Reason not to drop NROTC?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by usna/nrotcpsuhopeful, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. usna/nrotcpsuhopeful

    usna/nrotcpsuhopeful Member

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    I'm in the NROTC unit at Penn State, and everything was going well. and I thought this was what I wanted to do with my life. But after a lot of stuff that went on, I realized that I might might might not want to do this, but I hate regretting stuff and asking "what if" later. Can anybody out there give me some reasons not to drop? I'm feeling very discouraged. I'm not scholarship btw.
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    It might help if you expanded on what went on.... but keep in mind that the military is, in many ways, no different than the corporate world. Both are large bureaucracies which move slowly and sometimes do some stupid things. Also, personality conflicts happen all the time no matter what you're doing, so if its that, then its no different anywhere else.

    Perhaps you should (re)ask yourself why you wanted to serve in the first place? Is participating in ROTC providing you with some leadership/life skills you wouldn't otherwise be getting?

    We all hit tough patches in life. I'm going though one right now because I can't get motivated to work for my employer any more. I don't care how much you like what you do... after 37 years its going to get a bit old. Anyway, maybe its just something you need to press through?

    So what's up anyway?
     
  3. usna/nrotcpsuhopeful

    usna/nrotcpsuhopeful Member

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    Re:

    I was sick last week and let everyone know, including my battalion midn staff. Now they are saying I didn't let them know and are giving me a PRB. and My dad is a CPO. I loved going with him to bases and stuff like that, but I liked the navy I saw there. The navy I'm seeing now is a totally different world.
     
  4. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Don't know what a PRB is, (I'm guessing Performance Review Board) but if you're right, you're right.... although is it possible you didn't let them know thru the proper channels? (Keep in mind the beurocracy I mentioned earler). If it were me I'd be sticking up for myself and if I made an error in reporting fall on my sword about that. If you love the navy, and that's what you want to do, stick with it. If this illness and reporting it is the only issue then I wouldn't let a minor thing like this get me down.

    DS just had a run in with the school. He and some friends were meeting their dates in one of the girls rooms when the Resident Assistant decided to inspect the room (I'm sure he assumed something was up from the number of people there). Guess what? The girls had a bottle of vodka in their frig. Everyone present got written up, inlucing the midshipmen who know nothing about the bottle of vodka being present. Everyone was underage and no one was drinking, but the rules are everyone in the room gets written up. DS had to report it to his ROTC advisor and today has to meet with someone in housing who I assume will slap his wrist. Point is, sometimes things get done because that's the way things get done.

    Learn what there is to be learned from this and press on. Don't leave your dreams unfulfilled because someone has a poor memory... and next time do it in writing of some form.

    Hope this helps!
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    1. I am sure if you talked to your Dad, he would tell you the Navy he entered is not the same Navy as it is now. The Navy you join will not look the same in 5, 10, or 20 yrs. They change with the times and their needs.

    This might sound harsh, but I am pretty sure your Dad would agree. This is a make or break point for you, if you want to fold now, than that's okay, but they are treating you the same as AD members, even softer than AD.

    How did you inform them, who did you inform? Did you bring a doc note from the school health center? Did you go to class that day? If you went to class, it will be hard to defend not attending PT or lab.

    Bullet (my DH) spent 20 yrs AD, DS is AFROTC both of them would drag their butts in, and forced to be sent home or to the docs. DS is sick right now with a 101 fever, and has been sick since Sat., but he still went in this a.m.

    I can sugar coat it, and side with you, but I won't. I am sure your Dad went to work sick as a dog.

    2. Visiting the base was not real life, it was show and tell.

    You didn't see the real Navy, you saw the FUN Navy.

    Did you create an illusion about the Navy that never could exist in reality?

    3. I agree with Kinnem

    Why did you go this path in the 1st place? Was it for a career, was it for leadership, was it because it sounded cool?

    I know you want support from us, but...

    We can't give it until we understand your motivation for going NROTC.

    I know you might think I was harsh about the illness issue, but this is college, it isn't HS. ROTC's job is to train leaders, to train them to push through the pain. You will get sick in your Navy career, but you will learn incredibly quick it is not your decision whether you show up to work, it is the docs.

    You can't call in sick because you think you are sick in the AD world, you must show up to sick call and the doc decides if you can go to work. Again in the 20 yrs Bullet served, I would say 85% of the time the doc labeled him DNIF (Duties Not Including Flying), in other words he could still go to work, but just not fly. It was rare that he got go home and get in bed orders.

    FWIW, even when he didn't get the go home orders by the doc, his command would tell him to go home.

    The thing to understand is that they called the ball.

    I am assuming you are only about 6 weeks in, it is most likely they did this to give you a wake up call. They don't know you at all, they are trying to send you and the unit a message. You can easily get passed this.
     
  6. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I agree with Pima's assessment. Sounds like proper procedure (Illness chit/doctor's note) was not followed. I would guess they read you the riot act (and my DS says you'll feel like you want to die :smile:) and if this is first offense then that will be it. Your squad leader and platoon sargent are probably in the same boat with you.

    There are times in your life when you have to "stand up", "be a man", and "take your licks". Never pleasant. But if you learn from it, it can be worthwhile. And I would guess its the last time you don't follow procedures! :biggrin:
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2011
  7. d.mcknight

    d.mcknight Member

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    I agree with Pima, especially on the last part. They are trying to get you into the military life quick. I was late to PT one morning because I overslept, so I had to do extra PT. A shipmate of mine got off to a real rough start and had some problems remembering where he needed to be and when. He was assigned to both color duties everyday for like 2 weeks, had to run extra sprints after PT, and had to shine this bell in front of our ROTC house with at least years worth of weather and whatnot built up on it. He did what he had to do and he still is in the program because this is what he wants. If you really want it, you shouldn't let a stumble out of the blocks keep you from running the race.
     
  8. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    ^^^^ Oh, and let us know the outcome! I don't want to have sleepless night's worrying about you! :thumb:
     
  9. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    Hopeful: "You ask why you shouldn't drop"?

    You are getting lots of good comments about the tough patches of life and some opinions on your situation that deserve reflection. Only you can decide if this is the life for you.

    But what I can offer is some thoughts about why you shouldn't drop. I would appreciate other responders adding to the list:

    1. Serving your country and the pride that comes with it
    2. Best leadership training and practical experience in the world
    3. You will never be closer to people than those you serve with
    4. Instant high-level responsibility job. Civilians take years to achieve this level of accountability
    5. Experiences few others will ever know
    6. Joining an exclusive "club" that brings opportunitities in ways you could never imagine (both active duty and post-service years)
    7. Pushing yourself to limits far beyond any level you thought you had

    And many, many more.

    In the end, it may not be the life for you, but don't let the first patch of difficulty prematurely end the trip. End it on your terms as you see fit after you have done some serious soul searching.

    Good luck!
     
  10. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    ^^^^ I would re-emphasize #7. You'll never get the same chance to push the limits in the civilian world and you'll no doubt cut yourself short in the civilian world as a result.

    #8. Having been an officer is a great thing to have on the resume whenever you do return to the civilian world. Everyone will already know you can lead in high stress situations.
     
  11. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    I had the same hammer thrown down on me my Frosh year. I told my SL as well as my MS instructor that I was injured, yet I didn't have a profile for my shin splint guards. Took everything in me not to blast into the MS4 who told me to take them off as they were the only thing keeping me from having excruciating pain (I was playing lacrosse and doing PT pretty much every day).

    Aside from my story, the fact is that many times during your ROTC career you will question what you are doing and why you did it. Your motivation will be up some days and down on others. You need to be able to look beyond all the BS and picture your goal as a future naval officer in the not so distant future. I say give it a year, if you truly don't like it then drop it (Not sure about navy but army gives you a year before commitment even with scholarship). I GUARANTEE you that during your senior year there will be upperclassmen cadets that will absolutely the loath the military, they will hate it as well as themselves for joining. Don't be those midshipmen/cadets, use self-reflection and go in 100% or not at all.
     
  12. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    This is the best point made.

    Without a doubt there are ROTC members in the program because this is the only way to get that college paid for. Their negative attitude does not go unnoticed, it is like a cancer for morale.

    Once they go AD it actually gets worse and it becomes a personal downward cycle. Nobody wants to hang at work or socially with someone who only can be negative, thus they don't get the job they thought they deserved over someone else, and aren't asked to hang out on the weekend. They see it as them against me, and that they have no culpability in why this is occurring. Which makes them more bitter, and amps up their loathing of the military.

    There is nothing wrong to walk away. The military is not for everyone and it is best that you decide if this is just a 1x time issue because as a frosh you didn't realize they meant it when they briefed you about missing lab or PT regarding what is accepted and what is not. Or is it that you are looking at ALL of the upperclassman and have decided you would never associate with any of them professionally? Is it a few that would be a better match, career wise if they were a prison warden? Remember in 4 yrs when you go AD they will be O3's and you will report to them again.

    Just as you are the future Navy, they are too.

    Have you created an illusion of the Navy that is not realistic?

    Our DS is AFROTC, son of an AF officer, he had his butt reamed along the way, but he also understood this is the life... you may disagree with the reaming, maybe ticked that you were reamed, but you suck it in and salute sharply. RHIP (Rank Has Its Privileges). As he has climbed the ranks in ROTC he now realizes it was not personal, it was professional, and when he did something that weakened the link, he weakened the unit. It is no longer about him when he gets reamed, it is about the unit. That's what it is truly about, they are training you to be a leader, step up and make the hard calls, to train those below you. It is not personal, it is professional.

    Talk to your Dad, adult to adult, military member to military member. He is the one that will give you the best perspective.

    I am not sure that you want NROTC for you or to make him proud. If getting reamed this early makes you 2nd question yourself, look inside and ask why you are asking the question.

    No offense, but you are not the only ROTC mid to get reamed this yr...I bet there is a mid that had a horrible run, something he/she has control over. Are they folding or did they place a bar to meet?

    Just curious, when you started this process what was your career goal in the Navy? You might think that is off the wall, but it is a tell.
     
  13. rkrosnar

    rkrosnar Member

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    First you are going to one of the best universities in the country. Second, you are in one of the best NROTC programs in the country, if not the best. I know the school and unit well. They will work with you, if you ask for help, guidance. Once your done, you are a commissioned officer and defend our countries freedom. Which is the greatest thing, I believe anyone can do. I wish my child would have done it.

    Good luck and God Speed,

    RGK
     
  14. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    First, Might, Might, Might is your answer. You don't drop a commitment unless 1) even with 100% effort you are not able to keep up, or
    2) you are SURE that you made a bad decision based on imperfect, partial, or wrong information used in making the commitment, plus you have a clear path forward that accomodates dropping your prior commitment.

    Based on your own words, you should not drop at this time. Incidentally, about 5% of all college freshmen (not ROTC) at this time are wondering if they should drop out of college... and my advice to them would be the same as it is to you ... stick it out until you've completed at least one year, then reevaluate.
     
  15. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    The Navy you saw when visiting the base with your Dad was just the day today operations, not training. Beleive me, every person on that base has had your same experience. Talk to your dad, I'm sure he could talk for hours about all the times he was called out over his career.

    My older son is a senior in Army Rotc, top of his class, he made the mistake of writing an email to the then Battalion Commander calling him on something he had sent out. The email was cc'd to the Master Sgt., my son received an email from the Master Sgt. to come see him. Let's just say he could have used ear plugs, at 6-6 and scary, that Master Sgt. could really yell. Son is still at the top of the class and get along very well with the Master Sgt., that stuff just happens sometimes. My younger son got called out because he showed up to the first PT weraing ankle socks, even the little things can get you in trouble.

    When I went through all this I once had to spend 2 hours "High Porting" (Ask your dad, he'll know what that is), basically running and doing push ups, in the rain. The Reason? I left the dial on my combination lock one click off zero, I never did that again.

    This won't be the last time you get called out. As PIMA said, don't take it personal, they do it to everyone, it's all part of the process. You think this is bad, try Boot Camp, those guys have it a lot rougher.

    All that being said, don't stay in something that makes you miserable, life is too short, just don't make a snap decision, give it a little more time and see how it goes then decide.

    Good Luck
     
  16. MNDad2015

    MNDad2015 Member

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    DS said that all of the 24 new cadets, including himself have been called out at least once, and they're only 5+ weeks into the program. Will he remeber that? Yes, because he knows that the worst mistake you can make is one that you've already made. He takes that bad with the good. I'm sure he's already put it behind it, because now he's pumped about all of the high fives he got yesterday when he took his second APFT and in a little over a month he knocked over a minute off the 2 mile run time and is almost 50% of the way needed to reach max score.

    No one ever said it was going to be easy and believe there's nothing in life worthwhile that is. Look on the bright side, you can make a decision now that you might regret later, which happens to everyone at least once in their life, but with little or no consequences. Much better than having to make a similar decision after completing everything and you find out that AD is not for you. Your only ways out until you fulfill you commitment are limited and carry serious consequences that will negatively impact the rest of your life.

    Hang in there, and good luck!
     
  17. usna/nrotcpsuhopeful

    usna/nrotcpsuhopeful Member

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    Thank you to all who posted

    I have decided to continue my education at Penn State in hopes of becoming a PA. When I go for the additional two years of schooling required, I am going to apply for a navy health scholarship. i just can't see myself doing work my heart might not be in for five years, although I do still want to serve.
     
  18. usna/nrotcpsuhopeful

    usna/nrotcpsuhopeful Member

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    and its nothing personal against anybody here. I would rather wait until I can serve 100% towards what I want to do, and not see it as a "five and dive"
     
  19. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Good luck to you! :thumb:
     
  20. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I am not following, if you take a Navy health scholarship they are still going to make you pay it back via AD.

    Is it that you want to change majors? If so why aren't you asking them now to change your major? Yes, your records will go to a board and they will determine if they will accept you into the Health field, but at least it doesn't hurt to ask. You would still get the end result, but with a chance of a scholarship for 4 yrs.

    The health care fields in all of the branches are undermanned, it is not as if you are asking to go from CE major to a French Lit major with a minor in photo journalism.

    Or is it you don't want to be in NROTC at the current moment and want to wait until you are 100% in it for the right reasons?

    Good Luck, I know this can not be an easy decision this early in the game.
     

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