for AFROTC. I already talked to the head recruiter there, and he said that even though I will be a senior, I can still join ROTC if I want to do it in 6 semesters.

    My biggest problem though, is with the application.

    I have suffered long-term and severe depression, which was worsened when a student sexually violated me and psychologically traumatized me during my freshman year. As my trauma and psychological issues built up over the years, I became suicidal near the beginning of 2016. This caused me to engage in twisted ways of self-harm as a very desperate cry for help. This resulted in me deleting another student's computer files in a convoluted attempt to coax him to physically assault me, and on 2 other occasions I emailed to students an image of male genitals in a very desperate attempt to cope with my psychological trauma. Please understand that none of my actions were driven by malicious intent, but by my lack of control over my trauma and psychological issues.

    Because of my unfortunate ways of coping, I was arrested and charged with 1 count of Computer Misuse and 2 counts of dissemination of obscene material -- all misdemeanors -- in March. After I explained my motives, the prosecutor gladly dismissed the charges and expunged my record because he understood that I did not act to intentionally harm others, and because she understood that therapy was more appropriate. Therefore, I have no convictions on my criminal record.

    After I explained what happened to my school, the administration understood my situation and suspended me until Fall 2016 in order for me to receive grief and psychological counseling over this summer. I have since diligently committed to psychological counseling and made amends in order to improve my emotional and psychological health, and I have learned much healthier ways to cope.


    My biggest concern is if having a suspension on my school record and my very unfortunate legal involvement will hurt 1) My chances of being accepted into AFROTC, 2) my performance and opportunities in the program, and 3) my chances of being awarded any AFROTC scholarships. Would my specific circumstances be taken into consideration?

    Again, please understand the nature of my misdeeds and the background behind my actions. These actions do not reflect who I am as a student or a person. I have never had any civil involvements before this, and I will continue to receive counseling. I'm a bright, hard-working, and committed student; I exemplify leadership (I run 3 clubs); I have no history of drug use; and I'm sure that if allowed, I will make a fine cadet.

    What do you think, guys? Please be respectful; it took a lot for me to get through all of my trauma, let alone talk about it here. I know the AFROTC site said I should be of "good moral character," and I truly am an upstanding citizen because my misdeeds weren't out of malice or anything along those lines.

    Thank you.
     
  2. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Just a dad

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    Absolutely first order of business would be for you to request a user name change for privacy.
    If you are agreeable to this, post a more anonymous user name on this thread and the forum administrator should pick it up.
     
    Sled likes this.
  3. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    I'm glad you're receiving help and are feeling better, but I think you have a very long, uphill battle in front of you. Good luck.
     
  4. AFROTC2016

    AFROTC2016 Member

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    Thank you for your reply. But does that necessarily mean I wouldn't be eligible to join AFROTC? I haven't talked with any of the recruiters at my school about this, but I asked my friend who's also joining and told him everything. He said that I should be eligible, since 1) it doesnt reflect WHO I am as a person, 2) There is no conviction on my record, 3) I've never done anything indecent before this and 4) because of the nature of WHY I did what I did. But I just came here because I wanted more opinions. People have gotten into AFROTC after doing illegal activities with intentions different from mine right? Like, I think it'd be wrong to believe that no cadets have ever experimented with drugs or alcohol. And plus, I recently read of another member here who asked about joining when he was convicted of a DUI. I really wish I could show you all that I'm a great person; I've never even had any run-ins with the law or the school before this. It was just a dark time in my life, and I was on the edge of suicide right when this happened.

    Can I put a positive spin on it? Heck yes! I'm almost glad this happened; it opened the road to healing that I may have never found otherwise.

    If more information helps, I have a 3.85 GPA in a technical field in college, and I have a healthy amount of ECs.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2016
  5. 5Day

    5Day Member

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    The head recruiter you refer should be one of the officers from the ROTC unit. Explain your situation to the AFROTC officer and if they are sitll interested, go for it.
    Yes you do have an uphill battle, but you will never know until you try and apply. At a minimum you will learn a lot with the experience you will gain in the ROTC unit.
    No one here can give you a definitive answer, but as you have stated you have 2 issues. Mental issues are some of the few non waiverable medical conditions. So getting the DodMerb medical process could be problematic.
    No legal expert here, but since if you arrest and charges were expunged, is that the same as if they never existed? So when you answer the question "have you ever been arrested?" What is the correct legal answer? You could answer yes and explain that the arrest and charges were dropped and expunged from you record. That is probably the best way to go, but you may want to get a legal opinion.

    Even with all those issues, you should try. You never know what will happen.
     
  6. AFROTC2016

    AFROTC2016 Member

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    Thanks for your reply. Is my uphill battle more related to my misdeeds or because of my mental health? If it is about my mental health, I can easily show that I've taken more than enough initiative in getting treatment and getting them under control. I'm continuing treatment to ensure that I don't lose control again, and I've since stepped out from that dark cloud as a new man, and I'm ready to commit myself to something like AFROTC. It's always been something I've wanted to do. And yes, I would be honest and explain what happened with the charges. From what I gather from my school's application form, cadets who've had some run-ins with the law have gotten in and even won scholarships -- within reasonable limits, of course.

    I think I should talk to my recruiter, yes, because of the special circumstances regarding my situation. But I'm still really nervous about applying and wanted to hear what you guys think.
     
  7. 5Day

    5Day Member

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    IMHO (for what it is worth) I think the mental health issue is going to be the biggest issue. Here is a 2014 Army document showing non-waiverable medical conditions https://www.jmu.edu/rotc/prospective-cadets/Non-waiverable medical conditions.pdf
    non-waiverable conditions:
    a) Any behavioral health condition that is recurrent, chronic or required more than 12 months of treatment/therapy.
    b) Suicide attempt and/or Suicidal gesture
    d) Self-mutilation
    e) Eating disorder
    If you look at the document, it is obvious that mental are not looked at favorably. Your condition may not fall into any of those categories. And I stress, you will never know until you try.

    Make sure you read through the DodMERB/Medical section of this forum. Not much specifically on mental conditions, but it can help you best fill out your medical history form for DodMerb.
     
  8. AFROTC2016

    AFROTC2016 Member

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    I see, thank you.

    I completely understand all your points. Would it be better if I didn't mention the suicide or the depression, but just mentioned the personal/sexual trauma that caused me to take my unfortunate actions? Or....as an alternative I'm not entirely comfortable with -- just admitting what I did without mentioning my motives. Of course, I'd still be completely honest about the legal matter.

    Regardless, I will still contact my recruiter and get another opinion, but thank you for your answers.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2016
  9. 5Day

    5Day Member

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    I would focus on why you want to join AFROTC, why you want to be in the Air Force and what will make you a great officer. Use your unfortunate experience in the conversation with the officer, something like this: This happened, I was depressed (short and simple), and then focus on what you learnt, how you grew, how it made you stronger. Focus on the positives, this way you disclose the issue, but with your positive spin.
     
  10. AFROTC2016

    AFROTC2016 Member

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    Oh, I see! I can definitely put a huge positive spin on all of it, and I can definitely prove my worth with my transcript and work ethic in the past. So what you're saying is disclose it -- but don't make it sound all gloomy and emphasize the negative like I did when I posted here?

    Thanks again!
     
  11. 5Day

    5Day Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 5, 2016
  12. Sled

    Sled Member

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    I have no doubt that if explained correctly you would be allowed you would be allowed to join AFROTC. Certain legal matters can be waived if needed which may not need to even happen in this situation. The other issue is what I would worry about more to be completely honest...

    Like 5day has said the problem comes when you need to have your DODMERB completed. It will depend what kind of treatment you have received and what is all in your records. I've seen the best cadets of a class be removed for thing ranging from childhood asthma to issues with ear tubes. The only way to get this sorted out is through talking to the cadre at the detachment and lining up a DODMERB appointment. This isn't to scare you or distract you but to be realistic and know what to expect if it comes down to this. Who knows...maybe you'll be able to get around it!? The only way to figure out is to join so talk to them and see what happens!

    P.S. Don't try to hide from the situation because I've seen some cadets do that too. Even though they knew their situation could be disqualifying they didn't tell the cadre and waited over a year to take their DODMERB....over a year...when the cadre maybe could have got them in earlier and helped out if they knew.
     
  13. AFROTC2016

    AFROTC2016 Member

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    @Sled thank you so much for your encouragement; it really means a lot knowing that my misdeeds won't be looked down upon, given my specific situation. Cadet orientation is in a week, so I will call ASAP to see what I can do regarding the DODMERB. To be specific, the treatment I got was pure counseling -- just talking through my issues with a licensed therapist for a course of over 2 months but less than 3 months. There were no antipsychotics, neuroleptics, or antidepressants involved. I feel that drugs just mask the symptoms without getting down to the cause, the root. I worked hard outside of counseling and worked through my issues, and I'll still continue to receive the same type of treatment. Hopefully, if I explain all of this to my cadre, I won't need a DODMERB?
     
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  14. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Maybe I am missing something here.

    You are a rising senior in COLLEGE. To commission AFROTC you will indeed need to do at least 5 semesters. However, the facts are:
    1. You must be offered an SFT slot
    2. You will go through a DoDMERB exam for commissioning.
    ~~ I would without a doubt pm Mabry or kp2001 because they are docs in the military.

    those are 2 big hurdles.
     
  15. Sled

    Sled Member

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    Everyone has to go through a DODMERB at some point and certain detachments do it the first year and others do it the second year. It's basically a medical appointment where they determine if you are fit for military duty. I've seen some cadets be told they have to complete their DODMERB after a year of doing ROTC only to be let go for something in their medical history.

    Listen to Pima. She's more knowledgeable on this stuff than me. If you need a full write up of the ROTC process I can do that for you though since I think you might not know what all goes into it from an AS100 until comissioning.
     
  16. AFROTC2016

    AFROTC2016 Member

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    Thanks for your reply. Yes, I am a rising senior in college, but I am staying an extra 2 years to complete AFROTC if I get into the program, so I'd be doing it for 6 semesters.

    What exactly is an SFT slot? And thanks for the advice!
     
  17. Sled

    Sled Member

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    Don't worry Pima...I'll explain SFT and ROTC in a PM. I'm bored anyways! haha
     
  18. AFROTC2016

    AFROTC2016 Member

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    I see....would my specific situation count as a "history" of depression? It only developed once, and I can honestly say that I've not relapsed. I am a much more emotionally and mentally healthy person.
     
  19. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    A "history" means "has it ever occurred in your past." It does not have to be recurrent.
     
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  20. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Since this was a part of your original OP and has yet to be answered, I would say slim to none. The main reason why is you would be entering as a C250 cadet and the only available scholarship would be the ICSP. You would compete in the fall for that scholarship. Results are released late fall and the scholarship could activate as early as spring. The thing is you would also compete against C200s. 200s are cadets that entered as 100s. Thus, they have been in the unit for at least one full yr. ICSP is like HSSP, it is a national board. You will compete against every AFROTC cadet in the nation.
    ~ For AFROTC the majority are not on scholarship. Statistically only about 20% of ALL AFROTC cadets are on scholarship.

    Secondly, to activate the scholarship you must pass the DoDMERB exam. Now the thing is as stated, you must answer yes to history of depression. History does not immediately equate to a disqualification aka DQ, and even if you do get DQd there are exceptions where waivers are allowed. HOWEVER, those waivers usually require a specific amount of time with no prescriptions or therapy with no impact on your grades.
    ~ Ask kp2001 or Mabry how long you must be cleared from that issue for a waiver. They are military docs and typically have better insight into the time frame than most of us here.

    Now that being said, I am sure it is more than less than a yr. I believe it is at least 2 years to get a waiver. Thus, impo you would be DQd immediately with no waiver option. Whereas, if you did not apply for a scholarship, you would not go up for your DoDMERB until you go to SFT or right afterwards before you become a POC. That will than give you more time between the history from a timeframe aspect and increase your chances for a waiver.

    I swear I do not want to be Janie Raincloud, but let's say you get SFT, and a waiver for your depression. You have another hurdle to clear. SECURITY CLEARANCE. I do not know what career field you are looking into to serve as an AF officer, but many require what is called a Top Secret (TS) clearance. You will be required to answer @70 pages of questions and submit at least 3 references. Those 3 references will be interviewed by government agents. The interview lasts about 45 minutes. They will be flat out asked in multiple ways if they know if you ever had any police issues. You will be asked that too on the questionnaire ...yes, you have no criminal record, but you will have to say yes, I was arrested. Those references will also have to answer truthfully that they knew you were arrested, but it was expunged. It will be up to them to determine if you should get the clearance. No clearance typically ends in no commissioning.
    ~ If I were you I would have an open and honest conversation with the CoC at the AFROTC unit and ask can I get a Security clearance with these circumstances. The CoC typically has a TS clearance. TS clearances are only valid for 5 yrs. CoCs are usually Lt. Cols., and have close to 20 yrs in the AF. IOWS, they have gone through this situation 3 or 4 times.
    ~~ The AF usually does more TS clearances because the majority of jobs for any officer requires that level. Accounting and Finance deals with a lot of money.... i.e. paying bills and access to military members checking accounts. Maintenance deals with you being near multi-million dollar aircraft. Public Affairs deals with you knowing media info. Cyber, Intel, the list keeps going on and on. Many people confuse TS clearance to think it means you can see everything and anything labeled TS, it doesn't. It is compartmentalized. It means if you are a pilot you have TS clearance for your job, you can't go and look at TS docs for Accounting and Finance, just like A&F officers can't look at TS documents that are available to pilots.

    Again, talk to your CoC for another reason. As a CoC they have dealt with ROTC cadets regarding clearances and they may have seen others in your situation that they assisted along the way to clear up these issues.

    I am sure you have a great heart. I believe within my own heart you went off the beaten track for a moment, and in essence that was not you as a person. However, I just keep seeing a lot of hurdles in front of you and the cliche of getting in front of the 8 ball applies to you in a big way. You can do it, but it is going to take a lot of leg work to get in front of the 8 ball simultaneously on multiple fronts.

    I wish you the absolute best and thank you for wanting to serve this great nation so others do not have to write that check.
     

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