Sad but true

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by jiller59, Aug 10, 2015.

  1. jiller59

    jiller59 Member

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    DS had fellow MIDN who graduated and commissioned Navy aviation in April. He had passed everything...academics, pft, physical.

    He had another physical when he arrived a flight school and it was discovered, after all this time, that he is COLOR BLIND! He had no idea and it had never come out in any previous physicals.

    His dream of being a pilot has ended. He is now restricted line and will be a supply officer, I believe. My heart goes out to him to have his dream within his grasp and snatched away, so suddenly.

    DS was certain if this would have been discovered earlier, this young man never would have gotten the scholarship.
     
  2. Sampia

    Sampia Member

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    How terribly sad! He must be devastated. "The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry". I suppose this is an example of that. Since they messed up, they should let the young man return to civilian life, no strings attached, if he so desires.
     
  3. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    That's not the deal. Plenty of folks don't get the MOS they want. They still have to serve. I do feel for him though.
     
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  4. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    That gets a few people each year. He's lucky he gets to stay in at all, when I was in flight school the majority of (Navy) attrites were cut from the service.
    You'd think that people would have these things caught earlier, but the Pensacola docs tend to be a smidge more picky than those that do the precommissioning physicals.
     
  5. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Disagree he should serve his commitment. No one messed up more than likely. There are tons of color blind tests. When he got to Pensacola they probably saw something and tested further. This actually happens all the time. I had several friends make it to Pensacola and get dropped because of medical. Plenty of folks never get the careers they wanted originally, medically aren't qualified for what they want or get denied transfers. Plus there is no guarantee he would of even passed flight school. He was well aware that the needs of the Navy are first foremost. Supply can actually be a wonderful career field in the Navy. He will actually have a huge amount of options of what kind of unit to get stationed at and that drives a huge part of his satisfaction.
     
  6. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I agree that they should serve out their commitment. The fact and reality is they know as a rated candidate in ROTC that this (FC1 physical) is a hurdle that they must clear. An FC1 (Flight Class 1) is not just a military exam, but they need to meet the FAA requirements too. At least this is true for the AF. It may be that they met the standards for color deficiency regarding the Navy's standards, but not the FAAs.

    There are many that do not pass that FAA FC1. My DS is an AF pilot commissioned via AFROTC. He was a scholarship cadet that passed his DoDMERB 4 years earlier. 1st day at Wright Pat, they gave to all cadets and EKG. 25% failed the EKG and were than sent for an EEG. Luckily he passed that test. Some didn't.

    However, either way because he passed the DoDMERB he would have still had to serve out his commitment, but as a non-rated officer since he passed the DoDMERB. That is how I see this aspect.

    I am sorry it happened. Personally, I like the AFROTC path for cadets that get a rated slot. They are informed in the spring of their junior year. During the summer of their rising senior year they are sent to Wright Pat for their FC1. If they are dq'd than come fall they will compete with all of the other non-rated cadets for their career path. This means they know prior to commissioning if they are indeed going rated.

    Finally to drive home what NavyHoops was stating about the color deficiency tests, hornetguy here is the AF go to expert explaining the different type of tests. Hornetguy got caught in it. He commissioned in 2010 from USAFA. He has a PPL. He was originally given a waiver for UPT, but because he graduated so high out of USAFA he was offered a 3 year fellowship to RAND. That meant he had to delay UPT. Meanwhile during those 3 years the AF changed the parameters/test and he now was not eligible for a waiver.

    Just saying for cadet/mids that got cleared with the DoDMERB for the scholarship or even the exit (ROTC pre-commissioning), to be a pilot you need to pass the FAA too.

    If you also say they should be able to walk than answer one question for me. AFROTC is like NROTC, you will go AD upon commissioning and you are basically locked into this as soon as you become a POC. How can you say they should be able to walk? If that flight exam was given in college, the results would be the same. They would be DQd and still have to go non-rated.

    Look, the fact is, it is heart breaking for the OP, but their DS knew this was a chance. I do feel for them, because as a parent you are the one that needs to support them when they are feeling at the worst. I suspect the OP is not military or does not fly, and due to that they are in unchartered waters.

    jiller59, He will rebound. He just needs time to lick his wounds. In years from now he will look back with no what ifs? He will get that this was his fate and something he had absolute no control over.
    ~ You might not see this as comfort right now, but there are many UPT students that wash out, and they now live with....IF I just studied one more hour....if I just chair flown a little longer instead of playing XBox....maybe I would be a pilot now. This is not what would ever be on his what IF I list. He will get it.

    Your job as a parent is to get him to the point that he went NROTC to become a Navy officer, not just a Navy pilot.

    In the AF there is a joke...you know what they call a pilot at UPT? O1! Just like the intel officer or Maintenance. Nobody says Pilot Jiller. They say Ensign Jiller. Great pilots know that without the non-rated officers that airframe would never get off the ground. Crappy ones, well they will be crappy be it in the military or in the corporate world.
     
  7. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Pima, in order to get a Pilot slot for Navy he would of passed the flight physical they do during Pre-Commissioning (we just call it something a little different on the Navy side). It is standard when a Naval Flight Student gets to PCola they get another look over. Just as Hurricane mentioned, if the flight docs in PCola see something off, they tend to dive much deeper. It happens to a few every year sort of like with Hornet. Its rare, but not unheard of.
     
  8. Sampia

    Sampia Member

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    I stand corrected. It is a good thing softies like me are not running the military.
     
  9. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    So you are saying that as a mid they get the FC1, and than at PCola they have an intake and now the flight doc can say I see an issue?

    I know that the UPT world for AF and Navy are unique, especially in training. I just didn't realize that they could get an all clear via flight physical and than get hit at UPT.

    DS had to take another flight physical at UPT for AF, but it was more like....nothing has changed or in my eyes the DoDMERB for HS candidates. In the AF it is called a short physical...45 minutes.
     
  10. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    Pima - Navy and AF perform full FC1 checks prior to anyone PCS'ing to a UPT base. Sadly, this is not an uncommon story. I had a friend and room mate at USAFA who went missiles. He got cleared to then go to UPT and passed everything. Started training (at Whiting actually) and was doing well. Got airsick once. Part of the procedure for airsickness is they do a full eye battery (checking vision makes sense, color vision? huh?!). They gave him the new test and like me, he failed. Pulled him for training and sent him back to missiles, no exception.

    I feel this Mid's pain. My DH was in charge of the Ops Air Force USAFA cadets this summer at Randolph. They all had stories of friends who were DQ'd at the last min too. The color vision regs are archaic and ridiculous. The FAA is recommending that they be at least lowered (standards) if not eliminated altogether in light of recent research.

    Anyway, I have my own stories on the topic and what happened to me at these threads:
    http://www.serviceacademyforums.com/index.php?threads/hornetguy-is-a-civilian.41351/
    http://www.serviceacademyforums.com/index.php?threads/color-vision-air-force-must-read.37647/

    Luckily, I was allowed to separate early and didn't have to pay anything back. Frankly, these days I'm happy to be out of the Air Force and truly enjoying my life as a civilian and getting to see my DH every day! I'm sure in time he will excel at whatever path he chooses. I can understand how it feels.
     
  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Hornet,

    For AFROTC cadets, they go through the FC1 in ROTC, a year out from commissioning. In the OPs case they are saying it happened after commissioning.
    ~ Just want to clarify that is how AFROTC works compared to NROTC. AFROTC is not like USAFA. They are sent for a 3 day physical to Wright Pat as a rising senior or C1C USAFA. They do both DoDMERB and FC1 at the same time.
    ~~ DS did his FAA FC1 as a rising senior. Arrived at Laughlin, handed over his medical records and the flight doc did a physical sim. to sports...aka short. They accepted the FC1. This poster stated that all their DS had was the goodbye ROTC/welcome Navy exit DoDMERB exam. Not the FAA. At least for me, that is how it read. It read that the FAA FC1 was performed after commissioning.

    I am glad that you posted because I think if anyone can shine a light on this, you can. You are someone on here that gets the whiplash aspect. You can give hope that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it might be better.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2015
  12. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Pima, that is how it was for us. It was a short review when they got to PCola. It was very rare for someone to have an issue in the short review, but it did happen once in awhile. Hurricane I am sure can correct if something has changed. It is rare, but it happened to a few buddies. We had a few others who got air sick and couldn't get it worked out in the puker phase so they got sent packing too which I suppose is a medical thing. Another buddy had some night vision issue that didn't come up until he did night flights (for some reason that always reminds me of Harm on JAG, so we of course called him that and it still sticks today). Another buddy during his short review had an old injury checked out and the doctor DQ'd him for range of motion even though he had been cleared previously. I am sure things like this happen at all the flight schools. I am sure Hornet can totally relate to the vision thing! Pima, I think we addressed this on another forum a few weeks ago. Every Midshipmen technically gets a flight physical during their Pre-Comm. They do this because every Mid is required to list what they are physically qualified for on their dream sheet and also other communities like SEALs require similar physicals. It is just how things work on the Navy side.
     
  13. Axxif

    Axxif Member

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    Just figured I'd put my 2 cents in on things

    During my DODMERB eye exam, I was talking with the eye doctor giving me my examination, and he informed me how it's usual for a student's eyesight to get worse over the course of college; in that sense, I can understand why some whom pass the exam before starting might not fare the same after graduating. And, I mean, 4 years is quite a long time (only 365 days short of a half decade)
     
  14. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Axxif, you if you go Navy, you will have another eye exam at your pre commissioning physical. This will be more thorough than you DoDMERB exam. Your eyes will get dilated and be much more in depth. Not sure how Army handles it, but Pima has covered it for Air Force rated side.
     
  15. Zero

    Zero Member

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    The DODMERB exam is a joke compared to the WP/FC1. Just to put it into perspective.
     
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  16. derek44

    derek44 Member

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    Hey I don't think he should fill out the rest of his service commit. I won't go into details but there was a rated-select who for medical reasons could not deploy. The Air Force released that cadet from the service commitment. The same has also been done for a color blind rated-select, who was also released.
     
  17. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    For some they want to fulfill their commitment. Others would be happy to see the door. And why shouldn't he have to fill his commitment? The services are trying to drop people right now as they reduce numbers so they will let folks go, other times they won't. He agreed to an education for service, regardless of what it is. If the Navy said he serves, he serves. It doesn't say, you serve if you get what you want. Now being labeled non-deployable is a different story. If this a permanent status and not temp, then it is standard to be discharged at least on the Navy and Marine Corps side of the house. For some the prospect of leaving service with little notice and no experience while most or all of their friends are in uniform, is a scary and unknown future. Many want to serve their country in whatever capacity. It's what they signed up for. After the initial shock I am sure this young man, will embrace his future and work to be the best supply officer possible.
     
  18. Zero

    Zero Member

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    Tell this to all the people going to UPT and dropping RPA's. He took the job, the money, and the training. He's obligated to serve in whatever aspect that is.
     
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