I can't commission, should I stay in ROTC

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by nicknoodles, Sep 29, 2016.

  1. nicknoodles

    nicknoodles Member

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    Here is some background information. I have had mild hearing loss since I was 5. At that age I was given hearing aids at and as I grew older, I wore them less and less. In high school I rarely wore them and still excelled in school. My senior year of high school I applied to the USNA and nrotc scholarship and did not recieve either. I was medically disqualified for my hearing loss, but was told that I still had the opportunity to get a waiver (my hearing exceeded the standards at 2000Hz). Since I wasn't appointed to the academy or scholarship, I was never given a waiver. I was told by the academy that I was not denied an appointment because of my disability. After being rejected, I still wanted to become an officer and did not give up.

    Flash forward to the present, I am a freshmen at NC state in the college of engineering. I joined the Naval ROTC college program here in hopes to one day pick up a scholarship or advanced standing. The program has been tough (waking up early everyday, preparing uniforms, pqs, etc) and I am always busy. However, I knew that all the hard work would pay off if i could one day gain a commission. At my orientation (about 8 weeks ago) we filled out paperwork and I marked that I had hearing loss. This alerted my active duty staff and we worked to sort it all out. I gave them my most recent hearing test, took another hearing test, and showed them a letter from dodmerb saying I could receive a waiver. It took me a few weeks to get all of this done.

    2 days ago I spoke with my advisor and was informed that due to my hearing loss, I would not be able to commission in the Navy or Marine Corps. I was heartbroken. I called the Navy medical professionals and they told me the same information. My parents told me that I could still serve the military as a civilian, but I know it wouldn't be the same experience as being a SWO. Even though I cant commission, my advisor said I could stay with the program if i wanted (i would be able to stay until my junior year). It's been very hard lately to sit through my navy labs and classes and learn about communities I can't join. I'm undecided on what I want to do. I didn't mind the hard work when I knew it could one day pay off and I've already made friends with the program. However now that I know i can't commission, I already find it hard to find some motivation. I think i'm going to stay until the semester is over or if it gets too challenging. Any advice on what I should do is appreciated.
     
  2. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Just a dad

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    Consider speaking to the NC State Army Recruiting Operations Officer (ROO) and inquire if your hearing level would allow you to commission in the Army.

    Here is the link to the NC State Cadre:
    https://army.dasa.ncsu.edu/our-team/
     
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  3. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    There is no reason you cannot remain friends with folks in the program even if you withdraw. My son has many friends who withdrew from his NROTC program for various reasons. Even though he has no commissioned as is no longer in college he is seeing some of these friends while on leave. That being said, there are leadership lessons you can learn in the program that you will not learn elsewhere. As you've implied there are also time management lessons you can learn. You need to weigh these things against an increased focus on academics and GPA.
     
  4. ENwifeArmyMom

    ENwifeArmyMom Member

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    I would stay with ROTC, learn what you can bc in the end it will benefit you. Continue with engineering and upon graduation consider the Army Corps of Engineers. No, your right, it is not the military but they are highly respected by the Army. I know you are sad by what you have been told but civilians play a huge part of the success of the military. Good luck!!
     
  5. tjb1975

    tjb1975 Member

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    I'm a bit confused with this statement. There are AD Army in the Corps of Engineers.
     
  6. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    I don't like what I am reading, but not sure if there is anything you could do about it. When the DoDMERB told you that you could get a waiver, I believe they are referring to the waiver process only. The waiver decision is made by the commissioning source, not DoDMERB. Which leads to the next point, not sure if your ROTC program even requested a waiver for you. The waiver request/decision is the discretion of the commissioning source, so the ROTC program is not required to request a medical waiver for you. There might be a new policy of no medical wavier request, just don't know.
     
  7. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    If you enjoy engineering and want to serve, but not in uniform, look for Pathways positions at USAjobs, the Federal Govt civil service job website, which are designed for recent graduates. There are many Federal agencies which could be a viable career for you with your degree.

    While the Army Corps of Engineers has a military command structure, and AD throughout, it has a large civilian component. See this link:
    http://www.usace.army.mil/Careers/
     
  8. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    I don't know the exact percentage but it's something like 90/10 civilian/AD Army or 80/20 civilian/AD Army. For AD Army, assignments to the Army Corps of Engineer usually happens after 6 to 8 years of service.
     
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  9. inSANEmom

    inSANEmom Member

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    Let me present the other side to this...

    If you have truly done everything you can to get a waiver and exhausted every possibility to get into the Navy, and the final answer is no, you cannot commission, then leave. Accept that the path you wanted to take is blocked and you have to go a different way. Staying is holding on to something you can't have, and is only going to lead to discontent and bitterness. I would suggest one of two options at this point...

    1. If military service (not just Navy service) is your goal, go speak to the Air Force and the Army to see if you can get a waiver from one of them. If you can get a waiver, switch ROTC programs and drive on. If not, know that active duty military service is just not in your future.

    2. Set your military goal aside and focus on your degree. Both while you are studying and after graduation you can be involved in a wide variety of organizations that support military service members. After graduation, you can seek a career that works directly with the military. The last several assignments that my husband has had he worked with 90%+ civilians. You can still "serve" the military and the country as a civilian. While service members of course play a critical role in the military... nothing would be accomplished if it weren't for the civilian professional involvement.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
     
  10. ENwifeArmyMom

    ENwifeArmyMom Member

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    Yes, of course you are right, but primarily they are civilians.
     

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