Question on SMP and ROTC Contract

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Arrbor20, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. Arrbor20

    Arrbor20 New Member

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    I appreciate any helpful replies.

    I am a MSIII contracted cadet who was compressed for MSI and MSII year and took the SMP option at the same time I joined ROTC (I did not go to basic or AIT). I joined late in my college career, my senior year, after wanting a change in my life and to serve my country. I researched my options to the best extent I could to make sure it was right for me.

    My first year was fine, I started getting in better shape, developing more discipline, and SLOWLY getting used to being in the military, although my GPA dropped slightly. However, this current year has been extremely hard for me, I've had problems sleeping every night, stomach aches, and I've been extremely depressed about my future and my life. After 3 other cadets dropped the program last semester, i am now at the very bottom of the OML and went from a 260 on my PT test to not being able to pass it, or barely pass it on some days due to a lack of sleep or stress. I am also about to get on ADD and depression medicine, which I know you cannot be taking if you want to commission. I am hoping this medicine will help me feel better about life because right now I don't even clean my room or get my stuff done on time.

    1. My question is, what will happen to me if I tell my PMS and cadre I am about to get on this medicine, and that I want out? Will I have to revert back to my SMP contract and serve in the national guard?
    2. Also I have a bunch of gear from my unit and my college from ROTC. Will i just have to return it or pay for it since i've been using it for a year and a half?
    3. Do I have to pay back my stipend, Summer AT money, or anything else?
    4. Does this go on my job record like a dishonorable discharge? Will I have problems finding a job with my degree (Political Science) if I do this?
    5. I am willing to pay back the Army for the tuition exemption this past year. I just want to know what will happen to me. Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
  2. mbitr

    mbitr Member

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    1. I can't recall the specifics but unless things have changed, going on those meds will probably disqualify you.

    2. You will turn your gear back in. So long as you haven't lost any of it you're fine.

    3. They might look at a medical dq differently than simply dropping the program. Rather than telling your PMS you want out, do some research and see if a medical disqualification required repayment. No need to repay what you don't absolutely have to. Also, whatever you earned from the NationL Guard that's unrelated to ROTC shouldn't be effected. But they have some odd intertwined programs with SMP, like the kicker, so do some homework.

    4. No, dropping ROTC won't give you a discharge document like a DD214 or NGB22. You aren't in the military yet and there's no reason to even bring it up to an employer. The National Guard is a different story. You may potentially be separated from the Guard for whatever condition it is you're being medicated for. But since you haven't even been to basic yet I don't know how this would work. If you are given a formal separation, it isn't going to be under "bad" terms.

    5. Again, if you're already in your second year find out if medical disqualifications require repayment versus simply telling them you want out.
     
  3. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    No offense, but it sounds like you're coming up with excuses to drop ROTC.

    If you don't think it's right for you, and it certainly isn't meant for everybody (I've had a bunch of friends try it and decide they were better suited for enlisted life), go talk to the PMS and let him know. Don't say it's because you can't sleep and your stomach hurts. Nobody is going to look down on you for leaving the program because it's not what you're looking for. People will look twice if you go hop on medication and use that as a reason to get out.

    If you do really want to continue, what's the reason for needing the meds? Because you can't focus or have trouble sleeping?

    May need to evaluate what you really want to do.

    I mean no disrespect in this post, simply want to spark some questions for you, so you can figure out what's best for you.
     
  4. Ohio2015Parent

    Ohio2015Parent Member

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    Arrbor20,

    If you are suffering from depression and have seen a doctor who feels these medications are necessary, you should report this to cadre -before beginning the medications. Perhaps even have your doctor provide a brief note about your treatment.

    As stated, yes, you probably will be deemed unqualified to retain your ROTC contract and released - I agree with previous poster - I would NOT tell the cadre you want out, let the medical records do the work for you.

    Your NG contract will probably be reassessed. Where you required to name another MOS, other than SMP? My understanding is that MOS will be where you will serve out your NG contract. Example, my DS is a contracted MSII SMP, if he loses his ROTC contract(seems like this possibility comes up once a month...) he will be required to attend AIT immediately as a 88M(truck driver) and will be reasigned to a unit that needs this MOS. Since you have not attended BCT or AIT they may release you - repayment will be guided by your NG contract, varies by state. The medical issues you are having may also play into the decisions and contractual repayment issues. Example, being deemed medically unqualified may have different repayment than involvment with legal issues and/or inability to meet standards(APFT, height/weight...)

    Bull raises some good questions that you need to ask yourself before making this decision about leaving ROTC and/or NG.

    Good luck with your situation, depression is a real medical issue, but make sure you really require these medications. The side effects aren't limited to simply disqualifing you from military service.
     
  5. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army

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    Ask for help!!!
    Go talk to your cadre. Be honest. You shouldn't be relying on the answers you get from a discussion board and this shouldn't be the place you get your advice about these issues. That being said...if you have a medical condition that would preclude you from leading soldiers, you need to make it known and let your cadre/chain of command make the decision whether you should continue serving/preparing to serve. Don't mess around with this stuff and don't try to hide your issues. Talk to someone who can help.
     
  6. mbitr

    mbitr Member

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    Frankly, this attitude is part of the reason so many soldiers wind up with serious injuries or conditions that could have otherwise been nipped in the bud. Wearing a uniform does not make a person superhuman or any less prone to physical or mental injury. It's sad that the "suck it up, quitter" attitude is still so pervasive among our leadership. From my observations a big part of the problem lies with the commissioning sources. I understand perseverance is an essential part of the program, but you end up cutting these young officers lose on troops with this mindset and people get broken. If the young man has a documented medical problem, telling him he's using it as a crutch is just poor leadership. What do you think would happen to your career if he wound up attempting to harm himself and said LT told him to stop being a crybaby when he tried to get help?
     
  7. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Gee, I didn't read it the way you did at all. I thought it was a suggestion for things to look at, and if ROTC was not for him to step up and say so... with the further emphasis that ROTC wasn't for everybody. I didn't once read a "suck it up quitter" into the comment. Golly!

    Clearly something is stressing this young lad. He needs to sort out what it is in any case as a first step to correcting it. Could be ROTC. Could be academics. Could be being away from home. Even if meds are needed meds may be insufficient to address the problem... and further the stress wold probably disappear if the root of the problem, whatever it is, gets addressed.
     
  8. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Excellent advice.- An internet forum is not a substitute for personal contact and analysis. Reality is that you have to talk to the people who are familiar with your specific situation to get advice that will be applicable. In addition- the people in leadership positions are supposed to be concerned for you and your welfare as well as for the organization. Your issues could be minor or they could really be the tip of a much larger issue- either way they have a vested interest in helping you get to the bottom of them. Go talk to the ROTC cadre and tell them what you have going on before the only thing they can tell you is- "sorry, you should have said something while we still had the flexibility to help".
     
  9. mbitr

    mbitr Member

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    You're right, I misread a portion of his post. Yellow card!
     

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