process for transferring out?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by 1mathboy1, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. 1mathboy1

    1mathboy1 Member

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    I'm a plebe at the Naval Academy, and I know its only been a couple weeks since plebe summer ended. However, I'm not sure if I want to stay here. Regardless, I will probably be here for at least 1 year(so I will finish plebe year) before I make a decision to leave. What is the process of transferring out of the Naval Academy? Is there anyone I can talk to at the Naval Academy for guidance?
     
  2. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    I dont know the answer to your question but the chaplains will. you can talk to them privately. You will get alot of responses to your post. This is good because other plebes will secretly be coming on here and reading your post and want to know the answers as well. Things are really hard right now for all of you! There is so much that needs to get done. The academic burden probably feels completely intolerable. You must be stressed. Who knew that the new normal was less sleep and more stress than plebe summer?????? Everyone there is sick, and you are, Im guessing operating on 4 hours of sleep, and the classes are meant to be ridiculously impossible. It will get better. It really will.

    Life As a Retired Youngster

    Craig Corbett


    It might have simply been the times. It might have been something else that we don't know. Whatever it is, it is brought home to me every time I talk to one of my old Classmates or think about the days at the Naval Academy from 30 June 1969 through June Week 1971. Life always has its moments of reflection, but the friends that I know who left the Academy after Youngster Year have a common sensitivity to those two years spent by the bay.

    For me those years were the best of my life. I worked harder, played harder, made better friendships, and had a sense of purpose. The ideals that brought me to the Naval Academy have stayed with me. The lessons I learned there have also stayed with me. There is no other place in the world where one can have those experiences and that education. Those two years will remain with me all my days, however, from time to time my thoughts will be centered on what I left, and what I missed. As has been told to me by an Alumnus, I paid the price, through Plebe Year, and then lost the reward.

    When I think back on my mental condition and thought patterns during that time, I am amazed that a decision to walk away from the opportunities provided there can be made with such little help or input from the administration. Naturally, during this time, I dared not discuss the matter with my First Class squad leaders, my Company Officer or many others. The opinions of two old friends in '72 were solicited, along with those of a First Classman who had been a platoon leader during my Plebe Summer. The only real contact with an officer was a cursory interview with the psychiatrist assigned to sick bay.

    Once the decision had been made and announced, the administration made little attempt to dissuade me or to point out the opportunities that lay before me. Neither was any determination sought as to the true reasons for my leaving. No one tried to point out the aspects of life outside the Academy in civilian colleges or after graduation. Undoubtedly some attribution is expected, but it seems that some attempt would be made to keep Midshipmen who had no discipline or academic problems, and who had seemed to possess some aptitude for leadership. Although not in line for company commander, the fact that I was invited to join the Alumni Association after '73 graduated shows that I was thought of as one of my Class by the grads who knew me.

    Of course my own experience is the raw data for this article, but I assume that I was typical of those Midshipmen who entered the Academy between 1966 and 1971, ('70-'75). I don't know how many of those voluntary res's have kept in touch with their old classmates, so I have no statistics to show that mine is a typical case. It is just one of those things you feel. The idea of putting these thoughts down on paper came to me when a friend here in Orlando introduced me to his Plebe son almost a year ago.

    The young man was home on Christmas leave when I met him. I told him how fortunate he was, how pleased I was for him to be a Mid, told him of my years at USNA and wished him well. Then, aside, I told his father to give me a call if his son ever voiced any thoughts of leaving.

    Leaving the Academy in 1971 had several effects on my life. My family, my personal life and education were all affected drastically. Naturally, my career has also taken a different direction.

    Unless a person has seen it, there is no way to describe the pride in a mother's eyes and voice as she tells someone that her son will or does attend the Naval Academy. This is especially true for daughters of rural families whose first child is fortunate enough to be accepted for appointment as a Midshipman. There is some sort of aura or status to a child who attends USNA, and rightly so. This applies to all the Service Academies. These institutions are the most restrictive in the country in their admission requirements and curricula, provide the finest education available, and more than any other institutions of higher learning, exist with a true sense of purpose. A parent has a right to be proud of a child who aspires to and reaches the lofty goal of admission to a Service Academy. I was one of forty-five applicants for three nominations available to my Congressman and had worked very hard to win my appointment.

    During my two years my mother would always make me wear my uniform to one friend's house or another whenever I would be home an leave. Although a bit of a nuisance, this was never anything that seemed unnatural, since she was very proud of it. Parents very often live through the lives and deeds of their children. She was no exception. To say that my mother was disappointed at my leaving NAVY world be the equivalent understatement as to say that Plebe Year included a mandatory gym class or two. The most difficult thing about leaving was the effect on my mother. She was crushed and horrified at the idea that I would grow my hair long, drop out of society and smoke drugs.

    Although I did grow my hair a little longer than allowed by the Reqs, I remained committed to my education, working my way through college and law school. Working your way through school may build some character, but mostly it makes for low grades. I completed seven academic years in six calendar years, going to school year round. I had one summer vacation during which I worked paving roads to save money for school. Although she hasn't been so terribly disappointed with the way my life has turned out, my mother candidly admits that my leaving was one of her biggest disappointments in life. This is probably so because this was the first real failure or incomplete attempt at anything in my entire life. I see it that way myself.

    My personal life his been changed as well, since I have never been anything more than an ordinary citizen. I have never given of myself to my country as would have been the case. I will never know the honor of command, nor share the medals so gallantly won in battle. Mine will not be the friendships made in the fires of the fields where valor and pride are found. Those days are now gone forever. I will not in this lifetime see the courage to live my life with the true dedication and meaning found in those who serve their country. The dreams of having brave friends and being one will be only that.

    I still maintain the friendships made in those first years, especially as a Plebe. But there is a certain camaraderie and bond that is noticeable among my former classmates who remained and served, whether they are in or out of the service today. There are friends who served five years and those who maintain their Reserve commissions or others who remain on active duty. There is something about those young men who threw their hats in the air on a sunny June morning in 1973. All the friends from civilian colleges are different. It can't be described in words, but one knows it when one sees it. That is what I've missed. That is how my personal life has been affected.

    My education suffered in an unusual way. Rather than being able to concentrate on studies, there was work to do. The liberal arts and the engineering studies were either unavailable or sacrificed to allow the quickest route to a degree. Only within the last five years or so have names such as Faulkner, O'Neill or Hemingway graced my bookshelves. The math program at the University of Florida required other studies for a student obsessed with admission to law school. Once in law school, my general education came to an end. In addition to the formal education, I missed the education that comes from command and management, or from within one's self on a clear night looking into the countless stars from the deck of a ship at sea.

    So the reader won't think of this article as sour grapes, I'd like to say that I'm happy with the life I now lead. I have a lovely wife and a decent living which affords me at least some opportunity to do things for the good of people rather than monetary gains. Still, looking back on it all, one nagging thought is inescapable. All those who told me then that I would regret leaving the Naval Academy were right. Of all my decisions in life, the one that I wish I could make again is whether to sign and deliver my resignation letter. The opportunities I've found or made along the way were never so dear to me as those I found in Bancroft Hall.

    Some effort should be made to prevent many more young men and women from making the same decision without full knowledge of what awaits them either outside the Yard or after the caps hit the ground.
     
  3. pleber16

    pleber16 USNA 2016

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    That article above is possibly one of the most insightful looks into leaving the academy that I've encountered. Anyone thinking about leaving should definitely read it at least once.

    One difference of the times I picked up from the article, was that it seems that now there is more of an attempt to dissuade midshipmen from leaving. I know that it is a pretty extensive process to try to separate, with interviews by just about every member of your chain of command. One of my classmates wanted to leave last year and our company officer made him stick it out until the end of plebe year. (He's still here by the way.)

    Plebe year sucks. I'm not going to try to tell you any different. It's designed that way though. It's supposed to be hard. You're supposed to learn what it's like to be at the bottom and you're supposed to fail. At least at some things. No midshipman ever made it to youngster year without failing at something. But once you make it to youngster year, it does get a lot better. It's still hard. You take on more responsibilities, get less sleep, and experience much greater consequences for failure with each year at the academy. But the rewards for the higher level of work are greater as well.

    Here's something from a personal perspective. I personally thought about leaving last year. This coming from someone who said they would never even think about leaving because of the amount of work it took for me to get in. (TWE first time applying, college applicant). On top of all the other plebe nonsense we were all dealing with, my grandmother (who raised me) passed away after a long battle with lung cancer when I was home at spring break. It was absolutely miserable coming back. I was having a hard time functioning as a normal member of society, let alone trying to function as a plebe. With the exception of my sports team and a few other people, I hated absolutely everything about the academy. I didn't want to be here and for the first time I seriously considered leaving. I talked to a firstie on my team about it who had also been a detailer of mine. They didn't tell me not to leave, but they told me every single reason I would always regret it and all the great things about the academy. Because of that conversation I stayed. And it's the best decision I've made. I can't begin to even imagine the amount of regret I would have had if I left.

    Long story short....it gets better after plebe year. The rewards of this place are absolutely worth the work. Find someone you trust to talk about it. Ideally a firstie because they know the benefits. It's easy to say, "Oh of course the firsties like it, they have all these privileges and so much freedom compared to us." But they've been in your shoes. They know the struggle, and know because of where they are now, that it's all worth it.
     
  4. trainerj2855

    trainerj2855 New Member

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    Process for transferring out

    as the mom of a current plebe, I would encourage you to speak to a chaplain. I understand that the process is not simple for transferring out for the very reason that the Academy does not want to lose you. You were selected out of thousands of applicants and appointed because academy attendees have something more than the rest of us- you have the special gift of committment to something greater than yourself and you have been tested before and risen above it. I was so impressed with the emotions that the former academy attendee put forth in his/her response to you. Take this to heart- you did not make the decision to attend Navy because it was the easiest option. I'm sure there were many schools you could have attended that would have been easier but you wanted to be challenged. I have added you to my prayers so God will guide you in your decision making.
     
  5. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    Stomping my foot three times. Great advice...I would seek a Firstie first because as plebe16 stated, they have been in your shoes..."been there, done that." Chaplains are great too, but they haven't been through your experience. Nonetheless, Chaplains would be able to help you out. Don't be shy that you have these issues...a lot of plebes do, it is best to talk to someone about it -- otherwise it will always be on your mind with no resolution.
     
  6. bandad

    bandad Member

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    A few thoughts. As I told my son before I-Day, do not quit plebe year - If you have doubts, give it your best shot and then re-evaluate the situation after the first year. From what I hear, many folks entertain thoughts of leaving Plebe year so you are not alone. Why did you want to go to USNA? Has something changed? If you are struggling in something, get some help. Getting help can be hard for a lot of us - even old folks like myself. I don't know your circumstances, and maybe you have a good reason to leave, but consider many good things in life are tough and require pain and effort.

    I am only a Plebe Dad and have never been in the military. I cannot imagine what it is like to be at USNA. I am proud of ALL of you, and I could not have done what you all are doing right now. I was asked to apply but did not. I can guess that USNA is not for some people and there is no shame in that. You have been given a wonderful opportunity. I would ask that you don't make a quick decision and that you don't mentally check out.

    Again before DS left for I-Day, I told him that whatever happens I will love and support him. Talk to someone you trust. The best to you, and I pray for God to direct your path.

    bandad
     
  7. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    The process is relatively simple. You indicate via your chain of command that you want to leave. As noted, you will be required to speak to a lot of people to ensure that you have thought through the decision, etc. After that, it's basically processing the paperwork for you to depart. In my day, the process was 2-3 weeks.

    You would be wise to stick it out for the year for several reasons. First, I think you will find that, come the spring, you will have a new outlook on life. It may happen earlier, but once the flowers bloom, you have Spring Break, you are planning your summer cruise and vacation, you are thinking about having that diagonal stripe on your shoulder boards . . . and not having come-arounds:smile: . . . everything looks better. THAT is the time to consider your future.

    Also, you might as well get the credits. You won't be able to transfer to a (decent) college at this point w/o basically losing the semester. I don't think you really want to sit around your house contemplating life.

    As for the ultimate decision . . . the overwhelming majority of those who stick it out don't regret it. I would venture to say that a majority (not an overwhelming majority, but probably a majority) of those who leave end up having at least some regrets/second thoughts. This is true even if . . . as with the author of the excellent piece above, one's life turns out fine.

    It is very early in the process. This is probably the worst time of the entire 4 years, with the possible exception of the plebe year Dark Ages (Jan and Feb). There is a lot of fun -- seriously -- yet to come. Give it a chance.
     
  8. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Since you've already committed to yourself that your would complete the year, don't even worry about the process until after finals. I hope and expect by then you'll want to see what the next year will be like in any case. You have until the end of the next academic year before you have to truly commit.

    I do expect that once you've decided and gone through the process, whatever it is, you'll be hustled out the door. Therefore, I wouldn't proceed too far if you want to finish plebe year there including finals (so you can at least try to transfer the credits perhaps).
     
  9. 1mathboy1

    1mathboy1 Member

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    Thank you for the replies everyone! So I will definitely be here for plebe year. I understand the immense opportunities that lay in front of me, and how my parents would feel if I told them I left the academy. It's definitely something I will give more thought about. And if I consider separating, I will talk to a chaplain late in the next semester. My question is, wouldn't it be awkward to be applying as a transfer to other colleges and asking professors for letters of rec, etc when you haven't told anyone in your chain of command? because applications are due february-march.
     
  10. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    Recently, I have heard that is not true. It used to be true.

    The military is downsizing. They have been practically trying to invent ways to get Student Naval Aviators out of training by raising the bar in API very high. In fact, the Navy, in the recent past, has asked SNAs, awaiting flight school, if they would like to get out of the Navy with an honorable discharge. They waive their commissioning obligation. Similar offers were made to nucs awaiting school in Charleston. [There is one such student in medical school with one of my sons at Georgetown. He was a 2010 grad. They asked him if he wanted to get out and he took them up on the offer. Now he's going to be a doctor.]

    There has even been talk about downsizing the size of the Brigade. The Air Force Academy has already started that process. The commissioning machine is cranking out officers (USNA, NROTC & OCS) in greater numbers than are needed.

    Also, there was a previous USNA administration that was criticized for keeping midshipmen who should have been separated. They were giving 2nd, 3rd and 4th chances for some fairly egregious things that would have probably resulted in separation in the past.

    The pendulum has swung in the other direction and there seems to be more of a "Strike one! You're out!" policy evolving. I'm probably overstating that a bit. :smile: But there is certainly less leniency.

    Yet, when you change Superintendent and Commandant, the philosophy often changes. So, I can't say exactly where it is today. Maybe you're right.

    But, I have heard from several sources that those midshipmen who are adamant about leaving - the academy does not really give them the full court press into staying. They go through the standard administrative routine. There's a modicum of counseling and then they're gone.
     
  11. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    You're right of course. But then that gets back to my surmise that once you're in the process and have decided to leave they're going to hustle you out the door preventing you from completing the semester. I don't know this. It's only my surmise, but I can't see them keeping someone around who doesn't want to be there. So, that would be a good question to ask the chaplain whenever you speak to them.

    BTW, I'm hoping you change your mind. In any case, good luck in your endeavors, whatever they are! :thumb:
     
  12. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    If it's important to you to get credit for your semester's worth of work (and it should), simply do not resign until the semester is completed. That seems simple enough.
     
  13. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    I disagree with your characterization of the motive. Once you have stated your desire to leave, there is a series of people you must talk to about your decision (e.g., your company officer, batt officer, etc.) to help ensure you have thought through your decision, etc. That takes about a week(or did in my day).

    Once you've completed that process and your decision is firm, they move expeditiously. One reason is that you said you wanted to leave so time for you to do that. Another reason is that the taxpayers are funding your education. Once you've made it clear, you want to leave, why should you stay and why should the taxpayers continue to pay for you to be there? USNA isn't a prison or a motel.

    Lest you think that's cruel, remember it is up to the mid to decide when he/she wants to leave (until you sign 2 for 7). So, if you want to take advantage of staying the entire semester, you can indicate your desire to leave as the end of the semester approaches or at the end of the semester/year (when you have the whole summer to outprocess).
     
  14. DevilDog

    DevilDog Member

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    In 1979 when I was in the Marine Corps, I got offered the opportunity to go to NAPS, then Annapolis. The committment was 10 years, I was in love and had already finished 2 years of college. My XO told me that I would not want to go to school with a bunch of squid. To this day, I regret not taking advantage of that opportunity. My son is at USAFA, when he had to make the choice, I told him to give it two years, he would get two free years of college, and if he did not like it he could go wherever he wants. He is now a Firstie and he is his Squadron's Commander. He did not like Doolie year, and was not crazy about his roommates. His roommates from Doolie year spent all last weekend at our house. He has made friendships that will last a lifetime. He does not like everything about it, but he is glad he is there. He will most likely be flying a plane within a a couple of years after graduation.
    BTW, the girl I was in love with married someone else. I love my life as it is, but do regret not taking that opportunity.Good luck on your decision. Try to stick it out for 2 years, it gets better.
     
  15. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I think we're on the same page. Perhaps I worded it in-artfully. And no, I don't think it's cruel at all, it's exactly I would run it, and also similar to how I've seen other organizations run things.
     
  16. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Got it.:thumb: I just didn't want anyone to think that USNA pushed people out the door so that they would not be able to finish up a semester (i.e., do it out of spite).

    One other thing, it's bad for morale to have someone hanging around who wants to quit. Went through it with one of my roommates (who, BTW, made the right decision for her in leaving). While you're going through the daily routine (classes, come-arounds (for plebes), military obligations, room inspections, etc.), the person leaving basically has nothing to do all day. They may go to class but, at some point in the process, they are excused from most things so they basically spend their days out-processing.

    It's VERY hard to explain but those who are staying mentally start divorcing themselves from the person who's leaving. So, once the decision to leave is final, it is in everyone's best interest to get the person out as quickly as possible.

    It's also the kindest thing for the person who is leaving -- lets him/her get started on the next phase of his/her life. Hanging around USNA doesn't benefit him/her either.
     
  17. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    Your comment brought back some memories. You're quite right! Our class had very high attrition but my company, in particular, was probably the highest. I'm not sure why. It was pure carnage - almost to the point of depression.

    We would talk to the person who was quitting but once it seemed that it was inevitable that they were leaving it was like "Dead Man Walking". He might as well had leprosy or herpes.

    Those who were being separated involuntarily didn't seem to get the same shunning. We could wrap our minds around that. We felt sorry for them.

    But those who were doing well enough to stay but still decided to leave - those types were disturbing. They always had a reason why the Naval Academy was wrong for them and we didn't want to hear it, I think, for fear that it would resonate and infect us. One of my companymates quit after his Youngster year with a 4.0 GPA.
     
  18. Packer

    Packer Member

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    Mathboy: One more thing to consider is how you are going to pay for college once you leave USNA. I would guess you had some good scholarship opportunities as a graduating senior. Very few of those scholarship opportunities will be available to you now as a transfer student. It may not make a difference in your decision but is something you should be aware of.
     
  19. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    Also, do not assume that other colleges are so enamored with the Naval Academy that they will accept all your courses. You'd be surprised what they may not accept. Others have been surprised by this in the past.

    Most colleges want to keep you on the campus as long as possible. It's a money making thing! This is greatly facilitated by rejecting many of your transfer credits. This largely explains how the 4-yr college experience has somehow morphed into a 5-yr experience for many graduates. (When did that happen, by the way? It seems that 5 years of college is becoming the norm.)

    By rejecting some of your credits (with seemingly no good reason) it may require you to take those courses again. For instance, some colleges will not accept the academy's History course. Perhaps because it is entitled "U.S. Naval History". Some colleges say, "You have to take our [fill-in-the-blank] course." It might even be something significant like English. The Leadership course should be good for a humanities credit, you would think. Yet, most colleges reject it. Those Seamanship and Navigation courses? Nada!

    You might think you have a year of college under your belt when you leave and then be surprised that you have something short of a year when you go to your new college.
     
  20. SEABEE

    SEABEE Member

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    Wondering what the standard time it takes to receive a Honorable discharge upon submitting a voluntary resignation and on leave awaiting separation?
     

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