Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by bigdog77515, May 7, 2013.
Correct, this a conduct issue.
I suspect as a parent, natural reaction will be WHAT THE H WERE YOU THINKING?
They know their screw up, and as harsh as some posters may seem with their opinions, this is something that you as parents, and himself know if people aren't saying it, they are thinking it.
As strange as this might seem, right now because you are a poster on SAF, have a support group that are here for you. As you stated he has been moved out to a new dorm. He needs you now more than ever to remind him, that this is now the past, it was a mistake, let's move forward and prove the AF wrong!
Agree with CC . . . the military is NOT the civilian world and that's something that is drilled into you from day 1.
People in the military carry (and use) guns. They routinely drive, fly, and repair equipment (planes, ships, etc.) that cost literally billions of collars. They can launch nuclear weapons that could kill millions.
More important than all of the above, is that officers are responsible for the men and women they lead -- both in battle (which is a reality in today's military) and in non-combat situations.
The military operates on discipline and that's not likely to change. Those who can't handle discipline aren't likely to do well, or even survive, in the military. And I mean that figuratively and literally. Your life -- and/or the life of your shipmates -- may literally depend on your discipline and theirs. Entry programs in the military (whether boot camp, ROTC, OCS, SAs, etc.) are largely intended to instill discipline.
That's why it's such a big deal. The rules are made very clear to you at any SA. As someone above said, sometimes good people make bad choices. And sometimes the people who end up at a SA probably aren't cut out for the military life.
And, yes, folks commenting on this thread may not be from USAFA but the general discipline process is essentially the same at all SAs.
And, folks [putting on my mod hat], let's keep honor out of this. This isn't an honor issue. If you want to discuss honor at USAFA or any other SA, please start a new thread.
I agree, just responding to a previous comment about the supposed "honor" system.
Jcleppe and Kdc, I think the hardest thing for me to understand when I first got here was that there wasn't a head USAFA "disenrollment officer" with one O-6 making sure every punishment is fair not only with regards to the rules, but also relative to his or her peers. We have different AOCs, cadets, department heads, academic instructors, ac advisors, etc. recommending either disenrollments or probations, and top leadership usually respects those recommendations. There is a certainly a degree of variation in punishments because they're coming from different avenues, but I think in the operational AF it will be much the same way - different units with different commanders will have different emphasis items, and punishments will vary.
Looking from a different view
I have to agree with the many knowledgeable posters that the Academy made the right decision in disenrollment. Your son's actions indicate that he is not sufficiently responsible to take a leadership position in 22 days. I however, find it hard to believe that an aeronautical engineering senior at the USAFA has not learned to tie his tie correctly, attend all his classes and certainly not to have a girl in his room for the night. I'm sure by the end of his fourth class year he had this already instilled into him.
I strongly suspect that some time ago your son realized that the military was not a direction he wanted to continue in his life and that if he were to drop on request that he might be talked into staying. While his actions were serious violations to military protocol, they would not have been violations in the majority of civilian Universities both public and private. It also suggests that your son is probably relieved that he no longer has to serve the military. Please realize that the military life is not for everyone. While it is unfortunate that he did not drop out prior to his second class year with no payback required, it is still better that he dropped out at this time then being forced into serving five years when that is not really what he wanted. I suggest you talk with him and accept his decision.
He most likely will have to pay back in the range of $150,000 to the Air Force but you can look at it in a different fashion. He received an education at one of the most prestigious schools in the country if not the world. Had he gone to a comparable private and/or public school he could have been paying tuition at $60,000 a year and be in debt for even more money.
Sounds like your son is very bright but just went the wrong direction in career choice. I'm sure that he will do well in life and you should be proud of him. Again, do talk to him about his real goals. Best of wishes for you and your family.
Maybe this was posted in the wrong thread?
i haven't looked back at my posts, but i don't believe i said he didn't tie his tie correctly and miss classes at the end of his fourth class year.
the tie was freshman year, missed class was sophomore year. then... GF moves to town and another missed class happened and the sleepover.
i, too, have thought about the possibility of him "ending" his career by doing something stupid accidentally/on purpose, but all the signs point the other way.
he was headed to flight school, to be married and they were excited about either living on base or renting a house. he flew f-16s last summer and was fired up about it.
i also agree with the numerous posters who say that the AF might have done itself a favor by removing someone who isn't responsible enough or who makes bad choices before allowing him to become an officer. again, i'm a black-and-white kinda guy and rules are rules. my original post was that i was wondering if this seemed excessive to anyone. everyone said "no" and now i realize that a "sleepover" in itself is enough to disenroll.
Only a parent would understand how heartbreaking this is. If we learn from mistakes and believe in second chances, I wouldn't say "NO" if it make it less painful to look forward and see a different destination besides being a pilot in our AF. A very tough lesson to learn but with hope for a bright future wherever your son decides to go. Best of luck to you and your son.
"Fall down seven times, get up eight!"
Be there for your son. More than ever he will need you now. Life will be complicated for awhile. Try not to rehash the "why's" to many times. Even as parents, we grieve our children's mistakes. It takes time. Accept (as it seems you have) and move forward (easier said than done). There is a group on FB if you are interested please PM me. Others have gone through different reasons for leaving, but the group as a whole is very supportive and there to help with any resources they have discovered along the way.
Heart breaking for parents
My first thought when I read your original post was "Um, for $40, she could have been in the Rampart Inn with no consequences whatsoever." Then I thought about the shock, the stunned shock, of the parents and realized the heart breaking agony you must have felt - maybe are still feeling.
But it does sound like, as young people will sometimes do, they get caught up in romance and really don't think clearly. It happens. As if no one has ever been in love before... From this mom's perspective, it does sound like an accidental/on purpose. On the other hand, that was the point of the Academy for four years: not just to educate the young man in Aero Eng, but to teach him to lead, to put others before himself, to have integrity in every action. Clearly, not lessons he took to heart.
CC, PIMA, and others have stated my opinions exactly and with better punctuation and detail. Horribly difficult for the parents; I wonder if the cadet and his GF understand the ramifications of their actions? Certainly sounds like the GF doesn't but it still doesn't excuse the actions of the cadet.
Parents - our children will make mistakes, sometimes mistakes with long term and dire consequences. But life has not ended, and there are still opportunities out there for your son. Yes, he'll have a heavy debt burden, like many kids at civ college, and yes, you will be rightly tempted to let him flounder on his own (I know I would). He's still your son, your gift, and depending on your love and guidance now, more than ever.
(Allowing my lower self to come out to play, I might not invite the GF to my next picnic, though)
I think everyone knows by now, that every person and every case is unique and handled individually. Even with the seriousness of having an unauthorized person in the dorm overnight; if that was the first and only offense an individual did, I could easily see the individual not being disenrolled. Possibly late graduation. But that's why each case is different. Whether it's a rule or honor code violation, each one has to be taken care of individually.
LOL! haven't had time to broach the entire subject with her yet!
they are getting married in june
sorry, but nobody in the family is "for" the wedding at this point. that has been a major point of contention in the last week.
If he has completed set credit hours for aero engineer degree, why is he not getting his diploma? I can see you may not commission but what about the said earned degree?
great questions. bueller? bueller? anyone? anyone?
Your statement basically illustrates was is confusing to some of us, why are they separate from each other.
The credit earned, are YOURS. The diploma is awarded by the school. A diploma from a school usually includes the phrase/wording/etc... of such things as "IN GOOD STANDINGS". This is common among most/all colleges/universities.
But this is totally up to the school. The academy would not be the first school to NOT AWARD a diploma/degree from their institution. The academy may very well award him his diploma. They may not. That is totally at their discretion. No different than a civilian student getting disenrolled from a university for a prank that went wrong or some serious offense. They may have taken the classes and earned the credits, but the university isn't required to "AWARD" you a diploma.
You'll have to wait and see what the academy decides in this situation. Your son should ask. But again, this is another one of those case by case situations.
CC ok next question:
If the Academy Disenrolls him could he go through OTS or a semester of another ROTC program prove himself and then commission. Thus no payment of debt and possibly earn another flight slot?
There are a lot of people who walk the streets that have no "Honor". Doesn't mean they are doing anything illegal; against the law; socially unacceptable; etc... Just like there are individuals in jail who have a lot of honor.
I'm not saying that you should know the difference between honor and rules, but it's something that you learn on your own. You really can't be taught.
Here's an example. You see someone drop a $20 bill on the ground. The leave without noticing it. You walk up and pick up the money. Is there a law that says you MUST give it back? Nope. Would it be the "Honorable" thing to do? Yes. Honor is basically doing what's right because it's right and not to receive any personal reward. Honor is also admitting to doing something wrong even though no one else knows you did something wrong and you don't have to tell anyone. Rules/laws are prescribed. You MUST do it, or if caught, face the consequences.
Well, the military; including the academy; has a certain set of codes that they live by. At the academy level, these codes, while not legal in themselves; are a means of determining "CONFORMITY". Obviously, we want you to do what's right because it's the right thing to do and you BELIEVE IT. Not because someone might find out. But that's why it's up to you. That's also why each honor code violation is treated individually. It's possible to have an honor code violation because you were doing something honorable.
But this thread is about rules/policies/disenrollment.
Separate names with a comma.