contracted freshman flunked out

ROTCmom63

New Member
Why didn't he ask about the DD785?
I hadn’t had a chance to tell him about it. Now I have told him and and he’s going to call back. But other than that, I feel like there must be more to the process to ensure he’s not burning any bridges.
 
I'm going to respond as if this is my nephew or someone I deeply care about, even though I have in reality no idea who you are, in hopes it may help. If this is my nephew, well tell him Uncle Hermie says hi and that he wants his fishing lures back.

I'm sorry to hear there is a disconnect with your son and his first year at college that drives a change in his path forward, for now.
I feel this has been shared above but I'll stress it again - I just suggest you really take a moment as a family to look into what might be happening here. Earning the national scholarship in HS, and his solid performance at the unit highlight there is a lot of good stuff going on with your son. but the grades indicate there may be something to look into here. I have no idea what that is - could be - depression, a confidence issue (shaken, for some reason), substance (partying a little too much- it's not always as dramatic as the movies), something as simple as prioritization, and what I see in a lot of kids this age is procrastination becoming a measurable issue. Could be something simple. Not sure. Getting to the root of what's happening and understanding that in the months ahead would be win-win helpful for all of you.

I also just suggest you, for however emotional the environment is right now - just remember you as the adults can help control that. I would be pretty emotional too with a combination of feeling maybe disappointed/surprised/ frustrated / maybe even embarrassed though there is nothing to be embarrassed about here - life happens. but if you can, please look to table those emotions and focus on the constructive aspects of rebuilding with your son. He sounds like a great kid ) with a lot of talent, that stumbled and isn't sure how to find his footing. Sound like he needs your continued support (I don't doubt you're already providing it). You may wish to have him meet with a counselor for a few sessions. And I would just remind him that everyone stumbles at some point and that you together will work through this.

For now, recommend as the top gun folks advised for Maverick - "keep him flying". meaning don't let him sit idle. explore CC options this fall, have him get out working part time if he isn't already, because I see more risk than benefit if he were to just chillax for a few months, for his psyche.

Just wanted to share a couple of thoughts about the focus on rebuilding, the importance of getting to the root cause(s) of what's happening, and the importance of keeping the environment constructive for now. I imagine he may be pretty overwhelmed with the changes. hopefully in the months and years to come you'll be sharing how this taught him a lot and how he's back on track. The strongest steel comes from having gone through the hottest fire. No need to respond and I respect you may have a very different approach in mind - that's cool. But you may also be a little dizzy/ uncertain, and looking for guidance, which is my goal of this note. Will be praying/rooting for your family. Good luck.


I know our story isn't unique, but it's a pretty emotional time at our house right now. Our "golden boy" who earned a 4 year AROTC national scholarship to an expensive school on the other side of the country has flunked/almost flunked out after his freshman year. As I understand it, if he doesn't start his sophomore year, he will not have to repay the scholarship for the freshman year. For that reason, I'm encouraging him not to go back for this year hoping he raises his GPA (I feel like this would be a long shot), and instead do some community college here and then transfer to a local school for junior year, where he can complete ROTC and get his commission. Our local CC students can attend ROTC classes at a nearby university. He is concerned that if he does that he will be breaking his contract and will not be eligible to contract again at another school. Does anyone have any input about this issue? I told him to look at his contract and talk to the cadre at his school, but I was hoping I could get some information while I'm waiting for him to do that. Thanks, everyone.
 

k2rider

5-Year Member
I'm going to take the Uncle Hermie route and tell you what I *think* I would do if I were in your shoes but let me say I think you're on the right track. I would encourage my son to come home and enroll in community college. If there's an ROTC component he can participate in and he wants to do that, all the better but he needs to know that his main focus needs to be on school. As long as my son was taking a full load of 15 units or more and getting a 3.0 GPA, I'd cover his expenses. After two years of CC, he may have decided to go in a completely different direction as far as his desire to serve....or he may fall in love with a different branch. I now my son changed what branch of the Army he wanted to serve in at least once a year.
 

Tbpxece

Member
Why didn't he ask about the DD785?
I hadn’t had a chance to tell him about it. Now I have told him and and he’s going to call back. But other than that, I feel like there must be more to the process to ensure he’s not burning any bridges.
He will still get a DD785, even if his rating is null and the comment is something to the effect of "insufficient time to rate".

@AROTC-dad is correct-- your son should be doing all this leg work. It's his future.

Don't get sucked into the suck of the moment. Your son's current predicament is not an uncommon outcome at all. He will either turn things around or he won't-- there isn't a whole lot of responsibility to be placed on you at this point. The way you raised him got him to the level where he pulled down an excellent scholarship. His subsequent decisions as an adult got him to the point where he tossed it away.

Encourage him to pick a plan and act on it. I've found it's always best to be moving towards things rather than leaving them. He will be okay.
 
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Tbpxece

Member
There are a lot of really cool and exciting enlisted jobs out there, btw. More than on the officer side-- especially for a teenage guy with nothing else interesting to do. Enlisted pay is not bad either at his stage of life.

He could be driving his new car or truck through the front gate of his first duty station by this time next year if he wants. You could toss that out there...
 

Tbpxece

Member
The WOFT process is a long one with many moving parts, it is not uncommon for it to take months, if not selected they are rolled over to the next board.
Quoting this excellent statement just to drive the point home.

It's a long process with limited, fixed boards throughout the year. That translates into months of a grumpy teenage son bumping along at community college while living in your house with no real guarantee of any change of outcome.
 

ROTCmom63

New Member
I so appreciate the information, advice, and support you all have provided in this post. I have read every reply with interest and gratitude, and gotten something useful from each one. As you can imagine, things are still up in the air, but I know there are many options for him to choose from, and things may take several more turns before he gets on the road he's meant to be on. He is a great guy with a lot going for him, and I just want to make sure he realizes that as he takes his next steps.
 
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