NROTC vs. USNA: Some Heartfelt Advice Needed

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by CherokeePilot38F, Feb 27, 2016.

  1. CherokeePilot38F

    CherokeePilot38F New Member

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    Right now, I'm going through a true dilemma regarding my next four years and future career as a naval officer, and I would love to get some advice from the experienced members of this forum.

    Some background on me: I've wanted to be a naval officer and aviator my entire life, which naturally led me to apply to NROTC and USNA over the summer of my junior year. In October, I was awarded a 4-year ROTC scholarship to Penn State University.

    However, this was quickly followed by a DoDMERB medical denial due to some mild OCD symptoms that I had from age 8-11. This greatly upset me, but instead of feeling sorry for myself, I threw myself headlong into the waiver process. I gathered everything I could think of that might help my case, from doctor's notes to the medical information from my FAA Private Pilot's License physical.

    Thankfully, the Naval Academy granted me a medical waiver within three days of my DoDMERB denial, but NROTC's medical review board left me waiting for over three unbearably anxious months without any word until yesterday, when I received a letter from their chief of surgery.

    The letter basically said that they cannot make a waiver decision at this time due to lack of information (not sure how; I sent in every scrap of medical info that I had) and that they want me to go to PSU and participate in ROTC without my scholarship for the first semester. At that point my CO, fellow mids, college psychologists, and I would have to put together a package saying that I am not in fact affected by these extremely mild OCD symptoms that stopped almost a decade ago. The waiver authority would then have to make a new decision regarding my ability to participate in ROTC.

    Although I truly appreciate the waiver authority's willingness to give me a chance to earn a waiver, going to college and doing NROTC without a concrete guarantee of the scholarship that I worked so hard to earn seems like an extremely risky proposition to me. I've always been slightly leaning towards ROTC over USNA, but now I'm looking at the Naval Academy a whole lot harder, especially since they were generous enough to offer me a waiver so quickly and have been nothing but cordial throughout the admissions process.

    I keep thinking, what if I spent $17K+ to spend a semester at PSU just to be told once again that I'm not qualified to serve and politely ushered towards the door? This is unthinkable for me; I want nothing more than to serve my country as a naval officer, and I don't want to lose the opportunity to do so.

    I've always slightly favored ROTC over USNA (due partially to familial pressure to have somewhat of a "real" college experience, along with fear and apprehension stemming from some USNA midshipmen's horror stories), but my beliefs have been somewhat shaken by the struggle that I've had with my ROTC scholarship over the past six months.

    I'm just not sure what to do at this point, and I truly welcome any and all advice from the knowledgeable members of this forum.

    V/R,

    Noah
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    See comments on the other "duplicate" thread. I understand you are attempting to get input from both sides of the coin here, which is why you have 2 threads on different forums.
     
  3. SpartanDM

    SpartanDM Member

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    I would choose the academy, sounds like too many unknowns at this point through nrotc. You can shoot me a pm if you want to know more about the nrotc experience.
     
  4. CherokeePilot38F

    CherokeePilot38F New Member

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    Yes sir, that was my intent. I always like having a balanced perspective on things, but I apologize for creating an extraneous thread. Thank you for all of your help throughout this process, by the way! Reading the information you've written on this site has been an invaluable resource.
     
    kinnem and Falcon A like this.
  5. murfthesurf

    murfthesurf DS - USNA 2020

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    Do you have an appointment?
     

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