Resigning Cadet

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by 1994ARM, Jun 9, 2015.

  1. 1994ARM

    1994ARM New Member

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    My son resigned from USMA in lieu of a conduct investigation. He received an honorable discharged but his DD form 785 he received a 5 "definitely do not recommend". He had a beer in his room for his first offense. His second offense he got caught for suspicion of being drunk shortly after the first offense. He has aspirations of being an officer and has expressed interest going the Navy route and possibly doing NROTC. I know you can appeal the DD785, but I heard its like impossible to get it changed. Is Roth completely out of the questions. I just don't want my son to have these opportunities stripped from him for making a few mistakes. Any ideas on how to handle this, or if ROTC is even in the question. Thanks
     
  2. Nick K

    Nick K New Member

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    As cadets we DO NOT receive DD214's, so your son has no actual record of service so he was not formally discharged. A DD785 is a record of disenrollment from officer candidate school. In short, he quit of his own accord. A conduct investigation at USMA does not equate to separation, however quitting before you get your punishment speaks volumes about the cadet. The Army, and any other service, will view this person unworthy to be pinned an officer if they won't even face their own punishment (lack of responsibility). The DD785 will follow him for the rest of his attempts to become an officer, and a "do not recommend" is the equivalent of a "do not retain" for getting kicked out. His best bet would be to go to college/enlist, and then go "green-to-gold" at which he attains a commission via OCS. Either of those options are admirable.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2015
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  3. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    All he can do is go and try, but recognize it will be an up hill battle. More than likely a very steep and slippery one. Remember in NROTC he would have to gain advance standing in order to remain the program past his sophomore year. More than likely all he could do is go as a college programmer, be honest about his past, show the steps he has taken to remediate the situation and work his tail off to get there. Even then, he might not still have his leadership's support. Or his LT could end up rotating out and the new one might not support him. Sorry to hear about this situation, but he really screwed up badly. Surprised he wasn't kicked out after the first one. Alcohol in the barracks is nearly an automatic dismissal.
     
  4. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    With all due respect, and in all seriousness, the first issue is for your DS to get his life together. Two alcohol-related offenses in such a short time says something -- and even more if your DS was underage. If he doesn't address the underlying issue(s), there is little likelihood that he will be successful in another military program, officer or enlisted.

    Unfortunately for your DS, in today's smaller military, most members -- and especially officers -- get only one chance. Yours got two. I think it extremely unlikely that he will get a third, especially from an officer accession program. NROTC is just as tough as a SA or OCS.

    I suggest he take some time "off" to focus on himself and his future. If he has an exemplary record for several years wherever he ends up, maybe he could parlay that into another try. But I wouldn't count on it.
     
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  5. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    At USNA two alcohol related offenses meant automatic in patient rehab. Surprised that wasn't required before he was released. Agree with the others, this is a long shot with a virtual zero chance of going directly to another officer program. These opportunities were not stripped from him, he stripped them from himself. I know that is harsh, but its reality.
     
  6. 1994ARM

    1994ARM New Member

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    He was supposed to be in ASAP (army substance abuse program) right after the first offense; however, they did not place him in it right away. It wasn't until after the second offense where he actually started treatment for the alcohol problem.
     
  7. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    I hope your son addresses his alcohol problem before figuring out his next step, 1994ARM. One of my kids has 2 friends who are alcoholics, one is 23 and the other one is 21, and they have really struggled with regaining their lives. They both flunked out of great colleges and have had a hard time finding and holding jobs. It's very tragic.
     
  8. 1994ARM

    1994ARM New Member

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    I do not feel he is an alcoholic, but I think he it definitely has got him into trouble.
     
  9. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    An alcohol problem is called alcoholism....
     
  10. parentalunit2

    parentalunit2 Parent

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    Seems like almost anything goes these days. Trophies and second chances for all!

    To the OP – he had his golden ticket and he ripped it up and threw it away. I would be shocked if any other branch of the military took a chance on him. I do sincerely hope for the best for him.
     
  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Maybe it is just me, but I do not believe this child is an alcoholic.

    I believe that USMA was not a right fit for him.
    ~ Seriously, anyone with a kid in a traditional college would not be saying alcoholic. OBTW, yes, most colleges also have 0 tolerance in dorms, but they still get drunk.
    ~~ He is young and was stupid.
    ~~~ If caught with alcohol or drunk underage in a dorm at any college, the RAs are required to report to housing. The difference is they are not kicked out of school, just the dorms.

    Sorry, but I feel like stones are being thrown. How many parents went off to college and prayed to the porcelain God as a freshmen? Join a frat back in the 80s, and they were drinking every weekend, but nobody would say they were alcoholics or have alcohol problems. They grew up to be amazing parents with no alcohol addiction issues.
    ~ Parents that are my age had the same legal age as these kids...21, but we still drank underage. Not condoning, just asking, if you did it, are you saying you are an alcoholic or had an alcohol problem? Or would you just say, it was being a stupid teenager that left home for the 1st time? Yes, I get it, this is an SA, but they are also a kid and somebody supplied it to them. How did that alcohol get in their hands as a C1C?
    ~ Again, maybe it is just me.

    Now, the fact is, he screwed up big time. He knew he had a very big strike against him and went off to do it again. I wonder if he did it intentionally. Did he do this to get the boot without understanding the repercussions? Maybe he thought that he would be disenrolled and could start life over again in ROTC?

    They are flipping young. High School seniors want to fly the coop. The problem is many miss the nest within 2 months, and are homesick. SA cadets are not like ROTC cadets where they can come home to recharge over a weekend.

    Back on topic. I agree with the others, commissioning is going to be a long, hard road. I don't see AFROTC picking him up. Maybe, he can investigate Guard or Reserve.
    ~ AF takes any and all alcohol issues very seriously. They don't give 2nd chances with this aspect. Alcohol abuse (underage in this case) is in their eyes on par with marijuana. It is a big no no

    I also would agree that the priority right now is to get him on track, academically. I live in No. VA., maybe he should also look into working for the government within the DoD or Homeland.

    I wish him and your family the very best, and my heart goes out to you, but now is the time to address what you will do come Sept., and leave the commissioning aspect alone impo.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2015
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  12. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    1994ARM, I like to share some information about the Guard.

    The Guard can be very challenging and rewarding as we try to do what active duty does on a lot less resources and time. During the GWOT, many Guard soldiers deployed multiple times and served along the active duty, and gained active duty experience. But unless there is another war, the Guard experience will be limited.

    Without ROTC commissioning, one can either directly access into the OCS route if they meet the pre-requiste (usually a college degree) or apply to OCS after enlisting. Depends on a state, some states are very selective (a state has a waiting list) and some states are not so selective. After accessing into the Guard, there are full time opportunties. In theory, from Guard/Reserve a soldier can access into active duty, but that is getting rare, especially for officers.

    On a side note, your son can reapply to West Point. I know of two cadets that got separated for academic failure that made it back. One of the cadets managed to get back in even though pretty much everyone in the chain of command didn't support him.
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I just felt a little off put by this one statement:
    This is your family, and I believe it is a family decision. I get wanting to gain information. However, impo, if he wants these opportunities, don't you feel at his age, isn't it his responsibility to research them?

    Working with him to figure out to pay for a traditional college is one thing in my opinion. It is something as a parent, I think there should be an involvement... going to a CC and needing a car to get there impacts your life too.

    However, wanting to serve is all on him. He needs to fight for it. He needs to research how to commission. NOT YOU. This is his life, and he needs to step up to the plate.
    ~ Might be wrong, but I am assuming he is 19 going on 20 next year. He is not that 17 yr old applying for SA/colleges. He now has more life experience under his belt.

    This is now his fight. Cut the apron string. Sorry, that may seem harsh, but it is the reality for any 18 year old in the military. Traditional college kids are still seen as kids, but not true for the military. You can't have it both ways. If you say they are in the military, than you have no voice in any of their decisions. SAs are unique, however, if at any time you thought he was actually in the military because he attended an SA, than accept the fact in the AD world, 18 means they are adults, and no voice.

    Just curious, if it was only alcohol, did anyone else get in trouble? Did he bring the alcohol in, or was it supplied?
    ~ If it is the 1st, than how did he get it? More importantly to me, if he purchased it on his own, than you need to have a family discussion of why he purchased it?
    ~~ Again, I do not see it as an alcohol problem, I see it as a college kid thing. Yet, for him, at an SA, I see this as a self inflicting problem. He knew the risks and had no problem breaking the rules. I would be asking my child, WHY?
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2015
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  14. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    No preaching here. No academy experience. Just a view from the cheap seats...

    I think that if he was scheduled for ASAP and didn't get it before his second offense, there could be grounds for some type of appeal. He might find a sympathetic ear somewhere. As mentioned by many, the military takes this stuff seriously. Yes, there is quick punishment for alcohol/drug related incidents but when a dependency is identified, they take on the obligation to help the abuser.

    Note: I didn't say alcohol can be used an excuse. But when the individual admits a problem the focus in on assistance rather than punishment. I saw several "street savvy" Marines self-report a substance abuse program immediately upon getting caught to trigger treatment rather than separation.

    If your DS wants to be an officer in the military, there is a long road ahead of him. Its time to take inventory and assess the situation. Owning the offenses, taking responsibility, addressing any abuse issues, becoming a model citizen, applying and reapplying (and reapplying) will all be necessary to put himself in a place to overcome this setback. No guarantees of a successful outcome but he will be a better person for it regardless.
     
  15. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    +1.

    I get the dream, but as a spouse that had many fights with her AD DH, I always reminded him the AF would not be crying over his grave. His family will.

    God willing his military career will only be a small part of his life. If he does 20 or 30 years, he will leave in his 40/50s.
    Don't wrap yourself up in the future. Wrap yourself up in the now.

    FYI, I say this all the time. Nobody walks in saying they will not commission 4 years later, but many don't. He is not the first and will not be the last.
     
  16. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    There's a difference between a kid being young and dumb and a kid knowing that he has one foot in the grave due to booze and then doing it again. Either he didn't want to be at USMA and it was "suicide by cop" or he was utterly unable to avoid the allure of alcohol. Neither bodes well for a future hope of officership.

    That being said....it's easy for us to pile on from afar, and point out to this parent how badly his/her kid screwed up. Kids are kids, and as such are susceptible to many things, including a rapidly worsening alcohol dependence. So my thoughts are that many have offered sage advice about checking the headspace on your son before he ventures forth into a difficult quest to become an officer. His life may depend on it.

    Best wishes to you and him moving forward.
     
  17. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    For purpose of clarity this sentence should have read: I saw several "street savvy" Marines self-report a substance abuse problem immediately upon getting caught to trigger treatment rather than separation.
     
  18. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    [QUOTE="1994ARM, post: 430320, member: 25740". I just don't want my son to have these opportunities stripped from him for making a few mistakes. Any ideas on how to handle this, or if ROTC is even in the question. Thanks[/QUOTE]

    Hold on there, Momma. Your son's opportunities were not "stripped from him."

    He is now in the ADULT position of putting his own life in order. He is no child, though of course, always your son.

    I worry about anyone desiring to be an officer, to lead our sons and daughters into grave danger, who are unwilling to face consequences when their own behavior is against stated and well-known rules.

    Fencersmother suggests: Son, it is unfortunate that your behavior led to this outcome. Now, what is YOUR plan, Son, going forward?
     
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  19. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I agree and disagree fencer.

    He is maybe 19, so we need to remember he is young. Heck, my 21+ year old children still rely on me for some guidance.

    However, where I do agree with you are on 2 points.
    1. AS stated earlier this is his life.
    ~ Be that soft landing spot for a month or two, but after tha, impho he and you need to move on.
    2. If he still strives to be an officer, than use this as a learning experience.
    ~ Officers will have to counsel members. Typically it does have to do with either drinking, or debt.
    ~~ This may be the opportunity to ask him what he would do if roles were reversed? He was the one submitting the paperwork. It might make him see his future differently because now he sees his past in a new light.

    I really wish him the best. My heart goes out to you as a parent. It is the hardest thing in the world to feel helpless in watching them finding their next step. However, you are better off them him right now.
    ~ Emotionally it is 10 times harder on him. Sounds insane, but it is true.
    ~~ You have this site to emotionally support you whenever you want to vent.

    God bless and God speed.
     
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  20. PhilDavidsonUSAFA

    PhilDavidsonUSAFA Member

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    I disagree with this. He clearly has a problem, the kid is dependent on alcohol and needs treatment and counseling. It really was the Army's responsibility to get him treated. I don't think he should've resigned.

    Underage drinking is illegal for all those underage, not just people at the academy.
     

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