Need help with ROTC please give advice!

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Dakota3747, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. Dakota3747

    Dakota3747 Member

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    Alright here is my situation.

    I am a MSIII and a nursing student at a satellite school (however I don't have a nursing scholarship) I have a GRFD SMP scholarship. I go to a small private school where classes may only be offered at one time during the week which is happening especially this semester with my nursing classes. The day they want to have MS class I have clinicals. As well as I have mandatory weekend clinicals 3 hours away at a childrens hospital that will conflict with 3 different mandatory ROTC training events.

    I have sat down with my cadre as well as the PMS and explained to them what is going on as well as provided them with a letter from the nursing department explaining how I cannot change any of my classes because that is the only time they are offered. My PMS keeps going back and forth saying they can work around it but then the next day he says that my only option is to walk away from the program and just not show up to class next semester.

    At this point I think OCS is a better route for me only if I can get disenrolled from ROTC because of my circumstances. My PMS again is telling me the only way I can disenroll is to not show up period and it shows that I walked away from the program and then I have to pay everything back.

    Has anyone dealt with this before? Is this the ONLY way to disenroll or is there some way someone can look at my case and make an exception? I know I signed a contract and I still want to want to be an officer very badly but if I can't go to my clinicals I don't pass school which means I don't pass ROTC... I am at a total loss can anyone help?
     
  2. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Our closest friends DD graduated LY in Nursing. and clinicals is stressful for any student let alone an ROTC student.

    Contact/pm Aglahad if he doen't post, he is an MSIV, and your best chance of getting advice as a cadet.

    Whatever you do, do not do a knee jerk reaction. Winter break is upon you now, take the time and find out your options.

    Do not say I am out until January.

    Leaders never make rash decisions. They absorb the facts, options and choices that are presented, once they weigh them they decide what is the path. Even as a Nurse, you are an officer and a leader. People will depend upon you in times of need where knee jerk reaction is acceptable when it is not life and death.

    That is you right now. Think.
     
  3. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Dakota- you are a junior and the PMS is telling you that your best option is to fail to show so that you are kicked out?
    There has got to be something else to this story. I would assume that the ROTC department is giving you a hard time because you have LDAC coming up- but on the face of it- this seems hard to believe that they can't come up with a mutually workable solution that doesn't require you paying back multiple years of a scholarship, even if that means deferring LDAC. This is not a question that I would be looking for answers from an MSIV at another school as an anecdotal "I knew a Cadet who knew a Cadet" answer is unlikely to help you much- (nor does a sermon about "the responsibilities of an Officer"). This is an issue that you are going to have to work out with the PMS and you need some solid legs to stand on. Of the posters on this ROTC forum- I believe I would send a PM to Clarksonarmy and give him as much detail as you can and see if he has any suggestions on what the regulations would allow, and a way to approach this. I am certain that "quitting" whether or not you later go to OCS, is just complicating factors for you immensely.
     
  4. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army

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    Concur with Bruno...something doesn't sound right about this situation. Need more detail, like whether or not you have been fully engaged prior to this year. Also wondering why you are a nursing student who isn't in the nursing program. Timing is everything, and currently the Army is not in a very amenable mood, so if there were issues in your past you may not have many options. Your best bet might be to ask the PMS for a Leave of Absence to get through this tough semester with your clinicals. That will require that you pay for the semester, but will keep you on track to commission. Your 104r (academic plan) should have given you some idea that you would be coming up against this problem, so make sure you are using that tool to keep on track. At this point that's the best idea I can come up with without knowing all the details.
     
  5. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    Is it the MSIII Class that you would have to miss, or the Lab? I have read that PMSs are pretty flexible with the Class, but not so much with the Lab, which makes sense as the lab is the ROTC equivalent of "Clinical". With the Class you can do privately directed reading of texts and lecture notes, then meet with the Asst. PMS or PMS to take the exams and turn in the papers.

    There are very few mandatory weekend events with ROTC -- maybe three per year. Only one Summer mandatory -- LDAC. but as was posted above can be postponed.

    There must be a way to work around this scheduling conflict. Stay positive, stay proactive, keep moving the ball forward each day inch by inch, and you'd probably get to your objective.
     
  6. Dakota3747

    Dakota3747 Member

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    Hey Everyone thanks for the advice so far.

    To reply to some of the questions that came up. I have looked into an LOA the problem with that is I would not be able to take the class this semester and so if I were to come back in the fall which would be my senior year they will not let me take 302 and 401 at the same time so I would have to wait until next year 2nd semester to take 302 again so I would have to be in school a whole other year.

    Dunninla- I would have to miss class every week because I have clinical during the time that they all want to have class. As well as I would have to miss 3 training labs as of now possibly more.

    I have asked to defer from LDAC this summer but the PMS says he doesn't like to do that because you can't just "Defer because you want to defer" is what he told me.

    Please believe I have sat down about 4 different times for meetings with my cadre and they keep telling me different things.

    I am in awe that he would tell me the best thing is to just walk away. I'm not even considering that at the moment because I will not jeapordize anything in my future for the military. I don't believe that is the only way however, I have lost faith in my cadre and have lost trust. For them to tell me this is the only way and to not try to talk to cadet command and to leave it in my hands to me is not the Army but whatever. I am committed to finding a way to make this work.

    I joined second semester as a sophmore however, the big joker on the table is the PMS contracted me pregnant but I had told him prior to him contracting me I was pregnant. There has been some issues with them following the regulations concerning post partum as well. They made me do pt to the point where I started hemmorhaging 3 months post partum. But thats besides the point. I don't want to bring any drama into this I just want to make this work and not just "walk away" I don't believe thats right and my husband and I can't afford to pay back the money right away. I will follow up with the contacts you posted for me but PLEASE if you have any more advice I am OPEN to hearing it. THANKS!!
     
  7. Dakota3747

    Dakota3747 Member

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    Also to reason I am not doing the nursing scholarship is because it is not my wish to go active duty as well as it is very hard to find slots in units in the guard for a Nurse.
     
  8. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    Interesting, I am not going to say a LTC is wrong, but ROTC is SUPPOSED to work around nursing schedules because they are almost impossible to change. In my MS3/4 years we had alternate MS class for nurses usually at a reasonable time for both cadre and cadets alike (even for labs we had 1 on 1 help if it was needed). However, since you are not a contracted nurse cadet perhaps the regulations are different and they don't feel the need to work with you.I knew a few cadets who were nursing students under this non-nursing SMP banner and the program still worked with them.

    Yes, NG has very very slots for nursing but the reserves usually has quite a few depending on the local unit.

    LDAC isn't usually deferrable unless of injury or illness ( the ROOs here can correct me..perhaps family issues?)... with a LOA from MS3 year perhaps that changes.

    Direct-commissioning not OCS would be your option

    The problem with a lot of cadre is that they aren't equipped to deal with nursing students. Most do not know what clinicals are nor the outside of class time demands of the average NS. That being said there are many cadre who are sympathetic and do their best to accommodate.

    My advice, try to get your admissions counselor from nursing school to get in contact with cadre or email your nursing brigade counselor (usually a CPT) ASAP. Anymore questions? PM me.


    Regarding AD vs Reserves- As a side note, remember getting a job as new nurse with no experience is very very difficult in these times. The army provides those 4 years of med/surg plus specialty cert which is gold in the civvie world. Trust me.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2011
  9. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    Don't shell me for this, but upon reading your other posts about being pregnant and being a nursing cadet in general the cadre may have a biased disposition to your plight. Usually (not always), nursing cadets are not well regarded as being the best cadets within a battalion. Since the focus is primarily on school, labs, PT, and LDAC performance are often pushed on the back-burner and consequentially many of their fellow cadets (perhaps cadre?) think less of them a a result of their lack of motivation. Battle drills just don't seem as important as pathophysiology In reality this generalization has little merit since a nurse cadet's primary job in the army will be RN specific and not necessarily PL specific (I am not denouncing the leadership qualities desired by any officer and I recognize the necessity of ROTC and its required curriculum which is why I chose ROTC over DC).

    I tried to defy this stereotype by scoring high on my PT test, putting in weightlifting time every day and doing rather well at LDAC...but I am not the norm among the ROTC nursing world.

    Just my 2 cents since I am not present during your meetings nor do I know the entire prior history you have with the cadre.
     
  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I thought LDAC was like AFROTC/NROTC where you go as a rising MSIII, not a rising MSIV.

    Just asking, so don't flame me.

    You are asking to be deferred from LDAC, well how would you do that because as an MSIV wouldn't you be commissioned upon completion of the program in May at the time of graduation, but now you want them to defer you for LDAC until after graduation for you to attend as an AD officer in a ROTC program.

    Just trying to sort out timelines.

    What was your defense for deferring?
    Daycare issues in your opinion as a Mom matters, but in the AD world that is why they ask for members to have a family plan. In the real AD world if you are deployable, you are deployed. LDAC is on the same basis, if you can go, you go. You don't have a voice. Service before Self is the adage for every military member.

    Is it for academic reasons because you need to get them done to graduate on time due to having your child? The fact is attending classes in the summer to get you back on track is not their problem. As for them when you agreed to do this, you acknowledged that LDAC would occur, and as harsh as this may appear; It is not their problem you need to take summer classes to graduate. Their problem is a manpower need, and you told them come Spring 2013 you would be commissioned, how you obtain it is your decision as long as it doesn't impact their getting you to fill the squares required as a ROTC cadet. LDAC is one of those squares.

    Again, I know that reads harshly, but the only reasons I can see the LTC saying he is opposed to deferring is because you want/need to defer for your personal reasons.

    You state:
    And
    If I read you correctly, that leaves you with being a nurse as a reservist.

    If that is the case can you do as Aglahad suggested direct-commissioning? You are not on scholarship so there is no financial loss for you. However, I am guessing you as an MSIII are contracted and that stipend may hurt.
     
  11. Packer

    Packer Member

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    Rising MSIV for LDAC.
     
  12. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Thanks Packer.

    Not to divert, but just to be informed, how can they defer until after the MSIV yr? Would they than defer commissioning until the completion of LDAC?

    AFROTC requires SFT, so when they are C400 = MSIV, all that is left is graduation and completion of their ROTC C400 yr.

    Graduation and commissioning traditionally occurs on the same day. DS will be commissioned this spring that way. AFROTC will contact all of his profs, and if he is eligible to walk, he is eligible to commission.

    I am just curious if they defer LDAC until the summer after they graduate, do they send them as AD officers, or are they still ROTC cadets. If they are still ROTC cadets, what happens if they can't complete LDAC? Example, they get injured and can not graduate, or fail a portion.

    I thought LDAC was like SFT regarding OML points. If so, it makes even more sense that the LTC stated what they did regarding deferment. It would be hard for anyone to justify deferring LDAC since there are more cadets in the unit than just Dakota. It could cause morale issues. Imagine the cadet who does go to LDAC and graduates at the bottom of the barrel, their OML will be impacted, but Dakota that received a deferment would have a no harm, no foul for her OML.

    Just curious, and I believe it is also important for this community to understand the system. I highly doubt when any cadet accepted their scholarship in HS understood OML would be a factor in their ability to obtain their military dream.
     
  13. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Every year there are folks at LDAC who have already graduated - for a variety of reasons. After they pass LDAC they are Commissioned at LDAC.
     
  14. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    LDAC can also be attended by rising MSIIIs, usually nurses, in order to get it out of the way in lieu of increasing clinical hours and time constraints the following year.

    If you are deferred from LDAC for illness or injury (the only reasons I have seen) you are commissioned at the end of camp and assessed with the same cohort that already commissioned in may of that year. CC reserves branch slots for those who will be EOC (end of camp commission). Sometimes a EOC may have gone to LDAC the following year and failed for whatever reason. I am not sure if this does effect OML but I am sure PMS evals are adjusted at least a bit...
     
  15. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    What happens if they don't pass LDAC?

    What if they were on scholarship for 4 yrs, do they owe money back, or are they in the free and clear with no debt?

    Cynical, but if they go after graduation and do not want to go AD, but have an AD path, what is their motivation to complete LDAC if they owe no money or time?

    I can now understand why deferment from Dakota's LTC is something he is unsure of granting when she has openly posted she does not want to go AD and guard is not the option.

    I am going to assume that LDAC is just as expensive as SFT in regards to budget issues.

    Aglahad,

    As an AROTC cadet and a nursing student when did you go to LDAC? Were you able to go early as a rising MSIII or did you wait for rising MSIV? Did your clinicals play into your decision. Did your academic advisor discuss this with you as an AROTC student?

    I fine this so interesting, and I believe it is something that benefits this forum for posters and lurkers.

    Can you enlighten us all as a nursing cadet your time line on how you will graduate on time and be commissioned. Is there something you felt that was important to find your success in balancing both?
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011
  16. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    LDAC is the largest single training event the army has and millions of dollars as well as thousands of personnel work the course every year. It is amazing to see all of the cogs turning and the fruition of the event take place. Very competent planning in most cases.

    If you fail the course the first time you are sent back to your school and essential become a remedial MS IV. You are a MSIV but get treated like a MSIII in training events. The next summer you return to LDAC (PMS discretion) and become a EOC. IF you fail again the most likely course of action would be to be enlisted as an E-3 according to the needs of the army or paying back the money in full w/ interest.

    The deferment issues between guard and AD shouldn't be a problem since LDAC is a requirement for all ROTC cadets and every cadet in some form or another receives an overall OML score.

    For some reason my school still followed the traditional rising MSIV LDAC model for nurses so I went to LDAC and CTLT last summer. My school of nursing as well as ROTC share a decent amount of collaboration but in reality I really think there are some communication issues which is understandable and flexibility with nursing class/clinicals is always a matter of conflict (always resolved in some way or another).

    My graduation timeline is 4.5 years. Depending if you start in a fall or spring cohort for a school of nursing (sometimes randomly assigned or chosen) you are placed on a 4 year with some summer classes or 4.5 year track to graduate. I chose the 4.5. You take the same classes with your cohort for 3-3.5 years after your years of pre-reqs. With ROTC and nursing you really can not minor and explore your academic options are interests because you are so strapped for credits...I think I am at 20 right now....the max is 17 with CC picking up the tab.

    In regards to balancing ROTC and nursing there are some advantages and disadvantages and every nursing cadet is different (regarding strengths and weaknesses). I felt that ROTC will be both beneficial to my career and help develop me as a leader in the AMEDD system. However, there are many nursing cadets as well as specific situations where I would recommend DC because ROTC often takes a toll especially when you have 5-6 AM clinicals that last into the afternoon. It is not a choice for everyone and if I was placed in the situation where I had to drop one....academics would come out on top. Personally, the ROTC stuff (LN, PT, battle drills, leading missions, briefs) comes easier to me than to a lot of other nurses who put 100% of their time in school rather than a blend or balance of the two. Like the pre-med/engineer majors in ROTC, success is all based of time management and organization. YOu either have those skills....or better develop of them fast or A. You flunk out of nursing (my school puts you on probation for a B-)....or B. When you get to LDAC you are lost and no one has confidence in you.

    MY academic advisor's husband was an army CPT/doctor so that helped immensely in the counseling process.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011
  17. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I am sure this is a question for Clarkson or Marist, but why wait to their rising sr yr in college? Does it create pressure for AD ROTC members regarding the time frame for career paths?

    Going back to the OP, after Aglahad's post are you like him (4.5 yrs) and will not graduate until fall 2013 or do you intend to graduate in May 2013?
     
  18. Dakota3747

    Dakota3747 Member

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    To clarify,

    I would not be asking to defer because I am a mom. I am in the national guard I am prior service having completed basic and AIT and graduating as a combat medic. I am on scholarship GRFD SMP. I would be asking to defer for the following reason:

    If I cannot attend the majority of the training labs that are required and I will not be able to go to class weekly I thought it could be benificial to defer LDAC for a year and go after my senior year. My senior year will be a lot lighter of a course load and I could concentrate more on developing and refining my skills for LDAC.

    I know what signing my name meant. I am ready to deploy even if it means leaving my son. My husband and family would help watch him when I would be gone thats not the issue at all. My issue is my schedule for nursing will not allow me to do my training for ROTC and though I have sat down countless times with my cadre they are unwilling to give me a straight forward answer. They are pushing me to walk away, which because I am a GRFD SMP scholarship cadet means paying back around 22,000$. I have heard there are certain cases where the government will not require you to pay back the money based on your circumstances. I am wondering if anyone knows what is considered those "circumstances" and if there is a point of contact anywhere.

    Look, I'm trying to leave as much drama out of this. I love the Army I spend 7 months putting that uniform on every morning for training. I know it can be hard and it's suppose to be. I don't want special favors or treatments but to be honest my cadre have turned their backs on me and I am fighting to survive. I cannot put my family through paying back 22,000$ and I cannot fail nursing school, nor be deemed an unfit cadet because I cannot attend class.
     
  19. Dakota3747

    Dakota3747 Member

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    Pima, just to clarify. My GRFD SMP scholarship locks me in for National Guard meaning I cannot, even if I wanted to, go Active Duty upon commissioning. My LTC knows that I do not want to go Acive duty he is the one that signed the contract saying that I will remain in the National Guard upon my commission.
     
  20. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army

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    We will hopefully be sending three to camp this year to be end of camp commissionees. It is not unusual at all, and usually doesn't cause a problem. Take a look at the LDAC blog from last summer, and you will see the graduation pics from each reg. http://www.flickr.com/photos/warriorforge/ The pictures of the Cadets in dress uniform are the cadets who are being commissioned on graduation day. You'll see this isn't unusual at all. This is a path taken by cadets who fail LDAC the first time, or due to injury, illness, or LOA don't attend between Junior and Senior year. I believe is a viable option for Dakota, if she truly wants to be an Officer.
     

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