Marijuana Use Question for Larry Mullen

Discussion in 'DoDMERB' started by Shannon Forest, May 2, 2012.

  1. Shannon Forest

    Shannon Forest New Member

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    My child is a senior in high school and has received and accepted an appointment to a service academy. He told me several months ago that he had tried marijuana a couple of times the year before when he was a junior. I did most of the work on the dodmerb health history last June (before he confessed to me) and answered no to both the drug use and alcohol use questions based on conversations I'd had with him a short while before. I don't know if the examining doctor asked him about drug use specifically, but my son said that he did not admit to it at the physical. He passed and is medically qualified.
    He may have also denied it during his local officer interview (last summer) as well.
    I suggested earlier in the year that he "come clean" but he refused, saying it was no big deal and he didn't want to do anything to risk losing his appointment. I backed off.
    A few days ago we got the packet with all the forms he needs to complete in order to report this summer.
    One of the forms is the SF-86, which asks again about illegal drug use.
    I intend to make the case again that everything will be better if he tells the truth.
    Obviously, he's terrified that he'll lose his spot if he admits to what he did.
    It's easy for me to say, but I think it's worth the risk for him to own up to what he did and face whatever consequences that may come.
    And I intend to pull out all the stops to make my case.
    However, I don't think he's risking much.
    While I don't know for sure (and I guess nobody can know for sure), I think that a sincere "Here's what I did, I was too scared to admit it before but I want to be a person of integrity so I'm going to admit it now" will not jeopardize his appointment.
    Yes, he smoked pot a couple of times (he has never been in trouble and has no police record).
    Yes, he probably lied about it to the doctor at his physical.
    But I'm thinking that if he confesses now on his SF-86 that he will most likely not be turned away from the service academy.
    I expect that your advice will be to do all I can to persuade him that telling the truth in this situation is his best option.
    But, the reason for this post is to see if you agree that the risk of losing his spot is small or maybe even non-existent. I'll await your reply.
     
  2. AFrpaso

    AFrpaso USAFA '17

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    Ok, first of all, for the sake of anonymity, I would HIGHLY suggest you remove your son's name from this post. I don't know if you can edit titles or not, maybe contact a mod to do it for you.

    On to your question. You're correct in assuming that no one can give you a direct answer. Honestly, if he admits to it now, I would still accept him, because he had the integrity to eventually stand up. I understand that fear reaction and if you let it control your first actions, you will simply dig yourself a deeper hole. The SF86 is not the last time the drug question will show up. Here's my story.

    Flashback to 2010, I'm just graduating high school. I experimented with MJ use during high school as well, emphasis on experimented. I spent a semester in college and became interested in AFROTC. I went for my initial interview with the Det CC to go over things. I didn't say anything about the MJ, and he didn't ask. I called later because I was scared what might happen if I didn't say anything. He told me I was ineligible for ROTC. I was disappointed but understanding.

    Flash forward six months. I had decided to pursue service and enlist in the USAF. My job required me to hold a Top Secret clearance w/ some extra secret squirrel stuff. The forms I had to fill out were ridiculous but I was perfectly honest about everything, full disclosure. My clearance was approved.

    Within the first six months of my first duty assignment I was briefed on the USAFA and programs to commission enlisted personnel. I decided to apply and see what happened, full disclosure once again. Keep in mind that the process for enlisted personnel is nearly identical to civilians. I expected to be rejected in a similar fashion as AFROTC, but somehow I was accepted.

    The bottom line is that "being of good moral character" is subjective. One service may think your offense meant nothing, while another service might throw your application/appointment out in a heartbeat. In my case, I think it was the fact that I was enlisted and held a TS.

    If your son decides to admit to his fault, then I suggest he call the officer that interviewed him. If you declare it on the SF86 there might not be a hic up until much later down the road. Can you imagine being halfway through basic training and getting kicked out once they processed your clearance paperwork? No fun.

    I wish you luck with your son and his final decision.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2012
  3. Remember_This_Day

    Remember_This_Day Member

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    I agree, remove his name if at all possible. I sent you a message on my opinion on the matter.
     
  4. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Good Lord, What are you trying to do - sabotage your son's career?
    He is a big boy now, he is going to make his own decisions, make his own bed and lay in it. Time to butt out.
    If I were you I would plea to the moderators to delete your post - that is unless you intend to pull aside the nearest officer on I-Day (or R-Day) and tell him your son smoked pot twice.
    Larry Mullen is no longer on this forum. Also DoDMERB has nothing to do with this right now. Perhaps you want to call admissions yourself?
    Here is hoping you are really a troll..........

    (here is a dirty little secret - your son isn't the first to have smoked pot)
     
  5. Shannon Forest

    Shannon Forest New Member

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    Shannon Forest is not his name. Thanks for the feedback.
     
  6. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Shannon,

    One thing to realize is that he will go through another security clearance, when a government investigator will come and interview not only him, but several people as his references including you. This question will be asked to all of you, and now he has to hope nobody says "yes" to that answer 4 yrs from now. It is a flat out question "Do you know if the cadet ever used illegal drugs?" It will be compared to his answer to see if it matches.

    There is a poster on an AF only forum that as a C400 (AFROTC) scholarship cadet with his career assignment, expected to commission in 12, was in fact disenrolled. He admitted to smoking marijuana 3 times in HS. The way the AF saw it was:
    1 time is experimental and they get that, just like JAM pointed out. Multiple times is no longer experimental.

    In the end it was the same result as AFrpaso stated. I would assume and we know what that means, AFrpaso was a unique situation because he already had a TS as an enlisted member, and had admitted it to the AF yrs ago. Being an enlisted member over the course of his AD life he would have had to take random urine tests, which showed that this ended yrs ago.

    That TS clearance as AFrpaso is no joke, it is hundred plus pages of information you submit. It will come out either now or later on, one way or another.

    I would hate to see him be like the AFROTC cadet I know who put in 4 yrs to have it yanked from him months before commissioning because he was not honest when he took the DoDMERB exam as a hs student.
     
  7. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    +100
     
  8. ColinBlueMoon

    ColinBlueMoon Member

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    My opinion on the matter: He's screwed, mainly because he lied to admissions and he told you. If he's told anyone else with loose lips, it may come back to bite him in the butt later. He's already proven that fact that he can't even keep his own mouth shut because he told you in the first place when he could've easily gotten away with it.

    Also, if Forest is your real last name, then it's not going to be hard at all for admissions to find Cadet Forest, especially since there are only 15 people with the last name of Forest in the entire global email address list and none of them are cadets.

    If you let him get far enough into the academy, and they find this out junior/senior year after he's signed the contract, you've just put your son in over $400,000 worth of debt. You can debate the risk vs. reward for yourself.
     
  9. rkrosnar

    rkrosnar Member

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    Marjuana use Question....

    Totally agree with Just_A_Mom and Christcorp.

    RGK
     
  10. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    I won't say what I would or wouldn't suggest to my son/daughter if they were in the same boat; it's an individual and moral issue. But I see so many threads and posts related to medical where a candidate (usually a parent) puts down every possible thing the kid did since they were born. Then you read the posts about my son/daughter is applying for a waiver because of something that happened 10-15 years ago and hasn't affected them since. The complaints usually start with how silly it is that they are disqualifying based on something that is insignificant and happened so long ago and no longer applies.

    Well; my question to those people are; if you think it was so insignificant; so long ago; doesn't have any affect on you/your kid; then why did you report it? Now I'm not trying to compare some stupid doctor giving a generic catch all ADD/ADHD or pseudo asthma type diagnosis back in 1998 when your kid was 4 years old to trying marijuana when they were 15 or 16. Again, whether or not you report that; or rather if your son reports that; is totally his choice. But whatever your choices are, simply be ready to accept the outcome. No whining; no complaining; no saying the rules are stupid; nothing! Simply be willing and ready to accept whatever happens. To be honest, I haven't looked at the medical history or security clearance forms in a number of years. And I don't know how I'd answer them.

    But I do totally agree with JAM. This should be your son's decision. He is the one that should have filled out his application; including the medical forms. He could ask questions like: "Mom, did I ever have ........" or whatever. But this is suppose to be his life, not yours. Give him advice if you like and tell him the pros and cons to reporting either way. Explain how many times a lie has to be followed by further lies in order to not have the lie backfire. But in the end, the decision has to be his. He is the one that needs to fill out the applications, forms, etc.... You really do need to back off. Best of luck to you in your decisions.
     
  11. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty Member

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    I didn't think so. There will be a problem if a person whose name really is Shannon Forest applies. He or she will probably have to undergo a name change. I don't think an obscure name like Smedley Butler is being used now.
     
  12. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    +100. :beer1:

    my thoughts all along - why is mom/dad even involved in this?
     
  13. dohdean

    dohdean Member

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    As a parent I disagree with one statement above. Parents must be involved in filling out medical forms. No 16 or 17 year old understands their medical history or the significance of diagnoses, medications, surgeries, illnesses, etc. from when they were an infant, in elementary or middle school which can be significant when applying to an academy -- the number of postings on these forums re early diagnosis of possible asthma or other disqualifying conditions means that a parent must (in many cases) be involved in helping a high school student fill out their medical history. As for answering questions re alcohol or marijuana usage -- I think there are some old postings by Larry Mullen, from years prior, on dealing with these questions where there has been some experimentation. Maybe someone who knows how to bring something forward could do a search for one of Mr. Mullen's postings on these issues from 2 or 3 years ago (though of course with fewer cadets being admitted to all of the academies, there may be a different level of scrutiny on some things now than in the past -- something only DodMerb and the academies would know).
     
  14. ColinBlueMoon

    ColinBlueMoon Member

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    By the time a kid is 17-18 years old, they should have a full understanding of any medical issues they have. If you got diagnosed with ADD when you were 4, but it's been so inconsequential in your life that you don't even remember anything about it at age 17-18, then don't put it down. I know a guy who legitimately has asthma and not only managed to enlist in the AF, but also get an appointment to USAFA because he NEVER REPORTED IT. It's rarely an issue for him because it's rather minor, so he never checks off having it.

    And any teenager should know to never tell your parents you did drugs before if you intend to lie about it in the future like the applicant did.
     
  15. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    dohdean,

    Pulling up MullenLE's threads won't help, because as you stated it was yrs ago.
    DoDMERB DQ's, branch waives, waivers 2-3 yrs ago were given more frequently than today.

    I understand your position the parent should be involved, but being involved and filling out the form are 2 different things.

    We did not fill out the form. DS did it next to us in his handwriting, and asked questions if he was unsure, in this case of the OP, it appears/reads that they filled it out for them, and asked the illegal drug question to their child.

    I am not saying it is right or wrong from a parental perspective to fill it out, because let's be honest if we are talking about getting paperwork done it would be faster to have the parent do the questionnaire. I am saying, that from a military perspective the minute that child hits 18, DoDMERB legally cannot discuss 1 thing with the parent because legally he is an adult, medical records at 18 are confidential. He/She may be your dependent, but unless they say you can have access to his file, they legally cannot discuss it with you.

    I hope the OP is not a troll. To me if they are trolling on this site they have a black heart because these members here will be willing to die just so their rights as an American are defended. Worse yet IMPO, you have to have way too much time on your hands to find this site, find what the SF-86 form is. If they are a troll, we need to give pity on them because obviously they have no real life!

    I don't think they are a troll.
     
  16. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Why in God's name does everyone think or suspect someone is a "Troll" just because they ask a question that's a bit different.

    ColinBlueMoon, I don't think your going to find many 17 year olds that have a total grasp of their medical history other the recent injury's. No, your not a "Helicopter Parent" if you help your kid with the Dodmerb paperwork, just don't do the whole thing for them, th OP should not have done that, the kids need to get used to filling out paperwork, there will a lot more to come.

    ShannonForest, your kid screwed up and lied on an official government doc. not a good way to start out. Will that come back to bite him, could be. Had he come clean during the application process that would be one thing, but the appointment is official now, that could be the bigger issue. As far as being found out later if he doesn't tell now, a good possibility. When I went through the paces of several Security Clearances they talked to just about everyone, and don't think the questions they ask are just a straight forward "Did he use drugs" they are very good at getting the answers they are looking for.

    In the end it's up to your son, not you. He will have to make the decision whether to say anything.

    One word of advice, make sure your son knows that while he is now an adult and can do things without your advice or permission he needs to understand one thing, if your son goes to the academy, does not come clean, gets caught before he graduates, he is going to owe an incredible amount of money to the Government. Make sure he understands that being all grown up now means that he is the one on the hook for that money, not you.
     
  17. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Jcleppe: Maybe this will answer a couple things.

    1. Why is it possible that Shannon Forrest is a troll; has only had 3 posts. They are here in this thread. She is asking a question that has no proper answer, only open for debate. E.g. Is abortion right or wrong; Is there a God; etc...
    2. The question isn't a bit different. It's simply a question that can't be answered. Why? Because it's a moral issue. What you or I think is the right answer isn't the right answer for everyone.
    3. Shannon admitted to doing most of the work on the medical forms. She should be there for her son to ask questions of, but her son should be doing the application and the forms. Doesn't matter if they know their whole medical history or not. They can ask mom questions if needed.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2012
  18. USNA1982BGO

    USNA1982BGO Retired Staff Member

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    A lie is a lie. A lie on an official government questionnaire or application is a big lie. This is honor offense material once you are at a service academy. It is best to begin with a clean slate, especially since there are quite a few of us who are BGOs. I do hope that you did not post your real name. If you need to, please PM me.
     
  19. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    1) I thought she asked a pretty straight forward question, "Do you think this will impact her son's appointment" Not sure why only having 3 post's would lead one to believe someone is a Troll, we all started with a "First Post" on this board.

    2) People ask these types of questions on this board all the time..."Do you think I have a chance"...."What school should I attend", of course those aren't moral issues but still questions with no clear answers.

    3) Now this one I completely agree with you, my son filled out the form himself, he would yell into the livingroom and ask if he had a question, He had to fill out some extra paperwork due to a past injury that required names and addresses of doctors and exact dates, we helped him find that information. But again, on this I agree 100%
     
  20. BlindROTC

    BlindROTC Member

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    The OP asked a hard question and asked for experience that may not be publicly documented anywhere. This doesn't make him/her a troll. If the question were easy or clear, it would not be posted. Trying to help the OP:
    He almost certainly denied it during interviews or other paperwork before now. My own experience and my son's experience is limited to ROTC, and that question is not left un-asked. Hard to imagine a service academy would be different. If it were just the DODMERB form, he might say that you filled it out and he didn't check it carefully, but even that is a real weak argument.
    Actually, I think the risk of losing his spot is pretty high. It might still be the best option to answer truthfully now, before recoupment applies. I know someone who's done those background clearance investigations, and it's quite possible the MJ use will come out, especially if it was really more than just a couple of times. (Did your son tell you the whole truth?) There is a mathematical principle of minimizing regret, which I think applies in this case.

    That said, it's your son's decision to make and live with, as many other posters have pointed out. You could tell him that you won't be helping with recoupment, should that come to pass.
     

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