NROTC Life: How to plan family travel

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This is a way over the top reaction to missing a birthday party.


I agree that these MIDNs are adults; therefore, they can make there own decisions about where they want to go and how they get there. They can also deal with the pros and cons of that decision. Wither we like that decision or not. These statements seem to be from a parent still angry about their son not doing what they are told rather than the decision the son made. I understand being disappointed about your DS not being there, but making a statement about how guilty he will feel when his mother is dead is pretty over the top, but it is your son and you decide how you want to handle your relationship with him. Your a adult too. I just wouldn't have bad mouthed my son to the world on a internet forum even if it is anonymous.
I am not angry at my son. I'm trying to encourage people to have the fortitude to appropriately engage their chain of command for quality of life issues that are easy fixes. If I exaggerate or use hyperbola it is to make a point.

And who are you to say how important or unimportant this birthday party was? We had family that we haven't seen in years travel hundreds and in some cases over a thousand miles to be there.
 
They are adults, not children so within a normal risk assessment, accountability, and recovery activities, dropping them off would be just fine. This is no longer kiddie sports.
We attend our kids sporting events, too. Sometimes an hour away. Normally the kids drive on the bus home when we could take them because they are part of the team but there are exceptions to that. And I don't hesitate or even think twice about executing those exceptions because life is too short and family too important to miss opportunities unnecessarily.
You may think dropping them off is ok but the people in charge may not be able to do so based on operating procedures. That was my point.

And, trust me, losing my dad while I was in high school helped me understand at a VERY YOUNG age that life is too short - that’s why I would never belittle my child for missing something that was clearly outside of their control. You know what I remember from the night my dad died? That he took the time to give me a hug and kiss before he left for work - no ugly words. Life’s too short to get on your kid for missing something that is outside of their control. You will NEVER change my mind on that so we’ll just have to agree to disagree.
 
Raise your children and interact with them as you see fit. No comments from me on that.

But, having commanded and led Marines in the fleet, I certainly didn't have the experience you seem to feel is appropriate and a sign of good leadership. There are times where leave is authorized and others when it is not. There are standards for what constitutes "emergency leave" but Mom's birthday party/reunion is not one of them.

Moving Marines from point A to B is logistically challenging and stops are not going to be made for individual drop offs. Manifests are required to account for who is on which vehicle, there is the need for gear accountability, etc.

Sorry, but the picture you paint doesn't match my experience. Perhaps things have changed?
 
You may think dropping them off is ok but the people in charge may not be able to do so based on operating procedures. That was my point.

And, trust me, losing my dad while I was in high school helped me understand at a VERY YOUNG age that life is too short - that’s why I would never belittle my child for missing something that was clearly outside of their control. You know what I remember from the night my dad died? That he took the time to give me a hug and kiss before he left for work - no ugly words. Life’s too short to get on your kid for missing something that is outside of their control. You will NEVER change my mind on that so we’ll just have to agree to disagree.
Describing a child's shortcomings and growth as a cautionary tale is not belittling. People on this thread seem to think I said all kinds of inappropriate things to my kid which I did not. Not everything reported on this site is sunshine and rainbows.

My mother died when I was young, too. I regret I did not have the understanding and maturity back then to make sure family was a priority and lament missed opportunities and misplaced priorities. I tried to do better with my Dad and am zealous about my family.

That is why I am so vocal on this thread. I'm trying to encourage people to ask for help from leadership to facilitate personal events and to encourage leaders to try to accommodate them. It is so important. The tough guy military culture works against this. People are afraid to ask. Most leaders will try to work with you. Note: this thread was even started by someone scared to plan a vacation.

I am trying to scream from the rooftop be unafraid to use the chain of command for things you feel are important and reasonable. They can't promise but oftentimes can deliver.
 
Raise your children and interact with them as you see fit. No comments from me on that.

But, having commanded and led Marines in the fleet, I certainly didn't have the experience you seem to feel is appropriate and a sign of good leadership. There are times where leave is authorized and others when it is not. There are standards for what constitutes "emergency leave" but Mom's birthday party/reunion is not one of them.

Moving Marines from point A to B is logistically challenging and stops are not going to be made for individual drop offs. Manifests are required to account for who is on which vehicle, there is the need for gear accountability, etc.

Sorry, but the picture you paint doesn't match my experience. Perhaps things have changed?
I am right with you on this. When on staff at USNA, I used to travel as the O-Rep with USNA midshipmen on the women’s basketball team and other official “movement orders” related to official business and in a duty status, not leave or liberty. The movement order ended at return to base or other designated location. I was accountable and responsible for each and every one of them. There would be basketball games away, and parents would offer to drive their mid back to Annapolis or want to take them to dinner and then back to the Yard, or some other variation. If someone submitted a special request chit well in advance, with sufficient reason to support the exceptional nature of “special request,” and consistent with policy and an eye to precedent, I would evaluate the request. For 1/C and 2/C, if they were in good standing all around and had demonstrated maturity and trustworthiness, and policy and precedent were compatible, I would favorably consider. For the two junior classes, likely not, unless there were truly unusual circumstances. Perhaps the mid had just gotten off restriction or some other probation and I determined a bit of morale-building would be good for them, or there had been a death in the family recently that had not met the criteria for emergency leave, and it was a kind thing to do. The team captain came to me one time with a situation like that, and we surprised this “good mid” with an offer to let the mid have an overnight with parents before returning to the Yard with them by noon on Sunday.
 
I'm not "hysterical" about a birthday party. I recognized that DS lacked the moral courage to ask about it. It is actually quite normal to be reluctant to request things from your chain of command because you don't want to be thought of as a sniveler or high mantainance. It has to be de-stigmatized like seeking counseling for PTSD. I mentored DS appropriately.

I believe in taking care of my people as much as possible. No event too big or too small. You disagree and belittle this idea.

As far as my verbiage, this is a message board where I am trying to make a point / break a mold and encourage people to engage their chain of command appropriately to improve the quality of their and their families lives.

Do you have any idea of how many times I found out about a subordinate who suffered silently when it was entirely preventable if they had spoken up? I use strong language and an exageration of my displeasure with my son's hesitancy as a parable. My son is fantastic and i couldnt be prouder. That doesn't mean he doesn't need development or is flawless.

And to your idea of "50 years from now who will care if he missed a birthday party?" DS will.
I am enjoying playing the Star Wars "Imperial March" Vader Theme via youtube through my PC speakers, as background music to reading your posts aloud. I'm attempting to read in as menacing and deep of a James Earl Jones'-esque voice I can muster, and even pausing to breath heavily, Lord Vader style, between sentences. This mashup is the most enjoyable combination I've stumbled upon since Peanut Butter and Banana sandwiches.

Original" Luke, I AM your father."
Try:
"Son, you MISSED Mom's Party" (breathe) You will regret this, and live in shame.... FOREVERRRRRR....
"Son, you didn't get off the bus. (breathe) You lack courage. (breathe)
"people traveled from Alderon for this party (Breathe). How DARE you miss this birthday, COWARD."

To be clear, I disagree with your criticizing your son for making a decision at work instead of - "obeying" you, for your labeling and putting him down publicly, for the histrionic drama you are since attempting to state was just humor/ exaggeration for effect, and for the forever casting him down as a sodomite as if he committed a mortal sin to not go to your silly party - implying that will haunt him the rest of his days. Be kinder to your children, and treat him like an adult now that he is one - also, stop taking your wife's birthday so seriously - forgive your children - yesterday ended last night.
 
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Raise your children and interact with them as you see fit. No comments from me on that.

But, having commanded and led Marines in the fleet, I certainly didn't have the experience you seem to feel is appropriate and a sign of good leadership. There are times where leave is authorized and others when it is not. There are standards for what constitutes "emergency leave" but Mom's birthday party/reunion is not one of them.

Moving Marines from point A to B is logistically challenging and stops are not going to be made for individual drop offs. Manifests are required to account for who is on which vehicle, there is the need for gear accountability, etc.

Sorry, but the picture you paint doesn't match my experience. Perhaps things have Battalion.
Leave/liberty is not part of this equation. These are NROTC Mids who completed their voluntary training, are returning from it, and are not getting paid like an active duty or reserve marine.

I think good leadership is taking care of the troops and their families at every opportunity that doesn't compromise mission, readiness, or place an undo burden on their unit individually or collectively. That includes accountability, etc as you mentioned. In this case it was just a 20 pax bus, not a battalion. If I can push a suspense for a report to the next morning so a guy can see his kid's ball game, I'll do it. If we go to a base that's a guy's hometown for training I'll see if he can have a dinner with his family.

So for NROTC Mids, when is summer leave authorized? That was the concern of the OP. Clue: No such thing as leave for them.

Your comments remind me of a scene from the Ben Stiller movie "Meet the Fokkers". Stiller is the solitary person waiting to board an airliner. The boarding attendent won't let him board until his boarding zone is called
even though he's the only one there. No rational to make him suffer.

And this was a big deal family event so read my mind for your acting like it was inconsequential.
 
I am enjoying playing the Star Wars "Imperial March" Vader Theme via youtube through my PC speakers, as background music to reading your posts aloud. I'm attempting to read in as menacing and deep of a James Earl Jones'-esque voice I can muster, and even pausing to breath heavily, Lord Vader style, between sentences. This mashup is the most enjoyable combination I've stumbled upon since Peanut Butter and Banana sandwiches.

Original" Luke, I AM your father."
Try:
"Son, you MISSED Mom's Party" (breathe) You will regret this, and live in shame.... FOREVERRRRRR....
"Son, you didn't get off the bus. (breathe) You lack courage. (breathe)
"people traveled from Alderon for this party (Breathe). How DARE you miss this birthday, COWARD."

To be clear, I disagree with your criticizing your son for making a decision at work instead of - "obeying" you, for your labeling and putting him down publicly, for the dramatic histrionic drama you are since attempting to state was just humor/ exaggeration for effect, and for the forever casting him down as a sodomite as if he committed a mortal sin to not go to your silly party - implying that will haunt him the rest of his days. Be kinder to your children, and treat him like an adult now that he is one - also, stop taking your wife's birthday so seriously - forgive your children - yesterday ended last night.
My conversation with my son was about why he should not be reluctant to talk to his chain of command about these types of things and how he should be aware and considerate of his troops because they will have events that are important to them that he can help with but they often are reluctant to bring up the issue.

You lie and mischaracterize.
 
One of the few times I've been ashamed of him. I had to crush him so he would never inflict unnecessary family pain on his Marines.
When his mother is dead he will not be proud of his cowardice and inability to listen to those who know.
My conversation with my son was about why he should not be reluctant to talk to his chain of command about these types of things and how he should be aware and considerate of his troops because they will have events that are important to them that he can help with but they often are reluctant to bring up the issue.

You lie and mischaracterize.
Your recent quote is completely different from what you wrote earlier today. Almost to the point of trying to change the narrative. Herman_Snead is not calling you a liar or mischaracterizing your words. You wrote the above statements about your son on a public forum, and now you don't like the fact that just about everyone who has commented about these words doesn't agree with you. Wither you ment to or not, your above post makes you out to sound like Darth Vader.....Herman_Snead just pointed it out.
 
Your recent quote is completely different from what you wrote earlier today. Almost to the point of trying to change the narrative. Herman_Snead is not calling you a liar or mischaracterizing your words. You wrote the above statements about your son on a public forum, and now you don't like the fact that just about everyone who has commented about these words doesn't agree with you. Wither you ment to or not, your above post makes you out to sound like Darth Vader.....Herman_Snead just pointed it out.
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You people would fit right in at a riot.

I used words in my post that I hoped might have the effect of fortifying people to do the uncomfortable and engage their chain of command as in "I'm not cowardly, I'm going to ask the Skipper". Wrong approach. Apparently by posting that I'm Darth Vader. For the record, talking to my kid came nowhere close to that. But what's more distressing is none of you care about the message about taking care of troops and families and maintaining good communication up and down the chain of command. You only care about my exaggeration about what my kid did that I posted.

Irony: It's possible someday some of your family members may benefit from the wisdom I imparted to my kid on this topic. Because he will take care of their families.

Scary: Some of you who are/were leaders and might raise or mentor future leaders don't have a clue that taking care of families is important.

Sad: Like simple sheep, some you say "Taking care of a family in such a way can't be done".

To those of you who think that party was unworthy, you are in no position to have an opinion on it. None. A series of family deaths had disrupted every major happy event for the past 2 years so our family needed this.
 

You may think dropping them off is ok but the people in charge may not be able to do so based on operating procedures. That was my point.

And, trust me, losing my dad while I was in high school helped me understand at a VERY YOUNG age that life is too short - that’s why I would never belittle my child for missing something that was clearly outside of their control. You know what I remember from the night my dad died? That he took the time to give me a hug and kiss before he left for work - no ugly words. Life’s too short to get on your kid for missing something that is outside of their control. You will NEVER change my mind on that so we’ll just have to agree to disagree.
Describing a child's shortcomings and growth as a cautionary tale is not belittling. People on this thread seem to think I said all kinds of inappropriate things to my kid which I did not. Not everything reported on this site is sunshine and rainbows.

My mother died when I was young, too. I regret I did not have the understanding and maturity back then to make sure family was a priority and lament missed opportunities and misplaced priorities. I tried to do better with my Dad and am zealous about my family.

That is why I am so vocal on this thread. I'm trying to encourage people to ask for help from leadership to facilitate personal events and to encourage leaders to try to accommodate them. It is so important. The tough guy military culture works against this. People are afraid to ask. Most leaders will try to work with you. Note: this thread was even started by someone scared to plan a vacation.

I am trying to scream from the rooftop be unafraid to use the chain of command for things you feel are important and reasonable. They can't promise but oftentimes can deliver.
 
Describing a child's shortcomings and growth as a cautionary tale is not belittling. People on this thread seem to think I said all kinds of inappropriate things to my kid which I did not. Not everything reported on this site is sunshine and rainbows.

My mother died when I was young, too. I regret I did not have the understanding and maturity back then to make sure family was a priority and lament missed opportunities and misplaced priorities. I tried to do better with my Dad and am zealous about my family.

That is why I am so vocal on this thread. I'm trying to encourage people to ask for help from leadership to facilitate personal events and to encourage leaders to try to accommodate them. It is so important. The tough guy military culture works against this. People are afraid to ask. Most leaders will try to work with you. Note: this thread was even started by someone scared to plan a vacation.

I am trying to scream from the rooftop be unafraid to use the chain of command for things you feel are important and reasonable. They can't promise but oftentimes can deliver.
Sir, as I said - you will NEVER change my mind, ever. If you have so much time on your hands to keep yapping, please, you do you but I’m out. I have more important things to do such as spending quality time with my family. Peace ☮️.
 
Sir, as I said - you will NEVER change my mind, ever. If you have so much time on your hands to keep yapping, please, you do you but I’m out. I have more important things to do such as spending quality time with my family. Peace ☮️.
Enjoy your high horse. Peace.
 
Your recent quote is completely different from what you wrote earlier today. Almost to the point of trying to change the narrative. Herman_Snead is not calling you a liar or mischaracterizing your words. You wrote the above statements about your son on a public forum, and now you don't like the fact that just about everyone who has commented about these words doesn't agree with you. Wither you ment to or not, your above post makes you out to sound like Darth Vader.....Herman_Snead just pointed it out.
That quote was fictitious. Intended to be a wake-up call for those who don't know or are too intimidated to ask for consideration from their chain of command and hopefully encourage them to do so. I passionately believe in this. I meant well. But I just pissed people off. My bad.

The TRUTH is after some talking with DS, (none of those words or phrases were remotely used) he reluctantly asked his chain of command and we picked him up and got him to the party. It was important for him to be there. But that's a meandering and uninspiring story that would be overlooked.

Instead of telling a tale of caution, I should have taken a tale of success viewpoint. I thought it was just easier to make my point with the former.

My apologies but still shocked at how judgemental people on this forum can be.
 
I am enjoying playing the Star Wars "Imperial March" Vader Theme via youtube through my PC speakers, as background music to reading your posts aloud. I'm attempting to read in as menacing and deep of a James Earl Jones'-esque voice I can muster, and even pausing to breath heavily, Lord Vader style, between sentences. This mashup is the most enjoyable combination I've stumbled upon since Peanut Butter and Banana sandwiches.

Original" Luke, I AM your father."
Try:
"Son, you MISSED Mom's Party" (breathe) You will regret this, and live in shame.... FOREVERRRRRR....
"Son, you didn't get off the bus. (breathe) You lack courage. (breathe)
"people traveled from Alderon for this party (Breathe). How DARE you miss this birthday, COWARD."

To be clear, I disagree with your criticizing your son for making a decision at work instead of - "obeying" you, for your labeling and putting him down publicly, for the histrionic drama you are since attempting to state was just humor/ exaggeration for effect, and for the forever casting him down as a sodomite as if he committed a mortal sin to not go to your silly party - implying that will haunt him the rest of his days. Be kinder to your children, and treat him like an adult now that he is one - also, stop taking your wife's birthday so seriously - forgive your children - yesterday ended last night.
This is so good. It paints such a vivid picture and I’m here for it! :popcorn1:

@Zaphod Beeblebrox I get the gist of the point you are attempting to make. My eldest was painfully shy, the type that wouldn’t walk up to a fast food counter and ask for ketchup or napkins. I enjoy seeing her in action at work now. So far removed from that meek individual. I think the older we get the more we realize it’s okay to speak up and to ask for things. I always tell me kids, if you don’t ask then it’s definitely going to be a no. Duh!

I just think you lost everyone with the “cowardice” bit. That hurt my Mom heart a little.
 
From the man in the arena, struggling to promote ideas that would improve the quality of life of our servicemembers and their families, I'd like to give a thanks to my critics. For the critics are the true heroes. Those that focus exclusively on how a message is delivered vice the contents or meaning are what we should all aspire to be. Your comments are an impressive example of humanity and grace.

Special shout out to Herman Sneed and ihavenoidea. I will take a page out of your books and instead of teaching my kids things like taking care of their troops, I'll teach them nothing while lecturing others on their parenting.

To recap,
1. I never, ever said anything negative to my kid. But I did make him a better leader.
2. The bday party, which was just an example, was important to our family. I Damn anyone who tries to minimize its significance. Anyone who trivializes what is important to families has zero business being a leader or developing leaders. Full Stop. Those of you who did should be embarrassed.
3. When I read Herman Sneed and ihavenoidea's posts, it sounds in my head like Eric Cartman from South Park, only more pretentious and less compelling.
 
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