Nine cadets pulled from graduation ceremony

Maplerock

Proud to be an American
5-Year Member
What a heartbreak for these kids and their families. Was it a last minute thing? Were all these families in the stadium waiting, only to find out their cadet wouldn't graduate? I'm sure the academy had good reason, but feeling bad, especially for those loved ones expecting a graduation. Anyone know what happened?
 

NavyHoops

Super Moderator
5-Year Member
Wow! That is a lot. I mean when I was at USNA there was always 1-2 firsties who had either done something stupid and were awaiting last minute adjudication or a football player trying to pass the PRT after losing 75 lbs (I believe USNA has done a much better job at this since my day and it seems to be a non-factor now). Be curious to hear what the heck happened!
 

Stealth_81

Super Moderator
10-Year Member
Founding Member
There are always a few who don't check off all the requirements at the last minute, even though they know what they have to do. The press release from USAFA said that they were all held out for various reasons.

The best known of the 9 is Jalen Robinette who is the football player that was kept out of the NFL draft by the new guidance from Sec Def on graduates serving their commitment before going into pro sports. To me it appears that it may be a ploy on his part to get out of his commitment. If he doesn't graduate and is required to pay back his education, he then gets out the commitment and can go pro right away. He can pay back the education cost with his signing bonus.

Stealth_81
 

Capri120

Parent
The Denver post says about the same as Stealth_81:

http://www.denverpost.com/2017/05/24/air-force-jalen-robinette-graduation-review/

"Robinette, Air Force’s all-time leading receiver who became the face of a U.S. Department of Defense policy shift during the NFL draft, was not among the 979 cadets to walk during the Academy’s graduation ceremony Wednesday morning. In a statement released to the Denver Post, Ray Bowden, a spokesman in the public affairs office for the Academy, said Robinette’s eligibility and qualification to graduate is under review."

"According to the Academy, nine senior cadets were removed from the graduation lineup “for a variety of reasons” and their graduation and commissioning will be placed on hold, as well, as it evaluates each situation."
 

Capri120

Parent
I'm not sure this as unusual or ominous as it sounds. Nearly every year, there are a handful of cadets that have not completed ALL of their graduation requirements by the May graduation date and are held over as cadets for a few months until they do. As evident in the Academic calendar, there are graduations after each 3-week summer session as well as in December.

Example (based on Falcon newsletter numbers), for the class of 2016, there were still seven 2016 cadets still listed in the "Cadet Wing strength" as of 30 September 2016. This number slowly decreased over the Fall 2016 semester until it was zero by the end of January 2017.

I would also suspect that this possibility/probability of not being in the May graduation line-up was not a total surprise to most of the 9 cadets.
 

AFrpaso

USAFA Alumnus
5-Year Member
They were not pulled during the actual ceremony. It was not as last minute as the title of this thread makes it seem.
 

Maplerock

Proud to be an American
5-Year Member
They were not pulled during the actual ceremony. It was not as last minute as the title of this thread makes it seem.
Here is one of multiple reports I read;

"Removed from the graduation lineup after academy leadership became aware of information"

That sounds like last minute to me.
 

Capri120

Parent
I guess it depends on which definition of lineup you want to use:
1) list of names to participate (which could have been made several weeks earlier)
2) people standing in a line for some event (last minute)

I truly suspect that if Robinette had not been one of the nine, there would have been no news story or reports to catch anyone's attention.
 

NavyHoops

Super Moderator
5-Year Member
USNA is the same. Usually a handful of two who graduate after the summer session. Usually 2-3 folks who graduate in Dec after their classmates. Heck USNA will hold a graduation on Monday or Tuesday next week to commission the athletes competing this week such as lacrosse, crew and anyone else. I agree the language and details behind this would really drive how dramatic or not this really was.
 

USAFA10s

USAFA Class of 2012 Kirtland, AFB
10-Year Member
At USAFA a common reason is failing Astro, a notoriously challenging class that is often in the last semester and a grad requirement. Those that fail take it again the first summer quarter hence the summer graduation. Also occasionally due to injuries, there are PE requirements that have not been met. I don't thinks these nine are any different than the usual cases (with the exception of possibly Robinette).
 

flieger83

Super Moderator
10-Year Member
There are always a few who don't check off all the requirements at the last minute, even though they know what they have to do. The press release from USAFA said that they were all held out for various reasons.

The best known of the 9 is Jalen Robinette who is the football player that was kept out of the NFL draft by the new guidance from Sec Def on graduates serving their commitment before going into pro sports. To me it appears that it may be a ploy on his part to get out of his commitment. If he doesn't graduate and is required to pay back his education, he then gets out the commitment and can go pro right away. He can pay back the education cost with his signing bonus.

Stealth_81
Disclaimer: I KNOW NOTHING other than my opinion.

IF it were shown that a cadet did something to renege on their commitment, or simply didn't meet the standards required, in my day: they were enlisted as E-4 and went to serve a full enlistment. I ran into a former classmate of mine when I was in RTU...I was filing a flight plan, and he came up to take it: we both did a double take. He had failed a couple classes at the end of our senior year...they booted him.

It will be interesting to see what happened; my "guess" is that this is academically induced.

Steve
USAFA ALO
USAFA '83
 

AFrpaso

USAFA Alumnus
5-Year Member
Here is one of multiple reports I read;

"Removed from the graduation lineup after academy leadership became aware of information"

That sounds like last minute to me.
Well, seeing as I was there and I know Cadet Robinette personally, I stand by my previous comment.

Regardless of the definition of "last minute", it is unfortunate for such a thing to be broadcasted as there are always details which are not captured by mainstream or even local media. I encourage members of this forum to avoid rumor and speculation.
 

2018DAD

Member
Graduation requirements fall into two spheres: academic and deportment (behavioral)
Academic is pass/fail in the course work necessary for BS credentials and diploma.
Deportment is behavior related and thus, as is mentioned in the forums numerous times, should be foremost in an applicant's, appointee, basic, Cadet, and finally graduation ready Firstie's mind...there is Never a time when your unwise actions or decisions will not affect your military trajectory!
Suffice it to say in 2 of the circumstances mentioned here that I know of, the Academy is absolutely correct in their decision to withhold.
This is all I will say on the matter.


Usually academic problems result in late grad...however deportment issues can happen right up until the time of Commissioning and in some severe issues affect that very Commissioning.
 

Badfinger

Member
Well, seeing as I was there and I know Cadet Robinette personally, I stand by my previous comment.

Regardless of the definition of "last minute", it is unfortunate for such a thing to be broadcasted as there are always details which are not captured by mainstream or even local media. I encourage members of this forum to avoid rumor and speculation.
I feel a bit different. The taxpayers have put a lot of resources into those cadets. I see no harm in broadcasting those who for whatever reason did not meet their end of the agreement. And if they provide the details, there will only be shame where shame is due.
 

usna1985

10-Year Member
There is a difference between a deferred graduation due to another (usually athletic) commitment and failing to meet your graduation requirements. It's true that there are usually a couple of folks "on the edge" every year. 9 seems high to me, but what do I know?:rolleyes:

In my day, those affected were well aware of their situation. The issue might not be resolved until the last minute, but the issue itself was rarely last minute. Not sure the same is true today.
 

flieger83

Super Moderator
10-Year Member
USNA1985 is accurate, at least in my instance.

My parents received a letter from USAFA about a month prior to graduation...memory is fading but it says something like "...we do not recommend that you make plans to attend graduation as Cadet Steve is currently failing Physics and the odds of his achieving a passing grade are not good."

In truth, out of 400+ cadets in Physics 411, I was LAST in the order of merit...my best friend was first. He came to my room, we shopped for food and drinks (think mountain dew) and then he taught me physics in three days. Long story short...we scored the highest on the final; I was informed that I was going to graduate...8 days prior to graduation.

Some miss out, some barely make it.

I'm proud to say I am a DG from the USAFA..."DG"...not "Distinguished Graduate" but...

DID GRADUATE!

I wish these 9 well!!

Steve
USAFA ALO
USAFA '83
 

brovol

Member
USNA1985 is accurate, at least in my instance.

My parents received a letter from USAFA about a month prior to graduation...memory is fading but it says something like "...we do not recommend that you make plans to attend graduation as Cadet Steve is currently failing Physics and the odds of his achieving a passing grade are not good."

In truth, out of 400+ cadets in Physics 411, I was LAST in the order of merit...my best friend was first. He came to my room, we shopped for food and drinks (think mountain dew) and then he taught me physics in three days. Long story short...we scored the highest on the final; I was informed that I was going to graduate...8 days prior to graduation.

Some miss out, some barely make it.

I'm proud to say I am a DG from the USAFA..."DG"...not "Distinguished Graduate" but...

DID GRADUATE!

I wish these 9 well!!

Steve
USAFA ALO
USAFA '83
This is the post, story, and the "share" of the year! I love it on so many fronts. I too have a story of being on the edge of disaster before clawing my way to a more successful path, so I have a tremendous sense of appreciation. Thanks for sharing!
 
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