Medical Separation: Deciding Between USMA and ROTC Scholarship - One Additional Consideration

UHBlackhawk

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Hopefully the new Supe will be more accommodating to medical separations, and less accommodating for cheaters. Is there a chance once installed you could appeal to him directly?
The current Supe did not institute the rules applied during the last cheating scandal. The previous Supe instituted those policies. The rules have since been tightened up.
 

Walman888

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Hopefully the new Supe will be more accommodating to medical separations, and less accommodating for cheaters. Is there a chance once installed you could appeal to him directly?
GEN Williams inherited many of the rules and policies he was mandated to operate under. He changed several of them at his first opportunity so the same outcomes would not be repeated.
 

DDmom

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The current Supe did not institute the rules applied during the last cheating scandal. The previous Supe instituted those policies. The rules have since been tightened up.
He let football players play that cheated and did not decide their fate until after the end of the football season. He had the final say on each and the football players were given leniency. He was also the final say in no golden handshake, all I'm saying is there is a new supe coming in and maybe he will see things differently.
 

Heatherg21

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Yes, this a thread that began and continues to be about "INVOLUNTARY separation." These cadets want to continue to serve despite a potential medical disqualification. When my cadet used to report being told in formations that there were no longer going to be "golden handshakes" for medically disqualified cadets, I thought it was a threat. Now I think that it was meant to be a warning of an overzealous administration that was looking for medical disqualifications to even out the numbers for protected cadets who were being brought back such as the football players in the recent cheating scandal. What I'm learning in and outside of this forum is not convincing me otherwise.
This is just awful. I have followed this thread and it is horrible. Your son’s case deserved more individual attention. A blanket policy should not be employed. And if the cheaters are still there while those who followed the honor code are drummed out to make the numbers work is actually happening—- I’m disgusted.
 

Charlene711

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Yes, this a thread that began and continues to be about "INVOLUNTARY separation." These cadets want to continue to serve despite a potential medical disqualification. When my cadet used to report being told in formations that there were no longer going to be "golden handshakes" for medically disqualified cadets, I thought it was a threat. Now I think that it was meant to be a warning of an overzealous administration that was looking for medical disqualifications to even out the numbers for protected cadets who were being brought back such as the football players in the recent cheating scandal. What I'm learning in and outside of this forum is not convincing me otherwise.
My son told me the same. Whether they are truly trying to keep those involved (i.e., football players) in, say, the recent drug overdose incident and, less recently, the cheating scandal, is certainly discussed among cadets (though stated as fact by my son). However, this is the same Superintendent who, as I recall, said football is king. My son doesn't play football, so it seems he's not considered as important. Maybe just speculation, but it just takes a little observation sometimes.
 
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Charlene711

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This is just awful. I have followed this thread and it is horrible. Your son’s case deserved more individual attention. A blanket policy should not be employed. And if the cheaters are still there while those who followed the honor code are drummed out to make the numbers work is actually happening—- I’m disgusted.
It is certainly a very difficult life lesson that things are not always fair and leaders do not always do the right thing. it is frustrating for me to see leaders not abiding by the same Creed they teach the cadets - such as, to do the harder right rather than the easier wrong. My son and I continue to do the harder right by fighting this to the end. I have always taught them to have courage and do what is right even when it is difficult. It is sad when those who are leading do not do the same. At least that's what it seems like from my perspective.
 

Charlene711

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Capt MJ, nice and reasoned post.

But as we know, what is prioritized is funded. As the top WP lawyer told my former JAG lawyer, "WP is just being a good steward of taxpayer money" when it expeditiously and without "due process (not my wording but the words used, off the record, of a currently serving classmate who is a JAG general officer)" separated a cadet who could not be commissioned. My lawyer's retort was to say (and it was at this time that the US had just withdrawn) that he understood being a good steward of taxpayer money "just as we did with the $50 billion of equipment abandoned in Afghanistan!" Given my cadet was carried on the West Point roles until ten weeks before graduation, the extra cost of allowing a senior to graduate would be the extra meals at the mess hall. Given the cuts in that mess hall budget (ask any cadet) over the last three years, that wouldn't have amounted to much extra cost.

I can tell you from personal experience that it would not take extra federal funds to have the USMA Dean and his staff work out articulation agreements with a few top universities that would be willing to accept separated senior (and perhaps other classes) of cadets who have had military and physical education classes frontloaded (in lieu of classes in their respective majors) and have an expeditious route established for these cadets to finish their degrees in a reasonable time period without the delay of having their transcripts evaluated on a case by case basis. I can cite one example where there was a two-month delay just because we couldn't get an answer to a question posed from a perspective university. The West Point registrar's office never responded to the question concerning the actual grade associated with a plus/minus grade that West Point used. An articulation agreement would iron out these difficulties in advance.

Finally, having an extra liaison at West Point to facilitate the interest of "ABC" agencies who might want to employ senior cadets who already have a secret clearance and are soon (with an articulation agreement in place) to be graduated, as my cadet was in a stem field with applications to national security, wouldn't entail major expenditures and would allow a recoupment of said taxpayer dollars. My cadet was willing to obligate to serve the commitment made. Now, as it stands, my medically retired cadet has all of the benefits of a twenty-year veteran and is starting a position with a major firm in cyber operations which does not work directly with the federal government. This is potential and expertise now lost to the federal government. The old story of "penny wise and pound foolish."
Wow. So much for saving money on high risk individuals! Unbelievable - and yet not. In a previous post I mentioned the same thing about a liaison and some kind of discharge process to connect medically separated cadets with other colleges so they can finish their education smoothly. And the fact that your child got separated 10 weeks before graduation is just wrong and should never have happened (IMHO).
 

DDmom

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It is certainly a very difficult life lesson that things are not always fair and leaders do not always do the right thing. it is frustrating for me to see leaders not abiding by the same Creed they teach the cadets - such as, to do the harder right rather than the easier wrong. My son and I continue to do the harder right by fighting this to the end. I have always taught them to have courage and do what is right even when it is difficult. It is sad when those who are leading do not do the same. At least that's what it seems like from my perspective.
keep fighting
 

Classof83

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As a high-ranking member of the USMA administration privately told my cadet, "I'm glad you fought back." As has been the case with every grad I've been in contact with, no one supports the separation without graduation of these senior cadets, apparently not even members of the command.

With my petition to the West Point Board of Visitors, I'm continuing the fight for future medically disqualified cadets. Charlene711, I hope you continue the fight as well.
 

Charlene711

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As a high-ranking member of the USMA administration privately told my cadet, "I'm glad you fought back." As has been the case with every grad I've been in contact with, no one supports the separation without graduation of these senior cadets, apparently not even members of the command.

With my petition to the West Point Board of Visitors, I'm continuing the fight for future medically disqualified cadets. Charlene711, I hope you continue the fight as well.
I have always been a fighter and taught my three sons to do the same. We fight to the end. even if my son's discharge is not overturned, I want to push back on this unjustified medical separation for the benefit of future cadets.
 
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Charlene711

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Seems odd that he made it through DODMERB with full disclosure of the prior skin condition. Apparently it acted up badly enough to go on sick call, and has now been determined to be severe enough of a condition to force medical separation.
There may be an appeal process worth looking into.
I would suggest refraining from bringing up other Cadets and future Cadets into the conversation. It won’t help your cause.
You are correct in that his future is in God’s hands….
Best of luck!
He went to dermatologist because of dandruff and itchy scalp. It had zero to do with any childhood condition. He was misdiagnosed out of either ignorance or convenience. A Harvard expert and educator in the disorder who thoroughly examined him, said exactly that and cleared him, saying he was completely healthy and able to deploy under any circumstance. I will bring up the treatment of other cadets because it is germaine to the issue. Football players and other athletes get the golden handshake because, as Supe said, "Football is king." He wants to retain football players and star athletes and not others. One can say that is just conjecture, but as they say, actions speak louder than words. These unjustified medical separations are wrong and must be addressed.
 

Charlene711

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As a high-ranking member of the USMA administration privately told my cadet, "I'm glad you fought back." As has been the case with every grad I've been in contact with, no one supports the separation without graduation of these senior cadets, apparently not even members of the command.

With my petition to the West Point Board of Visitors, I'm continuing the fight for future medically disqualified cadets. Charlene711, I hope you continue the fight as well.
What do you mean by petition? As in 'request' or as in a collection of signatures?
 

Classof83

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As explained above, i've made these recommendations:

1. Medical separation process be made more transparent, and
2. Medically separated cadets who would have had a service obligation receive an opportunity to serve outside the military.

As we know, why decision were made in our cases were puzzling and not apparent. To get answers, we had to engage a law firm and we still had to guess what was going on. The medical separation process needs to be brought out into the light including who is being granted the "Golden Handshake" and why others are not.
 

GratefulDad2023

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Having been assigned at WP/KACH from 1982-1986, I saw a few folks go both ways, after injury or diagnosis. The most profound was a team, cyclist, who ran into loose gravel out by Buckner...lost control...camed down vertically on a guard rail abuctment ...even though a helmet was used, still required a crainiotomy. Had significant effects. Was ermitted to graduate, but not commission. Don't know what the link was, but Malcolm Forbes offreed her a position in NYC after graduation. Having been assigned @ USAFA for the past 30 years, seen both here, also, though I'm removed from most of the direct details here.

Based on your post, I'm "presuming" it was a condition, not an injury, and the onset occurred "at" WP...versus Exisited Prior to Admission?
Larry, how can I reach out to you regarding a possible USMA separation situation I'm dealing with?
 

GratefulDad2023

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As explained above, i've made these recommendations:

1. Medical separation process be made more transparent, and
2. Medically separated cadets who would have had a service obligation receive an opportunity to serve outside the military.

As we know, why decision were made in our cases were puzzling and not apparent. To get answers, we had to engage a law firm and we still had to guess what was going on. The medical separation process needs to be brought out into the light including who is being granted the "Golden Handshake" and why others are not.
Would you recommend the law firm you engaged? If so, would you be willing to share their contact info? Thanks
 

GratefulDad2023

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Good afternoon, would anyone on this thread be willing to suggest a lawyer or a law firm that I should consult with regarding an involuntary separation my son may be facing? It should clearly be a medical separation but is not being treated as such.
 

Capt MJ

Formerly Known As Attila The Hunnette
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There are practices which specialize in military discharges, SA separations, ROTC disenrollments, ROTC and SA scholarship and cost recoupments, as well as conduct and criminal proceedings. Many will do a no-fee initial consultation. Look for ones with established firms, with former JAGs on staff. They know how to navigate the system, what’s negotiable, and what is not.

You can google using this search string:
“Military JAG law firms service academy cadet involuntary separation”

You want ones experienced with the DoD service academies, USMA, USAFA, USAFA, since involuntary separations can be academic, military performance, honor, PE, medical, misconduct, criminal, and DoD policy informs inifividual Service and service academy policies.
 
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Charlene711

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Seems odd that he made it through DODMERB with full disclosure of the prior skin condition. Apparently it acted up badly enough to go on sick call, and has now been determined to be severe enough of a condition to force medical separation.
There may be an appeal process worth looking into.
I would suggest refraining from bringing up other Cadets and future Cadets into the conversation. It won’t help your cause.
You are correct in that his future is in God’s hands….
Best of luck!
What is odd is that they are making it into an issue now when they never questioned it before. But moreover, they are making it something it is not bc it suits their purpose. It was not considered by DODMERB bc it is a non-issue. My son has no health problems period, from any childhood condition or anything else - as was proven beyond a doubt by the Harvard medical expert who thoroughly examined him.
 

Classof83

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Gratefuldad2023, I'm sorry to hear that about your son.

The law firm we engaged was made up of former JAG officers but they did not specialize in ROTC/Service Academies. They engaged quickly with the senior legal officer at WP. They relayed to us that the command was "highly supportive" of allowing my cadet to graduate given the short time to graduation, etc., as long as we could provide evidence of medical stability. Our board certified specialist confirmed that my cadet was "remarkably" in control of the condition. The Superintendent requested that my cadet apply for reinstatement. My cadet was even scheduled for classes. Then one word: "No."

Our lawyers were astonished. In my opinion, I feel that the WP medical authorities made the decision to recommend separation four days after the initial diagnosis and despite the "remarkable" control of the condition, they never changed their mind. We saw in the MEB/PEB that they slammed my cadet, making the condition seem much worse than it was, quite similar it appears to Charlene711's case. As mentioned in previous posts, I've seen several cases like this now where a medical condition is portrayed in a much more negative light.

Ultimately, we weren't successful. Given hindsight, I side with Capt MJ's suggestion to go with a law firm that specialize in SA separations, etc. I think experience in this field would have led to a more realistic assessment of the situation. There are a few of these firms advertised and you should find them with a quick search.
 
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