She’s not singing yet!

It’s not over till the fat lady sings. The high school national process for Army ROTC scholarships is almost over and all the offers have been posted (to the best of my knowledge). Here is what I posted on the Service Academy – ROTC discussion board today:

got en email today that said all offers have been posted for this year’s third scholarship board. Remember that an offer isn’t official until you get the letter in the mail. For those of you that are still waiting for your status to change, it’s time to shift fire to plan B. I don’t want to create false hope, but remember that there will likely still be campus based scholarships (expect them to be predominantly 3 year AD). There will also be an increase in the Guard/Reserve mission, and thus GRFD scholarships may be available for those cadets not interested in Active Duty. And don’t ever forget the SMP option.

It’s been a difficult scholarship process from my end, with a lot of uncertainty, but I am certain that we will continue to provide any qualified, motivated student interested in serving as an Army Officer the tools and the opportunity they need to succeed as a Second Lieutenant when they graduate. As someone who shares our values of Loyalty, Duty, and Selfless Service you should expect nothing more, and nothing less.

Good luck to all of you.

There will still be a process where scholarship winners will have to verify their intended school, or request to have their scholarship transfered. Apart from posting about the procedures to ask for a transfer I have no insight into whether these requests will be honored or not. Once that procedure is done the next step will be for Brigade to allocate any additional funds as campus based scholarship. I am also told that there may be additional offers for “qualified, but not selected” applicants from West Point. Again, how these will be offered, and who will get the offers has not been explained to me.

So, my advice is to plan for the worst. Plan to come to campus in the fall, enroll in ROTC. There are no guarentees, but we promise that you will have the opportunity to get some great training and have the opportunity to commission if you fulfill all the requirements, and the we still need Lieutenants in 5 years.

So, what’s your plan??

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SUNY Potsdam Veteran and Military Affairs Newsletter

Since I couldn’t find this newsletter posted on the SUNY Potsdam website I wanted to make sure it got seen by a wider audience than just those who were lucky enough to stumble upon it, or have it sent to them.

SUNY Potsdam Veteran and Military Affairs Newsletter

This news letter is a superb effort to focus the resources of support on the campus of SUNY Potsdam. It runs the gamut from information on GI bill benefits, to an announcement regarding the ROTC commissioning ceremony, to an invitation to participate in the Warrior Writers group.

Although the effort has begun, the greatest challenge is getting the word out to those that need/want the support that is offered. As someone who works on a college campus every day I see many resources and opportunities that to unused or are underused. Just trying to do my part to spread the word.

If you are a prospective Army ROTC cadet, seeing how much support is given to the military and veterans on the campuses you are interested in will give you a good indication of what it will be like to be a cadet on that campus. I would tell you that there is no more supportive environment, in my opinion, than the schools that make up the Golden Knight Battalion, especially SUNY Potsdam, and our host Clarkson (had to plug the host).

Thank you to all our schools

SUNY Potsdam
Clarkson University
SUNY Canton
St Lawrence University

DODMERB (Part 3) My head hurts, my feet stink…

DODMERB part 1 Open up and say AHHHHH

DODMERB part 2 It’s only a flesh wound

I wanted to talk about a couple of the more common DODMERB issues I see. When you prepare to go for your exam you will have to fill out a medical history. If you are like the typical applicant you will have to check at least one block indicating a medical issue or previous treatment or surgery. You must answer truthfully. The last thing you want is to have a condition flare up, and it is discovered that you weren’t truthful on your medical history. It’s called failure to disclose, and it is a disqualifier.

So, what are some of the issues that frequently come up. The following paragraphs are my attempt at explaining the process, and shouldn’t be taken as official policy. Only DODMERB, and Cadet Command have the authority and the final say on medical issues. I am not a doctor, but I know how to read a reg, and I’ve dealt with many DODMERB cases

Asthma

If you have been diagnosed with asthma after the age of 13 you are medically disqualified. If you are currently prescribed an inhaler you are typically disqualified. If you don’t have asthma (or reactive airways disease) then you have to convince your doctor to atest that he misdiagnosed you. Will a doctor typically do this? Probably not. So, your best bet is to convince the Cadet Command surgeon that you should receive a waiver. In the past an applicant who warrants consideration for a waiver will be sent for a pulmonary functions test. If the results indicate the applicant is fit a waiver is granted. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t go out and get one of these tests until told to do so. You also need to know that if you require medication to control your breathing you will not be qualified or waived.

Academic Skills Defect

ADHD, ADD, accomodations are all medical disqualifiers. You don’t get extra time if you need it when you are in a firefight. If you have a history of having these issues, if you are on medication to control these issues, or if you receive accomodations (extra time on test, test questions read aloud, etc.) you will not be qualified. If you had these issues in the past, but you are currently not on meds or receiving help, and can show academic success (high GPA), then there is a good chance you will receive a waiver. I am not sure what the current time frame is, but in the recent past it had to be 1 year off meds, or without accommodation. That time frame may have changed. Now, am I telling you to stop taking your meds? No, I am not a doctor, so if you want to serve you need to discuss your situation with your doctor.

Broken bones, ortho sugery, pins, plates

What DODMERB and the Cadet Command surgeon are going to want to know is do you have any limitations due to your injury. If you have full function you will probably be qualified or receive a waiver. Again, there is usually a window that will indicate if you are qualified or not. The window may be something like surgery within 6 months you are disqualified. If you’ve had surgery within that time frame you won’t be qualified until the time has passed. There may be remedials, and you may have to see additional doctors, but if you can do what you need to do you will probably be qualified or receive a waiver.

Allergies

Some allergies like bee stings or peanuts may be disqualifies. Don’t take it personal that the Army doesn’t want to risk you getting stung by a bee in a forward operating base without the medication to keep you alive. You will be putting more lives on the line than just yours. If you do have an allergy you must disclose it. If you have an allergy that causes you to get stuffed up in the spring when you cut the grass, and you have never been treated or prescribed medication you shouldn’t need to annotate that allergy, but it can’t hurt. Just be prepared to explain to the doc that does your exam exactly what the implication of your allergy are.

Remember, I’m not the final authority. This article is only my judgement based on 7 years of experience. The final authority are the regulation, DODMERB, and Cadet Command. Be truthful, be prepared to provide additional information, and be ready to fully explain your condition. Too easy.