Parental Consent

as25

Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2024
Messages
12
Good evening all,

I'm a rising senior going through the ROTC scholarship process. I got an email from CIV Team telling me that I can start the process to go through DODMERB - great. I'm applying to AROTC, NROTC, and AFROTC (when it opens) and have a half-completed WP application that I don't intend on submitting.

The main subject of my inquiry regards parental consent; would it be possible to get any of this done (DODMERB, ROTC, anything, really) without my parents signing anything? Using other emails in place of my parents', online signatures, etc. They've told me that they won't sign anything. I've tried to convince them for over a year now. I'd think it'd be difficult to get the actual medical stuff done without them, but I'm asking anyways. I'll probably have to join without a scholarship and try to get a three-year one later on when I'm 18.

Thank you in advance for your support.

as25
 
Legally, the military doesn't want to touch your medical records or examine you without parental consent if you are under 18.

COULD you deceive your way through the process? That's a terrible question for anyone considering a commission to consider.

My advice: educate yourself on the process, the opportunities ROTC affords and talk to your parents. Maybe if they know how much you want this and that even if you get a scholarship you don't have to commit to service until sophomore year they'll be willing to reconsider. Until you are 18, that's your only viable option. And your only honorable path.
 
Parent of rising sophomore/3-c NROTC Mid here.

I don't advocate for a student being deceptive.
However, I recall that DD didn't need DoDMerb until at least two months after a scholarship was offered & accepted, which was toward the end of her senior year of high school.
I would have gladly signed if needed, but DoDMerb wasn't required until after DD had already turned 18. (I believe DoDMerb is needed to apply for USNA etc. but it wasn't part of NROTC application.)

I recall that a basic physical-exam form was needed before DoDMerb: it was the exact same form as used for high-school sports. In some states, students can legally communicate with their physician at age 14 or 15 without parental involvement.

As I recall the application process (DD only applied NROTC), I never received any emails at all. The NROTC application coordinator communicated with DD, not with me. By the time she was offered a scholarship in March of senior year, she had turned 18, so she signed the acceptance herself.
(I can't remember signing anything for submitting the application, but I would have needed to sign the acceptance if she wasn't yet 18.)

If you won't turn 18 until summer 2025 (and if your parents don't like the possibility of you receiving a 100%-tuition military scholarship) then you could consider enrolling at a college/university which has ROTC-- then participate as "College Program" in hopes of a 3-year sideload scholarship.

PS-- read recent posts on Forum threads, as NROTC and AROTC both apparently have a different approach for continuing ROTC & commissioning as an officer after college than AFROTC has.
 
As a parent of a soon to be college programet, I would say keep talking to your parents about why you want this opportunity. My daughter started as an Army ROTC college programmer last year. I have the utmost respect for our military. My dad was AF. However, it scared me to think of my DD shipping off to the front lines of a war. We are not in times of peace. However, she kept talking to me and her dad about it and explained why she wanted to serve her country and get her college paid for. At the time she wanted to become a vet and would have been facing $300-$400k in debt. We could not saddle her with that debt when she wanted this opportunity. Her career plans changed and she decided to go nursing (and ended up taking a gap 1/2 year). Now she is starting as a Navy college programmer. She wants to go to an expensive nursing school and again, we cant argue with not going into huge amounts of debt to do it. Just keep having respectful conversations with your parents. Let them know you can get your 1st year paid for without contracting. Talk to them about the difference of joining as an officer versus enlisted.
 
Good evening all,

I'm a rising senior going through the ROTC scholarship process. I got an email from CIV Team telling me that I can start the process to go through DODMERB - great. I'm applying to AROTC, NROTC, and AFROTC (when it opens) and have a half-completed WP application that I don't intend on submitting.

The main subject of my inquiry regards parental consent; would it be possible to get any of this done (DODMERB, ROTC, anything, really) without my parents signing anything? Using other emails in place of my parents', online signatures, etc. They've told me that they won't sign anything. I've tried to convince them for over a year now. I'd think it'd be difficult to get the actual medical stuff done without them, but I'm asking anyways. I'll probably have to join without a scholarship and try to get a three-year one later on when I'm 18.

Thank you in advance for your support.

as25
When do you turn 18? Could you delay the application filing until say December ‘24 or January ‘25, near the deadline so that you won’t need parental consent/ application signatures or a parent with you for physicals since you’ll be an adult at that time? Or will you still be not 18 until May? A parent must accompany you to the Dodmerb physicals if not 18. Btw, likely some great interview and essay material here on finding a way to serve despite a lack of family support. Hope this helps.
 
You don't have to deal with DoDMERB until after you are awarded the scholarship in ROTC. SA's are the opposite. So you have some time. I would treat this as the 1st big adult decision between you and your parents. Understand this is a big transition going from high school to college/adult. For both you and your parents. Some parents (and I include myself in this group) are slower to realize that the reins are no longer in our hands. In having children, you go from being the star on the team, to just a coach, and after high school. We are just the spectators. Your parents might be having a bit of trouble going from the coach to spectator transition. Especially if you are the oldest. You might have to try and have a calm, rational, adult conversation with your parents. Explain to them why you want to do this and the benefits. Explain that you understand the risks and list some of them too. Show them that you have really thought this through and this is the decision you want to make. They might not instantly come around, but they might begin to see you as a adult rather than their baby. It's tough I know, but I would go this route and see if it helps.

After some time if this doesn't work, then you can start to look at your options about going the path you want to take without parental support. I hope that is not necessary. As said above, after you turn 18. You don't have to worry about them signing anything.
 
You don't have to deal with DoDMERB until after you are awarded the scholarship in ROTC. SA's are the opposite. So you have some time. I would treat this as the 1st big adult decision between you and your parents. Understand this is a big transition going from high school to college/adult. For both you and your parents. Some parents (and I include myself in this group) are slower to realize that the reins are no longer in our hands. In having children, you go from being the star on the team, to just a coach, and after high school. We are just the spectators. Your parents might be having a bit of trouble going from the coach to spectator transition. Especially if you are the oldest. You might have to try and have a calm, rational, adult conversation with your parents. Explain to them why you want to do this and the benefits. Explain that you understand the risks and list some of them too. Show them that you have really thought this through and this is the decision you want to make. They might not instantly come around, but they might begin to see you as a adult rather than their baby. It's tough I know, but I would go this route and see if it helps.

After some time if this doesn't work, then you can start to look at your options about going the path you want to take without parental support. I hope that is not necessary. As said above, after you turn 18. You don't have to worry about them signing anything.
As a parent that was not on board with the military at first, this post is everything!

You might want to start the conversation with "Mom and Dad, I know you love me and want what is best for me. I am going to be an adult and I have to start making decisions for my future. I will always seek your advice but then I ultimately have to make my own choices. I hope you can respect that and I hope we can have adult conversations about why I want to join ROTC"
 
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Also, I know you want to apply for a 4 year which is really smart. However, worse case scenerio is that you can take ROTC classes as a freshman with no commitment or scholarship. You can then compete for that unit at your school for a 3-year. You may have an easier time convincing your parents if you do ROTC for a year and still feel passionate about it. By that time you will be 18 and, as others stated, they dont have to sign off. However, the scholarship may not cover room and board so you may still need their help paying for things.
 
A quick follow-up - Young people should keep in mind that legally they may be able to make their own decisions once they turn 18, but, many young people aren't yet ready to be fully and financially independent from their parents - still want their parents help for meals, health insurance, support for college, car insurance, access to their home, their groceries, family trips, vehicles, etc. the original post is about getting through the application process to be considered without parent support for a minor... but it's not as easy as doing whatever you want when you turn 18 necessarily without consequence. Try to keep good relationships with your parents and try to reach consensus agreement where possible. Signing up for ROTC is a good idea as a CP, but not if your parents will cancel the check they wrote for tuition/ room/board/fees. Not if you'll end up a wanderer or in massive debt.

As a quick reinforcement of not burning a bridge. I once had an employee who left our company and basically double-bird flipped us off on his last day, I guess feeling safe as he was moving literally across the country to a different large company. He was a cliche of 1980s cocaine abusing marketing exec - arrogant, self-aggrandized. We held decorum in that meeting, and wished him well. Guess what - literally months later our company bought his company, and guess who didn't make the cut to stay when we evaluated "synergies" in onboarding their group. At the one meeting we all had together before he was axed, he literally looked nauseous. Be kind to your parents even when you disagree, maintain that relationship while you come to agreement where possible. Ask them for support and be respectful.

My son is a newer Navy officer - truly financially independent of us - like many military officers, has his own insurance, car, pays his own bills, medical/dental, etc. In this position he has his freedom, though we still talk about life decisions very respectfully and have a great relationship. Until you're at that point, hang in there, don't burn bridges, and good luck.
 
A quick follow-up - Young people should keep in mind that legally they may be able to make their own decisions once they turn 18, but, many young people aren't yet ready to be fully and financially independent from their parents - still want their parents help for meals, health insurance, support for college, car insurance, access to their home, their groceries, family trips, vehicles, etc. the original post is about getting through the application process to be considered without parent support for a minor... but it's not as easy as doing whatever you want when you turn 18 necessarily without consequence. Try to keep good relationships with your parents and try to reach consensus agreement where possible. Signing up for ROTC is a good idea as a CP, but not if your parents will cancel the check they wrote for tuition/ room/board/fees. Not if you'll end up a wanderer or in massive debt.

As a quick reinforcement of not burning a bridge. I once had an employee who left our company and basically double-bird flipped us off on his last day, I guess feeling safe as he was moving literally across the country to a different large company. He was a cliche of 1980s cocaine abusing marketing exec - arrogant, self-aggrandized. We held decorum in that meeting, and wished him well. Guess what - literally months later our company bought his company, and guess who didn't make the cut to stay when we evaluated "synergies" in onboarding their group. At the one meeting we all had together before he was axed, he literally looked nauseous. Be kind to your parents even when you disagree, maintain that relationship while you come to agreement where possible. Ask them for support and be respectful.

My son is a newer Navy officer - truly financially independent of us - like many military officers, has his own insurance, car, pays his own bills, medical/dental, etc. In this position he has his freedom, though we still talk about life decisions very respectfully and have a great relationship. Until you're at that point, hang in there, don't burn bridges, and good luck.
FANTASTIC ADVICE!
 
Good evening all,

I'm a rising senior going through the ROTC scholarship process. I got an email from CIV Team telling me that I can start the process to go through DODMERB - great. I'm applying to AROTC, NROTC, and AFROTC (when it opens) and have a half-completed WP application that I don't intend on submitting.

The main subject of my inquiry regards parental consent; would it be possible to get any of this done (DODMERB, ROTC, anything, really) without my parents signing anything? Using other emails in place of my parents', online signatures, etc. They've told me that they won't sign anything. I've tried to convince them for over a year now. I'd think it'd be difficult to get the actual medical stuff done without them, but I'm asking anyways. I'll probably have to join without a scholarship and try to get a three-year one later on when I'm 18.

Thank you in advance for your support.

as25
Heart-to-heart conversations can achieve results-just remember sometimes we parents need time to adjust to ideas/plans that were not on our radar for our kids. My husband was opposed to our DD applying to USNA/NROTC...until I reminded him that as soon as she turned 18 (which was in December of her senior year) she could do whatever she wanted - including enlisting and skipping college altogether. My DD's dad quickly decided it was better to be supportive of her plans and keep a good relationship then dig into a position that would become irrelevant upon her emancipation at 18. Hopefully continued conversations with your parents will help. I don't remember having to sign anything for my daughter but did help her filling out all the information Dodmerb needed regarding past injuries and surgeries and obtaining the medical records that they requested to clear her.
 
Hey all,

Thank you so much for your thoughtful words and advice.

Legally, the military doesn't want to touch your medical records or examine you without parental consent if you are under 18.

COULD you deceive your way through the process? That's a terrible question for anyone considering a commission to consider.

My advice: educate yourself on the process, the opportunities ROTC affords and talk to your parents. Maybe if they know how much you want this and that even if you get a scholarship you don't have to commit to service until sophomore year they'll be willing to reconsider. Until you are 18, that's your only viable option. And your only honorable path.
I see. I'm not particularly keen on lying or being dishonest. It seems that convincing them is probably the only way to go for the 4-year.

Parent of rising sophomore/3-c NROTC Mid here.

I don't advocate for a student being deceptive.
However, I recall that DD didn't need DoDMerb until at least two months after a scholarship was offered & accepted, which was toward the end of her senior year of high school.
I would have gladly signed if needed, but DoDMerb wasn't required until after DD had already turned 18. (I believe DoDMerb is needed to apply for USNA etc. but it wasn't part of NROTC application.)

I recall that a basic physical-exam form was needed before DoDMerb: it was the exact same form as used for high-school sports. In some states, students can legally communicate with their physician at age 14 or 15 without parental involvement.

As I recall the application process (DD only applied NROTC), I never received any emails at all. The NROTC application coordinator communicated with DD, not with me. By the time she was offered a scholarship in March of senior year, she had turned 18, so she signed the acceptance herself.
(I can't remember signing anything for submitting the application, but I would have needed to sign the acceptance if she wasn't yet 18.)

If you won't turn 18 until summer 2025 (and if your parents don't like the possibility of you receiving a 100%-tuition military scholarship) then you could consider enrolling at a college/university which has ROTC-- then participate as "College Program" in hopes of a 3-year sideload scholarship.

PS-- read recent posts on Forum threads, as NROTC and AROTC both apparently have a different approach for continuing ROTC & commissioning as an officer after college than AFROTC has.
I didn't know that. I assumed I needed to do it as soon as possible. The college program route is my most likely route if I can't convince them.

As a parent of a soon to be college programet, I would say keep talking to your parents about why you want this opportunity. My daughter started as an Army ROTC college programmer last year. I have the utmost respect for our military. My dad was AF. However, it scared me to think of my DD shipping off to the front lines of a war. We are not in times of peace. However, she kept talking to me and her dad about it and explained why she wanted to serve her country and get her college paid for. At the time she wanted to become a vet and would have been facing $300-$400k in debt. We could not saddle her with that debt when she wanted this opportunity. Her career plans changed and she decided to go nursing (and ended up taking a gap 1/2 year). Now she is starting as a Navy college programmer. She wants to go to an expensive nursing school and again, we cant argue with not going into huge amounts of debt to do it. Just keep having respectful conversations with your parents. Let them know you can get your 1st year paid for without contracting. Talk to them about the difference of joining as an officer versus enlisted.
I've tried and will continue to do so. My parents know very few people who have been in the military, and the few they do know unfortunately don't have anything positive to say.

When do you turn 18? Could you delay the application filing until say December ‘24 or January ‘25, near the deadline so that you won’t need parental consent/ application signatures or a parent with you for physicals since you’ll be an adult at that time? Or will you still be not 18 until May? A parent must accompany you to the Dodmerb physicals if not 18. Btw, likely some great interview and essay material here on finding a way to serve despite a lack of family support. Hope this helps.
I don't turn 18 until Fall '25. I hadn't thought about touching on this in essays or interviews, but I'll keep that in mind - thanks!

You don't have to deal with DoDMERB until after you are awarded the scholarship in ROTC. SA's are the opposite. So you have some time. I would treat this as the 1st big adult decision between you and your parents. Understand this is a big transition going from high school to college/adult. For both you and your parents. Some parents (and I include myself in this group) are slower to realize that the reins are no longer in our hands. In having children, you go from being the star on the team, to just a coach, and after high school. We are just the spectators. Your parents might be having a bit of trouble going from the coach to spectator transition. Especially if you are the oldest. You might have to try and have a calm, rational, adult conversation with your parents. Explain to them why you want to do this and the benefits. Explain that you understand the risks and list some of them too. Show them that you have really thought this through and this is the decision you want to make. They might not instantly come around, but they might begin to see you as a adult rather than their baby. It's tough I know, but I would go this route and see if it helps.

After some time if this doesn't work, then you can start to look at your options about going the path you want to take without parental support. I hope that is not necessary. As said above, after you turn 18. You don't have to worry about them signing anything.
This was very insightful. I hope it isn't necessary either. Unfortunately, it appears more difficult by the day to agree on this topic; anything else and we're completely fine. I'll try to address the issue in the way you highlighted. Thank you for writing this.

As a parent that was not on board with the military at first, this post is everything!

You might want to start the conversation with "Mom and Dad, I know you love me and want what is best for me. I am going to be an adult and I have to start making decisions for my future. I will always seek your advice but then I ultimately have to make my own choices. I hope you can respect that and I hope we can have adult conversations about why I want to join ROTC"
Thank you for the starter. I'm sure your child appreciated your eventual support. I'll do my best.

A quick follow-up - Young people should keep in mind that legally they may be able to make their own decisions once they turn 18, but, many young people aren't yet ready to be fully and financially independent from their parents - still want their parents help for meals, health insurance, support for college, car insurance, access to their home, their groceries, family trips, vehicles, etc. the original post is about getting through the application process to be considered without parent support for a minor... but it's not as easy as doing whatever you want when you turn 18 necessarily without consequence. Try to keep good relationships with your parents and try to reach consensus agreement where possible. Signing up for ROTC is a good idea as a CP, but not if your parents will cancel the check they wrote for tuition/ room/board/fees. Not if you'll end up a wanderer or in massive debt.

As a quick reinforcement of not burning a bridge. I once had an employee who left our company and basically double-bird flipped us off on his last day, I guess feeling safe as he was moving literally across the country to a different large company. He was a cliche of 1980s cocaine abusing marketing exec - arrogant, self-aggrandized. We held decorum in that meeting, and wished him well. Guess what - literally months later our company bought his company, and guess who didn't make the cut to stay when we evaluated "synergies" in onboarding their group. At the one meeting we all had together before he was axed, he literally looked nauseous. Be kind to your parents even when you disagree, maintain that relationship while you come to agreement where possible. Ask them for support and be respectful.

My son is a newer Navy officer - truly financially independent of us - like many military officers, has his own insurance, car, pays his own bills, medical/dental, etc. In this position he has his freedom, though we still talk about life decisions very respectfully and have a great relationship. Until you're at that point, hang in there, don't burn bridges, and good luck.
I completely agree. I don't intend to cut them out of my life. That is the exact opposite of what I want. There definitely are consequences to going about this completely on my own. Thank you for the thought and consideration behind your words.

Heart-to-heart conversations can achieve results-just remember sometimes we parents need time to adjust to ideas/plans that were not on our radar for our kids. My husband was opposed to our DD applying to USNA/NROTC...until I reminded him that as soon as she turned 18 (which was in December of her senior year) she could do whatever she wanted - including enlisting and skipping college altogether. My DD's dad quickly decided it was better to be supportive of her plans and keep a good relationship then dig into a position that would become irrelevant upon her emancipation at 18. Hopefully continued conversations with your parents will help. I don't remember having to sign anything for my daughter but did help her filling out all the information Dodmerb needed regarding past injuries and surgeries and obtaining the medical records that they requested to clear her.
I actually tried to indirectly get that point across (in the politest way possible) but it didn't do much. I'll continue to speak with them on the matter as much as I can.

Again, I appreciate everyone for taking the time to reply to my forum post. Your support means a great deal to me. I hope to reach an agreement with them or hold off until I have more leeway to do things on my own -- most likely as a college programmer. My goal is to find a way to do this while keeping relations with my family. Going about it dishonestly was something I did and do not want to do.

I hope you all have a wonderful day.

as25
 
@as25 perhaps you could try a different route than ‘convincing your parents’. Since you have had consistent convos with them for a good deal of time already.

What about having an Officer recruiter speak with y’all? Or do you know any military officers? Or SA reps (I would answer parental questions as a USAN BGO if asked)?

Would they attend a Service Academy Forum? Either from admissions, or through your Senator/Congressional reps? Those are very insightful.

It could be a lack of understanding. Lack of knowledge. This was allllll new to us at one time, as well. And the thought of my children going off to war and getting killed was all I could picture. With some exposure and education, I became comfortable.

Another really good informative avenue is having them attend an info session/s for ROTC’s during a college admissions visit.

Not to be dismissive of you, but they may think you don’t know what you’re talking about (respectfully). You’ve been the kid, them the parent and driver. I STILL remember an Officer stating things my child had told me about these programs. And slowly, I got onboard, which turned to support and pride in the honorable service heart my own child had. Understanding that they did, indeed, know what they were doing. For sure a shift in the parent/child paradigm.

Your parents may be scared and uneducated about this whole process. Understandable! Maybe attacking this from a different angle would be helpful to them.
 
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