Injury during plebe summer/school year.

Alan99

Member
Hello all, I was just thinking about plebe summer and USNA and I had a thought. What would happen if someone had surgery that would take someone out for months during plebe summer or the academic year? Would they be sent home if they were still able to serve once they recovered? For example, I have a waiver for my ankle but what if I injured it so badly that it would take me out for 6 months during plebe summer?
 

USMA 1994

Member
It all just depends. If it is bad enough that you cannot function, you will likely get sent home with an LOA for the next class. If it is not as severe you may be allowed to stay with your class.
 

NavyHoops

Super Moderator
5-Year Member
Case by case situation. If it happens early on Plebe Summer the liklihood of being sent home is higher. As mentioned, they usually get an LOA for the next class. We had a guy blow his knee out on the second or third day there, he got sent home and came back the following year. USNA looks at how bad the injury is and how much training they will miss. It is really case by case.

Academic year things are handled also case by case. Depends on severity, recovery time, how much class is missed, etc. Mids are very active people and do get hurt, very few get pulled out of their class to recover. To get rolled back a class it’s usually something like cancer or something severe. It is rare for an injury to push someone a class. Even surgery and being out a few weeks isn’t enough to roll someone. USNA understands that someone having something like ACL surgery will do better at home or a sponsor’s for a week or so. Once they get past the initial surgery and start to recover, they can return to class and spend a lot of time in physical therapy.
 
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More likely to get you sent home during summer than ac year. DS is a youngster. Broke foot over summer at Airborne school. Returned to school for youngster year with a chit getting him out of PT etc. No problem.
 

usnavynurse

Member
Hello all, I was just thinking about plebe summer and USNA and I had a thought. What would happen if someone had surgery that would take someone out for months during plebe summer or the academic year? Would they be sent home if they were still able to serve once they recovered? For example, I have a waiver for my ankle but what if I injured it so badly that it would take me out for 6 months during plebe summer?
There are plenty of kids on crutches, slings and in boots during Plebe summer and into academic year. Although I don't know the extent of their injuries it seemed USNA was committed to heeling these individuals, especially since they already took their Oath of Office. What I would try to avoid is any injury before I-Day, that could defer you till the following year. Good Luck!
 

Alan99

Member
Case by case situation. If it happens early on Plebe Summer the liklihood of being sent home is higher. As mentioned, they usually get an LOA for the next class. We had a guy blow his knee out on the second or third day there, he got sent home and came back the following year. USNA looks at how bad the injury is and how much training they will miss. It is really case by case.

Academic year things are handled also case by case. Depends on severity, recovery time, how much class is missed, etc. Mids are very active people and do get hurt, very few get pulled out of their class to recover. To get rolled back a class it’s usually something like cancer or something severe. It is rare for an injury to push someone a class. Even surgery and being out a few weeks isn’t enough to roll someone. USNA understands that someone having something like ACL surgery will do better at home or a sponsor’s for a week or so. Once they get past the initial surgery and start to recover, they can return to class and spend a lot of time in physical therapy.
Thank you for the reply, so do you think someone would get sent home if they were to get surgery after plebe summer?
 

USMA 1994

Member
I know a few cadets from the Houston area that are having major surgery since the academic year has started and they are being allowed to proceed with the year.

It still is going to come down to severity. If it will not affect the chance of commissioning, they should be fine.

There are also quite a few post on the class pages about cadets having surgery.
 

shock-n-awe

Member
I realize this is an old post but I am just curious if USNA would inform parents if their Plebe has been injured during Plebe summer?
If it’s serious they for sure will notify. The only exception may be if the Cadet/Mid signed a medical non disclosure type form (forget actual term). Some parents get surprised to find out their kid signed one!
To answer the old question above regarding getting sent home if getting surgery during Plebe summer would happen, short answer, likely. Sickness or injuries happen during Plebe summer, but the severity of those is the determining factor. If recovery will take too long, or full recovery will not happen they will likely out process completely or may have an option to join the next class if cleared.
Another thing to keep in mind is if the health issue (or any issue) prevents the Cadet/Mid from completing all of the requirements of Plebe summer, they will not graduate PS training and will be out processed.
 

Capt MJ

10-Year Member
Plebes sign all kinds of forms, including the one at the link below, for all kinds of personal information, and once through Plebe summer, can control their choices online.

USNA has deep experience in the notification process, and would notify the designated NOK in the case of serious injury or illness, perhaps requesting permission from the mid first, if the mid had actively chosen “don’t notify.” “Everyday” injuries and illness, where the mid is “on chit,” with light duties or SIQ (sick in quarters) bed rest but expected to fully recover and resume training, would be considered routine.

https://www.usna.edu/PlebeSummer/_files/documents/2016/PTR DOCS/17 PTR 2020 Item 17 Consent to Disclosure Form.docx

Many parents are surprised their mids elect “no disclosure.” As a USNA BattO, I had many a call from a furious parent who didn’t understand why I couldn’t tell them their DA/DD would not be home for Thanksgiving, because I would be looking right at the screen showing “no disclosure of misconduct.” As usual, after one of those, I’d point the company officer and the Batt chaplain toward the mid for some counseling. We could not order the mid to share the info, but the chaplain was always the champ in getting the parents on the phone and coaching the mid how to break bad news.

Circling back to the original inquiry, given the plebes are mere days into their new status as adults, if something truly serious happens, USNA knows what to do to get information into the right hands while respecting personal information regulations.
 

TheNimble1

New Member
I can, unfortunately, provide some insight here...

Some of you may know about this from the parent FB groups, so my apologies for any duplication.

Last Saturday (the day before our first scheduled plebe phone call), my phone lit up w/DD's caller ID. Uh oh, I thought. This can't be good. Well, it wasn't. Turns out that she had a near-fatal cardiac episode in the Hall. I'll skip all of the details here, but she ended up spending a week in the Anne Arundel Medical Center and was released last Thursday and forced to return home.

Thank God that her life was saved, but sadly, she has been deemed her “non-commissionable”. So, after years of hard work (including a USNA Foundation prep year), making the cut and earning her spot in the Brigade, swearing the Oath of Office, and beginning (and crushing, according to the detailers) Plebe Summer, it is now gone - poof! To add insult to injury, we found out yesterday (7/15) that her competitive rowing career is over as well (she'd been recruited by all of the "big" rowing schools and, perhaps naively, thought that may still be an option in her new non-Academy life). She would have gladly dropped rowing in an instant in order to serve, but she didn't expect to have to drop it in addition to having to leave the Academy.

After leaving the hospital, she had to sign her separation papers. Any of us would be blessed to have a fraction of the strength that she had to muster in order to put pen to paper. I can’t imagine how hard that moment was for her. Today, she is having surgery to put in an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) - at 19. She absolutely did not want to leave. She wanted to go Marine ground and fight the fight. From what was almost her deathbed, she was pleading with the O-6 Brigade Medical Officer for any opportunity stay and fight. We know that in the grand scheme, many are much worse off and that she'll have a relatively normal life. Tough for a 19 year old to see past what has been taken away, but we know she'll get there.

So, to the OP's question - there are worst-case scenarios that would "prevent deployment to austere environments", thus rendering one non-commissionable. If it happens later in the Academy career, presumably after 2-for-7, there are rare opportunities to graduate but not commission. Earlier than that (especially in Plebe summer) it can lead to separation. For less severe scenarios, where one would still be deployable, but just not able to complete Plebe Summer, as others have said, that Mid would simply be rolled to next year's class (assume all else remains good to go - academics, character, etc.)

As a side note, we’ve gained some insight into how hard the detailers work and how much they care for our Plebes. They were rotating shifts all week to sit by DD's bedside 24/7, and told us that they considered it an honor to do so. These kids (yes - detailers are still just kids) are amazing and are by far the hardest working people on the Yard during Plebe Summer. What a fantastic leadership experience for them. I assure you, they want only the best for the Plebes. We are so thankful for the medical team that found the issue and kept her with us, and for the amazing people at the Academy. The respect and honor that they have paid to DD has been truly incredible.

This community has been great as well. If I can every help anyone with perspective on the Foundation program or, unfortunately, the medical separation process, please do not hesitate to reach out.
 

ders_dad

Member
I have been following your daughter’s story and it is so heartbreaking. My thoughts and prayers are with you and her. Than you for sharing on this forum.
 

NavyHoops

Super Moderator
5-Year Member
Thanks for the update and perspective. I have heard about your DDs story... she is a strong one. I can’t imagine her dreams being shattered so much, but i am so glad she has come out the other side with a plan that will get her healthy! I know she will go on to do great things and will find a new passion! Best of luck to her.
 
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AggieTexan

New Member
TheNimble1, I have also been following your daughter’s story and her posts on Instagram. She is truly an inspiration! I pray she finds another way to serve others because that is obviously her passion and what she’s been called to do.
 

Capt MJ

10-Year Member
@TheNimble1
I am so proud of your daughter’s spirit and courage. She did not fail. I am also not surprised and am pleased to know her detailers and her chain of command were there for her. That is the nature of the military bond. She will always hold that family feeling, even as she finds her new path.

After recovery, rest and renewal, I hope your daughter considers applying her fine mind and warrior-athlete spirit to service in one of the Fed “ABC” agencies. Serving as a field operative would not be likely given her medical issue, but powerful minds and drive to serve are also needed in operations planning, logistics, cyber, intel analysis, forensics and many other fields. If she can’t be a door-kicker, she can have the backs of those who do. Many have college programs and internships. Here are just a few:

https://www.fbijobs.gov/students/undergrad

https://www.cia.gov/careers/student-opportunities

https://www.intelligencecareers.gov/nsa/nsastudents.html
 

justdoit19

Member
@TheNumble1, I have also been following your DD’s story! She is quite the warrior. She will do GREAT things, not a doubt in my mind. My momma heart has thought about your family almost non-stop, praying for y’alls strength, wisdom, acceptance and peace.
 
I can, unfortunately, provide some insight here...

Some of you may know about this from the parent FB groups, so my apologies for any duplication.

Last Saturday (the day before our first scheduled plebe phone call), my phone lit up w/DD's caller ID. Uh oh, I thought. This can't be good. Well, it wasn't. Turns out that she had a near-fatal cardiac episode in the Hall. I'll skip all of the details here, but she ended up spending a week in the Anne Arundel Medical Center and was released last Thursday and forced to return home.

Thank God that her life was saved, but sadly, she has been deemed her “non-commissionable”. So, after years of hard work (including a USNA Foundation prep year), making the cut and earning her spot in the Brigade, swearing the Oath of Office, and beginning (and crushing, according to the detailers) Plebe Summer, it is now gone - poof! To add insult to injury, we found out yesterday (7/15) that her competitive rowing career is over as well (she'd been recruited by all of the "big" rowing schools and, perhaps naively, thought that may still be an option in her new non-Academy life). She would have gladly dropped rowing in an instant in order to serve, but she didn't expect to have to drop it in addition to having to leave the Academy.

After leaving the hospital, she had to sign her separation papers. Any of us would be blessed to have a fraction of the strength that she had to muster in order to put pen to paper. I can’t imagine how hard that moment was for her. Today, she is having surgery to put in an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) - at 19. She absolutely did not want to leave. She wanted to go Marine ground and fight the fight. From what was almost her deathbed, she was pleading with the O-6 Brigade Medical Officer for any opportunity stay and fight. We know that in the grand scheme, many are much worse off and that she'll have a relatively normal life. Tough for a 19 year old to see past what has been taken away, but we know she'll get there.

So, to the OP's question - there are worst-case scenarios that would "prevent deployment to austere environments", thus rendering one non-commissionable. If it happens later in the Academy career, presumably after 2-for-7, there are rare opportunities to graduate but not commission. Earlier than that (especially in Plebe summer) it can lead to separation. For less severe scenarios, where one would still be deployable, but just not able to complete Plebe Summer, as others have said, that Mid would simply be rolled to next year's class (assume all else remains good to go - academics, character, etc.)

As a side note, we’ve gained some insight into how hard the detailers work and how much they care for our Plebes. They were rotating shifts all week to sit by DD's bedside 24/7, and told us that they considered it an honor to do so. These kids (yes - detailers are still just kids) are amazing and are by far the hardest working people on the Yard during Plebe Summer. What a fantastic leadership experience for them. I assure you, they want only the best for the Plebes. We are so thankful for the medical team that found the issue and kept her with us, and for the amazing people at the Academy. The respect and honor that they have paid to DD has been truly incredible.

This community has been great as well. If I can every help anyone with perspective on the Foundation program or, unfortunately, the medical separation process, please do not hesitate to reach out.
As a nurse practitioner, married to a heart surgeon that is responsible for implanting ICD’s, and a Mom of a competitive, elite rower, my heart is broken for your daughter’s unfortunate life threatening medical issue. Health is ALL the wealth one needs in life. While your daughter may feel she lost out on her dream, she has been spared her life, and WILL indeed take her grit and determination and forge a new and wonderful path in life. I will be praying for courage and strength as she processes her “new normal” yet, there is a special plan in her future, no doubt. God bless all of you.
 
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