Being investigated for disennrollment


New Member
Nov 12, 2017
Hi all,

I joined AFROTC a year and a half ago as a 250 my sophomore year. I have been awful at drill and ceremony since the start. I watched plenty of Det 088 videos, studied the drill and ceremonies manual, and made step by step guides to drill procedures to help commit them to memory. I still struggle to remember it.
This semester the OFC made me a trainer. I told her I was concerned about this due to being completely uncomfortable with drill. Admittedly, I could always do more to be better.
I work 30 hours a week as a sexual assault advocate. A respectable job which has helped me to learn to mentor and lead people. I’m also doing undergraduate research. I have a 3.6 GPA, 97 PFA, plenty of volunteer hours.
I did good at Field Training(LEAD).
On both of my counselings(midterm, final) my supervisor had everything as satisfactory or exceeds standards. Didn’t mention me failing at my job.

This week my detachment commander gave me a conditional event for “failing as a trainer”. This is frustrating because it was never discussed in my counselings and I would prepare for a couple hours a week and I still somehow am awful at drill. Which I understand is on me.

I also sent an email to a few cadets which contained some sarcasm, which I understand how it could be unprofessional on my part.

I’m being considered for disenrollment. Is there anything I can do?
Just defend yourself similar to what you wrote in this note. The only other thing I can think of is get better at drill fast. Think muscle memory.
Is there more to this story? Most POC I know are pretty awful at drill. Heck, most POC never do it again, unless they're specifically leading that area.

There is so, so, so much more to being an AF Officer than drill.

I feel like there is more to this story that we aren't getting. A CE is not a disenrollment, in case you were unaware.
If you think you're bad at drill then I assume that the OFC would consider you bad at drill as well. Why then would she tap you to be a DRILL TRAINER?
Nobody in a leadership position picks someone who sucks at something - to teach it - unless they have it in for you.
What haven't you mentioned?
I also sent an email to a few cadets which contained some sarcasm, which I understand how it could be unprofessional on my part.

It might be just me, but I think this might be where it went downhill. As others have stated it would be unusual if:
1. You made it through LEAD if you are that bad at drilling.
2. As a POC they are not going to make you in charge of training GMCs
~ Think of it this way no matter how bad you might think you are or they set you up to fail, your cadre has more at risk than you. Your CoC will be reviewed for his OPR and PRF based on how successful the det is, and so will the PMSs. This is their ACTIVE duty career. You are not ADAF yet. Placing you in the wrong position may equate to not being a top tier detachment, thus a poor OPR/PRF. IOWS hard to get promoted to the next rank, or a great follow on assignment.

It has been stated here many times, that your generation is unlike my generation (parents). My generation uses the internet and social media too, but we understand that nothing you put online or via text can ever TRULY be secure.
1. If you recall Penn State when the upheaval of Sandusky occurred, the town was rioting, and the media was there to show it to the world. An NROTC student in his infinite wisdom decided to go downtown to watch it happen live. He was to graduate that spring. Needless to say he posted that info on his FB page. Cadre sees him in the crowd near a car that is being overturned. He was disenrolled. Why? Because as a POC and a future officer he should have known that you represent the military 24/7.
2. My DS's det., has a det. FB page. 1 Monday as an FCC the cadet leadership were called in by the cadre. Why? Because when you join that det. FB page you also let them into your account and every picture you are tagged in! There were a couple of cadets at a party holding beer or pouring ones from a keg. The cadre could not prove anything against the cadets in the pics... they were not showing them imbibing underage, just holding or pouring. However, what the real meaning behind that meeting was for them to instruct/advise the cadets under their flights to the fact that FB is not always a good thing, especially if you have 669 friends.
~ It home to my DS and he realized that FB is a great way to communicate, but it can be bad too. He no longer accepts friends "just because" they sent a friend request
~~ My generation aka your cadre uses FB as an asset for different reasons. We use it to look into your life from the outside. The majority of employers nowadays will use FB or instagram the minute you submit your resume to do some research on you before they decide to interview or hire you, regardless of how sparkling your resume appears.
~~~ My generation believes that you don't write down anything via text, email, etc., unless you 100% can defend it, in my opinion, your sarcasm.

I wish you the best, and I hope I am wrong, but I think there is more about those sarcastic remarks via email that created your situation than the drill aspect when it comes to your disenrollment.
Hi all,

I appreciate all your responses.

There genuinely isn’t anything else to the story. I actually am just simply awful at drill, and the OFC made me a trainer. Genuinely, it is that simple.

I think I was successful at LEAD for a few reasons. All I do all day for my job is lead people through incredibly difficult situations. Someone sits across from me after being sexually assaulted and I help them figure out how to navigate the court system, working with the police. Then I long term lead them through a healing process. This has equipped me with many skills that translate to being an officer. I’m able to handle incredibly difficult situations with great composure, good communication and relational skills, and ability to speak confidently and comfortably on behalf of others in front of people who hold “rank” IE: judges, detectives, lawyers, etc. there are other skills I have learned from this job as well that translate.

My flight at LEAD would help me out with drill. I also have a loud command voice and if I messed up and was getting yelled at, it really didn’t phase me. I listened to what they were saying and corrected it.

This is why I did fine at LEAD but yet genuinely am awful at drill.

As per my sarcastic comment, I accept full responsibility for that comment. The GMC I’m closest too would call at all hours. IE: Saturday’s at 0500 to see if I wanted to go to breakfast. I sent them an email and stated they could call at any hours, but it needed to be an emergency. I then said their world needed to be burning down, or there needed to be an earthquake. To be calling me on weekends and such. Otherwise they could text.

Looking back, it was an asinine comment on my part. I was trying to make humor so they didn’t feel I was coming down on them. But I can definitely see how it didn’t come across humorous.

I’m just not sure what to do. I don’t feel like I’ve really screwed up that bad, although I do own up to it being inappropriate. I do feel I was set up to fail as a trainer.
@Cadet12345, let's turn this one on its ear. How would you counsel you?

Based on these two posts, you are both reflective and insightful about your strengths and main weakness. Based on your reporting, I'd agree that you haven't "screwed up that bad." And BTW, while I wouldn't repeat the email sarcasm, that was WAAAY far away from "asinine," so stop it with that self-defeating conversation as well. Poorly-advised, perhaps, but not even close to a fatal command error. You're making errors that POCs and GMCs make.

I think you need to have a frank and open conversation with your chain if possible. What are the concerns? How did they arise? The purpose for THAT conversation is for you to gather information. Resist the urge to respond to anything that comes up because it almost surely will not be your most thoughtful, insightful response. Just collect information, take notes, and ask clarifying questions. If this is not possible because some investigation has already begun, then I'd urge you to seek out your campus ombudsman's office and talk confidentially with someone there.

Keep going back to your cadet training and your training as a sexual-abuse advocate (you're right, those skills map closely to good officership). Get yourself an advocate. Gather information. Act on the information. Know that you and others will have impulses, and resist acting on those impulses as much as possible. Good luck. Keep us posted.
Just for a clarification, what kind of drilling do they do in AFROTC, and to what extent that someone could be that bad at it to jeopardize their standing.

I have to agree, your email, as you stated it, was not that sarcastic.
I was told that everyone who received my email found it offensive. I asked all of the GMC who received my email if I offended/hurt them. I attached one of their responses. Their responses were all pretty much as same as the attached response. I received a conditional event also for the email. I was told it offended them. They all say it didn’t???

As per the marching we do things like ORIs, FDEs, etc. with really detailed procedures. I really struggle to memorize them all. Which was well aware to my cadre when they put me in the job to train others. I obviously failed to train the GMC on correct procedures because I barely keep them straight myself. Which I promise isn’t from a lack of trying. I put in a couple hours a week to try to memorize these procedures and I fail.

I applied to be a flight commander, which would have been a great fit, I mentor people all day long. My OFC claims I needed to “grow where I was planted”. It was evident prior to being given the trainer job (which I didn’t put on my CDP) that I was awful at drill, again, not from a lack of trying.

I feel like I was set up to fail, then reprimanded for failing.

**Attachments removed**
Last edited by a moderator:
I also don't think it was a good idea to reach out to the GMC's for their opinion. Even if they WERE offended, did you really think they would tell you directly? It is a no-win situation to poll your subordinates for a non-anonymous opinion of your command leadership abilities.
I hoped that I had built enough credibility and trust with them, that if I failed them, they would be willing to let me know.
As per the marching we do things like ORIs, FDEs, etc. with really detailed procedures.

Must be an AFROTC thing.

I admit, I have no idea what any of the acronyms you have mentioned mean so correct me if I'm wrong.

It seems that the Conditional Event (CE), which I assume is like being Counseled in AROTC, is not a good thing. I also assume this CE was given to you by another cadet, not the Cadre. Have you been counseled by your Cadre. Who has told you that you are being considered for disenrollment, another cadet or the Cadre. Have you had any contact with your Cadre over these matters or has it all been at the cadet level.

From the texts you posted it seems that nobody took any offense to your email, even if they are below you in the AFROTC food chain. I do agree that you may want to delete those just in case others from your Det. read this board.
Pay special attention to what Skipper07 and AROTC-dad posted above.
For the love of all that is holy - get rid of those screenshots - and don't ask subordinates for their opinion of your leadership abilities.
The conditional events are from cadre. What’s confusing is that my midterm counseling and final counseling don’t mention that I’m doing bad. (These are from my cadet supervisor). I wasn’t really given the opportunity to know I was failing and fix it. Not that there’s much I could have done.
It does seem strange that they would make someone who wasnt good at it a trainer. On other hand maybe they thought that if you had to teach it to someone, that you would also perfect your drills as you taught it. It also possible they thought that you maybe you were a better teacher than a perfomer. In either case, you shouldnt have been punished for not being a great trainer since they knew you werent good at it yourself
OP: There are too many dots which are not connected here. I don't doubt your perspective but I will challenge it. Perhaps you are missing something because it seems the organization is looking to force you out. The question is why?

Sometimes, organizations (military and civilian) will use simple transgressions to process a person out. Is that going on here? For instance, your email isn't a mortal sin but perhaps you need an attitude adjustment and the organization is using this example to call you out. Perhaps your failure to drill properly was an effort to set you up to fail. It happens. But just as likely, there is more to the story. Only you know for sure.

And I simply can't resist commenting on Air Force drill. I have seen ROTC, and AF Academy drill and I can't imagine anyone would seriously drum someone out for failure to marching well. Enough said! ;)

Best of luck and hoping this resolves to your satisfaction.