What do I do?

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Saapplicant1999, Mar 15, 2017.

  1. Saapplicant1999

    Saapplicant1999 New Member

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    Hello everyone. First of all, no judging allowed. Well, you can, but please keep it to yourself. This is honestly a very stressful situation for me. I will be an applicant to USMA for the class of 22. It is my greatest desire to attend a service academy and it has been my goal for a long time. Several years ago though, I attempted (it barely worked) to distill alcohol. It was just for an experiment/fun. I didn't consume any product and most definitely did not sell it. After realizing the seriousness of the act that I was doing, I ditched everything. Never thought about doing it again. Nobody needs to tell me how dumb it was to do something like that—I know. I regret it and have greatly learned from my mistake. No punishments resulted because I was lucky. However, I know distilling alcohol is a felony. It won't affect my entrance to the academy because I wasn't caught. Me and my friend are pretty much the only people that know. But what I'm looking at is down the road. I don't want to hide this if I'm ever polygraphed or something and the question arises like "have you ever committed a serious crime?". Would saying yes and explaining the incident be grounds for removal? Or does this not fall under the serious crime category? Sorry for all you adults reading this and shaking your head because this appeared on a service academy forum, but I'd rather know now and not start the race than be hit upside the head years from now. I would love to get the thought of my career being ruined by a stupid decision as a young teen out of my head. Thanks to all.
     
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  2. Capri120

    Capri120 Parent

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    OK, I'm sorry, but I have to chuckle just a bit. Yes, probably dumb, worse if caught. However, the question typically asked on security clearance forms and the like is "have you ever been convicted of a crime?". I would surmise that 90%+ of us if asked, "have you ever committed a crime?" would have to honestly answer "yes". Have you ever exceeded the speed limit? That's a crime, too.

    I don't want to seem that I am making light of the possible seriousness of what you were doing as a young teen, but even if caught, depending on which law enforcement agency was involved, the outcome could have been everything from arrest to a serious lecture and call to your parents. I would just say you were lucky you did not blow yourself up.

    If you are applying to the class of 2022, are you a junior in high school? This occurred several years ago? I'm not even sure you were a teen at that point.

    Others might have a harsher viewpoint. But, as most of us on this forum will tell you, be honest with any questions asked, but do not necessarily offer more info than requested.
     
  3. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    Answer PRECISELY the question asked. Pay attention to the verbs, and the "ever."
     
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  4. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    And there's the key. Make sure you understand what's being asked, answer that, and only that. I knew of an applicant who was going to answer 'Yes' to the question "Have you ever been arrested". I had to explain to him that receiving a misdemeanor ticket is not the same as being arrested and he should change his answer to 'No'. I'm pretty sure there is no question that says "Have you ever built and used a still and not been caught?". What you did is not a big deal, it's a childish indiscretion. You're also lucky you didn't go blind or something... there is both a lot of science and art to this ancient practice that I'm pretty confident you were not the master of.

    In any case, be honest in answering all the questions. The greatest sin in the military and the academies is lying. It is only surpassed by lying. And only lying tops that.

    All that being said you may be the possessor of a unique skill. I knew a military guy who became quite adept at fermentation and distillation. Although he doesn't do that anymore - having switched to the legal fermentation of beer - I've no doubt if he was stranded on a desert island with his brothers-in-arms, they would be bringing him mass quantities of coconuts, and stray pieces of copper, so he could make them jungle juice.
     
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  5. BSCAR

    BSCAR Member

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    As someone who has been arrested I can tell you for a fact that you're gonna be fine. On my 2021 application they asked if I had ever been cited for a crime (even a minor traffic violation) or if I had ever been arrrested/convicted of a crime. None of those things apply to you, and in all actuality I'm not entirely positive how illegal the actions you took are. Dumb and mildly amusing yes, but if that's illegal, where is the line drawn by the ATF? If I leave a bottle of grape juice in my car and it ferments am I a felon? And I know that plenty of people brew their own beer and the like. But, I digress...

    Out of curiosity, what was the goal of making alcohol? Was it to drink it? Because surly there are easier ways to get your hands on alcohol than to make it yourself. Was it just an experiment to see if you could?
     
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  6. Saapplicant1999

    Saapplicant1999 New Member

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    The goal was just to see if I could. I thought it would be a cool experience. If I wanted to just drink some I have easy access to it (although no desire). I made it with a simple sugar wash and had a makeshift still worth about $15 of supplies. It had many imperfections, but quite an interesting process. I learned a lot about fermentation and the like. Might pick up a legal variation of it years from now, but I'll hold off until then. Thanks for all the help everyone! I plan to tell the truth if the question applies. Even if it comes up on a polygraph or something (small chance I know but possible) I don't imagine they'd care too much about it based on the responses I'm getting from this crowd.
     
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  7. seacadetmum

    seacadetmum Member

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    Bless...
    I think you will be fine but I applaud your honor. My dad always told me when it comes to the military, just the facts...don't get overly wordy. Like someone above said, pay attention to what is being asked and answer only that.
    Good luck getting into USMA!
     
  8. Sydney C.

    Sydney C. 5-Year Member

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    And finally, there is the cost motive:

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Love4monsters

    Love4monsters Member

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    My son has conducted many unsanctioned science experiments over the years. Never this one but many that have turned my hair grey. Deer hide tanned in my favorite Tupperware left under his bed for 3 months is my personal fave. I am going to keep the less safe ones under wraps.

    I look forward to following your progress over the next year. Good luck!
     
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  10. brovol

    brovol Member

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    You are probable safe with the homemade spirits, but better hope nobody has pictures with you and the hookers.
     
  11. Saapplicant1999

    Saapplicant1999 New Member

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    You guys are funny. Thanks for lifting my spirits(haha). And in reply to the person looking forward to seeing the progress in my application... well, I already have an account and made a new one to cover up my shenanigans. So you might see me around but in another form. Go figure. I made a new account for anonymity in an already anonymous forum. Thanks all again for the advice, and maybe I at least brought a little humor to the stressful times.
     
  12. Capri120

    Capri120 Parent

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    Best of luck and no more questionable experiments for a while.;)

    I know it may be hard to believe, but a few of us "old" parents were once young teens.
     
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  13. Love4monsters

    Love4monsters Member

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    A little disappointing to not be able to follow your progress on the roller coaster ride of the service academy application process. My son's activities are hilarious now. Not so much then.
     
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  14. brovol

    brovol Member

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    Just use your nose. The kid smells like a distillery.
     
  15. Capri120

    Capri120 Parent

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    I could tell tales about oldest DD...DH and I laughed for an hour one night about it, she didn't know that until years later. She, however, cried herself to sleep that night.
     
  16. Love4monsters

    Love4monsters Member

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    Haha! Better than smelling like deer hide tanning gone wrong. He skipped the scraping step and my Tupperware hit the trash.

    He's been an adventure to raise but we sure will miss him and his crazy ideas next year.
     
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  17. Love4monsters

    Love4monsters Member

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    We've still got it!
     
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  18. BTCS/USN

    BTCS/USN Member

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    If you'll email me with the ingredients, the hardware needed and notes on what you did right and what you did wrong in the distillation process, I'll see if I can replicate the experiment, try and improve on the method and let you know the results if I come up with a better product. I'm well past trying to get into a service academy. Actually my next big hurdle is Social Security in the coming months.

    Good Luck on your future education at West Point. If I'm not in the joint for bootlegging, I would love to watch your graduation.
     
  19. ktnatalk

    ktnatalk Sailor. Shipmate. Parent.

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    BTCS, are you trying to top off your social security?
     
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  20. UHBlackhawk

    UHBlackhawk Member

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    ATFQ.
    "Do you have a pen?"
    "Yes. I have a pen."