leaving USNA- parents

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by thatguy, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. thatguy

    thatguy New Member

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    How can i get my dad to understand that the Naval Academy is not for me? He can't seem to grasp that this lifestyle isn't for me and ROTC gives me the same commission.
     
  2. JettAirliner

    JettAirliner USNA Appointee 2016

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    At the end of the day, it's your life. You make the decision and he'll have to come to grips with it.
     
  3. dadkone

    dadkone Member

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    I sent you a PM
     
  4. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Obviously, we don't know you or your parents. Here's the best advice I can give:

    You're now an adult. You entered USNA believing it was for you. Once there, you realized it was not. You still want to be an officer but believe that ROTC is a better option for you. Tell your parents the above and pursue your new dream.

    It's your first leap into adulthood. Be sure leaving USNA is truly what you want. If it is, then forge ahead.

    When I left the USN, my parents were shocked. They supported me but, at some level, they thought I was crazy. For me, it turned out well.

    Adults make decisions and have to live with the consequences of those decisions. That's where you are now.
     
  5. singaporemom

    singaporemom Member

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    I, obviously, do not know your situation..... but if you have not yet separated please think long and hard. Can you get to the end of the first semester and at least have some college courses behind you? Can you possibly make it to the end of the first academic year?

    Plebe year is not easy. It is not supposed to be. You are pushed out of your comfort zone. But every day will come small successes. I do not know how your Plebe summer went, but think of finishing that as a huge accomplishment!

    Okay, that is what your parents will say....most likely....

    Then, if you are still set on separating, what is your plan? What college will you attend. Have you applied for ROTC?

    Do you want to take a year off, and then apply for college and ROTC, or do you have a back up?

    This is a grownup decision with grownup consequences. I would suggest you take this semester/year to put a plan in place and do the best that you can do with the situation you are now in. You will have at least some college credit and a solid footing when you walk into the discussion with your parents. Please seek out a mentor and/or chaplain to speak to. You could greatly benefit from speaking to someone about this.

    It's okay to have doubts about your path, but you are now at the age that planning your next path would be wise.
     
  6. fishbowl

    fishbowl Member

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    Thatguy - I guess that I misunderstood your first thread to mean that you had already separated, or were at least 99% through the separation process. If you are still a full-fledged Plebe, please seek out counseling and advice from the Chaplains on how to communicate your decision with your Dad. If there is any chance of you staying through the end of the semester, know that things get easier second semester and then exponentially easier Youngster year. Also, not to be a downer, but please take a look at the ROTC thread - with all the budget pressures coming to bear on the DOD, ROTC may not be as ready an option as it was when you applied to civilian colleges last year. Last, like the U2 song goes: "it's just a moment, it's time will pass". I know that it doesn't seem like it right now, but these few months are but a short span in your life - please make sure that you evaluate all your options before finalizing your decision.
     
  7. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    thatguy, there is good advice above.

    Something to think about is the "lifestyle not for me" comment...it is that you don't feel you fit into the full immersion SA approach to a commission?

    Yes, it is the same commission as ROTC, but the active duty life is the same: full of pressures, challenges, seemingly impossible deadlines, tons of rules and regulations, discipline, boundaries, mandatory PFT, obedience to orders, stacks and stacks of authority above you, some bureaucratic mindlessness. That's all mixed in with the really great stuff. Sound a bit like USNA? Though I was not a SA grad, I found during my time on the Commandant's staff, that all the apparently crazy stuff that plebes were required to do outside the academic pressure cooker, prepared them exceptionally well for active duty life. The strong academic and professional curricula formed a superb foundation, but that stuff like spending endless hours doing the bulletin boards and finding consensus as a team, scrounging for materials and then having the boards ripped by an upperclass for no apparent reason - oddly mirrored many experiences I had prepping PowerPoint presentations for senior leadership at the Pentagon. The ability to milk every bit of productivity out of a minute by finely honed time management skills, the ability to produce - and eventually lead - under immense pressure, the ability to memorize and retain information and then deliver or apply it -- plebe year is a hot mess of skills being born and then brought to maturity by the end of 1/C year. The other 3 years are NOT plebe year. Take a look at the upper class you see going about their business, getting work done, doing some relaxing and laughing with a circle of friends or teammates, coming back in civvies after a good weekend away - that is you, eventually. And they were you, not that long ago.

    Do seek out the chaplains or other counselors there to help you sort out whether this is transient or not, and what specifically is not right for you, extending to whether ROTC and a commission is right for you too.

    Try setting some short-term goals, like being SAT through six weeks, then assess. Focus on what you can do today, right now, to just get through what is set before you. Break down mountain-sized tasks into smaller ones to feel some forward movement.

    Good luck on your journey.
     
  8. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    That's the part that always confused me.

    The "R" in "ROTC" stands for "Reserve" right?

    That leads me to believe that a commission via "ROTC" would be a "reserve" commission.

    Is that what is granted upon graduation from the USNA, a reserve commission?

    I always thought they received "regular" commissions.
     
  9. JettAirliner

    JettAirliner USNA Appointee 2016

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    In the past, I think ROTC was for reserve officers. Today, everyone commissions into active duty. If I understand correctly, there's also a difference with the midshipmen/cadets themselves: at a military academy, you're on active duty, with ROTC, you're a reservist.

    But don't quote me on that.
     
  10. agolson

    agolson Eagle43

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    AF - Navy football game

    Please post any new videos for the upcoming game.
    Thanks
     
  11. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    I'm not talking about "active duty" vs "reserve duty" and yes, I know cadets/mids are on active duty. :rolleyes:

    I'm talking about the commission - regular vs reserve.

    Reserve vs. Regular Officers

     
  12. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    In 2005, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2005 made all officers of all branches who are serving on active duty "Regular" officers. Prior to the early 1990's there was a difference between officers serving on active duty commissioned as "reserve" officers and officers serving on active duty commissioned as "regular" officers. All Service Academy graduates were commissioned as "Regular" officers, while most ROTC Officers were commissioned as "Reserve" officers- save for those who graduated as Distinguished military Graduates" (DMG). The difference was not about active duty- however an officer with a Regular commission was typically not "riffed" as opposed to a Reserve officer (though post Vietnam this was waived). Also a Reserve officer had to have "augmented" into the Regular ranks by his 20th year or could not continue on active duty. There was a minor compensation for staying a Reserve Officer on AD for 20 years though- - when they passed the laws prohibiting double dipping- Retired Regular officers had a portion of their retired pay withheld if they took a job with the US Government. However, officers who had retired with USAR commissions were not required to have any of their retired pay offset. ?

    In the Early 90's the rules were changed to bring equality to the commissioning sources- making all initial commissions into the Reserve regardless of source- so USMA grads as well as ROTC grads were commissioned as USAR and then augmented at the 5 year mark. This was really unpopular with the Service Academies understandably - but the desire for equality at commissioning was also pretty strong from the 70% of the AD officers who were not Academy grads. The NDAA of 2005 changed the policy in 2005 and now everyone on active duty is a "regular officer" unless they have been mobilized and serving with a mobilized reserve/guard unit. The RIF policies no longer apply either; and everyone serving as a Reserve Officer is either in an Individual Ready reserve or drilling troop reserve unit. In the Army BTW- ROTC graduates are commissioned into either the Active force or into Reserve status with the USAR or National Guard- they don't necessarily go on Active duty at all other than for initial training (and will be USAR officers serving on Active Duty for Training.


    It was a confusing system, and in the Army especially was even more confusing as there was also something called an AUS (Army of the United States) commission which was typically a wartime temporary rank (for example in WW2 - Dwight Eisenhower at one point was a permanent LtCol and a LtGen AUS) which one held until either being confirmed in their permanent rank in the Regular ranks , or until reverting to permanent rank.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011
  13. singaporemom

    singaporemom Member

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    Not all ROTC cadets/midshipmen are guaranteed active duty. Speaking from experience with my oldest son who is AROTC. He is awaiting the OML to see where his score places him. There is an active duty cuty off score.
     
  14. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    thatguy -
    The real question is have you convinced yourself? If you have then you don't need to convince your dad. He will come to the realization with time.

    I have no idea what the parent/child dynamic here is - but the decision of whether or not to stay or leave rests ultimately with you.

    Your dad wants what is best for you - he doesn't want to see you throw away an opportunity like the Naval Academy. He wants to give you the best parental advice and support he can. Take heed and communicate with him. If you make (or made) the decision not to take his advice, he is naturally going to be disappointed.
    You are a grown up now - take responsibility for your decision. Act on it with deep thought and a plan. Move forward. If your plan includes financial help from him - then ask don't demand and offer some sacrifice of your own. If you choose to go the NROTC route, work hard, get good grades and earn a commission he will come around somewhere along the way.
    Hopefully you have detailed all the pros and cons and are making an informed decision.
     
  15. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    :thumb: Excellent advice. Lots of folks leave before their committment kicks in- if it's not right for you there is no stigma attached to doing so. But Just make sure that you aren't confusing short term dissatisfaction with the need for an immediate change. Something in hand is usually better than nothing - so as a minimum my suggestion would be- have a plan that doesn't waste what you have already done. Even if you are really dissatisfied now- is it worth leaving with nothing to show for it which is what you will have if you bolt before the end of the semester.
     
  16. 2012mom?

    2012mom? Member

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    thatguy: I have a very good friend who left a SA after his first semester, and a daughter who is a Firstie.

    Some thought questions for you: (I am NOT asking you to answer here, but for you to seriously answer them to yourself)
    On the decision to leave: If you have decided that you don't want to be an officer in the Navy or USMC, leaving USNA is obviously the right choice. However, you say that you still want to become an officer, just via ROTC.
    - As mentioned above, what exactly do you see that's going to make it better for your career 5 years from now if you leave USNA? The past few months seem extremely long to you, but in reality, the whole of Plebe year is a really short time compared to your career. You will be commissioned at least one year after your current classmates. You will compete for service selection spots with all other ROTC grads across the country. Where's the up-side?
    - Have you contacted any ROTC unit(s) to see if they have spots in their unit?
    - What is the policy regarding ROTC scholarship awards for those who are not coming straight in from HS?
    - If you can't get an ROTC scholarship, how are you going to pay for school?

    On timing of leaving:
    - You're barely at "six weeks," so leaving now/soon will leave you with a semester gap. I concur with those above who advised you to at least make it through this semester, so you'll have transfer credits.
    - If you leave after the semester, what are you going to do in January? Can you start classes at a local college/junior college? Are you going to get a full time job for the spring/summer?
    - Where do you plan to live? If you want to move back in at home, your parents will probably expect you to live by the same rules as when you were in HS. Are you ready to abide by that? They make expect you to pay some amount of rent, since you legally became an emancipated adult on I-day. If so, how are you going to do it?

    Plebe year is a suck-it-up-and-get-through-it year. I personally know several recent grads who seriously decided - sometimes multiple times - that they were going to leave USNA. Two are now in the process of becoming Naval Aviators. One will be Commissioned on 29 May. None regret staying.

    If you really want your parents to understand your decision, be prepared to explain to them, as an adult, answers to all of these questions, and any others they may have.
     
  17. TheDukeOfEarl

    TheDukeOfEarl Member

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    This point made by Capt MJ is the core point to take away here, thatguy. I was never in the service; I lurk here because my son is pursuing appointment. It took me over 15 years of OJT in civilian jobs to learn the skills that Capt MJ outlines above. I attended a top engineering school (back when we used slide rules and batch cards) and got smart with numbers and formulas, but at no point did anyone ever show me how to be smart in organizing my life and dealing with the challenges of interacting with and leading people. My initial foray into management was trial (by fire) and error. My people suffered and I suffered. By the time I was in my late 30's I had somewhat of an idea, and today I manage a large team. But I know that with the type of training offerd by the SAs, those skills are possessed and handily executed by 22 year old men and women. That's my parent piece of this, looking back from my 50's to you as a young man of 18. Take it as just one more data piont.

    I second this. In the end, after talking to people who will come down on each side of the issue, you will make a decision that is yours alone to make. As stated above by others, if it is "I cannot stand plebe year shenanigans" then you have some more thinking to do. If it is "The whole thought of being in uniform for the next 10 years or more makes me ill and besides I can't stand the taste or smell of salt water" then you may be closer to a decision. But make sure you do have a next step in hand if you decide to leave; and know that this is probably the first significant irreversible decision of your adult life, so make sure you weigh all aspects with that in mind. Take the advice given here by people who recommend you talk to your Chaplain at USNA. I assure you they are well-prepared to have this discussion with you, and have likely had it with dozens of others over the years. They will be prepared to lead yu through the proper thought process and have the knowledge of what you are contending with from an insider's perspective. Regardless of where you end up, best of luck. If you had what it took to get an appointment at USNA, you clearly have what it takes to succeed there or wherever you end up.
     
  18. terp1984

    terp1984 Member

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    My DS had an appointment for class of 2014 but turned it down May 1. He did not want the 24/7 of the academy. He joined NROTC as a college programmer at a top university and enjoys it immensly. The problem is, dad is now paying 45k/year tuition. He had the highest male GPA in the unit last semester with top PRT's and leadership awards but he may not be able to recieve a commission if he does not recieve an in school scholarship or advanced standing. So-it's just not so easy to join nrotc and become an officer. IMO it is harder to get a 2-3 year college scholarship than it is to get into the academy, there are only 36 spots available for the entire country for class of 2014 and there were none for class of 2013. If your goal is to become a naval officer you have a sure thing now and no guarantee for the other routes with the current budget constraints.
     
  19. vira

    vira Surfrider

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    Take it from another Plebe who left, I regret my decision every day. Please think this over carefully before you do, and since you're already in the Ac year, might as well try and finish at least a semester so you can have some college credits. I was fortunate enough to get into a school when I separated; you may not be so lucky. And ROTC is a whole different world; the fact that you separate from the Naval Academy may prevent you from joining another officer training program (or at least a scholarship). Think about how you're going to pay for tuition, room and board, and other expenses. You have a great thing going right now, so think this over carefully!
     
  20. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    Yep.

    ...and so will you.

    Choose wisely...
     

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