44 votes

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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You don't understand our founders

"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."

Sorry but I have no sympathy for you. War, in and of itself, is a horrible thing but war for actual national defense - not foreign interventions - are sometimes a necessity and those that partake in it are not immoral. It took war to break away from King George of England, that was not immoral it was for liberty. When individuals are subjected to living under a tyrant, either a domestic tyrant or foreign tyrant, they have a human right to try and defend themselves and their country. Our 2nd Amendment was not for hunting or defending against random crime, it was to repeal a tyrannical government...and that is war.

Wake up and smell the coffee junior, you might actually need that training someday.

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

I was in the military, and if

I was in the military, and if he truly cannot reconcile his moral dilemma, I would not want him in my unit. Some people just cannot reconcile their moral, political or religious beliefs with that of military service. That is ok in my book, but do not force your way through just to get benefits or training, you'll get someone killed.

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

-Pastor Martin Niemöller

Read the book in his tag line by Smedley Butler.

You are just wrong about war. The Revolution was a farce. Learn your history. We did not break free of King George, we signed treaties with him that are still screwing with our country.
Wake up and smell the warmongering, you have been brainwashed. Time to rinse.

Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.

LOL....sure whatever you say

LOL....sure whatever you say flower power. Treaties do not equal being a subject to the King, you're obviously reaching. Human beings have an absolute right to defend themselves. The 2nd Amendment wasn't put in our Constitution for hunting or use against home robberies. It was put into our constitution to fight against a tyrannical government. And when you fight against a government it is called war. You can pretent that humans should never be able to defend themselves, or if they do its something immoral but you seriously need to wake up.

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

Exactly. Knowing that other

Exactly. Knowing that other people that realize this exist is marginally comforting :)

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

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

Sorry, but I disagree with

Sorry, but I disagree with your understanding of American history. This difference wont be resolve here, but thank you for your opine.

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

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

He doesn't have a choice on where he is stationed

You can't just pick and choose where you want to be. If they tell you you have to go to Iran or whatever, you don't have much say in it. In that case, it's not a war of necessity. Defending the homeland is one thing, but as most people on here know, our troops are defending borders of other countries more than our own.

tasmlab's picture

I'd get out however you can

I think there is too much at stake.

If you are making a MORAL argument against it, you're cooked. If you were hemming about some money you'd have to pay back, then you'd be in a different cost/benefit mindset, but you're not.

You are in a moral crisis.

Time to leave.

Currently consuming: Morehouse's "Better off free", FDR; Wii U; NEP Football

I feel for you man, but don't second guess yourself!

How long do you have to serve to fulfill your commitment? 4 years?

My advice is to serve your hitch and then get out. Who knows, you may change your mind again and make a career out of it.

As for repaying the debt, do not think minimize the difficulty of doing so, especially in this economy. Unless you are an electrical or chemical engineer, you may have trouble finding work. And if you don't want to feel like a slave, DO NOT incur student loan debt. Just ask one of the millions of unemployed college graduates who have Uncle Sam breathing down their backs.

As I said before, don't second guess yourself. The priest gave you good advice.

tasmlab's picture

Why I down voted

No disrespect, but I think the lad has personally uncovered the grave moral inconsistency with service and his beliefs. It would be like discovering you were hurting somebody when you thought you were helping them. The dude needs to get out! There's too much at stake I'm guessing.

Currently consuming: Morehouse's "Better off free", FDR; Wii U; NEP Football

Yes. It is exactly like that.

Yes. It is exactly like that.

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

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

Apparently Thomas there's more to this story than you've told us

or you wouldn't be saying that. Good luck--I hope everything goes well for you.

What do you mean?

I was referring to this: "It would be like discovering you were hurting somebody when you thought you were helping them." I suspect that what a lot of awake people in the military feel. I thought I had been clear in that I am facing a moral dilemma.

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

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

I appreciate your post, and you may be right, but I think its

very possible that this young man will regret his decision to leave, especially when the debt repayment burden is placed on his shoulders. Yes, principles are more important than money, but there have been many people who have served with honor in the armed forces, and he could be one of them.

Specifically, how can one

Specifically, how can one serve with honor in the armed forces if it purpose and mission is immoral? Or is it not immoral? If thats the case, how so? I ask sincerely...

(Also, service itself is a debt repayment burden, thus my dilemma. I have no concerns pay back money spent on my education)

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

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

Why I done voted you

Why not use the beast to fight the beast. He might be able to use those required skills one day to fight off our own government.

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

I understand your argument. I

I understand your argument. I have used this rational to stay with it for as long as I have. But in reality how is this practical? I cannot think of a feasible situation where the US military would stand against tyranny, especially from our own government. See, I don't think there is a line that the military won't cross because the troops are so heavily indoctrinated and the lines are incremental and blurred. If ordered to do so, the majority of troops would partake in violence against civilians that resisted marshal law or property confiscation or something of that magnitude. I see the second American revolution (Civil War) as an example of this. So it comes down to what real, tangible difference for the benefit of liberty can I make as a officer in the Army? As of now, I believe little to none... and that would come at great personal cost. But I am open to more discussion on this.

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

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

Good luck in whatever you

Good luck in whatever you decide.

In a post awhile back I commented about how we need people in the military with this mindset. Remember, your oath is to the constitution, not to the President, not to Congress, not to your Captain. I made the argument that we need liberty-minded men and women within the armed forces (especially the officer side) that are willing to disobey unconstitutional orders. If all liberty minded people got out of the military, think of what is left: sheep that will do whatever they are told: unconstitutional or not.

I have been in the Marine Corps for 7 years and while I joined for "patriotism," I finally woke up and found what my role is in the military, and it's just what my oath was when I stood in MEPS and raised my right hand: to support and defend the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic.

So before you bail out, just remember that. I will support your choice either way. I'm attached to an ROTC unit right now and we just had a guy bail out for this same reason. He just talked to the Captain, ended up going to the CO, and he's no longer a part of it. Luckily, he was a brand new freshman so didn't have much to pay back. You may have to.

Best of luck to you, get ahold of me if you have any more questions.

Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty. -Thomas Jefferson
www.brianronk.com

I have considered this as

I have considered this as well. From my admittedly limited view of the military I have concluded that the mid and lower level leadership would role over to the most unconstitutional, illegal orders from the higher leadership. Basically I have lost all faith in military leadership and the sheep to vastily out number the liberty minded people that I would only be putting myself at risk of jail for sticking to my beliefs. I have concluded that it is impossible to "support and defend the Constitution from all enemies" while in the military because the people who attack freedom and the constitution are the ones we take orders from. I am certainly open to objection or critiques of my conclusions though because I only know what I know.

Someone with your (ROTC) background is just who I was hoping to find. So was the CO willing to disenroll the student without doing the consciencious objector route? Did it take long? I may be getting in touch with you vie PM here shortly. Thanks for the input.

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

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

From some of your comments, I

From some of your comments, I can tell you have a good head on your shoulders. That will serve you well in the military or in civilian life.

I can say this honestly, that I would not be where I'm at today without the military. And despite what most people on this board think, I didn't have to kill any babies to do it. I respectfully disagree with many on this board that believe that if you are part of the military, then it makes you guilty of murder. I just don't buy it. My conscience is clear.

There are plenty of examples of patriots (and I mean that in our sense, not in the traditional American's sense) in the military. Look up Michael New and Hugh Thompson Jr. Specifically Hugh Thompson, Jr, who landed his helicopter between American soldiers and Vietnamese civilians to stop the My Lai massacre. Imagine if he had gotten out of ROTC, who is there, boots on the ground stopping murder and other war atrocities? That could be you.

I understand your loss in faith of military leadership, time for liberty-minded people to step into those positions. Think about it. Everywhere else we (liberty-minded people) say that we need to infiltrate and take over where wrongdoing is taking place (GOP, politics in general, police) in order to make them do their constitutional job. Why is it different with the military. I can admit that the majority of the military are sheep that will do WHATEVER they are told WHENEVER they are told to do it. I cannot stress enough how much I believe we need liberty minded officers in the military.

Here's another example, although fiction. Ever watch the TV show Last Resort? I highly recommend it if you haven't. In an extremely brief summary: US government goes whack, tells a nuclear sub to nuke Pakistan, and the Captain of the sub says "No." Great show! This is the kind of stuff I'm talking about.

Final note for now:
In order for you to stay in, you need to change your mindset into what your role will be. You don't have to be a pawn if you don't let them make you a pawn. But if your mindset doesn't change and you remain with how you're thinking now, then yes, you need to get out. Feel free to PM me, I may even be able to find the guy that got out and find out exactly went down. It was all pretty quiet. One day he was there, next day he wasn't.

Best of luck

Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty. -Thomas Jefferson
www.brianronk.com

You have given me some good

You have given me some good things to think about. I really agree with your final note. You being one of the more reasonable military persons that replied today, I still want to ask you: Knowing what you know now, would you join the military today?

I haven't used PM on here before. Could you describe to me how I do that?

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

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

Ah, sorry. Forgot to answer

Ah, sorry. Forgot to answer that.

So hear my out on this explanation, it might seem sort of confusing. If I was in your position, I wouldn't have joined. However, I'm in my position, with 7 years in and I have 7 years to look back on, I would absolutely go this route again, although I would have loved to have been awoken earlier. The military has been good to me. And before anyone tries to accuse me, I haven't done anything immoral to do it. I did my job and did it well. I've been provided with a lot of opportunities I would have never had if I weren't in the military. You can argue that your college degree will get you a great job, but let's face it, a college degree doesn't mean jack anymore. Now a college degree with military background? That will definitely help out a lot more. I'm not at all arguing that you should join the military just to get a better job, just an added point.

To PM me, just click on my name. When it goes to my profile, find the tab up top that says 'contact.' And voila, just like that.

Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty. -Thomas Jefferson
www.brianronk.com

On your profile page I don't

On your profile page I don't see a 'contact' tab. I can see it on other profiles but not yours...?

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

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

I agree. I did 10 years in

I agree. I did 10 years in the Marine Corps as an officer. There are plenty of liberty minded individuals, and that's a good thing. After three tours in iraq I realized that we were not fighting for apple pie, our country or the flag. We, at the Marine level, were fighting for each other.

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

The wars are wrong, our government is wrong

our world is upside down.

And having the skills you learn in the Army will help you and your family down the long road.

Personally I would not quit. Obtain those skills that will help if/when the shit really does hit the fan here.

Many here will try to help you to leave, but I urge you to think twice. Many on here are idealists and purists. Me, I don't run the flags up on the pole anymore, but I sure as hell sleep a lot better knowing I have the skills(although diminishing with age) to protect me, my family and my community if need be. You simply don't get that knowledge anyplace else. Those few years of commitment will pay more dividends down the road.

With or without you - the train will roll on at this point. Better to learn how to operate that train so one day, if you have the chance, your skills can really make difference and maybe play a small roll in stopping it.

I have wrestled with this

I have wrestled with this idea. See, if I stay in for the training, which I do value for the upper hand it would give me in a variety of situations, at what price does that come. I would be living a lie, serving a purpose I don't believe in. I don't think I can do that. I may be an idealist myself now, seems the only way to keep things straight anymore;). Thanks for the input.

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

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

I agree

I would stay, and become an Oath Keeper as well.

Read "A Change of Allegiance" by Dean Taylor Immediately

I have already read it. Dean went through what you are going through and the book will give you important information. You can get it from Amazon or www.clp.org (CLP = Christian Light Publications). CLP is a Christian (Mennonite) publishing ministry. You might even try giving CLP a call and ask for guidance. 800-776-0478. The Mennonites have much information about the CO process. CLP would be a great first contact.

Staying in the military and becoming a Chaplain is still aiding a cause in which you do not believe. It makes no sense. Also, as a Catholic, you will not like the very liberal stance that the military forces Chaplains to adhere to.

I just read 1/3 of the book

I just read 1/3 of the book in one sitting. Amazing. Put's things together perfectly and counter acts every argument from the christians I have consulted. Really glad to brought this to my attention. Just thought I should let you know. Thanks!

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

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

Just ordered it. Thanks for

Just ordered it. Thanks for the referral!

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

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