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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.

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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ytc's picture

Good luck, thomast!

I don't have the know-how, but I'll be praying for you. Remember, whatever repercussions you may face, you will be a STRONGER person in mind, soul & body because of your courageous act :-)

If i were you, I would take a

If i were you, I would take a more productive approach before doing this. See if you can put forth a pledge that re-honors their oath and points out what the pledge really means. See if theyll sign a pledge stating that they will refuse to be involved in any war or action that is not declared by congress or that is unconstitutional. Try to have everyone sign it. Then, if that time ever comes then you (and possibly those people who signed it) can conscious object.

Have who sign it? The

Have who sign it? The president, generals and the entire military? Who are you talking about here?

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


Everyone you can? It would be

Everyone you can? It would be a heck of a lot more productive if that time ever came to have more people than you to be educated and then object. I dont know the rules or if youll get in trouble for doing something like this so its up to you. I remember others doing something similar to it. It just seems that you would be more valuable staying and educating others than leaving.

I think you need to look at internal appeals processes as well

a) you might have some personal liability if ROTC paid for you and you do not uphold your side of the contract. Make sure you know what, if any, liability you are facing.

b) you should be investigating the Army's INTERNAL conscientious objector policy as well as staffing options insofar as you are able to influence them. For example, there may be roles inside the Army you could fulfill like nurse's assistant, chaplain's assistant, human resources analyst or something like that. I'm sure there are many internal roles that I certainly don't know of but which do not contribute to destruction.

c) look at options where you can work "from the inside". Think of roles you could do where you could learn some internal operations first hand that the liberty movement needs to be aware of. I.e. bite your tongue for X years, get the details and write about them later for educational purposes.

Thanks for the reply. a)I

Thanks for the reply.

a)I read my contract (multiple times) last night. It states if I am disenrolled or CO status is accomplished I will have to pay back all financial assistance that I have received through the contract. If I am dis-enrolled for reasons other than CO, I can be ordered to enlist in Active Duty to meet my obligation or pay the money back. That decision it seems is based on my PMS/Commander recommendation I think.

b)I don't want to support or be apart of war in any way. To do so would violate my core beliefs.

c)This was my original plan when I first started having doubts. But I fear I may be asked to do things that I will not do and face prison time for not following orders. i.e. Two Army doctors refused to administer a untested vaccine to soldiers (which apparently resulted in partial paralysis) and they spent/are spending a few year in Leavonworth.I cannot take part in something I know to be intrinsically evil. Are you a vet? Do you think these concerns are legitimate?

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


practical advice


I'm a former Army officer, and prior enlisted. By all means DO NOT ENLIST in the Army. Any marginal status benefit to being an officer will be lost. Simply, pay the money back, and get out from under that sword of Damocles.

Best case)What I would do (options in order of attractiveness):
If you can get a student loan (long term fixed rate) to reimburse the .gov, and can get a civilian job that pays better, do it! You'll need to figure out your financial aid options and how to dis-enroll without being pulled into the Army. Worst case, GET AN ATTORNEY, that specializes in military law. After getting a loan, and finishing your degree, go promptly to Myanmar, Vietnam, Africa or Singapore to start your career. You'll make more money, and you'll be on the ground floor of building a country. The experience that you can gain at this time in your life when you have the fewest attachments is a precious gift.

Plan B-ish) You bail. get your degree, paper in hand, leave the country, never to return until the reset. You could get a job for a foreign company in a developing market, make good money and return when the dust settles. (the 50K reimbursement to the gov would be much more desirable though). They won't be looking that hard for you. I've seen quite a few enlisted people go AWOL, never to be seen again. There are negative consequences, but if you don't come back to the country, it's an option.

Plan C-ish)
Take your commission if you can be assured to be branched as an engineer, or non-combatant role. This doesn't mean you will be necessarily safe, but it's better than being enlisted. If you get deployed to the Kush, you could be on your own if the US collapses. Come up with a plan and resources to make your way home in the event of a government collapse. While things are pseudo-stable you'll get COLA, housing allowance, etc, that bump up base pay, not ideal, but not horrible.

Dumb/suicide case 1) Enlisted. You will be the lowest, most disposable pawn for the bankers, and our psychotic leaders, and generals. Do not do this!

Dumb/suicide case 2) allow yourself to be put in jail, or enlisted over this, thereby greatly enhancing the likelihood of being killed. How much is your life worth?

To all those that claim you entered into a fair contract, and you should go along with it, or that Jesus will save you (unbelievable!!), GET REAL!!!! God/Allah/the Intergalactic spagetti monster/whatever you want to call it, helps those that help themselves!!! Jesus didn't save the little kids that got blown to bloody pieces in Pakistan did he/she, or the little girl that watched her parents eviscerated by a drone missle, bleed out in their back garden. Pull your head out of your behind!!!!

Additionally, the .gov is in BREACH of the master contract - the constitution, bill of rights and the international laws of war, making any little thing like an enlistment contract NULL AND VOID in moral principle. The only thing backing these "contracts" is force! Just because a kangaroo court will throw you in jail over it, doesn't mean it's worth honoring, or morally right. It simply means that you shouldn't put yourself in a position for some enforcer to throw you in jail, or willingly go off to be killed.

Be creative, escape... with the least amount of downside possible.

I think you misread my comments

I suggested he "get religion." He stated he already had it, and I encouraged him to use whatever resonated with his spirit to guide him through this. I believe we are in a "savior self" situation, but if Jesus is how this man conceives of "the highest consciousness" or whatever, than he should run with it.
I admire your frank honesty, and I hope all those telling him to suck it up read your wise words of experience.

Love or fear? Chose again with every breath.

They are definitely legitimate.

But you'll need to be prepared to bear any contractual liability you may have if you are unable to identify an alternative for yourself. Is a being chaplain's assistant really so bad, or supportive of war vs. facing a $50,000 personal cash liability out of college?

Personally, I don't think so. But I'm not you. :)

I'm in the process of

I'm in the process of figuring out what the total amount will be. Right now I estimate 40 -50 thousand in total debt. I will have a BS in Civil Engineering from reputable engineering school. Starting salary in generally +- $50,000. 2LT pay is $28000 a year. So not overly concerned about the debt because at least my honor, integrity, and humanity will still be in tack and I won't feel like I'm working off a sentence as I would if I was serving. And from my understanding it is very unpredictable as to what type of job I will have. They can make me do what ever they want.

The way I see it, either way I have a debt to the government. Either through time and labor, or through money. If I just pay money back I will still be me, a free individual, with essential a lot of student loan debt. If I commission it will be against my will and I will feel like a slave. And that's depressing.

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


You know that's a good point.

Because in theory you would have paid that same money in some form anyway, either through college loans or the loss of salary as 2LT vs. entry civil engineer - over a 4 year period, it's probably about the same.



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


God Bless You

You are making the right choice.

I am not knowledgeable in this area so I can not offer advice, but I can give this thread bump, hopefully someone here will be able to help.

Check out the Laissez-Faire Journal at LFJournal.com

"The State is a gang of thieves writ large." - Murray Rothbard

Seen Jesus?

I'd get religion real fast. Don't say a word to anyone until you find the "right church" and go get baptized.
Good luck.

Love or fear? Chose again with every breath.

I am a Catholic. All I needed

I am a Catholic. All I needed to do is own up to that and accept the rules of Natural Law and the Non-Aggression Principle.

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


There you go. Anybody else offered to save you?

However you conceive it, our savior is the Messenger of Love. Let it / him guide you. If it comes from the heart rather than merely a ploy your path will unfold before you. You just have to find the courage to take that first step.

Love or fear? Chose again with every breath.

Thank you

"If it comes from the heart rather than merely a ploy your path will unfold before you" I am beginning to see that is exactly the situation I find myself in, and that indeed it will unfold before me.

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


If I were you

I come from a tradititonal military family, where ROTC is an honor. You have made a committment, and now you are second guessing yourself, based on how you have grown, come to understand yourself, which you claim has a Catholic foundation. So have you made a confession about this? I have a wonderful preist, and I hope you do too.. if that is not your calling, do not forget that the military hs Chaplins.. as an officer, which ROTC preps you, and that training is valuable, so before you throw it out, check out how you can fullfill YOUR mission, least you forget, you are training in the name of defense.

I don't think that's an issue, Granger

First of all: A.M.D.G.

Second, as long as you accept the penalties of breaking a contract, there's no problem with breaking a contract. It's when you do not accept the penalties when it becomes immoral.

In this case, this young man is fully willing to accept the penalties.

FBI_Exposer Ω™


Yes, I agree as long as you accept the penalties there is no problem breaking a contract and when you do not accept the penalties it becomes immoral. If this is the issue, than yes, I agree with this,, and perhaps my idea of finding something within to not face penalties but make lemonade out of lemons is not an issue.. but still,, ROTC is honorable, and worthy in many powerful and GOOD circles.. Let's not forget the military supported Ron Paul, so it is not like he is alone, eh?

Okay, but I made said

Okay, but I made said commitment under false pretenses, for reasons I once thought justified but now know to be immoral. So what commitment do I have now? And what was I training in defense of? The empire and the MIC in my opinion. These are sincere questions, I'm not trying to be arguemenitive.

I have sought counsel from my preist from back home that I grew up with and have a lot of respect for. He simply thought I was thinking to much into it and that it wasn't a problem.

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


It would be immoral to serve the State as one of its killers.

It is not immoral to break a "contract" asking you to do immoral things.

A contract to violate the rights of others, is not a valid contract in the first place.

Would it be immoral to back out of a contract to kill or steal?

Of course not, you have nothing to worry about.

Good Luck!

Check out the Laissez-Faire Journal at LFJournal.com

"The State is a gang of thieves writ large." - Murray Rothbard

You have a commitment to your contract

and if that means having to pay them back.. that's your choice, to be heavily indebt/slave for freedom from ROTC (and that's not grunt).

You were training on many levels, leadership mostly.. You learn how to take orders and discharge them correctly, could be engineering military bases in Iran, or underwater, or leading construction crews.. you would understand protocol and ranks and learn about the world as no civilian can, unless they are a MIC general/admiral, etc.

You are in training to defend the Republic.

Why not meet the local preist and chaplin? I think you might begin a conversation with one and see if that will help you find how you can keep your committment and conscieness.

This is a HUGE, potentially self damaging position to be in, in that you may be unable to pay off that debt.. spend your life in debt, and think the world actually gives a damn that you decided while you were in ROTC to become a conscience objector.

As I've said, ROTC is an honor, so it's a slap in the face that is not going to serve you well in the future, IMO when trying to get corporate work.. which pays bills.. or government, but that's part of the MIC machine too.... But, who knows what God has designed for you.. no matter what your choice, I wish you well.

ROTC is a dubious honor.

Some days you kinda scare me, granger. Did the lizard people suck out your brain? Have you noticed ANY of these threads about the atrocious suicide rate in the military? What was honorable in the past has fallen into decay, and even though honorable men have filled the ranks of our military, the war machine has been a profit-driven disgrace for centuries. Perhaps you have had a flag waving in your eyes and could not see?

Love or fear? Chose again with every breath.

I am proud of you.

It does matter to honor your conscience, doesn't it?

Applying for Conscientious Objector Status

Informing the government of conscientious objector beliefs can begin as soon as one registers with the U.S. Selective Service. All men between the ages of 18 and 25 and living in the United States are required by law to register, in order to track those who would be eligible for the draft. Current members of the military, including ROTC or the reserves, may also apply for conscientious objector status and be subject to honorable discharge. Regardless of one's situation, the process of applying for CO status is complex, often lengthy, and no guarantee that the request will be granted.


Conscientious Objection - Fact Sheet

The law cannot make a wicked person virtuous…God’s grace alone can accomplish such a thing.
Ron Paul - The Revolution

Setting a good example is a far better way to spread ideals than through force of arms. Ron Paul