I have a 19-year-old son who is an E2 in the Army National Guard. He enlisted in high school and returned from basic/AIT in November, so he had to wait until January to start college. He has always been a good kid but he made a stupid mistake over the weekend. He called me to come get him from school, which he never does -- he hates to come home, and I figured something was up. On the way home, he fessed up that he went to a campus party with friends and he got very drunk, and to top it off, he smoked marijuana while he was at the party. He said another guy who is in the same Guard unit with him yelled at him and told him that he was stupid (which he was) because the unit has drill this upcoming weekend, and a 100% drug test was going to happen. My kid is normally a very smart, good kid, but one bad decision led to another -- underage drinking is one thing, but smoking weed is another! He is scared that he will test positive, and thrown out of the National Guard. He is afraid to ask anyone what he should do -- other than the obvious, if he is tested, comply and if it is positive, face the music. He has been offered a STEM Scholarship through ROTC at the college where he attends, so he obviously has a brain cell or two -- but he must have left his common sense in his dorm room when he decided to go to a party with friends! While his father and I are furious with him about his poor decision-making, we are fearful of what will happen. I spoke to a National Guard/ROTC guy at another college, and was told that because he was an E-2, he would hopefully not get thrown out of the Guard but will most likely have to undergo counseling, drug testing and maybe even lose what little rank he has, etc. I was also told that this is up to his Commander, and if the unit has a 0-tolerance policy (which I agree it should) he could very well be discharged with a hot test result. I was also told that even worse, even if the Guard lets him stay, he will NEVER get accepted to ROTC. He is devastated that one bad decision could ruin his military career. Are there any suggestions??? I am glad that he fessed up and told me, and I hope that this is a learning experience for him. I know he has to face the music, but I would hope that his Commander was "young and stupid" at one time as well. The ROTC person I spoke to also suggested in a roundabout way that if my son should become ill this weekend, gets a doctors excuse and can't go to drill, he could make up his drill weekend later, or just be excused and not get paid. I am at a loss, other than when it comes down to it, he really screwed up. And he knows it.
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