Misdemeanors and ROTC?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Roughrider, Jul 12, 2014.

  1. Roughrider

    Roughrider Member

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    Very disgusted and disappointed to have to ask this question, but Son now has racked up TWO, count 'em, TWO, misdemeanor convictions: 1 speeding ticket, and 1 act of complete idiocy in which he was caught discharging fireworks within city limits. He is 18.

    For what it's worth, he's an honor student, varsity athlete & eagle scout with over 300 hours of community service. He's wanted a military career for as long as I can remember. And since his car has been confiscated indefinitely as a result of the second stunt, he won't be getting any more moving violations.

    I'm not sure he should even bother with the scholarship applications, which is unfortunate, but it may be for the best if he attends college in-state anyway. The bigger question is, is he unlikely to even commission with such boneheadery on his record? Is ROTC itself even an option for him at this point?

    He could have blown his face off with the second incident (miraculously he came out of it with only minor, already-healing, corneal abrasions; the Lord looks out for fools) so the legal considerations are secondary, but we're trying to make some informed choices.

    Thanks for any info.

    RR
     
  2. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    I just asked DS and he said to be upfront on it, put it down on application(waiver), dont dwell on it and go on. I say to remember it is his dream. You are just along for the ride. It has to be for him a learning experience. Also at some point he will need to drive again. If the military is really what he wants then he will have to act, going forward, accordingly. Just remember it is his show. He has to get himself there. I know its tough because I am the ultimate helicopter parent.
     
  3. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    I think these are the questions the OP would like answered.
    BTW - maybe I misinterpreted the part of the car being confiscated, but I thought that was a parent's decision and not a revocation of the young mans license.
     
  4. VMI82

    VMI82 Room 131

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    gut reaction

    18 is as 18 does … stupid. I wasn't much different except I did not get caught.

    That said, in this era of drawdowns I'd suspect that 2 strikes on his record would weigh heavily on his application.

    So my, totally without factual basis, advice is:

    1. Slow down to speed up. Ask him to consider attending local Community College and building up some core credits.

    2. While he does that he could let time heal some wounds and build up some positive chits by doing more good deeds & community service. ROTC selection committees can smell BS a mile away … but they also can sense when someone has made a mistake and has tried to make it right. I'd advise him to not 'pad' his volunteerism with 'look good/mile wide/inch deep' efforts. Rather, I'd advise him to do some real good by working in a local Vet Homeless shelter or Hospice or some effort that truly helps Veterans.

    3. I'd advise him to begin the conversation with his POC at his College of choice, be up front, and ask him/her for guidance and a path to an application a year from now once the fuss has calmed down. ClarksonArmy would be an excellent person to PM about this and he could offer some insight on he'd handle such an issue if it came across his desk.

    4. Whenever he does apply, if he does, to ROTC his application essay(s) should address this head on. Accountability is big to Professional Officer Corps. IF he gets 'the learning' from his foolishness and he can demonstrate that -- it'll be a negative turned into a positive.

    5. Final thought: Things are never as good or as bad as we think they are. Let some time pass. Watch and see how he responds.

    I know how you feel, I have felt the same way when my (then) teenagers 'screwed the pooch' and what I found is it had a way of working itself out over time.

    Thank God he nor anyone else was hurt. And prayerfully he'll learn, grow and mature from this.

    Best wishes - keep us posted on how this develops.
     
  5. Roughrider

    Roughrider Member

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    You are correct. His license is intact (in fact he doesn't even have any points on his insurance) and the police officer who issued the citation was careful to note that the fireworks charge is a misdemeanor. However, given that he has demonstrated poor judgment, as well as a profound disregard for the law, public safety, and his own safety (and in the process scared the living you-know-what out of his parents) we don't think he really belongs behind the wheel of a car for the foreseeable future. I would hope that the military doesn't reach the conclusion that these factors make him unsuitable for leadership (or worse, service) but it would be understandable to me if they did.

    I guess he'll apply for scholarships anyway, and talk to the recruiting officers in ROTC programs, and accept whatever consequences come his way. No matter what, I suppose he should expect his recent stupidity to make things much more difficult for him.
     
  6. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    Sounds like a reasonable plan. I also sent you a PM with another suggestion.
    Good luck to your son! :thumb:
     
  7. Roughrider

    Roughrider Member

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    Thank you. This is very positive. We will let him move forward, and trust me, he is going to be the one who is accountable and responsible for planning his own path, but it's always, unfortunately, tempting to confuse bad choices with bad character.
     
  8. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    So true.

    I would add (and I hope this comes out the way I intend it to) that we don't necessarily want a military made up of officers and enlisted personnel that have never done "anything" wrong/ pushed the limits/ stretched the boundaries a little bit - as long as they learn from the experience.

    Obviously there is a "line" which should not be crossed.

    Anyway, sounds like you have gotten to a good position on this matter.

    Best of luck.
     
  9. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    College will be the new proving ground. That is where he will judged. A high GPA and PT score can do a lot. It is up to him. A new chance to do well. A lot of doors can open. Just as from my son's own bonehead decisions prior to 19, it is truly remarkable and wonderful thing what they become when "They get it!"

    Best Wishes
     
  10. Ohio2015Parent

    Ohio2015Parent Member

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    Got to love the 18 year old....:rolleyes: DS is a rising MSIV, he also had to be up front with some poor choices behind the wheel during his PMS interview. He had no points either, but 2 accidents of record and 1 speeding ticket prior to college and then another during his freshman year of college. Yes, we also suspended his driving privledges for the juvenile offenses due to concern about his decision making. He replaced a car not long after his college ticket and made sure the car had cruise control!!

    I think his PMS repected DS for bringing his poor driving record up in the interview(and immediately reporting the college one). DS could probably have hidden the juvenile ones, but it would have come out later and he'd have looked even more irresponsible and dishonest to boot!

    DS isn't a scholarship cadet(SMP program) but his driving issues were not likely the cause of his rejection.

    There is hope, as other posters have written and the beauty of watching them "get it" is pretty awesome. Also strongly agree with USMCGrunt - a leader should have experienced some level of stupid and learned from it if for no other reason that it will help them guide someone in the future through the process!
     
  11. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty Member

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    Roughrider, your son suffers from a rare defect which is genetic through the X and Y chromosome combination and thus hereditary. I was able to diagnose it because it is present in my family as well. My father did stupid stuff when he was 18; I did stupid stuff when I was 18; and so did my son, ineluctably it would seem.

    Five or six years ago his many other good qualities would almost certainly have overcome the two infractions you mentioned in his pursuit of an (A?)ROTC scholarship (assuming he was not flinging cherry bombs out of the car window while drag racing in front of an elementary school). In these times of retrenchment, however, it may not be quite so slam-dunk. He should disclose these incidents as may be required in his application - additional documentation may also be requested. In the event a scholarship is not awarded, if his goal is to become an officer, then he should join ROTC in college and focus on performing well.

    When your son is a platoon leader, he will be able to recognize this condition in his 18 year old soldiers and counsel them appropriately.

    P.S. - Given the date you began this thread, I wonder if the fireworks screw-up was associated with an Independence Day celebration. While nobody is condoning law-breaking, it's hard to imagine some scholarship board member saying: "What? He set off firecrackers on July 4? Absolutely disgraceful!"
     
  12. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    LOL. I can confirm Parent Delahanty's diagnosis. The condition often continues past age 18, but the symptoms generally diminish. DS has stepped over the line a few times and survived. My only satisfaction is that each step over the line is much nearer to the line. I think we're down to learning to fall on your sword for any transgression, even one on the proper side of the line, however minor. In fact, I think we have that one solved now.
     
  13. Roughrider

    Roughrider Member

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    Yup, on that genetic condition. Hiss mother the Latin nerd has been calling it idiopathic adolescent cranial fecaloma.

    July 4th is also his birthday weekend, so I'm sure with the right PR agent we could spin it into an act of patriotism as WELL AS stupidity.

    Thanks for the laugh -- it was badly needed and very much appreciated!
     
  14. JMS

    JMS Member

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    Following on with the sentiments expressed by USMCGrunt, DS had it in his head that the military kind of liked people who could blow things up. If anything, perhaps your DS needs to know more about landnav and just where the city boundary is.
    Seriously, and in line with the others posting, I think if he owns it, it will not be a problem. Kids will be foolish at times. I recall there is a $ amount attached to when the ROTC thinks it is serious (fines of a couple of hundred $, I recall). Now, repetitive stupidity and the inclusion of drugs or alcohol are going to bring rain.
     
  15. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    One last thought... If he is asked which branch he is interested in, you might counsel against OD given the circumstance.
     
  16. Roughrider

    Roughrider Member

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    No alcohol, no drugs, although he was tested for intoxication at the scene. The police found it hard to believe anyone could do something that stupid while stone-cold sober, I guess.

    LOL. I was told by one officer that this year the celebrations were "not as bad" as previous years. When there's a drought and burn ban on, and some folks can't get their hands on fireworks, they shoot off guns instead of bottle rockets. This state is insane.
     

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