How to Handle Hernia Surgery and AROTC Scholarship

Discussion in 'DoDMERB' started by ArmyDadSC, Jun 20, 2017.

  1. ArmyDadSC

    ArmyDadSC New Member

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    My DS is a 4 year Army ROTC scholarship recipient and is attending a military college.

    He was diagnosed on 06/12/17 with a linguinal hernia (this is after accepting his scholarship and passing all DODMerb physicals as required)

    DS had surgery to fix the hernia yesterday, 06/19/2017.

    DS is scheduled to report to his military college on 08/12/2017, or roughly 8 weeks from this week.

    DS surgeon says recovery is 6-8 weeks, which could put him right at the last minute of his surgeon releasing him to resume full physical activity. We are confident that he will be ready, but everyone heals differently and his mother and I are not doctors. We trust his surgeon to release him when he is ready, and not a moment too early. His health is most important here. We do know that the hernia is an automatic disqualifier and will require a waiver if he were enlisting, but we are unsure if this applies right now, since he is going to be a college student in an AROTC program, and not an active duty soldier. We do not know if that constitutes needing the waiver granted now or when he graduates and prepares to commission.

    That being said, is he supposed to report this to his ROTC commander now? Or can he just show up with his medical clearance in hand and be ready to get to work?

    He does not want to jeopardize his scholarship or his opportunity to attend the college of his dreams, when he feels like he will be ready to go; by prematurely bringing attention to a situation that should be remedied by the time he arrives.

    Conversely, he does not want to be unethical or feel like he is in any way being dishonest with the army by not reporting it earlier, if he is mandated to do so.

    We all (my DS, myself and my wife) have done exhaustive searches and have spoken with many people, all with varying opinions. We want to make sure he is doing the right thing and maintaining his character, even though we know it may come with a heavy price. He is worried to death and we want to help guide him, so that he can breath a bit easier, knowing he did what is expected of him. It's not a matter of him being confused about right and wrong, we're just confused about what he must report and draw attention to right now, versus what he can do when he reports for school.


    Thanks in advance for any answers that may help steer us these next few days.

    -Lost in South Carolina!
     
  2. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator 5-Year Member

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    If your DS does not report until August, then I presume you have not yet signed the DA597-3 Army Scholarship contract. Normally you don't sign this until: 1. You pass DoDMERB, 2. You pass the APFT and 3. You enroll in the college with the required MIL classes. The scholarship money is not paid until the contract is signed by your DS and approved by the Cadre. So be prepared to front the tuition and R & B money.

    If you read 597-3, Section 3 a). you must disclose pre-existing medical conditions that may disqualify you from eligibility. Thus if you do NOT have a full medical release from your doctor, then you must disclose this to the Cadre. This does not mean your DS will be dis-enrolled or lose his scholarship. It simply may mean that your DS will be delayed until he secures a full release. If he has a full release, I believe you simply bring it to the cadre when he reports.

    It is best, in my opinion, to report this ahead of time to the ROO at the college.

    Here is a copy of 597-3
    http://www.rotc.pitt.edu/forms/da597_3.pdf
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2017
  3. ArmyDadSC

    ArmyDadSC New Member

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    Thank you so much for your reply!

    My DS has already passed DODMERB and took an APFT while in High School. He says he is supposed to sign his army scholarship contract and sign up for his first year MIL class once he reports to school. We have a meeting (All ROTC recipients attending this school do) with his ROTC Battalion Commander the day before he matriculates for school. He has already signed and returned a form for ROTC regarding which school to release funds to (He had 3 schools of preference when he applied for the scholarship), how to allocate the funds (R & B or Tuition) and what he major would be, but this is obviously not the DA597-3 form.

    Again, thank you for your reply. I think this gives us the most clear direction we have so far. This is a very new process for all of us, and we just want to be sure we aren't missing something or unwittingly messing something up for him.

    -Not Feeling Quite as Lost in South Carolina!
     
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  4. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Forgive me if you already know this:
    Make sure your DS passed the APFT and not the PFT. Both can be used to compete for the scholarship, but you need to pass the APFT to get the scholarship money disbursed.

    Congratulations to your DS!

    Here is more info on the APFT vs PFT from the Clarkson University ROO:
    https://goldenknightbattalion.wordpress.com/2010/02/10/the-dreaded-pt-test/
     
  5. AJC

    AJC Member

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    Based on my son's personal experience I can tell you;
    He is required to report the surgery to DoDMERB now.
    He will be DQ'd. Surgery is a 6 month DQ.
    He will be automatically put in for a waiver
    My Son had his appendix removed April 4th and did not get his waiver until December 10th
    He was a three year who missed an upgrade to 3.5 because his waiver had not yet come in.
    He is at an SMC. He participated fully in ROTC. His ROO told him to proceed as if he would get the waiver.
    In theory your son may have to pay for the first semester. Talk to His ROO and the school's Bursar.
    As AROTC DAD says you might be able to reimbursed. I don't know as it did not apply to my son.
    After 6 months DoDMERB will ask for (in the form of a remedial )the surgical and hospital records.
    They will ask for a letter from the surgeon that states he has fully recovered and '"is cleared for full and unrestricted activity".
    Now reason to think it will not work out in the end. But first he has to get to the end.
     
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  6. ArmyDadSC

    ArmyDadSC New Member

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    I wanted to update this post so future prospective ROTC candidates/recipients have an idea what we are going through and if it will help/hinder their individual issues.

    My son matriculated this past Saturday to his SMC. We had an AROTC meeting on Friday afternoon (all incoming cadet recruits on AROTC scholarship did) and spoke directly with the medical personnel affiliated with the AROTC program and making sure the cadets have already or can satisfy DoDmerb guidelines. We provided the representative with his medical clearance paperwork that shows he was cleared to resume full physical activity on 31 July. She indicated that it was a non-issue due to his medical clearance and kept a copy of the paperwork for his file. We also have a copy (we have and keep copies of all of his paperwork related to school and the Army). I'm hoping this isn't a classic case of sweeping his paperwork under the rug because the waiver filing may be a hassle, but I really don't know. I guess we will see soon enough.

    His first APFT is on 13 Sept. and we were told that he must pass the APFT with a minimum of 60 in each discipline (We already knew that anyway) in order for funds to be disbursed to the school. We are confident that he can and will pass. Right now he is 4 days into training and 2 days into "hell week". No phone call yet so, so far, so good.

    I will update this post if there is a continued issue and/or resolution of note.
     
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