Veteran Status/Benefits for Cadets who left USAFA before graduation?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by MMA_Fan, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. MMA_Fan

    MMA_Fan New Member

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    Hi, I was wondering if anybody can help me answer a few questions. I spent about 22 months at the Air Force Academy before I had to leave for family reasons. I need to know if I am eligible for any type of Veteran Benefits such as GI Bill, government job preference, insurance, etc.

    I also need to know if I should be classifying myself as a Veteran on job applications and other paperwork. I don't want to do it unless I know for sure. My DD 214 classified me as active duty during that time, but as you all know it is just training at the Academies.

    I have looked all over on the internet and cannot find anything that talks about Service Academy Cadets / Midshipmen.

    Any information would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks!!
     
  2. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Well, you most accurate information will come from a very quick phone call to your local V.A. (Veteran's Administration).

    On your DD214, it should mention character of service, (Something like that) for the type of discharge. Also; look in the comments/remarks to see if it mentions any type oe restriction. Many will say future enlistment/re-enlistment/service is authorized. All of this will indicate "Honorable Service".

    But what you're asking for is basically not whether you are classified as a "Veteran", but rather if you can receive any veteran's BENEFITS!!!! 2 totally different things. Someone who enlists for 4-6 years and gets out, is a veteran. And they even can receive certain veteran's benefits. But not necessarily the same benefits as those who might retire from military service. e.g. Yes on VA Home loan and employment preference points..... No on commissary/bx, medical, etc... So, your best bet is to check with your local VA to determine the benefits you are entitled to. As for mentioning it on a job application, you can mention military service. legally you did. However; at your age, they may question why such a "Short Service". Then, you'll simply have to explain that you were at the academy and didn't finish. Whether they consider it "Service" or simply school, is their prerogative. best of luck. Mike....
     
  3. sprog

    sprog Member

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    The VA hasn't been the Veterans Administration since 1988. It is the Department of Veterans Affairs, and is a Cabinet-level Department. www.va.gov has a world of answers for potential claimants.

    Also, for VA purposes, "Veteran" status is achieved by this former USAFA cadet. From there, he can apply for benefits that he believes he is entitled to. This is a hot topic on here, but he is a Vet as far as VA is concerned. I make no other comment as to the spiritual or ethereal aspects of whether he is entitled to call himself a "Veteran." For basic VA eligibility, 38 USC specifically states that SA cadet/midshipman time counts as active service, and hence makes claimants with only that type of service Veterans. I could give you the exact citation, but I don't feel like looking it up.

    Questions regarding specific entitlement (benefit) programs should be directed toward your local VA Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Regional Office (RO). Regarding healthcare eligibility, you should direct questions to your local VHA (Veterans Health Administration) VA Medical Center (aka "VA Hospital').
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010
  4. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I personally think it's crazy cadet/midshipman time counts for veterans status (and all the perks of applying to fed. govt. jobs).....but it is what it is.
     
  5. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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  6. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Obviously, if it is in your legal boundaries you are entitled to these bennies.

    However, you need to ask yourself if ethically you feel you are entitled to these bennies.

    The pot of money is limited, the more people that put their hands into the pot, the less money there is to go around.

    Are you looking for free money?

    I understand that you had to leave the AFA for a family hardship issue, but I am left with a question that you have not addressed.

    You moved home for family issues, what did you do when you returned home? Did you enroll in college? Did they have an ROTC det.? Did you have the opportunity to go ANG? Or did you give up on the AF totally, if so why?

    As far as job preference, from someone who lives in the DC area, it is highly competitive and I doubt 22 mos at the AFA would even qualify you for a GS7.
     
  7. Aviator05

    Aviator05 New Member

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    Using the logic of this thread (and title 38 of the US code), academy cadet time served after Sept. 11, 2001 will count towards satisfying the 36 months of active duty time required for full post 9/11 GI Bill benefits. For example, a 2005 academy graduate will immediately have 100% GI bill benefits once they satisfy the 5 year active duty service obligation. I will check with the VA to verify, but I do have classmates who separated 91 days after 5 years and are receiving 100% benefits and yellow ribbon program.

    On another note for the moral police, service academy cadets can be and often are separated from the academy and sent to the active duty force to serve out their obligations as enlisted soldiers. ROTC cadets are not subject to such consequences. In addition, the USMA corps of cadets is counted as part of the Army's active duty end strength (I assume the same for all academies).

    Beat Navy
     
  8. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    I'd be interested to hear of a first hand account of this actually occuring. In my many years of dealing with Service Academies I've heard rumors of maybe one person. I would definitely not call it an "often" occurrence.
     
  9. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    Several years ago, probably around the early '90s, there was a revolution, probably in the Chief's Messes, questioning as to why anyone whose honor and integrity was not good enough to be an officer was good enough to be an enlisted. The CNO deemed their reasoning valid and since then no one convicted of honor, cheating, stealing, etc. type offenses were allowed to enlist. Now these individuals are sent a bill. Prior to that, it was very common. I had two company classmates convicted of honor offenses first class year spring final exams. They both went to the fleet.

    Bottom line. Now basically only those flunking out their second and first class years are eligible to be sent to the fleet. And those are a lot fewer and further between. I know my son had a few in his class in this situation who ended up serving an enlisted commitment.

    I would imagine that the other services have since followed the lead of the Navy.
     
  10. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Exactly!!! The "Often" part that aviator mentions, simply is not true. "Rarely" would even be stretching how "Often" it happens. Like Mongo said; if you get kicked out for anything other than academics, you aren't going to go into the enlisted corp. You'll be given a bill instead. "Or, they'll waive the bill".
     
  11. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    I can tell you of two immediately.

    1. GOOD friend of mine was caught up in a "questionable, potential honor" situation during finals week of our firstie (senior) year. After the investigation was completed, he was allowed to graduate but was found to "lack the qualities of an officer..." He was then enlisted in the AF for 4 years (it might have been 6, I can't remember) to pay back his education. When we had our 10 year reunion, we went to his house and "dragged" him out to join us.

    2. I finished UPT and went to RTU. I was in base operations filing a flight plan and the airman at the desk turned to accept the paperwork: it was a classmate of mine that was dismissed for honor in the last month of our firstie year. He said he was serving "a full enlistment" to pay back his education.

    I always questioned the logic: "this cadet is dishonorable and isn't eligible to be an officer...but it's okay to make them an enlisted member!" What does that say to the enlisted force? :eek:

    Those are the two I know of first-hand. I've spoken with others and they have said they've known of some, but not many.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  12. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    Mongo, thanks for the insight on that. Make sense to me.
     
  13. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I knew a number of people who were kicked out and served....can't remember if it was active duty or reserves, as a QM (while we had that rating) and then as BMs.

    I can count them on more than one hand, classmates, and other classes. The pay grade is included in Coast Guard Regulations, and your cadet year affects if you're a BM2 or BM3.
     
  14. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    Incorrect. During your 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year, ROTC cadet's, if they are separated, can be sent to active duty to repay their school. ROTC cadet's are also considered Army Reserve, specifically under the USAR Control Group (ROTC). :thumb:
     
  15. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Some fun facts sprinkled with a bit of commentary:

    Time served as a Cadet/Midn specifically does NOT count toward the GI Bill. Nor does time served while fufilling the commitment to serve incurred as a Cadet/Midn in the Army. AF, Navy or MC.
    This is written into the GI Bill Law.

    Separating under contract can indeed cause the service to enlist you. This has happened in the Army recently (past few years) - my daughter knew a Cadet who enlisted after separation. Officially, the call is up to the branch of service depending on their needs and if you qualify to enlist. Sometimes Cadets request to enlist and that request is honored, again depending on the reasons for separation and the needs of the service.
    Separations occur for a ton of reasons. Separating for an Honor offense does not disqualify one from enlisting or even serving as an officer. I met a Mom (online) whose son was separated for Honor and subsequently enrolled in ROTC. Separating for an Honor offence does not necessarily equate with a dishonorable discharge. Separations can and do occur right up until graduation.
    The worst thing a cadet/midn can do is have an attitude that they cannot be separated.

    Bull is correct - once contracted a ROTC cadet can be forced to enlist or pay back if they quit ROTC. This is written into the contract.

    Not every separation requires the Cadet/Midn to pay back or enlist. If you are medically separated then you probably won't incur an obligation. Often when forced to separate a Cadet will consult legal counsel (it's free at all Academies) and they assist them in protecting their legal rights.


    VA Benefits - Federal job preference is dependent on a number of factors relating toward service. There is a 5 point preference and a 10 point preference.
    While some of you think it vile for an honorably separated Cadet/Midn to claim benefits - they may indeed qualify.
    Here are the qualifcations for the 5 point preference:
    Basically, if you are a Cadet/Midn during a time of war you might qualify if separated with an honorable or general discharge.

    For Cadets/Mids who separate because of illness or injury it is important for them to recognize their rights for medical VA benefits. They could be discharged and need medical care and should indeed apply for it as any other Veteran as insurance may be impossible to obtain.
     
  16. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    I dont understand this logic at all. Honor offenses occur for all kinds of reasons and situations. I fail to see how failure to include a proper citation on an academic paper can equate with not being good enough to enlist.
    An Honor offense is not an illegal action necessarily. Otherwise good kids get brought up on honor boards.
    Our enlisted ranks have a long history of teaching character and morals to kids out of high school who have gotten into a 'bit' of trouble. Many judges have sentenced kids to either enlist or jail.
    I simply fail to see how lying about crying while homesick is *worse* than say - a DUI.
    Isn't there supposed to be a higher standard of honor and integrity for the Officer corps than the Enlisted Corps?
     
  17. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    I believe this is a myth.

    I have never been able to find any law where the possible sentences include forcible military enlistment.

    And the Army, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard have specific prohibitions against such a practice, making such a candidate ineligible:

    Army Regulation 601-210
    AETCI 36-2002
    MCO P1100.72B
    Coast Guard Recruiting Manual, M1100.2D,

    Perhaps the Navy allows it?
     
  18. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    Totally agree. I could probably find the Navy instruction but it is not worth the effort.
     
  19. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Forcing military service by a judge is definitely a myth. HOWEVER: I know first hand of situations where a judge would dismiss minor charges "IF" the individual would "VOLUNTARILY" enlist. This was back in the 70's, so I'm not speaking of recent times. Talking underage drinking, DUI, multiple traffic citations, etc... This happened to a high school friend of mine. Judge said he'd be willing to drop everything and pretty much make it disappear; if he would enlist. Give him a "New Life". If not, he would consider him habitual and send him to county jail and let it progress normally from there. I think the judge understood this kid's family background and wanted to help him get away from it. So military service was definitely an "Option" that was mentioned/offered by some judges. Just not in the "Ultimatum" manner that many people think it was. This was a situation where a judge could do anything from dismissing charges to sending him to county jail for 30 days for habitual minor crimes. Sometimes a judge will consider how motivated an individual it. Another friend already enlisted, delayed enlistment, but got picked up for being in a bar fight. Being the judge saw he was suppose to leave for Basic within the next couple weeks, he dropped the charges and let him enlist. Again; it's not like the myth has been propagated, but some judges do "Allow" an individual to voluntarily have some affect on their future; and the judge's decisions.

    Same applies with today's cadets. There are many times when a cadet is kicked out of the academy, where THEY can voluntarily enlist in the military; and they can be accepted. The point was that if being kicked out of the academy for other than academic reasons, that the military would force the individual to enlist. We're talking about modern times. I personally know of 2 officers; retired now; that initially started at the academy and after getting kicked out in their 3rd year (C2C), were required to serve enlisted time. Just not sure if that is still being enforced. (For other than academic reasons). Doesn't mean they can't volunteer to go enlisted. Just not sure if the military is forcing individuals to enlist if they were kicked out for other than academic reasons.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2011
  20. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    At least here (and obviously I can't speak firsthand about the other academies), if you get kicked out for an honor offense I have very little sympathy, because the odds that it was an "honest mistake" or you were a "good kid" who just messed up are pretty slim.
    There's a lot of leeway given for 4/C and 3/C, sometimes too much, but by the time you hit 2/C year and they start getting really serious about the consequences of honor violations, there's no excuse. You know the system, you know the consequences, and you know where you fit in. Exceptions happen, but most people have the common sense not to send people up for stupid honor offenses; those are more commonly handled on the company level.
    I have yet to hear a good excuse for plagiarism, theft, or the more egregious lies that get people kicked out (i.e., tap-and-going and then lying to the CDO/OOW/etc..) and I've listened in on several honor boards. Lying never makes things better.

    Oh, and if you get a DUI, you're done. At least that's what they tell us.
     

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