Medical Separation 3 months to graduation

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by rollgoats18, Feb 18, 2018.

  1. rollgoats18

    rollgoats18 New Member

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    I am at a loss of what to do. I have just been told that I am being medically separated from the Naval Academy, and that I will not be able to graduate or commission. It has been my dream to become a Marine Pilot, and I was selected to do so at service assignment.

    However, because I sought help for depression, I have been found medically unqualified by the academy, and they are separating me. I have tried to fight this, but it seems that there is nothing I can do.

    They have given me five business days to check out, and I do not know how to deal with some of this stuff. Aside from losing my career, my dream, and my naval academy family, I feel like a complete and utter failure, and am entirely embarrassed and ashamed about my reason for being separated.

    I also have no idea what to do about a few other things, for example, my loan. As soon as I am separated, the interest rate sky rockets, and I don't have the ability to access most of what I saved from it. I also don't know if I can argue that the academy pay for any further schooling that I have, because they are kicking me out so close to graduation.

    Going home is incredibly anxiety-inducing as well-- thinking about answering questions from friends and family about why I am home is incredibly upsetting, and I do not know how I will handle the transition back into 'normal' life, seeing as no one in my family or community from home has ever been involved with the military.

    I would appreciate some guidance in this, and would gladly accept any insight anyone might have regarding this. Thank you very much.
     
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  2. DesertCaliMom

    DesertCaliMom Member

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    I have no advice for you but am proud of you for reaching out - initially and now.

    I've seen other posts here say you never lose your connection to your class. I really hope that rings true for you.

    I know others will have advice for you, but I wanted to let you know you're not alone.
     
  3. PlanAhead

    PlanAhead Member

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    I have no idea how to answer your question regarding your loan, but I just wanted to reach out and tell you that I am so sorry for your difficulties.

    I have always been dumbfounded by the military's view of mental health. If an individual *needs* help, *reaches out* for help, can *benefit* from help, have his/her life *transformed* by help, serve his/her country *better* as a result of getting help, somehow he/she is UNqualified to serve? I can only imagine how many young people just like you (probably around you!) who are afraid to get the help they so desperately need because of fear, and so they self-medicate with illicit substances or reckless behavior. So sad.

    Mental health problems are nothing to be ashamed of. You can't control whether or not you experience depression. What you CAN do is seek help for it, which you did. You are brave and wise for having done that, and that courage and wisdom will carry you far in life. I'm really proud of you.

    I know it seems that your world is crashing down around you right now. It is a loss, and a loss that deserves to be mourned. I won't tell you that it's not a big deal because it is a big deal. BUT...your story isn't over yet. Right now it seems like the end of the world, but it's really not. Take it from those who are older than you...sometimes life throws curve balls and you can't see how you'll make it, and yet you will. You'll get through this and you will thrive. You need to access some emotional and professional help to help you navigate the road ahead. A professional can even give you "talking points" for people who ask why you're home. I think mental health is far less stigmatized than it used to be. Heck, every other commercial on TV is for a depression med it! So you may find some great support and understanding from people who you never considered.

    In the end, you need to take this one step at a time. Don't try to look too far down the road to figure out how it's all going to work out. First, remember that you did the right thing, regardless of how it looks right now. Second, line up some mental and emotional support for yourself back home so that as soon as you get there you can start treatment and begin the transition to civilian life. Remember that your story isn't over. There's no telling what your future holds! If you could make it this far, then you have the brain, the grit, the character, and the chops to accomplish anything, even if it looks different than what you thought it would look like. Your future is bright...don't forget that.
     
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  4. THParent

    THParent Member

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    You didn't do anything wrong by seeking help for clinical depression.
    There has certainly been precedence set in the past in which firsties were allowed to graduate, but not commission.
    Not allowing you to graduate seems a bit harsh, to say the very least.
    My guess (and it's just that, a guess) is that we're not hearing the entire story, but I'm not in any way suggesting you tell it on this forum.
    This is an open forum and not private in any way. Anyone who searches for a few key words can read this thread, without being a member.

    My only advice is to talk to legal counsel and see if there is any chance that you could negotiate still being allowed to graduate.
    Your career in the Navy is over, but maybe you can salvage a bachelor's degree out of this.
    With this 5-day timeframe, it is a long shot however.
     
  5. random_name

    random_name Member

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    There are hundreds of thousands of sailors in the Navy and none of them can seek treatment for this? More than ever we need to work with ALL our military and their ongoing mental health when necessary. I cannot believe that there isn’t ANY job they could put this mid in considering the investment in time and money and so close to graduation. It sends the message to suffer in silence and not seek treatment.

    To the mid, you are NOT losing your career, dream or navy family. It seems like it now but that is simply NOT the case. I agree with the above posters. Meet or call a psychologist and they will give you the tools you need to address this when you return. People are focused on their own lives and won’t put too much thought into why you left the academy or navy. People make changes all the time, even big ones. Don’t be worried about what people say. Although it’s difficult to believe, that part will pass quickly. You will find your friends and community back home want the best for you and will support you.

    Get right back into your schooling. You have come this far so you obviously have what it takes to succeed out there. Break it into steps and don’t look too far ahead. Finish the degree and you will have MANY options as a career choice. My brother attended a service academy and was separated as well. His dreams had to change. He went on to finish his degree and had a very successful career. He can’t imagine his life any differently. ALL of us will have moments like this where we are handed big disappointments or life changes or setbacks. You will adapt like the rest of us have and will change course where you need to. I can tell you what I told myself during these times. It will all work out!

    And I agree with the above poster. If you haven’t I would seek legal counsel to at least receive your degree if possible.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
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  6. MMA19kid

    MMA19kid Banned

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    What'd you do with the loan? Technically the rate is supposed to go up to ~20%, but some people I know who were disenrolled were able to speak with the bank USAA/Navy Fed (whichever one you took) and they kept the interest rate.

    This is exactly what I was thinking. I feel like this might be depression coupled with some sort of harmful behavior to OP/other mids that they didn't want at USNA, hence the 5 business days. But 5 days is pretty standard for leaving after being disenrolled, so who knows. A mid at my school was diagnosed with cancer as a 2/C, and he's finishing up his engineering degree without a commission. It seems unlikely that depression got him/her disenrolled completely 3 months from graduation.
     
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  7. Kierkegaard

    Kierkegaard Member

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    You're getting screwed after working so hard for the last four years and for having the guts to be honest about what it is you're going through. That's not right. I agree that you should talk to an attorney to see if you have any options. You just completely dedicated yourself to the Navy for the past four years after they medically cleared you, and for them to kick you out now with nothing to show for it when they likely don't understand your situation at all, is very wrong indeed.
     
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  8. Ex.BT.USN

    Ex.BT.USN 5-Year Member

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    Rollgoats 18’,
    You took care of yourself with regard to depression. You did what you thought was important.

    Hold your head high you don’t owe anybody (family, friends etc) any explanation to your personal life.

    The debt....we have all been there. You will employ and you will start working it off. This will take time. There are some kids out there leaving college it much deeper debt.

    You will always keep your classmates close. Everybody moves on as will you. Keep in touch with them.

    You did nothing wrong; your hurting, it’s not going to be your last fall to earth. Although we do not understand your personal feelings and how this happened we can understand pain and a broken heart. The old saying stand true “time heals all wounds.”

    Stay in contact with the forum and advise on your experiences. You will be an added asset and you will feel good knowing that you helped some kid or parent taking a rough ride. I guess you could look at it as adding a positive to a really tough situation.

    As a father of 3 I can tell you I would be very proud to say you did it to whoever is asking. Any mature adult would think better than asking anything more. If they did well the response would be easy. It’s really not there business.

    Stay on the forum and help, I think you will find it rewarding.

    Cheers, your stronger than you think. Reach down deep and do not let this stop you from being a successful adult.
     
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  9. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    @rollgoats18

    I am sorry you find yourself in this situation. I hope you have been getting counseling. Look after your health, first and foremost. All else will work itself out eventually.

    It is unusual to not let a 1/c graduate, if not commissioning, for medical reasons, if they are otherwise sat and can physically do it.

    Working with what you have shared, and I DON’T encourage more details:

    Seek out a chaplain for support.

    As noted above, you can seek legal advice. If you google “service academy separation military lawyers,” that will bring up firms who specialize. They may or may not be open Monday. If you swap in “Naval Academy,” and add “Annapolis,” that pulls in a few more.

    You can also contact your MOC’s office from your home state. Have a factual, unemotional statement ready to go. I assume you would want to ask to stay and graduate, even if not commissionable. An inquiry from them may delay proceedings.

    Contact USAA or NFCU. Let them know what’s going on. Ask if you can keep the same rate of interest if you can make the payments. Is there a family member you can go to to negotiate an interest-free loan to cover repayment of your bank loan, with payments deferred until you can make them? Make it binding with a loan doc you can download, and don’t fail to honor it.

    You should have 7 semesters of transferable credits, less ProDev type classes. Finishing your degree should be doable in a year or so, depending on where you go. You’ll get a transcript.

    Research the veterans’ department website for your home state veterans’ benefits. I do not believe you are eligible for Federal DVA education benefits, but each state has its own rules for its own state veterans’ department or agency. You will have a DD-214, a form documenting your time and status in the Navy. Your state may have looser thresholds for eligibility.

    Lean on family and friends. Take care of yourself. Do all the things the docs have told you to do to keep yourself healthy.

    For those upset about the separation for mental health, the standards while in accession status are much higher. It’s very similar to DODMERB standards to get in; these are the pre-comm standards. That’s Service Academy, ROTC, OCS/OTC, etc. Post-accession, people on active duty get diagnosed with depression, and if they can manage it, and depending on their type of duty and specialty, they may be able to stay in. People can and do get separated or medically retired from AD if they don’t meet certain criteria. People have to be deployable and combat-ready. The military, at its core, is a utilitarian beast.
     
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  10. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO 5-Year Member

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    As others have indicated, there is probably more to the story...and this is not the proper forum for the rest of the story... Situations like this are rare, but they occur-- one of my Companymates had a breakdown right before graduation, and he didn't graduate with us.. Truth is, only a few knew the details and I only learned some of the story at our 3oth.

    First, I echo TH and CAPT MJ --take care of yourself first. This situation may aggravate an already difficult problem. Second, talk to a lawyer. I can't tell you the lawyer is going to be able do anything, but you owe it to yourself to ask-- You don't want to to question yourself for years to come. Do tell the lawyer the whole story-- he/she can't help you without all of the details. Finally, do keep in touch with your class. There is nothing dishonorable in leaving USNA for a medical /mental issue.

    Finally, for those that think this is "harsh" or the OP got "screwed". You need to keep in mind that this is a SERVICE Academy. It is not about how much effort the individual puts into it. USNA, and the Navy as a whole, will always make its decisions on what is in the best interest of the Navy. Decisions to separate a Midshipman are not taken lightly, particularly this close to graduation.
     
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  11. winemama18

    winemama18 Banned

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    *Link edited by moderator*

    Don't know if he can help, but it wouldn't hurt to use an experienced lawyer.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 18, 2018
  12. kp2001

    kp2001 10-Year Member

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    First post on the forum and it’s this.....hmmm
     
  13. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator 10-Year Member Founding Member

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    Good call. Situation remedied.

    Stealth_81
     
  14. swimmermama1

    swimmermama1 Member

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    graduation.



    I have some information that may help you, but I prefer to send it privately. You need 5 posts before I can do that.
     
  15. Joedoe

    Joedoe Member

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    I cannot elaborate but I know the post to be genuine. And yes, there is a little more to this than OP mentioned. Unfortunate situation.
     
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  16. kp2001

    kp2001 10-Year Member

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    My post was in reference to the advertisement that was put out by the person I quoted, not anything with the OP.
     
  17. Cerberi

    Cerberi Member

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    I would contact the Navy AOG - not certain of correct name. Grads have a great history of helping out grads or almost grads in your case.

    If you are in good standing they tend to be pretty helpful.
     
  18. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American 5-Year Member

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    Many late DQs are allowed to graduate but not commission. I can see why the military might not want a multimillion dollar war machine in the hands of someone with a history of depression. That said, you're treatable, and there are plenty of jobs you can do in the Navy.

    I'd call your congressman, your senators, the VP, and any one else that could exert pressure for you to graduate. It sounds like you deserve it.

    I can't see how booting you serves anyone's best interest right now.
     
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  19. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO 5-Year Member

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    [QUOTE="I'd call your congressman, your senators, the VP, and any one else that could exert pressure for you to graduate. It sounds like you deserve it. I can't see how booting you serves anyone's best interest right now.[/QUOTE]

    Someone confirmed there is more to the story......I would not recommend "writing the Congressman" until OP talks to a reputable attorney and determines what his/her rights are. I was a Squadron Legal Officer years ago, and have seen what happens when someone writes their Congressman, and can assure you that it doesn't help the situation. (Young Airman wrote her Congressman that she was being held in the brig "against her will" ... my initial draft response was " Dear Congressman __, most of the people in the brig are there against their will...", but the my much wiser Skipper made me draft a much more detailed explanation of why said Airman was in the brig !).
     
  20. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American 5-Year Member

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    Call 'em anyway. They are not doing much else these days.
     
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