Will I be automatically DQ?

Discussion in 'DoDMERB' started by rotccadetcommandhopeful, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. rotccadetcommandhopeful

    rotccadetcommandhopeful New Member

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    Hi there,

    I recently became "Board Ready" under my ROTC Cadet Command scholarship status! However, I feel as if my chances are slim of getting the scholarship. Even though the chances don't seem to high, I've decided to look at "next steps," just in case. DoDMERB is definitely on that list...

    However, the more I find out about DodMERB the more my tiny sliver of hope disappears.
    I am physically healthy and strong. I'm a female with a 7:05 mile, 8+ pull-ups, 50+ push-ups, 40+ sit-ups for the ROTC scholarship fitness test.


    I was born very early (NICU).
    I got my tonsils taken out at age 4 or 5.
    I broke both my collar bones (at separate times) under age 10.
    I've had a couple stitches in my forehead and some on my knee under age 16.
    I have bad vision, but wear contacts and glasses.
    Those issues are not what I'm worried about...

    Mentally, my childhood was extremely rough. I went through bouts of (self-diagnosed) depression as my home life was a wreck; extreme parental issues and some abuse.
    I went to counseling on and off, and over the last 2 years have gone on and off for months at a time since I have stopped living in that household. No medication for my mental health ever.
    I don't think I have ever been formally diagnosed with depression or anxiety etc., but my childhood issues and issues with my family are why I need/have to go to counseling.

    The biggest issue of this all...under age 16 I self-harmed. Hardly anybody knows this and it only happened once. I regret this but I cannot change the past. I am better now, as I do not currently live in that parent's home.

    That is why I fear IF I do get offered a scholarship, all that hard work in school, issues I fought through at home, and hope will be destroyed because of my past. I am not suicidal, I do not take medication, and am on and off in counseling currently.

    The rest of my application is decent, lots of EC's, leadership positions, PMS interview went very well, scored extremely high on fitness test, multiple AP, honors, dual credit classes, 25 on ACT (yes, I know that is low), multiple Varsity letters in more than 1 sport. I applied to 10 colleges and have heard back from 8/10 and haven't been denied yet by any.

    Top 4 choices include 2 in-state publics and 2 out-of-state publics universities.

    I guess I'm asking 2 questions in this...but mainly concerned with the "IF" factor of the medical portion. It's quite alarming, I know...what are my chances? I fear I will not have a way to pay for all of college if I don't get this scholarship or cannot be in ROTC as a regular non-scholarship cadet because of medical/mental health issues.

    (Yes, I KNOW I want to serve in one way or another, serving is not just another way for me to pay for college. I have considered active duty but ROTC or SMP is my first choice as I can get my degree locked in before serving).

    Thank you for your time.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
  2. Tbpxece

    Tbpxece Member

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    So...read the DODI 6130.03 to determine whether or not you will meet the broad DODMERB restrictions. Especially para 5.28. It sounds like it can go either way for you, especially if you did not report anything that would trigger subsection "n".

    However, the bigger question is whether or not it is in your interest to join. Being a military member is hard and very stressful. I cannot overstate that. We have folks who have not had to carry some of the burden you have that have been permanently affected for their rest of their lives due to the stressors of combat. All the "trainings", Basic, Field Trainings, OTS/OCS, and the follow-on technical trainings are all designed to test candidates' ability to function under extreme stress. At a minimum, you will lose a ton of sleep, be screamed at, forced to do nonsensical and/or impossible tasks, and be screamed at some more. The intent is also to flush out those who cannot handle that stress-- and those folks are typically flushed out one way or another before they receive their commission.

    Even more importantly, unless you are looking at legal or medical, you are putting yourself in for a job that will near assuredly result in your being responsible for the lives, livelihood, and wellbeing of anywhere from dozens to hundreds of fellow military members under you. Are you good with that?

    I've served alongside folks that shouldn't have been in due to the mental baggage they brought in with them-- and it showed-- and they caused a lot of trouble and damage where they went. I've also served alongside with folks that had AWFUL childhoods, full of the things you described (but without the counseling-- this was a different time), and they were able to overcome it and were fantastic leaders and fellow military members.

    So, at the end of the day, yeah, if you didn't mention any disqualifying mental conditions on your DODMERB, then you probably won't get flagged. As you point out, outside of your ACT score, you sound like an ideal-if not outstanding-candidate. But if you do have any problem areas, they will likely come out during your ROTC tenure, and/or your field training.

    Excellent fitness scores, though!
     
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  3. rotccadetcommandhopeful

    rotccadetcommandhopeful New Member

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    Thank you so much for a fast and excellent response to my situation! I appreciate it. I agree, even in other non-military professions I have seen where others carry their personal baggage with them to the point where it negatively effects their performance and their co-workers as well. Being an officer or enlisted in any military situation and bringing my childhood baggage with me could be harmful if not coped with properly. I am not required to counsel or see a psychologist, the parent I live with now thinks it's good for me and will help aid the inner healing process. The sections you pointed out seemed to say that there can't be any required psychological counseling under X amount of time...we'll see what happens. I'm not even at that stage quite yet, but I thought it would be nice to get a more accurate opinion before I start to worry. Thank you for your advice and encouragement! Throughout the next few months, I will continue to assess if I can succeed in a military setting with all of those demands and situations that could potentially "trigger" the past, especially knowing I could potentially ruin a mission etc. It's not an easy decision, but I will more than likely remain interested. Thank you again! God bless!
     
  4. Tbpxece

    Tbpxece Member

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    Look-- if you have no formal diagnosis, treatment, or hospitalization, then it sounds less and less to me like you have a condition that would warrant reporting. Perhaps you just had a really crappy childhood and lacked the parental input that can be critical for kids to grow up resilient. I can't really tell from what you are saying (which is a good thing-- folks should be really careful with what they put on here).

    However, I will say this-- if all that you have had is informal counseling (HS counselor, family counselor, etc.) for issues stemming from your bad home situation, AND you have no formal diagnosis of anything, then I would tend to lean towards you having less of a challenge than you seem to think. It seems folks with serious untreated depression rarely are able to have a decent outcome like you (varsity sports, high fitness level, excellent school grades, etc.) without lots of official intervention and/or medication (which you indicate you have not had).

    From my perspective (a guy who has been in the military awhile now), if you never received a diagnosis of depression or anxiety, then I would not bring it up on the DODMERB. Clearly you've figured out how to overcome it. The question is if you "required" psychological counseling. If it were me, then I would say no. It sounds like you required life counseling or a mentor with a kind ear and sage advice, but you appear to have succeeded quite well despite that. People get counseling all the time for things like divorce, the death of a loved one, financial issues, etc., that cause elevated levels of depression, stress, and anxiety-- that is not necessarily psychological counseling. Psychological counseling is a very specific, finite thing.

    Remember that words have meanings. There is a reason the DODI says depressive disorder, not depression. It says anxiety disorder, not anxiety. Those are diagnoses made by a medical professional for a concrete condition. If you don't have the diagnosis, don't mark it. DSM-V is typically where those conditions are described if you are curious, but again, do not report self-diagnoses on the DODMERB.

    Please don't take this the wrong way--> BE RESILIENT. IF you are tough enough to be in the military, then recognize that, seize it, and jump in with both feet. Don't step in timidly and be an Eeyore about the whole thing. THAT will kill your prospects of being an officer pretty quickly. It sounds like you have a great package and a great shot at ROTC. Don't take away from that by citing your awful childhood-- own it and own how the ordeal you went through has shaped you into the stronger, more resilient person you are today-- a person that is well worth consideration to be an officer.

    Good luck! :)
     
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  5. rotccadetcommandhopeful

    rotccadetcommandhopeful New Member

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    Thank you so much for the response! I greatly appreciate it. You're right, I have not been on meds, I have never been "required" to have psychological counseling (unless parental opinion counts). Being resilient through struggle is the key to success at times. If I get this opportunity I will go all in with no fear and work for the best opportunities. Thank you so much for your time and your response!