Misdemeanor affect ROTC Scholarship?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by BEP, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. BEP

    BEP New Member

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    I have received a 4yr ROTC Scholarship but have not contracted yet. This weekend I received a citation for underage alcohol possesion. (First Offense) I go to court next week. Does anyone know how this may affect my scholarship? I don't have any previous charges. I know my decision making and character will be in question.

    Thanks
     
  2. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Well-I know at least one cadet in that situation (not alcohol related- it was reckless driving and a missed court date that resulted in a bench warrant and he got a fine and some community community service and the case was eventually tossed with "no action" as the assistant DA and the judge cut him some slack). He wound up in front of the PMS and convinced him that he was a stupid 18 year old who had learned his lesson and they contracted him,as far as I have heard, he's getting commissioned next spring after he graduates. Different circumstances, different PMS- maybe different outcome, no guarantees.
    I assume that nothing has changed in the last couple of years. I assume that you are going in front of a judge next week, so what I would do: Make the biggest effort of your life to dress and act like a grown up- suit and tie; with your parents there, then get this reduced if you can. Then (note the sequence- get it resolved fast and then talk to the ROTC department) you will have to explain this to the PMs at your school and they will decide how to proceed.
    Don't let anyone sugar coat this for you- you were stupid- you jeopardized a lot for a beer. Let's hope that you can convince the PMS that you know this as well as anyone and that he has the discretion to act as he sees appropriate. AND above all- don't try and hide this as it will come up rapidly on even a rudimentary security clearance background check.

    This is my opinion- I wish that you weren't asking for it as this kind of situation is what everyone gets warned about.
     
  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    It is not an answer anyone can give 100% certainty for. The options may range to kiss the scholarship goodbye to don't do it again.

    I would contact 1st thing Monday a..m. an attorney to see if you can get this plead down to a lower offense, that will help since it is not an alcohol offense. If the attorney can, go and pay the fine immediately.

    Get in front of this now and contact ROTC. You are required to inform them of any legal issues. At our DS's school that means even a speeding ticket.

    This issue will not disappear even after it is resolved with you staying in ROTC. The reason why is that in 4 yrs when you go for a security clearance, one question they will ask is if you have been convicted of anything. Underage drinking would require you to say "yes". Another question would be if there were any "alcohol issues", which you would have to say "yes" again.

    This is the time that cadets need to really comprehend the military is downsizing, and you should not give them any ammunition to cut you. I know at our DS's school that they would lose their scholarship, and if it occurred on campus, the school would have the right to expel them since every student signs a 0 tolerance form regarding underage drinking on campus. Yes, I know it wasn't at school, but my point is how seriously schools (on paper) take this issue.

    I am sorry for you and having your happiness put in jeopardy, I hope it works out.

    Xposted with bruno

    I would also be prepared to work at a 200% level as soon as you get there, because you now need to illustrate that this was a 1x stupidity issue, and not you getting caught for the 1st time. The CoC is going to know your name day one, and not in a good way.

    Lesson for others it is yours to lose.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2011
  4. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Bruno talked about a cadet that had an incident that looked to be about 3 years ago, and was not alcohol related.

    Within the last year Cadet Command has adopted a zero tolerance policy toward alcohol related incidents. I can only relay a couple incidents from my son's school. A cadet on scholarship received a MIP (Minor in possession), he was removed from the program. A senior cadet 4 months from graduating received a DUI, he was removed, was not allowed to commission, and has now enlisted for 4 years to pay back the scholarship, Harsh but a reality.

    You need to contact your PMS as soon as you can. My thought would be that things do not look very good for you at this point. Do not hesitate, call while there. may still be time to work something out or go through a waiver process.
     
  5. SaltLife

    SaltLife Candidate

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    The same thing happened to me. Go to court and plead the first offenders program which will automatically put you in a alcohol education course that you must complete and pass. Then the charge will be removed from your record but I still told everyone on my applications. You should most definitely tell your PMS though. It says on one of the contract forms that a misdemeanor over 250 dollars will result in you needing a waiver from your PMS but I know for a fact that it wont be over 250 so you should be good. Drugs are a no tolerance policy and if you use them while in ROTC and get caught you will lose your scholarship and get the boot.

    A recently commissioned 2nd LT at the school I will be attending in the fall said he knows personally of a few cadets having these citations. Anyways best of luck to you!
     
  6. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Take Salt's advice, look into your state's options. I believe in NC, it is called Prayer for Judgment,(not kidding about the name) at least that's what I recall it being called. It is a one time deal, and if you have any other offenses in a certain time frame (I think it is 3 or 5 yrs), your license is revoked. This is why many will pay the attorney to get it plead down, it costs about the same as the fine, maybe a little bit more, but the fear of their license being revoked is removed.

    Salt, you are lucky. I know of a cadet from your state that had an AFROTC scholarship Type 1 to a top university in your state revoked. As I also stated I know at DS's school a cadet not on scholarship was given the boot. JCleppe's DS's school did the same too to 2 cadets on scholarship.

    It really does come down to the command support as others have stated. OP needs to get the issue cleared today, and tomorrow contact the unit.

    BEP, if you are AROTC, I suggest contacting Marist or Clarkson, they will be the best source of information for you regarding this situation and how to rectify it in a positive manner. The rest of us can only give you anecdotal stories or what we would do if in that scenario.

    Again good luck, I hope it works out.

    For everyone please understand this is not the same ROTC that existed 5 yrs ago when the class of 11 entered/awarded scholarships. Marist or Clarkson (can't remember) stated when they started at their unit 20 AROTC scholarships were awarded and only 6 were this yr. Both have stated IS scholarships are not going to happen this yr due to a moratorium. AFROTC's SFT selection rate has dropped by @15% nationally since 08. DoD must cut 10% of their budget, and if Adm. Mullens is saying pay and bennies for AD and retirees are not off the table, you can bet ROTC scholarships are on the table.

    Sorry if that scares the BeeGeeGees out of some of you, but it is important to "get it". To quote a line from Dumbledore "these are dark times". You just need to be Harry and you will prevail through them.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2011
  7. gojack

    gojack ....

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    Get a lawyer, do anything/everything you can to get it reduced.
    A conviction for minor possession of alcohol is VERY bad news in ROTC.
     
  8. virgop

    virgop New Member

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    I have a question along a similar line, I got an MIP for alcohol six years ago. It was not a state law at the time, but a city ordinance (in Missouri). Actually, it had a lower fine than littering by about $400. I made a mistake, paid my fine, and learned my lesson.

    Since then, I have become a responsible adult. That was the only time I have ever had any infraction (other than a speeding ticket a few years ago). Now, I'd like to join the ROTC, and I'm worried my dumb kid mistake will bite me in the rear. I have an appointment next week with the PMS at my school to discuss the situation and see if I can still become a Cadet. Joining the Army is something I have wanted to do for a long time, as I can think of nothing more rewarding than serving my country. I would really appreciate any advice on the subject anyone might have.

    Thanks.
     
  9. usna1985

    usna1985 Super Moderator Moderator

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    This shouldn't be an issue given the timeframe. Just be honest.

    For others out there, ANY alcohol offense if viewed very negatively by the SAs, ROTC and the military in general. If it happens on Active Duty -- and especially if you're an officer, your career is toast.

    In all honesty, if you got nabbed for an alcohol offense when you were 12 and have had no issues since, probably not a huge issue. If it happens when you're 17, it's another story.

    Whatever you do, never ever lie. Even if your record is "expunged," don't count on the fact that, when you go for a security clearance, they won't find it. So, admit whatever it was, (hopefully) show that you're a changed person, and go forward.
     
  10. SaltLife

    SaltLife Candidate

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    Honestly a lawyer is not at all necessary. You will end up spending alot of money to get someone to do what you can do yourself. Before you even talk to a judge you talk to a magistrate( I think thats what they are) and thats where you will plead guilty, not guilty, or first offenders program. What he writes on the paper is what the judge will see so I was only infront of the judge for like 30 seconds. He said to me you are pleading the first offenders program I see and then told me to go and sit down and wait for someone to pretty much enroll me into the alcohol edu classes. The class was actually pretty funny because my teacher was hilarious and the videos they show you are so far fetched.
     
  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Salt,

    Nobody knows where the OP lives, but in VA, it is a 0 tolerance state. It is a class 1 misdemeanor, with a 2500.00 fine and 50 hours of community service, plus I believe it is a mandated surrender of your license.

    This is why others have said to hire an attorney, because it is worth the cost, especially if you can plead it down. You should also realize that even if they don't lose their license their car insurance carrier will be notified and when the policy is up for renewal they may increase the rate or drop you completely.

    Our friends DD's had an underage drinking offense in NC about 7 yrs ago. Plead it out like you, and @8 months later when Dad got the new car insurance bill it increased by @ 1K a month, yes 10K a yr was what they were forced to pay for insurance with USAA ! He contacted them and they said she has a criminal record showing underage drinking, which makes her a high risk. No, she wasn't driving, it was just for consumption. That is also why people hire attorneys. They don't cost as much as you think, but are worth it because there are bigger issues tied with it than just the fine.

    Additionally make sure you don't lose that paperwork, because in 4 yrs from now you will need to give names and dates to the agent in charge of your security clearance.
     
  12. SaltLife

    SaltLife Candidate

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    It always slips my mind that different states are governed by different laws. NC is much more lenient than Virginia with the payment of dues and in NC for a speeding ticket you can almost automatically get your speeding plead down to 9 over( if your speed was not in excess of 20mph over the speed limit) which eliminates the rise in the cost of insurance. NC is just amazing what can you say:thumb: jk im sure it has its imperfections
     

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