February 15th, 2011  
Jerked Around

Topic: Screwed?

Ok heres what happened. I was supposed to ship out on Feb 16th for Fort Leonard Wood as a PFC in the ARMY with MOS 68W via Knoxville, TN. On Feb 11th at 3:36 I was in Madison, AL for a wedding and my going away party as my best friend and some family live in Bama. I stupidly got behind the wheel and and ran a redlight.

I submitted to a breathalyzer because I knew I was ****ed and wanted to cooperate. I blew 0.17. I was taken to jail and a mandatory 12hr hold was placed on me. I was charged with DUI and running a redlight. My arraignment was set for Feb 14th. I immediately upon bail texted my recruiter for advice. He said he would call the base commander and get back to me. Well, multiple texts back and forth and I never received a call from either of them. I texted to ask if a recruiter from the local station could come with me to court. Recruiter stated that was illegal. I went to my court date and was given a few options.

If I pled guilty and paid the fine of $900. It would have been an immediate conviction and I could not ship. I spoke with to probation officer and the judge and we agreed in my best interest to plead not guilty so I could still attend bootcamp with out a conviction. I asked my recruiter to give me advice and received no response. After pleading not guilty and not paying any fines my court date was sent in mid July, I was told my lawyer (who I have yet to hire) could postpone the date if need be. My recruiter then informed me then via text msg that I couldn't ship with pending charges and the commander would be calling me on Feb 15th to either determine me as a "loss or renegotiate my contract".

I feel like I was left hanging. If I pled guilty I couldn't go. If I pled non guilty I couldn't go. If I get a conviction in July I still can't. I'm 25 with a few dismissed priors (simple assualt at 23, wreckless driving/evading/destruction of public property/dui at 19). Basically I hit a church with my car after speeding when I was 19 and punched a heckler who deserved it at 22. I feel so ****ed! So if the Army is going to screw me and not give advice when all I heard was "call your recruiter" I'd rather be a Devil Dog.

Can the marines get me a waiver if i get a DUI conviction in July or can I apply to marines before court? I'm tough, I am 3 credits away from a BS in Criminal Justice, and I WANT TO SERVE! People get to sent to boot camp as punishment, but I want to go and cant..Help? Advice?
February 15th, 2011  
As of right now, I think you're pretty much screwed. All the services are downsizing and entrance into any service is now much more competitive since the economy is in the crapper. Talk to your recruiters at the MEPs station since they will be the ones really working on any waivers that might come down. At the least it's going to take a lot longer for you to ship, at the worst you'll be permanantly barred from enlistment. None of the services are going to want to touch you because they have 10 other people without DUIs, and just as many qualifications to fill your shoes.

Being in the military is about taking accountability and owning responsibilty. If you want to serve, own up to what you've done and let the chips fall where they may. YOU drove drunk. You made the mistake. You left it up to someone else to decide your fate. Now you have to deal with the consequences. It's no different in the military. Take your licks. Learn from this. Dust yourself off. And begin to move forward.

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