Separations, Dropouts, etc.

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by flyty, May 30, 2010.

  1. flyty

    flyty New Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    We all hear stories about dropouts during Beast, separations during the academic year, etc. In any event, some way or another, the entering class tends to be about 300 cadets smaller than the same graduating class. I am entering the Academy next year, and I was wondering when do the bulk of these dropouts occur? I used to think that loads of people just quit during Beast, but apparently only 50 or so leave during then. Also, I've been told a few people don't even make it to the oath ceremony on R-day...out of curiosity, how in the world does that happen?
    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. Ken2012

    Ken2012 Prospective

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    475
    Likes Received:
    8
    Injuries can occur which would leave a person unable to complete Beast. Either that or some people get their appointment revoked for poor choices before R-Day.


    Throughout the years, I would assume that the primary reason is for academics or deciding that the army is not for them after plebe year.
     
  3. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2007
    Messages:
    1,886
    Likes Received:
    231
    I have a few friends whose cadets were separated for academics. What seems to be the common thread is THEY DID NOT ASK FOR HELP. They kept thinking they could turn it around without asking for assistance. When they ultimately didn't, they were separated. You must seek help from tutors, instructors, etc. The unfortunate scenario has the cadet returning for 2nd semester, the academic board is held, and said cadet is sent home in January. Sometimes cadets return for summer school, only to be sent home after a few days of classes, after the board convenes. If you are struggling at all, ASK FOR HELP!!!!!
     
  4. rkrosnar

    rkrosnar Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Messages:
    676
    Likes Received:
    16
    Separations, Dropouts...

    If memory serves correctly. Cadets and Midshipmen can dropout/separate with no penalty until the end of their second year at the SA's. The once they decide they want to stay and return for their junior year. They must make what I call the true committment, because I believe student sign documents to the committment. I know of a young man who an athlete at an SA, and wallked away just before Christmas 2008 and would have graduated last week. It is a true tragedy.


    RGK
     
  5. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,826
    Likes Received:
    2
    There IS an attrition rate. Some do leave during Beast - some the first day or first week.
    During Beast - some New Cadets will express a desire to separate. These New Cadets will receive support and counseling and the process can take a couple of weeks. For New Cadets who are struggling Chaplain's are available and many take advantage of this. Chaplain's are available to all regardless of religious affiliation. They are very warm, understanding and non-judgmental and your converstaions are confidential.

    If you receive a Medical discharge on R-Day or later - if your situation is such that you have every expectation to return to good health - i.e. you get mono or break your wrist - they typically you will receive a place in the next class.

    During the Academic year - Plebes are much like their cohort of college freshmen at civilian university. Some will shine and excel and some will struggle. Some will not care and some will obsess. Some will have family problems back home, personal problems, roommate problems. Some will stress so much they will get depressed.

    Even very bright Cadets have been known to fail. A couple of years ago a Plebe with 800/800 SAT's was sent home at the end of the first semester for failure. He chose to play video games - anything but study.

    Early in January the Academic Board will meet. For Plebes there are several options - the Board may choose to retain with summer school, be sent home to be turned back to the next class or separated.

    This is getting long but know that struggling is not abnormal. Getting help is crucial and some resist because it's a sign of "weakness".
    The bottom line is if you are truly struggling - they WANT you to get help - but it has to come from YOU.

    I think that "not fitting in" and academics are the two big reasons during plebe year for attrition. After that - there are a multitude of reasons - many of which are similiar to other kids of that age who leave civilian colleges.

    A number of cadets will leave at the end of Yuk year who decide Army officership is not for them. Some of these actually end up enlisting. Others choose ROTC and others choose civilian life.
    It's better to leave at this point if you have doubts than regretting NOT leaving upon graduation.

    During Cow and Firstie year - cadets are separated. Again for Academics, but also for conduct violations and honor violations. Firsties who fail the APFT prior to graduation risk separation. Yes, it has happened.
     
  6. Maximus

    Maximus Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,484
    Likes Received:
    0
    Excellent post JAM :thumb:

    I think a great resource to understand this situation (from a parent living vicariously through my child... lol) would be to read "Absolutely American"
    It is about 5 years old now but, it has real life situations explained in detail how the academy works, and how various Cadets live trough the experience. From plebe year to firtsie year. Great read too :thumb:
     
  7. Iwheel

    Iwheel Parent of

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for a great thread.
    I am concerned about not becoming one of those 300 cadets. One question is if the cadet can easily be transfered to a civilian college after the separation, if it is not for an academic reason? I heard that it is difficult, unlike transferring among regular colleges after 1 or 2 years.
     
  8. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2007
    Messages:
    1,886
    Likes Received:
    231
    It depends on when the separation is as to how "easy" the transfer process is. Most admissions offices know that if you got into WP, you must be a top notch student (regardless of why you left). If you come back in January, and find that you are separated at an academic board, it is tough to get in someplace that semester...but by spring usually not a big deal. If you quit during beast, and have paid your deposits at your plan B school, it would not be a problem to enroll for the fall (if you meet the other requirements). Some cadet candidates pay the deposits for room and board and attend orientation at plan B just in case. There are whole threads devoted to this topic; it's a personal choice.
     
  9. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,826
    Likes Received:
    2
    Yep. Timing is everything and it also depends on where you want to transfer to. Sometimes first semester plebes who are seriously failing will separate prior to finals and take all W's. This way they don't have grades or credits to transfer with them. I am not sure that strategy is necessarily a good one.
    I know of cadets who were excellent students and left transferred to Ivy league schools. Even those who didn't do so well - find that many colleges will accept them from a service academy.
    At West Point you take a lot of credits and those usually transfer very well, provided you got above a "C".
    Generally, you should be a good transfer candidate at any school that you would have been competitive for admission while in high school.

    I am curious to the source - guidance counselor? and the context of this.
     

Share This Page