I got kicked out of ROTC

Response to Daily Prompt: But No Cigar

Did I ever tell you the time that I was in ROTC? Well you’re going to hear about it right now.

In the summer of 2012, just before starting my third semester of university, I suddenly had this brilliant idea to join the Air Force. Don’t ask me how I came to that conclusion because I really don’t know; I was having an episode. I originally wanted to drop out of university to enlist but I decided I wanted to be an officer so I decided to sign up for ROTC instead.

I was in the middle of a hypomanic episode at the time so I did pretty well. I was at the top of my classes, I passed most of the quizzes and exams, I made friends, I conquered my fears, and I found a way to be assertive. There was a day when we went to this obstacle course type area and most of the courses involved being about twenty feet or so above the ground. I am terrified of heights and I actually almost cried. I didn’t though… I just almost had a heart attack.

I had the job that I eventually wanted in the force picked out – Combat Systems Officer or Air Battle Manager. I even passed the physical exams for them, after I gained about ten pounds because I was underweight. So I finished the semester with high marks, and my commanding officers thought I would be an amazing officer some day.

But I couldn’t qualify for field training. I failed the DoDMeRB, Department of Defense Medical Review Board. I was disqualified because of several aspects actually; my bipolar disorder, my eating disorder, my suicidal tendencies, and the fact that I had been hospitalized. It should have been really obvious, right? But like I said, I was having an episode.

So that didn’t go as well as I wanted.

I absolutely loved ROTC. It was new, challenging, and pretty terrifying, but all in good ways. It was the only time in university when I felt like I actually wanted to be there.

When I was kicked out, I was devastated. I wanted to do anything I could to qualify.

But when I think about it now, I’m actually pretty glad I didn’t go through with it. It wasn’t what I really wanted to do with my life. Still, I wouldn’t go back and change a thing about my experience in the program. It was my favorite semester and I could never forget what I learned.


8 thoughts on “I got kicked out of ROTC

  1. Hiya Deirdre! :O)

    You were in the reserves?

    When you said you made decisions when you were having episodes you made a real humdinger! :O

    I think it’s a good thing that you were turned down, it would’ve been very bad for you if you suddenly had an episode while on the job making decisions in battle with people’s lives! I’m not saying you’d purposely kill people but you would be more prone to make mistakes. It’s a good job there isn’t a serious war on or they would’ve had you anyway!

    Man, that’s just insane but sort of funny at the same time.

    > Have an episode
    > Join the Air force
    > Ace all the tests
    > They want you bad
    > Have to turn you down because of obvious mental health issues
    > Air force is pissed they can’t have you
    > Deirdre: “I really enjoyed it but I’m not bothered I was kicked out, now!”


    Hope you’re feeling good and well today Deirdre and that you haven’t joined the Jamaican bob-sled team or something else equally insane! lol 😉

    – Phil

    1. Hello!

      I wasn’t in the reserves, I was just training to be an officer. I would spend at least twenty or so hours a week training. That also involved 6AM workouts, which I would skip from time to time because I wouldn’t sleep until 3 the day before. There was no way I could run up hills with three hours.

      Yeah, I made some… impulsive decisions that year. But I completely agree that it was good I was kicked out. The job I wanted involved being in the actual plane, somewhat like a navigator to the pilot, and so that would have been terrible.

      I actually do find it REALLY funny now that it’s over. When I tell people, they just give me this… look like I was completely insane or something.

      It’s no Jamaican bobsled team, but I did almost go to Russia last year… haha.

      – Deirdre

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