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Please Help - Applying for Conscientious Objector Status

I am a Army ROTC Cadet wishing to be dis-enrolled from the program. I can no longer lie to myself day after day to justify military service when I know the truth. I know full well how immoral all war is and how incompatible my beliefs are with service. I am sure I don't need to explain this part to the DP Community.

I am seeking advice on how I can get dis-enrolled. If I just talk to my PMS/Commander and tell him how I feel will he be able and willing to simply dis-enroll me? I have look into the conscientious objector route and am willing to do that, but that seems to take up to a year and I am supposed to commission in May. I am aware that if disenrolled I will have to pay back my educational assistance.

If you have and insight or experience with the ARMY or ROTC and the Conscientious Objector process please share your experience and insights. Any resources about applying for Conscientious Objector status would be helpful as well.

This is going to be one of the hardest things I will do in my life, I am so nervous I have hardly slept in three days, I am scared of what repercussions I may face, and really need help.

Thanks for all the dialogue and discussion. It is helping a lot to straighten out my thoughts.

UPDATE:
A few applicable details:

I am okay with intentionaly breaking my contract and being financially liable for what would end up being the cost of my education. So thats not a issue for me. I don't want to be a "gun for hire" so to speak.

I will graduate with a BS degree in Civil Engineering. Job prospects pretty good considering the overall economy. An I will make %30-%50 more than as a 2LT.

If I commission I will be an 2LT in the Engineering branch of the ARMY with a obligation of 8yrs (I had to ADSO for branch for those of you that know what that means). To my knowledge I have little input on what job assignments I get so I can't say, "I just wanna work in construction, no combat operations please." If anyone has insight on this that would be great. Regardless, wouldn't I still be serving a organization that serves a immoral purpose?

IF YOU ARE A VETERAN OR ACTIVE DUTY: One specific question I would like to ask is, if you were deciding fresh, but knowing what you know now, would you join the military again? Under what circumstances?

Hope this helps with your much appreciated advice.



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Brave? You think posting a picture is brave?

Has it occurred to anyone else (and this is not for you Sloth – it’s a bit much for you to contemplate), that, on a libertarian leaning site dedicated to small government & freedom, I am being threatened for stating an opinion? Granted, my original post was harsh but, it was simply a harsh opinion. It certainly did not rise to the level of anger and violence that Sloth’s posts do.

OK, back to you Sloth: Is the word you're looking for "brave" or "stupid"? Why would I post a picture on a site such as this? What purpose would it serve you knucklehead? That’s what I would call “stupid”. I reserve the word “brave” for my younger days when I served as an airborne infantryman (albeit for misguided reasons). You see, it’s my firmly held belief that I locked in the “brave” label when I completed basic and jump school and took the trip to Ft. Bragg to begin my time in the 82nd Airborne Division. I don’t need to prove to myself or anyone else (certainly not someone like you) how brave I was/am anymore.

Do you honestly believe that you scare anyone? If you would like to find me (for whatever reason such as to sit and have a soda and catch up on old times), I am at my store 6 days a week. Visit http://www.sebastianammo.com for the address and a map. I think it's only fair to warn you in advance that, in the state of Florida, we have some pretty good laws regarding self-defense and, given that I run a gun store, it's a pretty good guess that I'm not the type of defenseless weakling that a simple-minded bully such as yourself is used to victimizing. So, if your intentions are less than friendly, I think it might be a good idea to just stay home and/or find a less well-armed victim to practice your mean-looking glare on.

These young pups

have become so enamored with their typing ability that they have lost any sense of their narrow limitations. Probably a master at video games.......Update, I just checked this goobers profile and from his looks it's no wonder he acts like a pissed off teenager.

There are no politicians or bankers in foxholes.

LOL

I have a new screen name for him that I think is more appropriate: minnowbrained.

human life in most cases is

human life in most cases is worth more than all the money in the world

misunderstood?

He seems clear that on the financial side he's willing to pay up. When he mentions the financial assistance, it seems like he's accepting that paying that back is part of the cost of following his new convictions.

Always best to read before commenting.....

It will save you embarrassment.

If you can read this thank a teacher. Because it's in English thank a soldier!

"The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
- Alexis de Tocqueville

Not at all embarrassed

I read his post fully. The portion that dealt with taking financial responsibility was added later (as an update) after my comment. Maybe YOU should read before commenting.

I cannot believe how many pansy, feel good weenies there are on this site these days. All of you are so quick to embrace a man that has taken government money (stolen from hard working people) and now that he is almost finished with college, sudenly has a profound revelation and decides to break a VOLUNTARY contract and leave the tax payers holding the bag. As libertarian minded people, you should place profound import on voluntary contracts.

This guy did not update his post to add that he would pay back the money he got until later (when it became clear that he would catch flack over it).

So, to sum it up for you jackasses, I have been in this thing far longer than many of you (check out how long I have been a member of this site and then add a few years) and if you can't take harshness directed towards those that take part in the theft on MY money, you might as well return to the party from wence you came and kiss my TRUE libertarian ass.

I said I was willing to pay

I said I was willing to pay back the money in the original post. I was more explicit update that I made which I did before you made the comment. I was more explicit because some people like you didn't realize that I am willing to pay back what I was given. I made the update as a comment also, check below for the time stamp.

"War is a Racket" - Maj. General Smedley Butler

http://lexrex.com/enlightened/articles/warisaracket.htm

OK

I stand corrected and offer a formal apology. While I do stand by my original position, I see now that I was too quick to judge your intentions and that, in reality; you and I share the same beliefs on the subject.

I hope that you can/will accept my sincere apology and I wish you luck for your future hoping that you are able to forgo the military obligation, get a decent job, and pay back the education monies without it being too much of a burden to bear.

Im glad to hear this. Thank

Im glad to hear this. Thank you.

"War is a Racket" - Maj. General Smedley Butler

http://lexrex.com/enlightened/articles/warisaracket.htm

That's very true

However, I don't think that his update was posted when I commented. I could be wrong...

Join the military.

Hi,

We will need good people on the side of liberty in the military. Gather supporters to our side. When the shit hits the fan, we will need the military on our side or at least split in the middle.

We should take over all aspects of the current government and take it over from within. Talk like them, act like them, but really play them, just make sure your not being the one played. I believe the system can be fixed from within. If it can be destroyed from within, which bankers and others have done to our country, we can reverse the tide. It is all one big chess game.

The decision must be yours to live with the consequences ....

98% of Americans will awaken to freedom tomorrow (at least the illusion of it), only 2% will awaken to defend it.

The list you must make has 2 sides, pro and con, and it affects only you, your future. Nobody can live it for you, or be there thru your life struggle other than those closest to you.

A person of conscience, as you seem to be, will make the right choice when faced with it, since it is obviously of great concern to you, and will not be decided without much thought (or sleepless nights).

I would not re-enlist unless my country were indeed threatened, but I also would not wish to forget even a moment of my service as a Marine in Vietnam, although it was a lie, and our country has forgotten us.

Fear, loneliness, love, heartbreak, anger, etc., these are the elements that define us, mold us into what we become. The biggest battle is to remain in control of them, use them, and not let them control or define you.

It is not wrong to serve your country, it is wrong to not serve it to the best of your ability should that be your choice. The person next to you depends on that dedication!

There is a UCMJ that offers some protection against the orders of bad leadership of which I'm sure you are aware, but it is subject of course to the leadership that enforces it.

Our Armed Forces need good officers, good leadership. I'm sure you would be one, but the choice is yours alone to make.

I wish you peace and Godspeed whatever choice you may decide upon.

If you can read this thank a teacher. Because it's in English thank a soldier!

"The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
- Alexis de Tocqueville

Good for you!

whatever you do just be honest and serve the truth, be proud of yourself and feel blessed as you have seen light! If you are with God, peace,truth, the golden rule, - do not worry!
This could be a real opportunity for you to reach a higher level of self and fulfillment in your life. Go for it!

Gerald Mangold

Contact me please...

I can give you the documents to extinguish those obligations and make a lawful separation that will be recognized (begrudgingly) by the courts.

You are fine

As long as you know that you will be liable to pay back the money, there is no problem as far as I know with simply getting out before you commission. They rightful will be due their money back, and you seem to recognize that. If it's still worth it, go for it. No one should make you go against your conscience. As Martin Luther said, "going against conscience is neither right nor safe."

I personally don't view being in the military as approving of all that the military does. If you really view it that way then your citizenship also makes you a culprit. We all have blood on our hands unfortunately.

"Be a listener only, keep within yourself, and endeavor to establish with yourself the habit of silence, especially on politics." -Thomas Jefferson

First off, are you a vet or

First off, are you a vet or familiar with ROTC? Why do you think there is no problem?

Also, why don't you view being in the military as approving of all the military does? I don't know if you right or wrong but I would like to know more on what makes you think this.

Finally, I would suggest that being a citizen of a nation state does not by default mean you condone the actions of that states government. I think lots of people who don't vote, and teach the principles of liberty do not have blood on their hands, because although they may be citizens of the nation, they do not condone the actions of its government and actively campaign against those actions

"War is a Racket" - Maj. General Smedley Butler

http://lexrex.com/enlightened/articles/warisaracket.htm

To My Understanding You Don't Have to Give a Reason

As the ROTC is voluntary you don't need to say much more than you aren't interested anymore. You are a minor and don't have to be grilled about anything.

I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war. Ps 120:7
--
Better to be divided by truth than united in error.
--
"I am the door." -Jesus Christ

not JROTC

He is not a minor, he is 22. And he is in ROTC, not JROTC. He has signed a contract and in return the taxpayers have paid for his education and training as an army officer. Best case scenario, his ROTC commander discharges him from service, does not make him enlist (many do), and makes him pay back tuition and stipend money.

I was in the Marines and formerly in Army ROTC before that...

I have a buddy who conscientious objected in the Marines who I could put you in contact with. He survived just fine. Of course you're looked down upon in ways, but you jut have to stick to your guns and spread the message why to fellow soldiers ROTC peeps. The one that matter eventually start to understand your position and it puts you in an amazing spot to spread the truth effectively as you openly tell people why you are.

With that said, are you a scholarship guy? Or just on contract w/o the scholarship...it's much easier if you're just on contract and not a scholarship ROTC guy. Considering the ROTC status, it might be way easier to get out if you're not a scholarship guy, but if you are and aren't officially in, they might sti try to recoup their money, but I have no idea.

I would be right there with you if I was still in, but I unfortunately didn't realize the truth of my oath until after I was out.

In all honesty too...you could just stay in and raise hell by refusing to do anything unconstitutional and spreading the word in that manner. Any way you go about wont necessarily be easy, but it's a great way to spread the word. My buddy brought understanding to a lot of people as he went through the process.

Oh and knowing what I know now...I wouldn't join. Though, it's hard to say that in hindsight, because I wouldn't trade the experience for the world at the same time. It tugs at a lot of strings in my heart. I would absolutely join again if we regained a hold on our constitution and if it was taught to the military as the first and most important thing to follow as you swore an oath to it. Then I would join again any day that happened.

Lol

Lol

______
"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."

Moral Basis

I think you are going to have to figure out where your moral basis lies. There can be noble purposes involved with being in a military. For example, a soldier in the Continental Army serving under George Washington can feel that he was serving a very moral purpose. Indeed, he was fighting to free a people from a hostile king.

I'm sure you are here on DailyPaul because you want to help spread freedom to people. People often engage in war for that purpose. I think the issue that many have with the US military is that, as a whole, it no longer serves a noble purpose. Our leaders pretend that our military is fighting abroad for the purpose of securing freedom. It is quite obvious that you see past that lie. Currently, our military serves a role of occupation within foreign lands. Furthermore, whether that occupation is for the "noble" purpose of helping people in other nations become free or simply as part of some further misguided agenda is irrelevant. The flat out fact is that both purposes are not supported by our Constitution. The US Constitution says Congress shall have the power to raise armies for the purpose of the common defense. Plain and simply, our military is supposed to only be utilized to defend America. I think there are a lot of assignments within the military that can still fit within that purpose.

You mention that you will have a BS in Civil Engineering. I would hope that the military would find some assignment that uses that education as opposed to making you a grunt. I also thought that those who are in the ROTC program can enter the military as an officer. If you would be an officer and have soldiers underneath you, that means you can possibly intervene when the order is given to have those soldiers do something that is not harmonious to freedom, such as rounding up Americans to put them in internment camps.

You should talk to your CO and tell him where your moral basis lies and that you can't see following any order that is unConstitutional. Explain to him that you can't morally justify participating in any action such as operating in an undeclared theater of war, disarming Americans, rounding up Americans, or anything outside of the "common defense" purpose given to the military by the Constitution. My understanding of civil engineering is that you would be responsible for building roads and bridges. Just make sure the roads and bridges you build aren't intended to be used to kill others.

________________________________________

It's much more noble

To serve in the militia.

The military defends the corporation. The militia defends the country. Btw hello CIA/FBI/NSA/DHS - sending my love :)

Thanks for posting

I fully understand how you feel and I too can't imagine rejoining the service under the circumstances that I have experienced and have been educated on in the last 6 years. You are blessed to have this decision even cross your mind as many of us never imagined it. I will FOREVER be dealing with the consequences good and bad of joining the service and my family and friends must deal with my decisions as well. Your service will have both positive and negative ripple effects on everyone you have a relationship with.

I want to first commend you for your courage to do the right thing. Only you know what that is.

I want to also thank you for standing up for what you believe in.

The CO process is a long one. I have assisted many friends through this process in active duty and am familiar with a network of folks that can help. You need to find a reliable network in your area that you can reach out to and mentor you through the process. Iraq Veterans Against the War or Veterans for Peace are both good starts. The GI Rights Hotline is also available to answer any legal questions you have about your contract. Be careful how you do your research, who you meet with, and making any further statements about your beliefs at this time. I highly recommend you heed this warning. Once you apply for CO all information out there will be scrutinized including your internet activity.

A few quick things about CO that you need to know:

CO means you have a moral abhorrence to WAR not to the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines. It is commonly defined by an unwillingness to take a life under any circumstance. This is how your application will be judged and the only sure way that you are successful. Consistency in this process is paramount. Have a clear reason for being a CO or don't apply for it. Punishments that you are not even considering are the risk of a false report. I emphasize you know what a CO is first and foremost and bounce off people that have done it.

I had one friend that used the tenants of Christianity to back up his moral argument to separate and he had a hard time. Apparently it is not believed that being Christian and killing people is incompatible. Unless you are Muslim, religious arguments don't always work. He had to prove his case but this was admittedly a weak argument according to the CO processors.

Finally, and most importantly, you need to surround yourself with a support network. Most if not all of your buddies in the ROTC will be told to stay away from you and will subsequently ostracize you for your decision. In rare cases have I seen this actually go the other way but that soldier had always been vocal about his faith and morality and was excepted in the unit on those grounds. His platoon was finally relieved when he filed saying all along they couldn't understand why it took so long for someone of his moral character to make the decision. They saw it as inevitable.

You can PM me as well if you have any further questions. Good luck brother and I hope you get support at this crucial stage of your life. It takes a soldier to know a soldier and you have an honest heart. You will never regret doing what is right.

Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
www.yaliberty.org - Young Americans for Liberty
www.ivaw.org/operation-recovery - Stop Deploying Traumatized Troops

Think about this...

Thomas, I have an active duty spouse (O-6) and a daughter on a ROTC scholarship. Moreover, I was a Civil Engineer undergrad AND had a ROTC scholarship that I dropped after 2 years. Rules have changed, so it's not as easy as it used to be, but I do think i know something about your position.

I don't think you have a moral dilemma until you receive orders to an immoral theater. Until then, you are training and working for the defense of the country, which is a perfectly constitutional and moral undertaking. There are many fine people in all branches of the military, most of whom probably agree with you. You will be in the officer corps, with some power to influence your situation.

You signed a contract when you accepted your scholarship. Honor it. There is no better way to learn leadership and build character. And as VP of a company hiring people like you, you are the guy I am looking for after your 4 year stint. By the way, your pay as a 2LT is more like $45k when you consider all your allowances and depending where you are stationed. Don't underestimate that. Companies are very slow to hire entry level these days, and we're paying $38 to $45k entry level. Don't make it about salary.

If you just want out of your commitment, pay the money back (if they let you...last time we researched it it was not an option...an enlisted billet was the alternative). But don't make it a moral dilemma.

RonPaul2012

Thanks for the reply. You

Thanks for the reply. You seem to know this stuff. What would you recommend I do when I inevitably get deployed to a immoral theater? I thinks its safe to say it will happen.

My belief structure and knowledge base were very different when I entered the contract. I would not feel guilty to purposely break this contract if it was the right thing to do.

What are you basing this statement off of: "if they let you...last time we researched it it was not an option" My contract explicitly says that payback is an option, the choice is up to the Sec. of Army.

What is this if not a moral dilemma?

Do you have any insight on what the disenrollent process is like for my circumstances?

Thanks

"War is a Racket" - Maj. General Smedley Butler

http://lexrex.com/enlightened/articles/warisaracket.htm

Fantastic decision, Thomas.

I think you will always be grateful you came to this decision. Serving the country is more productively done here learning about liberty, living freely, and spreading the non-aggression message.

: )

UPDATE:

Thanks for all the dialogue and discussion. It is helping a lot to straighten out my thoughts.

A few applicable details:

I am okay with intentionaly breaking my contract and being financially liable for what would end up being the cost of my education. So thats not a issue for me. I don't want to be a "gun for hire" so to speak.

I will graduate with a BS degree in Civil Engineering. Job prospects pretty good considering the overall economy. An I will make %30-%50 more than as a 2LT.

If I commission I will be an 2LT in the Engineering branch of the ARMY with a obligation of 8yrs (I had to ADSO for branch for those of you that know what that means). To my knowledge I have little input on what job assignments I get so I can't say, "I just wanna work in construction, no combat operations please." If anyone has insight on this that would be great. Regardless, wouldn't I still be serving a organization that serves a immoral purpose?

Hope this helps with your much appreciated advice.

"War is a Racket" - Maj. General Smedley Butler

http://lexrex.com/enlightened/articles/warisaracket.htm

Leaving Military Service

I remember that you have up until 120 after signing your contract to back out. There was a person in my basic class that got out that way. If you have not yet signed a contract you can back out. If you are in delayed entry you can back out. You have to put in in writing, but you can back out by submitting in writing to your commanding officer that you no longer want in. Check the specifics for your branch and pay grade (I was enlisted) and check with a lawyer to look over your contract if you have signed.

...Then they came for me —
and by that time no one was left to speak up.

-Pastor Martin Niemöller

If you need any more advice

If you need any more advice on where you might look for military law PM me and I will see what I can find for you.

...Then they came for me —
and by that time no one was left to speak up.

-Pastor Martin Niemöller