Separation from West Point

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by MichaelUSMA, Jan 30, 2015.

  1. MichaelUSMA

    MichaelUSMA New Member

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    A current 3rd year cadet is being separated from the Academy as a result of having self- reported their prior use of Marijuana on several occasions during a winter break away from West Point. The offenses took place during the second academic year. The event came to light when the cadet was in the process of making application for a summer AIAD which required a security clearance. When completing this application, the cadet truthfully, and courageously, self-reported the prior use of Marijuana. The cadet is an excellent student with no other negatives on their record. Cadet has many exemplary letters of recommendation asking for leniency. The initial Regimental Board recommended that cadet be given suspended separation along with a boat load of walking hours. This was over ruled by Commandant and reaffirmed by Superintendent. As a parent, not of the cadet, I am having difficulty reconciling this decision for a number of reasons; Aside from the present national trend towards ending prohibition of the drug, it is still illegal in the eyes of the Federal government and as such, cadets are required to abide by the law or face stiff consequences. However, it is also illegal to drink alcohol under the age of 21 in all 50 States. We all are aware that underage drinking is the cause of many injuries and fatalities every year in this country. However, West Point chooses to handle each case differently. Certainly, all students caught drinking under age are not separated even though they are fully aware that the cadet has broken the law.

    Cadets are the future leaders of our military but like every one of us, they are not perfect. A good leader has many traits and certainly courage and honesty must be near the top. In this particular case it took a lot of both for this cadet to tell the truth. Especially, when it was so easy to just lie. Who would ever have known the truth, except for him? This is a teachable moment and in my mind, the leaders of the academy ant missing an opportunity to lead. Instead, they are propagating a culture which continues to encourage dishonesty for self-preservation.

    I know that there is an appeal process, but I really doubt that the cadet will be successful in staving off his separation from West Point. If anyone on here has any thoughts, suggestions or other opinions, I would like to hear from you.
     
  2. SpadGuy

    SpadGuy Member

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    Did DSS inform West Point during the processing of the security clearance? Otherwise, how would West Point know?

    http://www.usma.edu/law/SitePages/AIAD.aspx

     
  3. civic29

    civic29 Member

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    Honestly I think it would be different if he wasn't at the academy at the time being. Officers should be examples for this kind of stuff, it's great to see he was honest though. Marijuana is a serious deal, I wouldn't want a leader of men in combat to smoke legal or not.


    2019 WestPoint class applicant
    Recipient of 4 year army rotc scholarship.
     
  4. MichaelUSMA

    MichaelUSMA New Member

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    I don't have the answer to that for certain, but I initially thought that there must have be some breach of confidentiality in the application which should have provided protection from recourse. I am fairly certain that the application for the AIAD was volentarily pulled on advice of legal council. I don't know if this would provide any legal grounds for appeal
     
  5. Sweetpea704

    Sweetpea704 Member

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    I can tell you that using marijuana on "several occasions" while on a break from West Point is shockingly poor judgement. First of all, they could have given him a drug test and he surely would have flunked it. He had to know that.
    Also, getting a security clearance is a really big deal. When they research you for a security clearance, they look for behavior like this, that can be used against you by enemies of the United States. The questions that they ask are very personal questions. I've recently been interviewed for a friend that needed to renew a security clearance. It was an hour long interview. I'm sure that this young man told the truth because the truth would have come out. You have to sign a form saying that what you say in the interview is true. Basically, you have to understand that people that have huge debts, use mind altering drugs, or have other skeletons in the closet, are people that can be blackmailed or otherwise persuaded to compromise National Security.
     
  6. civic29

    civic29 Member

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    That was probably for top secret security clearance if they interviewed you.


    2019 WestPoint class applicant
    Recipient of 4 year army rotc scholarship.
     
  7. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    There is no longer tolerance in the military once you are a member. They sometimes forgive a couple of uses prior to enlistment or joining an Academy or ROTC program, but once you're in it's verboten. Not saying there might not be some exceptions but that's the general approach. Even in states where marijuana use is legal the military is still prohibited from using it. It's made very clear to any member of the military that it's use is not allowed. The cadet in this case was just plain stupid in using it to begin with. If he had used it only once he might have gotten away with it, but several times is definitely beyond the pale.

    Someone earlier said "Who would have known?" Trust me, someone did. People don't smoke marijuana alone in general, and someone else definitely gave it to him or sold it to him. Eventually it would have been found out. Someone always knows.
     
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  8. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    He should be kicked out. The fact he did it several times is even more reassuring he should be kicked out. He should also be sent a bill or sent to the Army to pay back his time. I saw probably 20 Marines kicked out in my units for drug usage. Heck there were over 100 kicked out at once when I was at 29 Palms in an NCIS investigation. The military has a zero tolerance for drug use and in my opinion he should be held to a higher standard as a future officer. My squad leader second semester of my plebe year smoked pot over spring break and got caught in a drug test. He headed to the fleet the same time his classmates were graduating. Literally 2 months from graduation and he did something that stupid. He knew he screwed up and accepted the consequences.
     
  9. GoArmyBeatNavy

    GoArmyBeatNavy Member

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    As an officer, he will be required to make recommendations for non-judicial punishment and article-32 offensives for his Soldiers. His disregard for federal law shows that his decision making skills and moral judgements are poor.


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  10. Spud

    Spud BGO

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    He's toast and rightly so. The problem isn't that he reported it, the problem is he did it.
     
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  11. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    It's been very clearly communicated that the era of 2nd and 3rd chances for this type of thing is over.

    While it appears Alcohol violations are easier to avoid getting caught, I'm not sure there is more tolerance for it once caught in violation.

    It's easy to say from thousands of miles away and not your kid... but the time to have been courageous would have been to decide not to use the drugs. This is a judgement thing, they will get caught. Don't mean to sound harsh, but that's the reality
     
  12. USCGA_2018

    USCGA_2018 Member

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    I agree with most posters here that the separated cadet got what he deserved in spite of all his other seemingly redeeming qualities.

    kinnem nailed it regarding the possibility to forgive a couple of uses prior to enlistment or joining an Academy or ROTC program, but once you're in it's verboten.

    Your effort to defend this cadet and question the equal dispensation of justice is admirable even though it falls on mostly deaf ears. There are lessons to be learned here and this young man may very well go on to accomplish great things outside of the Army.

    Again, I think you made some valid points and had a reasoned argument. The one thing I strongly disagreed with was the choice of a single word. I would have used "ashamedly" as opposed to "courageously" self-reported the prior use of Marijuana.
     
  13. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    My opinions are

    This is not self reporting. To me self reporting is reporting without being asked. I am assuming that the application asked about drug use. Accordingly, when a question is asked, answering the question is not self-reporting or reporting self to someone else after answering drug use question on an application is not self-reporting

    Marijuana is illegal for cadets. Alcohol itself is not illegal, just mostly illegal for under 21 to purchase but can consume. According to Wiki " As of January 1, 2010, 15 states and the District of Columbia ban underage consumption outright, 17 states do not ban underage consumption, and the remaining 18 states have family member and/or location exceptions to their underage consumption laws."
    This reminds me about an old joke of how being an Catholic is good as we can do whatever we want to do, confess our sins, and all will be foregiven. I do believe in second chances and teachable moments, but for a cadet using "Marijuana on several occasions during a winter break away from West Point" don't cut it - once is a mistake that could be perhaps overlooked, but "several occasions" cannot be.
     
  14. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    MichaelUSMA: You can't equate the two drugs. Marijuana is illegal (in most states and the eyes of the military) while alcohol is legal. ANY use of pot is against the law. Alcohol can be legally consumed at the age of 21. Underage drinking or smoking pot are both bad choices which result in disciplinary action but drug use is not tolerated while underage alcohol consumption is.

    (cross posted with MemberLG)
     

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