Vacations

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by cpkousky, Jan 25, 2011.

  1. cpkousky

    cpkousky Member

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    Do cadets/midshipmen from either the Academies or ROTC programs have access to space-available military flights? Also, can they stay at DoD hotels/recreational areas? I was wondering if it was possible to go somewhere like Hawaii for spring break, and stay at a military installation.
     
  2. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I do not know about the SA, but for ROTC NO! As a ROTC cadet you have no military bennies at all. Space A is a bennie.

    Plus, anyone who has lived the military life will tell you that spots like HA or booked out yrs in advance, and relying on Space A can be hit or miss. Wars take priority, jets break down, they are not United Airlines.

    Finally there is a system, so let's say you can, but now comes how it works
    1. AD on orders
    2. AD and dependents on leave
    3. Retired

    I would think 4 would be cadets. Again they are not United, no in flight meals and limited seats. You place your name on the list and wait to see if you got it.

    I can't tell you how many AD members used Space A only to find themselves stuck somewhere with no way home, only to buy a 1 way ticket that costs more than if they went on line.

    Space A works great if you can be flexible with your dates, but spring break and 1 week, this would not be the route I would choose.

    Also know AD dependents stateside in college and the folks live over seas (Hawaii counts) take precedence for a free trip, 2x a yr...coming home in May and leaving in Aug/Sept.

    Hotels are the same, and even more difficult, because they exist for AD members moving in and out on orders. It is so tight that they only guarantee limited amount of days before they will say we have no room at the inn. Stateside it is 10 days for incoming and 3 days for outgoing. Again, as a cadet you would rank number 4 on the list.

    OBTW, in the 21 yrs Bullet was AD, I could count on my right hand, and not use every finger regarding how many people took space A. We never did it once, just out of the fear that we would get stuck somewhere. The only people I know who have done it, were not on a time frame and stationed at a MAC base, because once you are on the list you need to be there. You must sign up at the base, you can't reserve a seat over the phone or the net.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2011
  3. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    USNA midshipmen can use their DOD ID card to use Space A, and I've seen them travel all over the world. As Pima notes, you have to allow plenty of time and have money in hand to get yourself back on time. Space A works best if there is a large chunk of time available and an attitude of total let-me-see-where-I-can-go flexibility. We had one intrepid mid sponsor daughter who solo'ed from Dover AFB to West Coast to Hawaii to Japan, back to Hawaii, then skipped across CONUS to Spain and Italy, then back to East Coast, during a three week summer leave period. She was totally open to whatever opened up on the schedule, picked the brains of AMC personnel on how to get around at each destination, checked in regularly with family to let them know next leg, bought things as she needed them, did laundry on the fly and lived out of her backpack. Had a blast.

    USNA mids can use Armed Forces Recreation Center hotels and facilities. I assume same for USMA, USAFA and USCG. I'm a little vague on USMMA ID and what they are entitled to use. Ditto for ROTC, but I'm sure others will chime in with accurate info.

    For a one-week spring break, IMHO, too short for to use Space A, but then again, I was not one to gamble with getting back on time.
     
  4. Jezzie

    Jezzie USAFA Cadet

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    At USAFA, you can use MilAir (military travel) if it's available. Every squadron has a sister base and uses DoD accounts to travel/stay there for a week. As for personal vacations, I haven't really heard of that being done.
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    As MJ stated unless you have a flexible schedule this is not the route you want to go. If AD members elect to pay out of pocket to travel that should be the big hint on how difficult it can be.

    If you get to an SA, trust me spring break to them is not like the traditional college where kids go to Florida or Cancun. They go home to unwind and re-juice themselves.

    ROTC do not get CAC cards, they have no military bennies at all, thus, unless they are a dependent this is not an option.

    ROTC cadets cannot even got on to a military installation, so that should answer the question from the get go.
     
  6. CadetMom777

    CadetMom777 Member

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    Hi Pima. Just one clarification on your excellent answer. My son is an ROTC cadet and has been issued a reserve military ID at the rank of Seargent. He can use it to get on bases and use the commissary and exchange stores. However, it does not give him travel or lodging privileges without active duty orders. He is an Army cadet and goes to our local Air Force base when he is home between semesters. He attends a senior military college, so I don't know if that gives him the ability to have one over ROTC cadets at regular units.
     
  7. cjs

    cjs Member

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    My son hasn't gone to the base to get his ID as it's about 2 hours away, but he does get one.
    I did see his friend's ID when they were home over christmas break. Now his friend has his dependent Army ID and his ID because of ROTC.
     
  8. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I can't answer that. I can only say for our DS as an AFROTC cadet on scholarship at a traditional university, he does not have a military ID except the one he has as a dependent through Bullet.

    Our DS is a jr or aka C300 in AFROTC terms. I would bet SMI, such as VMI, the CAC as a PC (jr in college) is common place. However, attending an SMI is not the traditional route for the traditional ROTC cadet.

    Again, I emphasize talk to the schools det during that hs sr yr and ask everything you can imagine, because it does vary from branch to branch, det to det.

    Put all of that aside for the OP, the answer still comes out the same, spring break in HA using Space A air and hotels is a long shot. Not saying you cant do it, just saying, that like having a Plan B for the SAs, it would be advisable to have a Plan B for travel if you are on a limited time frame.

    Let's pretend this poster is from NJ and can travel Space A. Here's how it works.

    Friday Morning you show up to McQuire for an airlift to Kelly, Kelly than goes to Hickham.

    He needs to get on at McQuire and hope he doesn't get bumped at Kelly.

    He doesn't get bumped, and makes it to HA.

    Now he has to get a ride out of HA back to NJ. Aircraft breaks down on Sat and he is stuck in HA until the next flight out on Tuesday, but classes start Monday.

    Additionally remember Space A is a perk, the 1st job is military operations. Every time Bullet saw action as a flier, it was literally no notice.

    Our close friend was in Germany (Ramstein) when Gulf I occurred. They left out of Mildenhall and got stuck there, had to train it to France, Ferry from France to the UK, train it in the UK, and than bus it back to Heyford.

    In AK, where they have a MAC terminal, on Friday night we were hanging out at the club joking and drinking. 8 A.M. Sat and the phone rang, he deployed to Korea on Monday. Transports in the AF have a C or K...C130 is cargo, when the 90th went, so did support and they flew in the C130. That flight to Davis was canceled to take the 90th to Korea.

    When he was an ALO at Pope, another heavy base, as we walked out the door for Church on Sunday a.m., the phone rang. I took the kids by myself and 6 days later he was on a C-130 headed for Haiti. The runway on Thursday was filled with Dover, Charleston, and McQuire heavies.

    People in HA were SOL if they didn't have a plan B because planned flights were canceled due to missions.

    Space A is great, but you have to be able to be flexible with no hard time line, it is hard to do so when you have 1 week.

    FWIW, I also chuckled about Hawaii spring break. The Hale Koa is booked out for March months and months in advance because in AK at Elmendorf they have MAC, and March is when everyone is sick of snow so they plan their warm vacation. Hawaii is the top on their hit list. As AD members, who rank above cadets, they still have to plan 6 months in advance to get the spot.

    My suggestion is if you have a military id, use it for discounts from the real world. I.E. contact the hotel and ask for a military discount. It not only works for hotels and airlines, but Aeropostale will give a 10% military discount off your bill, same with Rack Room shoes, and certain restaurants. Just ask when the bill comes do you give military discount? All you have to do is show your i.d. to get it.
     
  9. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    One thing to remember about the Army Reserve Military ID is that they are temporary and expire quickly. My son had to get one before he went to Airborne School, because he would be living in housing at Fort Benning, and using the facilities during training. The ID expired not long after, though he did get a couple discount movie tickets at the local theater before hand.

    So make sure you look closely at the ID to see when it expires.
     
  10. larry2013

    larry2013 Member

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    ID issues

    Our experience with ID's is:
    VMI - NROTC - has a reserve ID was told by unit that it ONLY is good during their active duty summer periods- in fact the unit wanted to know which incoming were dependents - because of the 2 ID's. The guy explained its vital for the student to keep their dependent ID and NOT surrender when getting the reserve one. The Dependent ID usually is the students ticket to health care - thus IMPERATIVE to keep it and make sure the unit knew so that the student wouldnt be knocked out of DEERS with the reservist ID
    Given the information we were given I would suspect that if a student is using his reservist ID they are just lucky - either it is not being looked at closely or person checking is just letting the reservist status go - as I recall last summer - my son was expected to carry his orders with him to use with his reservist ID when checking in at Norfolk, maybe just the BOQ's etc checked, maybe the commissary and PX dont look that close.
    So, I would certainly ask at their unit - my info may be dated or only for the navy - marine guys. Since my son has both ID's it just hasnt come up for us. I dont know any of his nrotc buds that even use them - but then again lexington's location hasnt inspired them to take a hike to any base!
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2011
  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    We are now stepping close to muddying the waters big time.

    For ex: Reservists and/or Guard have limited access to the BX/NX/PX, basically they can only shop when on orders.

    AD members can go 365 days a yr.

    To get a Q, it works like Space A. Those on orders take priority and that is why they carry their orders.

    Additionally, even flying commercial, if they are on orders they will not get bumped off the flight if it is over booked, nor will they incur a charge to transfer to another airline. They just show their military orders and i.d.

    OBTW Larry is correct DEERS is a big issue. The only way to explain it is to say that DEERS is the equivalent of being carried on your medical benefits for the corporate world. The child MUST be enrolled in college over the age of 18, and is automatically dropped at 23 for all military bennies.

    The Military ID actually has on the ID what privileges they are allowed and a drop dead date. I am a retired wife of an AF retired member. I get all bennies. If I was a divorced wife, my bennies could be limited to our divorce decree. Our kids because they are in school, can use every benefit, but if over the age of 18 and not in college, the military would deem them as an independent and they would have no rights.

    Beware, just because you have a CAC it does not = getting every bennie of the AD member.

    As it has been stated there is an expiration date. Trust me, every base/post has 100% ID check. I as a spouse (18 yr marker) did not pay attention to that date and the guards did not let me on base...I was picking Bullet up. He had to hitch a ride to the gate and drive us through...we immediately went to the personnel center, and still I got boffed because I had to prove dependency (orders).

    Trust me getting an ID card is very strict, it is not like a passport or a DL. Even if you get one, to buy anything at the Commissary or BX/PX/NX you will need to show that id again. To get a doc apptmt, you will need to give your last 4 of your social. It may get you on post and buy gas at their gas station, but the real bennies you need a real CAC.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2011

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