need advice NOW (going to jail?)

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Bender, Jun 1, 2017.

  1. Bender

    Bender Member

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    Ill cut to the chase on this but it still might be a lengthy post...

    So I just finished my first year in Air Force ROTC in my California dream school and this last semester I have had a ton of difficulties, including dropping below full time enrollment because I was about to flunk my intro to aerospace engineering class, so I decided to drop the class and fall below full time status. I also ended with a 2.11 GPA. Because these are 2 conditional events my cadre told me my scholarship would be suspended unfortunately for the next semester. I take ownership for my actions here, and I will work my effing butt off to get a 4.0 gpa next semester to prove my worth again.

    So basically I surrounded myself with a bunch of "cool kids", who have been in fraternities and other exclusive orgs, and I was invited to join a fraternity which I will not name this past spring semester. I thought, hey! ill just do this frat stuff on the side and focus on rotc mainly and also keep my grades somewhat, but little did I know things would not be like that...

    Now... i dont know if you are familiar with the term "hazing", but there was a lot of it. A LOT. Countless bottles and cases of beer they forced us to drink in a certain amount of time and several times they would call us out to the house at 2 - 3 AM, strip us of our clothes, and force us to do calisthenics while electric shocking us in various parts of our bodies. the night before my PFA, as they knew I was in ROTC and had a big test tomorrow, they made us wear this weird padding then bear crawl on broken glass, causing cuts on my torso. They would line us up and shoot us at point blank range with paintball guns while we yelled the fraternities creed, vision, and colors in the name of brotherhood. one time they even dragged me out of my bed, blindfolded me, and threw me in the back of a truck, put a bulletproof vest on me and "shot" me with a pistol.. i later learned that it was just the sounds of a firecracker but I was screaming and crying so hard I could not tell honestly what had happened.

    SO... during our final week (hell week), they subjected us to even MORE things that I would not like to say, but I ended up in a park at 4 AM near campus, and they had us smoking weed at that time. and a police officer was conveniently doing a check up/patrol on the area. They noticed the smell of weed and had us written up as we were all underage. I havent appeared in court yet to argue my case, I dont know if I am going to jail or not... to be honest I am just so scared (i havent told my parents about this or anything) but I was wondering what this meant for my career in the military.

    I am a good kid, just caught up in some unfortunate events. The weed smoking was forced as they had a belt and would whip the pledges who did not comply to their orders.
     
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  2. Vanderdonk

    Vanderdonk New Member

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    You need to tell your parents. You probably also need to tell your cadre and get a lawyer.

    Hazing sucks! I would love to know what school this is.

    Good luck
     
  3. NavyNOLA

    NavyNOLA Member

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    There is a zero tolerance policy for drug use. As in....no tolerance. Your excuse that it was "forced" doesn't mean a darn thing. You were free to quit that (seemingly absurd) organization at any time and walk away. You instead made a choice to stay and take part in things you know are illegal. I have no sympathy.

    All you can do is tell your staff at this point. It probably won't save you, but if you don't tell them they'll find out anyways and then you're DEFINITELY toast.
     
  4. BTCS/USN

    BTCS/USN Member

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    Not to be harsh sounding but your military career is probably the last thing that should be on your mind about now. Dropping a class because you might fail it doesn't show an ability to overcome adversity, underage drinking and pot usage doesn't display good judgement regardless of the reasons, failure to notify your parents, your cadre doesn't show ownership of your actions despite your acknowledgement of them on a forum while anonymous and lack of a plan of action and milestones to correct deficiencies doesn't display maturity in a plan to get back on track. Overall, unless the military has become a lot more forgiving than I remember, that career path is probably no longer in your future either as an officer or enlisted. I may be totally wrong but if it were me, I would focus on getting my priorities straightened out, ask for help from whatever source was available to me to get out of this mess and spend some serious self reflection on what's salvageable and how to move on from here to succeed along another course.
     
  5. brovol

    brovol Member

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    You made choices. YOU made choices. I didn't hear you say that "they" held a gun to your head during all of these events. A high character person identifies the situation well before the hazing begins and has the fortitude to reject that crap before it begins, and certainly well before it escalated to criminal conduct. You need to be secure enough in who you are that you don't need a group of idiots "accepting" you into their college-stupidity-cult. This is on you brother. You continued to desire all of that, and affirmatively chose to participate until the foreseeable consequences of your conscious decisions came to full fruition.

    Accept the fact that your ROTC option is gone, learn from the lessons, determine your new options, and go forward with the experience in the bank, making more productive choices in the future. It's called maturity. Once you have if life gets easier.
     
  6. 1mom

    1mom Member

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    Bender, you need to sit and look at yourself in the mirror and think hard of how and what you want for your future. Be true to yourself while you are thinking. Afterwards, sit down with your cadre and fill him or her in with all that had happened. Then, accept the repercussions like an adult.
    The military should not be in your future plans due to your poor decision making skills. How can you lead if you cannot make good decisions? Poor decisions can and will jeopardize any mission.
    As for your civilian path, you will need to shift gears, square yourself away, and do well in college. I think you still have a chance for a decent future.
     
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  7. billyb

    billyb 5-Year Member

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    This is a little harsh. The "kid" (probably 19 YO) made some stupid decisions and the military is probably not an option anymore, but if he learns from his mistake, cleans up his act he can go on to do great things.

    It's a tough lesson, but life is a marathon and not a sprint. Although the military might not be an option, you can still do about anything you want with your life.

    Face your mistakes straight on and move forward. You will be fine as long as you learn from your actions.
     
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  8. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator 5-Year Member

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    You probably are a good kid. However when you swore a oath to the Constitution, you no longer could afford to think like a "kid."

    When you accrued 2 CE's, the time for fun and games was over. The kid in you decided to pledge a frat when you were in a fight for your military future.

    My advice is similar to the others. Be straight up. Own what you did, and buckle down and move on.

    If this is a first time deal, I am doubtful that you are looking at jail time. However I would doubt your detachment will allow you any more chances.

    You do have an opportunity to finish your degree and contribute to society in countless other ways. The military is unfortunately a highly unlikely path now.

    Good luck to you.

    P.S.
    If you just finished your first year, you are fortunate that you won't have to pay back your scholarship and stipend money.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2017
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  9. Pima

    Pima 10-Year Member

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    I am sorry, but I have to agree with the other posters...the military is probably not a good path for you. With every step you chose you and your desires over your military commitment as an AFROTC cadet. The cliche SERVICE before SELF exists for a reason.

    Yes I understand you are maybe only 19, but the thing is when you accepted that scholarship you also knew MJ use is a HUUUUGGGE NO NO. You had the chance to walk away, but due to peer pressure you chose the frat over your AFROTC scholarship. You chose to follow instead of leading.

    This is not only a learning point in your life, but also a turning point. The best people I know all faced a hardship at sometime in their life. What made them the best was they took the hit, accepted the blame and decided that from that day on they would be better. That is where you are at now. It is up to you to be the adult and say I was wrong, I accept my punishment and will never be in that place again, or you can say I got shafted, blame the frat, blame AFROTC for pulling your chance to become an officer.

    My very best wishes for a great future.

    Xposted with AROTC dad. I would add one thing to his post. I get you are a kid, but let's be real...there are millions of 18 yr old KIDS in the military right now defending this great nation. Now think about how your situation would play out if you were AD and caught smoking MJ. Can you spell DISHONORABLE DISCHARGE? Getting cut from AFROTC and loss of scholarship is no biggie when you compare it to the 19 yo ADAF. Have you ever looked at the questions for an employment application?
    ~ Have you ever served in the military? If so, what was your discharge? Dishonorable basically = no job offer for the rest of your life.

    That KID at the exact same age as you are right now would be worrying about a lot more than you. It would be luggage they would carry for the rest of your life. You on the other hand may have to go 70K more in debt for college, and not serve, but still will be able to move on with your life. I am with others I highly doubt you will get jail time, unlike that 18 yo ADAF E2.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2017
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  10. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    When I read the OP's post, I had some of the same thoughts as NavyNOLA, BTCS/USN and brovol - at any point, you could have walked away. I know the social pressure is enormous, and the prospect of shaming and ridicule on social media makes it seem like a "can't" situation, but you did, and do, have choices.

    Figure out what's most important in this situation, clear the decks of anything that can create obstacles, act in support of goals that move you forward. First things first: your education, your ROTC status. They are the long poles in your tent. Every action you take going forward should be in support of those goals.

    I did see dawning self-realization in your words, that your choices led you to this situation, and poor decision-making played a major role. You have landed yourself in a mess, so dig deep and figure out what it will take to get out of it. If that means walking away from people, activities and organizations that are not positive influences in your life, that's what you do. Know the difference between "can't" and "don't wanna."

    Harden up and ignore the opinions and comments of those who want to divert you from a chosen path. Having the courage to choose well despite popular opinion, and do the right thing - bedrock skills of leadership.

    Who do you want to be? A stand-up guy who has principles, standards and goals, and the self-confidence to ignore, go over, around or through obstacles? Be that guy. You will feel much better about yourself.
     
  11. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

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    I hope every kid headed off to college in a few months would read this post and thread.
     
  12. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006 10-Year Member

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    I'd say you've hurt your chances by the decisions you've made and the people you've associated with.
     
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  13. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    Yes!

    This is the first step on a path to flawed thinking and poor decision-making:

    "I'm a good kid, just caught up in some unfortunate events."

    It's the second phrase, the looking at the situation as a passive event, that is the key. He did not "get caught up," as if by some unseen and irresistible force. The "events" were predictable. He knew the choices. He made his choices. He did not walk away. As to being forced to smoke weed, if he had the physical ability to stand up and walk out of the room where that was happening, he was not forced. Pressured, maybe, not only by the frat brothers, but by his own desire to conform with a social group. He is stewing in juice of his own making, but he has made a start on self-assessment and thinking about how he got there.

    As Hoops said, for everyone headed off to college, or SA, read this and think about what's really important and having the inner strength to act in accordance with your inner moral compass when the social pressure kicks in.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2017
  14. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt 5-Year Member

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    OP: its time to man up, take ownership of your actions, and accept the punishment.

    "Adversity does not build character, it reveals it." James Lane Allen

    This will be a test of your character and it's time to build on what appears to be a weak foundation.

    Pima: Having led Marine Company and Platoons filled with 17-19 year olds, its fair to say that there is no end of stupid things they do.
     
  15. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Grunt, I am sure we could tell stories for hours about stuff our young Marines did. Oh man, they got inventive!
     
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  16. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt 5-Year Member

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    :lolatyou: For sure!
     
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  17. golfindad

    golfindad Member

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    You are not going to jail. But, to answer the question of what you need to do. First, hire a criminal lawyer to work on the charges, and work toward having the charges dismissed or plead down to a dismissal in a couple months time. Then, you need to get yourself a second lawyer, for the civil cause of action you have against the university, fraternity and fraternity members. If the facts are as you state, it is worth the discussion. So, you suck it up, change the lifestyle, get your grades back up, have the charges taken care of, and go back to rotc and work it out.
     
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  18. Thunderbolt462

    Thunderbolt462 5-Year Member

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    As someone who is in a fraternity as well as AFROTC, you should have dropped the moment they started doing stuff like electric shocks. In today's world, Greek like is under a microscope and anything like that will eventually come out in the future and get that organization kicked off campus and you'll be involved in the investigation. As for them threatening to beat you (which is illegal and unacceptable) if you didn't smoke, assuming you told them you are in AFFROTC and can get drug tested and lose your scholarship, you absolutely should have left. They are forcing you to choose the fraternity over ROTC and in choosing to stay, you accepted the choice they made for you. We have several cadets in my det in Greek life (myself included), and all their organizations completely understand that ROTC takes priority and don't force any cadet pledges to do anything of that nature. It all boils down to the fact that they need you more than you need them, and you shouldn't give your time or money to a group that treats you that way. Unfortunately, you will need to inform your cadre now, otherwise, they will find out your AS300 year when they do your security clearance and then you will have to pay back three years of scholarship money plus the consequence of lying to a federal investigator. You're not going to go to jail for a first offense of smoking weed, but your future in the program is not looking good to put it gently. I'm sorry you had to learn this difficult lesson about standing up for what you believe in this way.
     
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  19. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    Extraordinarily valuable input from a peer in the same environment. Superb comment. BZ, as we say in the Navy!
     
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  20. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    I too expect your military career, such as it was, is over. However, you should report it to your cadre and throw yourself on the mercy of the court. You have nothing to lose there.

    If you are unable to stay in a ROTC program then I say screw it, stick with those fun and wacky guys in the fraternity, to hell with classes, and live for the moment.... as long as Mom, Dad, and the bank will keep paying for that failing education. What the hell, life is over anyway. Who wants to support yourself, let alone a wife and kids? I'm sure the frat brothers will take care of you in your old age.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2017
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