rotc question

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by adoloris, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. adoloris

    adoloris Member

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    Hi all, I have a question-without giving too many details, I have just spoken with DS (who has a 4 year army rotc scholarship, is in his 3rd year in mechanical engineering,is an excellent student-4.0 each year--you get the picture). His unit has a new commander. He and 4 other rotc cadets were pulled aside after field exercises by this commander,who wrote their names down, and has indicated that they will be "kicked" out of the program due to "lack of motivation" and "motivating their squads". DS states that he and the others are in a state of shock. All tasks were completed in good time and order. He will meet with his commander--his initiation--to inquire further into what he was lacking. I have instructed him not to sign anything. Any insight here would be greatly appreciated.:confused:
     
  2. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    OMG, I can't even fathom how this can occur. Do Commanders have that much control in the AROTC world where they can dis-enroll a cadet for not motivating to their personal command expectations while the cadet meets their requirements for AROTC, i.e. cgpa and PFA?

    I am sorry this is happening to him. I think you might want to pm Marist and/or clarkson for further guidance. I would do that ASAP.

    We all here to be your shoulder to lean on, but those 2 posters know the AROTC system intimately and give you the very best guidance on the next step.
     
  3. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty Member

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    This story makes me ill, but something seems off. The MS3s are just finishing their initial rotations. How could a new guy make such a decimating decision on short notice and with so little time for observation?
     
  4. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    When you say "Commander", are you talking about the Cadre PMS, or the unit Cadet Commander. This makes a big difference.

    You gave him good advice, don't sign anything until he speaks with you.
     
  5. cravius

    cravius Member

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    Good point. If the Cadet Battalion Commander was the involved party, perhaps he was talking about being removed from a cadet held position, not the ROTC program.
     
  6. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    Since you said "his Unit has a new Commander", I am assuming you mean the officer in charge of the Unit. Assuming Army ROTC, this is a PMS, and in Navy ROTC this is a PNS. Whichever, they also report to somebody... the Brigade Colonel in the case of AROTC. Nobody is an island, and everybody is accountable to somebody.

    The first course of action is as he is already taking -- he is taking initiative to better understand where the PMS finds him deficient. There's really nothing more to do until that meeting happens and your son has a better understandin of what the new guy wants. It is a trite example, but in competitive ball there is an umpire behind the plate who has, what we call "his zone", that is, the strike zone as he interprets it. It is incumbent upon every player and pitcher to adjust to THIS umpires zone, even if it differs from a "standard zone", or "usual zone". He is in charge of THIS game, so everybody must adjust to him and his zone. Likewise, at THIS PMS' Battalion, he sets the tone, objectives, and makes the call about who is suited to be a future officer and who isn't.

    If, after that meeting, your son is still scheduled for disenrollment, then I would consider the risk and reward of going directly to the Brigade commander, who will be a full bird Colonel, and to whom the Battalion PMS reports. This is similar in ball to asking for the Umpire in Charge of a tournament to visit the game in which the non-standard Umpire is holding rule and reeking havoc. It is risky to go over the head of the PMS/Umpire, to be avoided at most costs, but there are times when a rogue PMS or Umpire needs to have their work reviewed by others with more experience, and more rank.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2012
  7. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Stunned

    I'm just stunned by this. Certainly, if the was something the CO saw that he didn't like during field exercises (which appears to be the trigger here) then perhaps some counseling would be in order but certainly not dismissal. These guys are supposed to be building officers, not filtering people out of the program without significant cause. Something sounds fishy here but it remains to be seen what it is. Hoping your DS can weather this storm regardless of where its blowing from.
     
  8. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army

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    Something doesn't add up. the Commander doesn't just pull 4 cadets out of ranks, write their names down, and disenroll them. I'm betting your Son isn't telling you something. If he is going to be disenrolled there will be a series of counselings leading up to the decision. If he is to be disenrolled he will be offered the opportunity to request a board if he thinks he is being treated unfairly.
     
  9. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    I really agree with above, please talk to DS at length and be supportive. Let him give more details and be supportive. Can you go to see DS in person this week?
     
  10. adoloris

    adoloris Member

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    Thanks for all of the great advice. I agree something doesn't add up. Yet after quizzing DS I can truly say that he is perplexed. I am glad he is looking to get feedback asap as this isn't my ball game--yet. I don't get waiting until the end of the training weekend to address issues--esp when taking over a new unit. Everyone has differing leadership styles and some are eager to put their "mark" on a new endeavor. I've been a manager--my style was to address issues that needed attention as they occur. I will keep you guys posted and thanks for the support.
    PS I can't help it but Capt Sobel (band of brothers) keeps popping up in my mind. lol
     
  11. adoloris

    adoloris Member

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    update

    Hi all, got to speak to DS between classes today and was able to glean a little more info. Apparently, his commander (Officer in charge of the rotc program at his college-sorry about not knowing the correct term) pulled these 5 aside after a weekend of field exercises and just before boarding the bus to return to campus and told them that he did not like the way they fulfilled their "orders". He took their names down and informed them that if they did not improve within the next 3 mos. he would discharge them from arotc. DS said that for all of them this was their first time being in a position running their respective squads and were basically winging it since none of them had received any training/inservice prior. For the entire weekend, these guys thought they were doing a good job. Welcome to the army. This is his new commander's first time running an rotc unit if that means anything. DS has a meeting scheduled this afternoon with his commander to inquire about his deficiencies and how to improve. I told him to get specifics preferably in writing or to write them down himself. I also told him that this is a good lesson--he will always have a new boss every now and then and will have to learn and adapt to how they want things done. Everyone has a different leadership style. I kept my opinion on this leadership style to myself.
     
  12. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    I really have to agree with Clarkson- I suspect that there are a few things that perhaps are not being relayed here. Hopefully he goes in and listens intently when he has his meeting with the PMS and instead of arguing points (a pretty common failing when being critiqued) does some self analysis and takes the feedback to heart. Inexperience doesn't usually get you blasted- but hardheadedness will in a heartbeat.
     
  13. adoloris

    adoloris Member

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    If it was just him, I would be a little more suspicious of not having the whole story, but 5? I spoke with him for a while, quizzed him about attitude, respect, etc. He's too much of a perfectionist to be lazy or slough off (hence, the engineer). I know it doesn't make sense but after speaking to him twice I can tell that he is truly puzzled. He's taking the initiative and will keep you guys posted. Thanks for listening
     
  14. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I suppose it's a combination of a few things.
    1. DS's inexperience at running a squad (although I would have expected him to pick some stuff up just from watching the squad leaders last year)
    2. Commander's inexperience at running at ROTC unit
    3. Commander possibly not being aware this was their first time running their squads. (You certainly don't toss someone for their first "error" IMHO).

    Hopefully they will work all this out in their meeting. I suppose it might help if DS mentions it was his first time and apologize for his inexperience or something along those lines, taking responsibility for it without being defensive or whiny.

    Good luck to your DS. :thumb: Please keep us posted on the outcome.
     
  15. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    The question here I didn't see is the 5 who were pulled aside - is that the entire MS3 class present at FTX, or were there some from that campus who did OK?

    What I am trying to get at is whether this is a systemic training failure (evidenced by everyone - or almost everyone failing miserably) or did many MS3's from this campus do fine which would indicate that they actually didn't learn what was taught last year about carrying out operations?

    My DD actually got to run a lane (much to her surprise) last year as an MS2. Fortunately, I guess she had picked up enough along the way at her previous FTXs to know what to do. Actually, she tells me that the officer running the the lanes called her out positively for doing better than most.

    What I am saying here is that they learn both from formal training on campus and from participating in lanes during FTX. Perhaps these 5 were not picking up enough from their previous FTX experiences?

    So much to figure out here... First of course is to figure out what is not satisfactory.
     
  16. adoloris

    adoloris Member

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    Spoke to DS again--he is waiting to meet personally with his commander and has scheduled an appointment. Also, the commander has sent out an email for a unit wide meeting. DS said that they ran their squads as they were instructed by previous leadership which is evidently not up to snuff with their new leadership. Also, the new leadership is having to adjust to rotc--his previous experience are SA's and overseas tours. So Kinnem hit the mark. I think all of this could have been avoided with better communication for all involved. Thanks for listening.
     
  17. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Thanks for the update. Sounds like the entire unit will be asked to "pick it up" and that your DS will almost certainly dodge a bullet... this time. It seems clear the new commander's standards are going to be higher/tougher but also that he is beginning to realize he needs to make an adjustment.

    Good Luck to your DS. This is a useful lesson for all that you really need to be on your toes under any change of command.
     
  18. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    This all reminds me of a conversation I had with the MstSgt when I was visiting the boys for Dad's Day last year, they had a new PMS. I asked how things were going in the battalion, he said "Well, we've spent the first month telling the new PMS...No you can't do that, or that, or that" I had to laugh. This was less about style and more about schedule but I can see where it might be an issue here. The PMS wanted Labs every week, nightly meetings twice a week, PT on Saturdays, and so on, Things settled down and he got in a groove. He is a great PMS with a lot of energy, the cadets really like him.

    He did have a similar situation as the OP has stated the first couple weeks. The MS3's were horrible at PT and terrible APFT scores. The PMS called them out in a big way and told them he would not hesitate to dis-enroll any of them, they got the message quick, and all are still there. This could very well be, this could be what is happening with the OP's son's battalion, maybe not PT but other issues, and he's about to give a swift kick in the ....you know. It will be up to the cadets how they respond.
     
  19. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    I have never seen anyone dis-enrolled for performing sub-par in leadership roles as an MSIII. The whole point of the CoC system is to prepare them for LDAC, the campus leadership roles act as a learning phase so they CAN mess up and correct the problem.

    Failing APFT scores, criminal issues and below threshold GPA WILL put a cadet on a one-way ticket out of the program.

    As others have said, either he is exaggerating or something is not being brought to light. If the PMS is new I am sure an experienced ROTC APMS or SMI would have stepped in way before hand to make sure this situation never even occurred. Training meetings every week often address problem cadets, their issues and ways to rectify the situation so this random "Hey come over here we need to talk" at a training event seems odd.
     
  20. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I might further add (speculation only), that calling out the cadets that he called out was part of his plan to send a signal. ZFirst scare the hell out of them, get everyone's attention, and then call an all hands meeting to tell them they have to step it up. There is no mistaking that message even if calling out the cadets was an "act". But it's all mere surmise on my part.
     

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