10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Jun 3, 2008

I tried marijuana about two years ago. I only did it once and realize it was one of the biggest mistakes of my life. I was wondering if this will disqualify me for joining ROTC, I realize what I did was stupid but it also was a good learning experience teaching me that I should never compromise my values and doing so is not a good decision.

Thanks for your time,
Based on your statement in your posting, you would NOT be disqualified for ROTC, either by DoDMERB or administratively by any ROTC program.

Just remember that one can do the same thing with alcohol, too. Be careful. :smile:
Also, be completely honest in your paperwork from here on out. This is important.
The key will be complete and open honesty about the use as above. The programs you are interested in are looking for habitual and chronic use. Not somebody who made a mistake and learned from it.
The key will be complete and open honesty about the use as above. The programs you are interested in are looking for habitual and chronic use. Not somebody who made a mistake and learned from it.

True, but to be safe let's cover all the bases...

Jello admits to having tried the stuff two years ago and having learned from it. Perfect. If he's honest he'll have no problems.

However, the more recent the use, the less impressive the claim that one has learned. If I used it last week and realized "it was a mistake", it carries less weight than years between the present and the last use.

Also, while the programs are definitely looking for habitual/chronic use (and perhaps how recently), it must be stressed that if it is found in your system JUST ONCE after you are in uniform, YOU WILL BE GONE.

I served on the review board for a guy who popped positive, and processed several others. They were all enlistedmen. NONE survived. If they won't tolerate it among junior sailors, just imagine how they will treat a Mid/Cadet/Officer.

I saw many fellow Mids be stupid and think they could get away with it. They didn't.

The services are serious about drugs. I remember the crash and fire aboard the USS NIMITZ back in the early 80's, when the investigation revealed a bunch of guys on the flight deck had been doing drugs. IIRC, it even extended to a few in the airwing. Heads rolled after that, and it's been like that ever since. You can't lead men in battle or in dangerous environments such as flight ops, UNREPs, or submarine ops if you're stoned.
Same w/ the alcohol...DS stated he had used alcohol in the previous 12 months. There was a blank for explanations. He wrote that he had taken a 3 week trip to Europe and he was of legal age to partake. There were no problems. Unless one is visiting the Netherlands, however, no such story will fly about marijuana use.
To bend off the op's original topic alittle, If more appointees were aware that they were going to be drug tested within that first week or even day one of showing up at their Academies, a few of them would keep themselves in check & away from the dark-side type going away parties. Not trying to use scare tactics on appointees who might be lurking here but every year we hear the stories about how kids popped positive & were sent home. For good. Game over. An error in judgment at a time like this really could stop dreams dead in their tracks. Even while at the Academies, random drug testing occurs. My kid had to tell them that he couldn't take it once as he was on pain meds for just having had his wisdom pulled the day before. They re-scheduled him that very day, giving him time to be off the meds.

Thanks for posting with such honesty Jello. You never know how many others might just learn something through your experiences.

I gotta know.... are you red or orange? :biggrin:
And just to let you know, once you're in (either the academies or in active duty), the random checks WILL NOT STOP. Expect to have one at least once a year. I just had to report to the clinic on base last week to give a urine sample myself! The way it works at my base, they pull a random number each month; everyone on base with a SSN ending in that number now has to report to the clinic to give a sample.

And on a further side note, checking for steriod use has become a "hot issue". We had a young E-2 "escorted" to the disciplinary barracks (i.e. JAIL) at Camp Lejuen a few months ago because he tested positive for them.

BL: Is that few hours of "fitting in" and "having fun", or the ability to gain a couple more centimeters on your bicep and do a few more curls, really worth losing your dream over? Let you "friends" know that you will be checked for this if you need an excuse to avoid it. Most will understand. The others who tease you about it? Well, they can come see you in your service dress at your commissioning in a few years, while they're still being yelled at by their parents to move out of the basement. :smile:
Any anecdotes about the use of anabolic steroids?

I have never used nor do I plan on using steroids, but I'm just curious because I know that police departments have similar zero tolerance drug policies yet many turn a blind eye to steroid use.
Second (or fourth) what everyone above has said. There has not been a "second chance" policy for drugs since the days I was a mid. You pop positive and you're gone. Random, unannounced testing is/was common -- especially after long WEs. Sometimes it was one SSN. Once, when I was at USNA, it was every single mid. The "one mistake" prior to attending a SA is likely ok; the "one mistake" once you're in the military is the end of your career in a way that won't make finding a civilian job any easier.

In my day, the military (and society) was more tolerant of alcohol abuse than today (of course, we could drink beer at 18 so somewhat of a different issue at USNA than today). In the old days, if you didn't injure someone and didn't make a nuisance of yourself in public, you could get away with quite a bit in terms of drinking.

That is not the case today. Far too many incidents at USNA (alleged rape, DUIs, accidents, etc.) are related to alcohol use and there is little or no tolerance for underage drinking or excessive drinking when of age. I'm not sure what the punishment is today (dismissal or a SEVERE punishment) but, trust me, you don't want to find out.

This is but one example of the differences of life in the military and life at a civilian college.
I will second the comments about the drinking. If it is not legal for you to drink in your state or where ever you are visiting DO NOT do it. A former commander of mine was discharged from AFA for underaged drinking and distribution to minors. Regardless of her side of the story, it was a stupid thing to do and she has really lost her way since it happened. The simple solution is to "live right" and avoid the things you know will give you trouble, there will be plenty of trouble around in ROTC/academy/active duty life, don't bring any on yourself.
Drugs and alcohol

Okay...serious subject.

The AF views illegal drug use as totally contrary to military service and goes to GREAT, EXPENSIVE lengths to rid itself of ANYONE that doesn't agree. If you use, even once; you don't agree.

The drugs right now that are the MOST common at military courts martial? Ecstasy! Yep, really. Then marijuana, and then the others.

The "light" punishment? Bad-conduct discharge and some fine/jail time.

For an officer? DEATH...well, almost anyway. Dismissal (read: felony conviction) from service. An officer is always always always held to a higher standard.

At the AFA?

Expect to be treated like a junior officer.

DoD medical standards for appointment, enlistment, and induction (used by DoDMERB to determine which applicants MEET or do NOT MEET medical accession {entrance} standards), specify that a current history of alcohol and/or drug dependence and/or alcohol and/or drug abuse is disqualifying. The Service Secretaries shall authorize the waiver of standards in individual cases for applicable reasons and ensure uniform waiver determinations.