Medical disenrollment from ROTC/SMP with scholarship

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Rich Ashley, Mar 19, 2015.

  1. Rich Ashley

    Rich Ashley New Member

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    Our son was a sophomore AROTC student who had received a 3 yr. Guaranteed Reserve Forces scholarship and was in the Simultaneous Membership Program with the Ohio Army National Guard. He’s maintained about a 3.0 GPA, is a football player, and from all indications his ROTC and NG units were pleased with his performance. His ROTC unit had even nominated him for an Air Assault School slot this summer.

    Because his older sister had been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder late in her college career (she still graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Auburn University), he thought he should be tested to see if there was something he could do to improve his academic performance. In January he was seen by a psychologist who evaluated him as follows, “he does meet the current DSM-IV criteria for Adult AD/HD, mild. He does not evidence a learning disability or cognitive deficit …”

    Following that, his family doctor prescribed Adderall to see if it would aid in his ability to concentrate in class. He used a 30 day prescription (only taking them on days he had class and never on days when he had ROTC class or lab, or NG drill. He received one refill, took a few of them, but stopped early this month because he didn’t think there was any significant effect. Late in February he told his ROTC and ARNG units about the medication.

    On March 16th, he received a letter dated March 10, 2015 from Cadet Command informing him he had been disenrolled “due to a disqualifying medical condition, history of academic skills disorder/learning disability requiring medication therapy.” He is not being required to pay back any of his scholarship money. To the best of our knowledge the other documentation Cadet Command had was a copy of his prescription, although it’s possible he gave his ROTC unit a copy of the psychologist’s report. He informed his ARNG unit of the disenrollment letter and, thus far, has heard nothing back from them.

    I’ve been digging through the ARs and NGRs and it seems like the chance of him being reenrolled all require him to reapply after one year without medication. Reinstatement of his scholarship would require him to go through the application process again, with no guarantee of success.

    We’re trying to decide what to do. A huge factor is what his status is with the ARNG. We know that if he’d been disenrolled for academic or disciplinary reasons he’s return to enlisted status, but since the letter says he is “ineligible to commission or enlist in the Armed Forces because … you no longer meet the medical qualifications …”

    Any thoughts or suggestions?
     
  2. Sled

    Sled Member

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    All he could do is wait the required time without taking the medication. He would need a waiver to start up again and like you said there is no guarantee of success. Also I know that mental health is an issue that is taken seriously in the military and people are often discharged. It's good that you are looking into it with the ARNG unit also.

    IMPO Don't fix what isn't broke. If he was just looking for a way to boost his GPA vs. having an extremely hard time with school he may have made a mistake. ADD/ADHD as we all know is over diagnosed. You know your son better than anyone else and can tell if he is having a hard time. It's a tough situation and I'm sorry to hear that he's been disenrolled.
     
  3. Danimal223

    Danimal223 AROTC c/o 2019 hopeful

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    Your son gave Cadet Command a copy of his prescription?
     
  4. Rich Ashley

    Rich Ashley New Member

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    He took the prescription to show his unit in case he was random drug tested.
     
  5. Danimal223

    Danimal223 AROTC c/o 2019 hopeful

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    Ah I see.
     
  6. Danimal223

    Danimal223 AROTC c/o 2019 hopeful

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    Then his unit gave it to Cadet Command?
     
  7. Rich Ashley

    Rich Ashley New Member

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    The way I read the regulations, the unit will retain him as an EM and order him to Basic and AIT. It's unlikely he'll be able to be back in time for school next fall.
     
  8. Rich Ashley

    Rich Ashley New Member

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    Yes. They apparently sent it up for a medical determination. No other information. What's really aggravating is that if he'd been accused of misconduct, he'd have been entitled to a hearing. Instead, during the middle of his spring break he answers the door and gets a certified letter telling him he's out of ROTC and lost his scholarship.
     
  9. Danimal223

    Danimal223 AROTC c/o 2019 hopeful

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    That's a real shame and definitely ruins a spring break.
     
  10. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    No offense intended at all to the OP, but how did your son NOT know what the consequences of his actions were going to be? It is pretty well drilled into these kids' heads that any negative change in medical status can be cause for disenrollment and loss of scholarship. An ADHD diagnosis, and more importantly a prescription, is one of the "biggies". I find it hard to believe he did not know what was coming before he even made the dr. appt.

    As far as his guard contract is concerned, he will likely not have to go to basic/AIT and serve out his contract as enlisted, since he no longer meets the medical standard. Someone more knowledgeable than I can comment on whether or not he now has to meet the enlistment standard or the retention standard, but since he hasn't completed his initial entry training, my guess is he's out and will find it difficult to return.

    Please update us as to how this turns out, so future cadets can learn from it.

    Obligatory edit: of course a cadet's health should always come first. If you have a medical issue, resolving it should always be your first priority, even to the detriment of your status in ROTC. That having been said, I'm not sure why anyone would go looking for problems in the absence of a clear medical issue.
     
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  11. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army

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    This should not be a surprise. His contract required him to report a change in medical condition that may result in disqualification. Having an academic skills defect that requires medication is a disqualifying condition.

    The lesson here is if you are a Cadet and you are going to be treated for a medical condition you may want to check with your ROO or HRA to see what the implications are. If your son was at Clarkson and came to me with his issue I would have told him first off that I'm not a doctor. I would have then showed him the DOD regulation and the Army Regulations that govern medical qualification and showed him what it said regarding ASDs. I would have then counseled him that if he and his doctor determine that he needs accommodations and needs to be on medication then we will be required to get a medical determination, and that that medical determination may be that he be disenrolled.

    When the request for medical determination went up he should have signed the back of the form 131r, which would have explained to him that he could be disenrolled.
     
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  12. Rich Ashley

    Rich Ashley New Member

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    He had no such info. I should have known. He needs no accommodations. The mess were were only temporary to help assess what is "normal" so he could manage thru self-help. All he was trying to do was see if there was a medical reason he had a hard time concentrating in some classes.
    He no longer meets the medical standards for enlistment or appointment, but ADD doesn't appear to to bar retention.
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Confused here and I think posters like Clarkson, Jcleppe, Bull, EDalahnty can clear this up from a lurker/poster perspective.

    If I have this right, they are scholarship from an SMP perspective. How is it that they did not do a DoDMERB exam?

    If they did the exam, than how is it he didn't realize after filling out the forms...prescribed medication, diagnosis issues that he didnt think this would be a huge red flag.

    My heart breaks for your family Rich Ashley. I wish your family the best results. I am just with clarkson, as a sophomore he should have had some insight regarding this issue.
    I don't know about his unit and AROTC, but I know for my DS as an AFROTCscholarship recipient that played intramural sports, if he sprained and ankle, broke a toe, he would tape it up himself instead of going to a doc for fear of losing the scholarship
    ~ Not something we approved of, always found out after the fact, but as a scholarship recipient at his unit it was always about two things!
    ~~~ CGPA and Medical.

    Than again for him it was drilled in by his unit that as a scholarship recipient if his cgpa fell below X.YZ, or his medical issues changed, than the scholarship would be revoked. He was always athletic so the PFA didn't matter.
     
  14. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    Pima, it sounds like the kid went more or less on a whim to see if he has ADHD like his sister- not saying he has or hasn't experienced any symptoms, but that, per the OP, his sister's diagnosis seemed to be the precipitating factor. It's entirely possible that occurred long after any DoDMerb physical took place.

    And, as I said originally and many have echoed since, the kid absolutely should have known what the impact was going to be to both his contract and his scholarship. Like your son, I have yet to meet an ROTC cadet who isn't very cognizant of both those factors.
     
  15. Rich Ashley

    Rich Ashley New Member

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    Ye
    Yes, that is what he should have done. When he did report it they had him sign the form, but he was told that he would just have to be off any meds before LDAC. Nobody made a big deal of it so he was not concerned until he received the disenrolent letter. We're gathering statements from the doctors and putting to together a rebuttal, but it's probably a waste of time. But we have to try. This far, we can't get any info fromhis NG unit.
     
  16. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    I agree with this, for the most part cadets have a good understanding of the regulations and the battalion cadre make sure they understand the entire process....for the most part.

    I would only say that not all ROTC battalions are created equal, for many cadets that come from families that have no experience with the military, they have to rely only on the information they receive from their cadre. Sometimes this information is not as detailed as it might be in other battalions. You only have to read the threads on this board to find cadets and parents that find out information here that they were never told by their own battalion.

    If a cadet goes to talk with the cadre and they tell him that it won't be an issue and you just have to be off the meds before LDAC, most cadets will take that information and run with it. Granted this cadet should have checked with his cadre before getting any prescription, but given what he was told, it may not have made a difference.
     
  17. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    ^ Agreed, jcleppe.
     
  18. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    We can discuss this until the cows come home, BUT we all know the answer right now from a DoDMERB aspect. He has a problem because he has a prescription for Adderall and that means an automatic DQ. ADD is à DQ.

    Rich Ashley, my best advice is to find a DoDMERB consultant and figure out how to work the way out of it since he doesn't need the meds. I would look up in the search for posters MullenLE. He just posted a few weeks ago regarding new email contacts for DoDMERB.
    ~~ MullenLEs address is insane!y long for direct contact., but in your case I would without a doubt contact him personally.

    You made a foolish mistake trying to be a great parent without understanding the impact regarding DoDMERB.

    Long time posters here will tell you that I don't jump to the contact DODMERB consultants. Most will tell you that I am the one that says don't contact MullenLE for help me for some BS reason. MullenLE is the Deputy Director at DoDMERB. He probably gets 100+ emails a day regarding DoDMERB issues a day for his job, can you imagine how many he would get from this site? This site has 20000+ posters
    ~ contact him impo because your child is unique. You were being a parent that cared and didn't understand that the military is different than the "REAL" world.

    You maybe able to fix this.

    That being said, as a parent, you need to pull back. He needs to step up. It is a different life.
     
  19. JMS

    JMS Member

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    I note in the other thread on same subject in DODMERB, that if the OP's real name resembles his screen name, he may wish to reconsider using that name when discussing personal info on a public forum.
    I wish you and your son well.
     

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