Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by bigdog77515, May 7, 2013.
I agree that your son made his choice and has to live with the consequences. But I do feel for you. I think any parent in your situation would be sad, frustrated, disappointed, angry, etc....totally understandable.
it is official! disenrolled with a recommendation that he not be enlisted. obviously, this has been going on for about a month now, so there's no real surprise. it's a waiting game now. thanks for the support!
As Pima mentioned, we went through hiring a lawyer for our son's NROTC disenrollment. Obviously, each case is unique, but if you hire a lawyer, get a former military one. We spent about $5000 with lawyer just to file paperwork for appeal.
Feel free to pm me, if you have any questions.
I am sorry your son is going through this, As a parent I completely empathize with your experience. It was a rough year. I have no idea how we could have coped without the support of so many lovely folks, here.
Also, in many respects, your son will go through a grieving process about this loss. So will you.
I remember seeing son's friends commissioning ceremony pictures on FB, as well as Pima and Bullet's son. I was so thrilled for all of them, but also very sad that my son could not have that moment, that future career ahead. It was tough.
Hang in there. It does get better.
"Good mids do bad things." Something I said to myself when on staff at USNA, applies to "good cadets" too, when I saw a mid make a choice that derailed everything he or she worked for. Heartbreaking stories every year, every Academy, ROTC units, OCS/OTS too.
Academies can forgive a lot of stuff the first two years, and do a lot of remedial work with cadets/mids just learning how to exercise self-discipline. But - if someone just days away from commissioning, and soon to be entrusted with the lives of enlisted personnel, plus gazillion-dollar gear, makes decisions grounded in poor impulses and lack of self-discipline, well, that's when a service academy or ROTC PNS/PMS says, hmmmm, not so fast. That's where the administration considers: What's right for the Air Force/service? What precedent does this set? What has been our past practice for this pattern or incident? What is the standard we expect for someone so close to commissioning? Can we risk commissioning someone who is still making errors of this nature this late in the game? What is right for this midshipman/cadet? The answer may be choosing not to commission someone who still needs training wheels. The system is designed to take in a class at X number, with every expectation built in, that over the course of 4 years, many will fall away for voluntary or involuntary reasons, whether academic, performance, conduct, honor, medical or other reason.
Yes, sadly, good (and bad, and very bad) cadets do bad things. And the immediate and secondary and tertiary consequences are heart-breaking and life-changing for that cadet/mid and families. No doubt about that. I would counsel those "good mids" (I still remember most of the cases) going out the door for a bone-headed decision or pattern of decisions, that it was time to step away, take a deep breath, develop Plan B, apply those brains and perhaps new-found self-discipline to a new path, and SUCCEED at something else. I ran into one of those mids some years later. This mid had finished up the college degree at a state school while working two jobs, went into the Peace Corps, learned some interesting languages, went to Georgetown for post-grad and is now a Foreign Service Officer -- and very proud of the rocky path.
Expect success, just a different route to it. He's got the tools, and it's up to him to move on and apply them.
Will your son be able to transfer credits to a civilian college to complete his degree.
Best of luck to your son.
The academy has no say so on his credits. He has a "Transcript" from an accredited school. They can't erase his brain of knowledge or take away his credits. They don't have to award him a diploma, but I've NEVER seen a school retract credits (EARNED). Of course, if they found the individual to have cheated and they determine that s/he didn't EARN the credits, then that's another story. But nothing here had anything to do with academics. This is no different than an individual who quit the academy at the 2 year mark. They have a transcript with completed classes. They transfer them to another college and move on with life. Again; unless there is more here than we know, which i doubt from the OP, there is no reason he can't take his credits and move on.
Most civilian colleges will accept credits for "mainstream" couses -- English, calc, engineering, history, language, etc. I know that when folks in my day transferred from USNA after 1 ot 2 years, some of their "Navy" credits (e.g., seamanship, navigation, leadership) didn't transfer -- i.e., weren't accepted by the new school in terms of earning a diploma from that school.
Still, given that SA students tend to take far more credits than their civilian counterparts, there should be enough to get close to a degree. However, some schools may require a certain amount of time at that school in order to earn a degree.
Agree with the above poster that it depends on the new/recipient school how they will handle things.
What powerful words of wisdom.
My heart goes out to this cadet and his family. Indeed, we are all capable of making bad choices and facing the consequences...it's what we do after the choice that makes all the difference.
I heard a line in a movie last year that has stuck with me..."It will all be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end."
[Yes, sadly, good (and bad, and very bad) cadets do bad things. And the immediate and secondary and tertiary consequences are heart-breaking and life-changing for that cadet/mid and families. No doubt about that. I would counsel those "good mids" (I still remember most of the cases) going out the door for a bone-headed decision or pattern of decisions, that it was time to step away, take a deep breath, develop Plan B, apply those brains and perhaps new-found self-discipline to a new path, and SUCCEED at something else. I ran into one of those mids some years later. This mid had finished up the college degree at a state school while working two jobs, went into the Peace Corps, learned some interesting languages, went to Georgetown for post-grad and is now a Foreign Service Officer -- and very proud of the rocky path.
Expect success, just a different route to it. He's got the tools, and it's up to him to move on and apply them.[/QUOTE]
Now that the worst has happened, your son should be prepared for the following.
1. If it hasn't happened already, he will likely be moved from his room and segregated in a special part of the dorm with others being disenrolled for every reason, ranging from academic failure to lack of physical fitness to criminal charges.
2. He may be given a menial task until he is allowed to leave USAFA--which could take several weeks. This means he may have to remain in his room, on call, waiting to perform the task whenever summoned during daytime hours. Essentially, house arrest. Filling sand bags for upcoming basic is a frequent assignment for those being disenrolled this time of year.
3. He should take care of his possessions, and not leave anything of value unsecured. Every year, cadets being disenrolled have things stolen from their dorm rooms. He should not assume items locked in his footlocker are safe. Entire footlockers have been stolen with their contents, and never seen again. Sad, but true. Makes you wonder whether the right people are being disenrolled.
Best of luck to your son. And remember, as badly as you feel, he almost certainly feels worse.
He was segregated a month ago. Will be out of room tomorrow. Thanks for thoughts and prayers!
CC is correct on this with 2 exceptions. I want to make sure that anyone similarly situated is aware that there are 2 regionally accredited (actually the highest form of accreditation - same as USAFA) colleges in the U.S. that do NOT have any academic residency requirement. This means that they can award an accredited degree to a student without the student taking even one course from them. However, the student must have all the requisite course work from other regionally-accredited schools - like USAFA. Because of the difficult core requirements and numbers of credits required at USAFA, I'm guessing bigdog's son has already met the degree requirements and can now spend his time working on a graduate degree.
Both are state-run public colleges: Thomas Edison State College (NJ) and Charter Oak State College (Conn.). Both have a high military student count and many graduates go on to their own state universities for grad school.
Hope this might help others who encounter this situation.
While comparing some missed classes, a sloppy tie, and an unauthorized guest in the barracks to drunk driving and substance abuse makes for an amusing straw man, I'm not saying his dismissal was over the line. I'm saying the kid shouldn't beat himself up too bad over it. The rules at the academies are very strict and really have more in common with the 19th century service and the 21st. He disobeyed a general order and was rightfully dismissed, but that doesn't mean we can't question whether or not creating an environment that really isn't comparable to life in the modern military produces better officers.
OP, has your son exhausted all of his appeals or is he afforded any after he leaves the campus? I was under the impression that because academy cadets were subject to the UCMJ, they could utilize trial defense services.
Honor didn't mean much out there last year (they caught 78 cadets cheating on a test, and most were allowed to remain), maybe they're actually reading their motto this year.
Personally, I would think long and hard about doing one of those programs if going to strong grad program is an option they are pursuing.
As a parent with a rising sr. at VT applying for grad school, they look at everything, including where the undergrad degree. I am from NJ, and never heard of Thomas Edison, granted it is for adults only, it is an online version of college, but still their reputation as a college may be a player. Accreditation is not everything to take into consideration.
Many kids now because of the low employment opportunities are taking one more yr to get a grad degree. That fact alone ramps up the competition of admission applicants.
It might be better to also just do the last 30 credits at another college just for the sake of the diploma regarding their future opportunities, be it straight into the workforce, or onto a grad degree.
The financial savings by writing a check and getting a degree quicker may come back and bite them later on when it comes to starting salaries and quality of employment opportunities. Think about it, if they went back home to their IS flagship school, tuition would be about 20K for 2 yrs., 10K if they can do it in a yr. They can than get into a better grad school program, and that can give them a stronger chance of a higher starting salary, which would quickly make up the 10/20K additional debt.
Grad degrees today are like undergrad degrees in the late 80's for this generation. It is no longer a rarity. My DD, my nieces all intend to get their grad degrees. It is not an if for them. My DD and one of my nieces are both majoring in education. That should show how common it is now across the workforce. Most colleges offer a combined undergrad/grad program too. Our DS roommate freshman yr at his college was enrolled in such a program. These 3 examples, all attend flagship colleges in their states (NJ, VA and MD).
Again reinforcing why going to one of those 2 colleges may not assist if their state colleges are competitive for undergrad admissions. The school already filled some of those slots when they entered as freshman.
One option I would also think of looking into to see is if any companies near your area offer internships, especially if he is thinking of doing something like Thomas Edison.
Many companies hire their interns later on. Granted, very few internships are paid, but still it is an IN, and worst case scenario it is something he can place on his resume later on as employment.
Luigi, let's not go there. The topic is what is happening with Bigdog's son and moving forward in his life. There is way too much opinion and myth associated with academy scandals and much of what we think we know are at best incomplete and in this case, off topic.
mbitr: There is nothing amusing about the comparison I made. We're talking about the military, not a normal job where if you don't feel good you just call your supervisor and say you're sick and you don't show up for work today. You can't just walk into work and say: "I quit". (Not without reprucusions). The military is all about discipline. This individual is not getting disenrolled because they missed a couple classes. They aren't getting disenrolled because their tie wasn't straight. It's a culmination of many things. A for the "Unauthorized guest"; if that person was NOT another cadet, then that alone is a MAJOR issue and by itself is enough to disenroll him. Even bringing in his mother or father without prior authorization is enough to have him disenrolled.
I think the problem is; you simply don't understand military life. You don't understand this level of discipline and why it's so important. They aren't disenrolling him because of missing classes or his uniform. They are disenrolling him because of his inability to maintain a level of discipline to follow a set of rules. Granted; these rules and policies may not be important in a normal school or job environment, but in the military, they are VERY IMPORTANT. Do you think the military actually cares if you can fold you clothes a certain way or make your bed a certain way? They don't. Do you think they actually believe following specific rules by itself is important? No, they don't. The concept is: If you can't follow the most basic of rules and instructions and discipline, how are you going to follow orders where lives are actually on the line?
There is no shame in an individual who doesn't cut it in the military. It definitely is not for everyone. It definitely has no bearing on whether you'll be a successful individual in another career path. But saying because a person didn't follow these rules, doesn't mean they wouldn't have been a good officer is totally ignorant. The whole concept of the military, is that you follow the orders of those above you, and as an officer, you execute those orders by delegating and giving orders to those below you. You don't get to CHOOSE which orders you like and don't; and which one's you'll follow and those you won't. Like I said earlier, you aren't allowed to just call up and say "I'm sick. i'm not coming in today". There's even a procedure for that. Well; bringing an unauthorized guest into a controlled area like the cadet dorms is totally similar to underage drinking when discussing the severity. If the girlfriend was another cadet; then that's a totally different story. Then, I would say that this individual's disenrollment was a culmination of everything. That it was simply incompatibility with military lifestyle. But if the girlfriend was a civilian; then even if he had NO OTHER demerits or issues and this was the FIRST; then it alone would have been enough for disenrollment.
If I am correct you are not an ADAF officer. As a frequent ROTC poster, I believe you are AROTC, not even AFROTC. Army world AD and AF world AD are not the same. You can't place a blanket statement that all AD military branches are the same. I.E. AF PT is golfing without a cart! AF builds the runway 1st, O Club 2nd, Golf course 3rd.
5 yrs ago, our squadron commander (O5 up for O6) found himself in an awkward sexual situation on a Sat. night in his car...nothing illegal, except the fact he was married, and it wasn't his wife in this situation.
Monday morning there was a new commander, by Friday they were moved out of his on base house, and he was reporting 7 days later to a new base. Needless to say he wasn't picked up for O6.
That is the modern military. I don't know why you assume in the AF that there are different standards. He wasn't the 1st commander that lost their job over extra-marital affairs. I can count on my fingers and toes, plus some of Bullets phalanges too the amount of officers that were given the door because of pushing the envelope regarding personal sexual relations, and I am not talking homosexual.
Seriously, can you say Petraeus! The guys career ended because of a personal relationship. It was an affair. She did not work for him. Apple wouldn't care, but when you have a TS clearance, they care. Have you filled out TS clearance paperwork yet? Trust me, it goes back to the day you were born. OP's DS had a UPT slot, he has a TS clearance. They interview people before signing off. Just like Petraeus, they care about their personal life.
It is real life, and if you think that sexual relationships in the ADAF don't matter at all, I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn. Titling it to you might be an issue, but trust me, I can get it for you. Believe that, and I have another piece of property to sell you in FL., it is a little swampy, but trust me.
Welcome to the real military mbitr.
It is ironic regarding your post. Many posters desire to go SA to live the AD life. Your position is the AD life is not like the SA world. I totally disagree. Our DS is at UPT right now, living in the Q's, paying for it (BAH). Guess what? He had to acknowledge and give permission for unannounced room inspections. He is an ADAF O1.
He didn't have that when he lived in his college dorms as an AFROTC cadet.
Live in AF base housing, they can leave you nasty grams for your lawn. Multiple nasty grams and the commander is informed.
That is the real AF military. Sorry to burst your bubble.
It also explains why many ADAF members move off base as soon as they can.
IMPO, this was not about a tie, or a class being missed. It was about the GF.
If I was to be brutally honest, I wonder why on earth they did this. I can't see how any C1C would risk this their last semester, unless they wanted out. As others have stated this issue has always been addressed multiple times every yr. He know the huge risk he was undertaking the moment they slid under the sheets. He had 3 1/2 yrs of being warned. He gets a monthly stipend, enough to pay out of pocket for a hotel. As a C1C he probably had a car too, to drive an "visit" her at the hotel for a couple of hrs.
Sorry, bigdog, but that is the question in my mind. Also, sorry, but as an AF wife of 21 yrs, and a Mom of an O1, with a GF that I expect to be our Daughter In law, I would have issues with her decision too. In every relationship, someone has to be the sound voice.
Had to say it, not from a judging factor, but from a Mom factor. IMPHO, she is also culpable for his diis-enrollment. I would want to know why she risked it all. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to see this is not allowed at the AFA. She risked his career too. JMPO.
While the other incidents at the AFA may be off topic in regard to this issue, it does bring up a question. Cheating is against the rules at the Academy, it's also against the rules when in the Regular AF. When the cadet graduates and heads off to complete their training, Flight School or other, cheating again will not be tolerated and could result in being kicked out. Having your girlfriend spend the night with you is most likely not an offense that would get you kicked out, this was an Academy rule. To me I would much rather have seen all those that cheated be removed rather then for the infractions this cadet has made. Seems like they kept the wrong cadets in my mind.
It seems more a case of not understanding the Academy life then not understanding the Military as a whole. Rules are rules, I understand that, it is just that cadets at the academy have many rules that are not found in the Regular Military. Cadets that commission from other sources never have these rules, when they enter the regular military they don't experience a big shift in rules and regulations. I do agree that those that attend an Academy do so knowing what the rules are, whether they match that of the military as a whole or not, and they are required to abide by them.
I just think that if they are going to have rules, they need to apply the punishment equally, allowing those that cheat to stay while sending someone else packing does not seem like an honorable thing to do. I know there is probably more behind the story, but there was enough in front of the story to make this kind of opinion.
I read your post above and will assume it covers what I just posted as well.
Separate names with a comma.