Leaving after 2 Yrs

stsay

New Member
I have heard parents and Cadets say that they will leave after two years. My questions is what is the advantage of leaving after two years and not completing the 4 yrs and Commissioning for 5 yrs? I know they have to decide before their third yr starts if they are staying or leaving and they don’t have to pay USMA back for their education.
 

NavyHoops

Super Moderator
5-Year Member
There isn’t an advantage to leaving. I suppose two years of ‘free college’ might be seen as a good thing. Bottom line, Cadets will make the decision at the end of the day. Most make the right decision for them. Sure there are some that fall to pressure from home or perhaps fear of something.
 

2020HD

Member
I sincerely doubt anyone has that idea going in. But every August the incoming Juniors (Cows) lose some of their ranks when they decline to take the Affirmation oath. Last year, college football fans heard that the Army QB hiccuped at this step and briefly left West Point; given his visibility it shed some light to casual observers about the existence of affirmation commitment itself. I think it’s a good idea to provide these kids with a checkpoint... now that they’re 2 years older, know a lot more about themselves and the military profession than they possibly could have when they joined, are they still all in? If they’re not, that’s ok- better to own that now and follow your own path rather than grimace through another 2 years at WP and then 5 more in the Army.
 

time2

10-Year Member
The OP will have to clarify exactly what these 'other people' are saying since the original remarks can be interpreted in different ways. Certainly, even those who are 110% convinced WP is for them, might have second thought after starting. There is nothing wrong with making sure this is right for you before making a commitment at the start of the 3rd year.
 

UHBlackhawk

Member
I know a guy who, according to classmates, had no intention of staying four years. He changed his mind at the last minute and did stay. When I knew him as an LT and junior captain, he consistently stated he was leaving the Army as soon as he could, and he tried to twice that I know of but the Army declined to release him. He is now a general.
 

JWP

5-Year Member
So parents and cadets said they would leave after two years.? Didn't know parents are admitted. Helicoptering at a whole new level I guess. Lol...
 

copicrow

Member
Cadets leave after two years because your military commitment doesn't start until your junior year at west point and those cadets decided west point isn't for them, or they are LDS and are leaving after two years to go serve a mission and will return when they finish.
 

AROTC-dad

Moderator
5-Year Member
Let's be blunt here.

There are some wonderful young men and women who are sold on the glory and prestige of military service, only to discover it just isn't for them.

Still another group of candidates seek appointments only because their parents or family members push them to do so, when in reality, they have a different set of goals in life for themselves.

A miserable cadet or midshipman usually results in a miserable 2LT or Ensign.

Therefore the two year "try before you buy" allowance is extremely valuable to ensure that our future officers are the ones who genuinely desire to serve and lead others, even if it takes them in harm's way.
 

LongAgoPlebe

5-Year Member
Adding on to @AROTC-dad's excellent summary, there's also the experience factor. You can/should do your research about the SA experience, warfare communities/branches available when you graduate and commission, and SA life. But the research can never replace the lived experience of being there. Some yuks/youngsters figure out the life is not for them.
 

jl123

Member
The only cadets that I have seen voluntarily leave with the intent to return are LDS cadets who resign in order to serve a mission.
It is not common to resign and reapply, but is not unheard of.

GEN Nicholson, commander of US Forces Afghanistan, resigned from the Class of 1979, graduated from Georgetown, and then was re-admitted at the point he left off and graduated as Class of 1982's Brigade Commander.
 
Cadets leave after two years because your military commitment doesn't start until your junior year at west point and those cadets decided west point isn't for them, or they are LDS and are leaving after two years to go serve a mission and will return when they finish.
FYI: even LDS cadets have to reapply after the 2 year mission. No guarantee of re-acceptance.
 

UHBlackhawk

Member
My point about the general I know was not necessarily about the specific case, but that it is sometimes tough to discern who will do well at a service academy and subsequently who will do well as an officer. And let's face it, few in each class will be blessed with the talent and luck to make general. Most will probably be pretty good company grade officers, but that's it. And there is no shame in that.
I've been around O-6 grads who talked about how much they loved their time at West Point, only to be reminded by their classmates that they hated every of it as a Cadet, but that time has softened their outlook. I've seen Cadets who needed a gentle push from a loved one to pick a service academy but then thrived once they arrived. I've seen others who only dreamed of West Point find upon their arrival that they made a big mistake. Ya never know.
 

jl123

Member
I've been around O-6 grads who talked about how much they loved their time at West Point, only to be reminded by their classmates that they hated every of it as a Cadet, but that time has softened their outlook.
Interesting how time can change memories.

Shortly after Ranger School graduation a classmate told me it wasn't that tough. He thought it would be more demanding. I looked at him and said, "Dude, two weeks ago we were in the swamps and you were crying like a p***y. "
 
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