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D Zach McKelvie (BOS)

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Old
10-26-2010, 03:21 PM
  #26
Kirk- NEHJ
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Originally Posted by BruinsFans92 View Post
Sports is a good way to relieve stress and add some fun into one's lifestyle. If all I did was ROTC and study, I don't think I'd last very long haha... sure ROTC is different than the all out military academy, but it's still something.

@Kirk- NEHJ:
also, West point only is 5 years? Lucky them, I have 8. Then again, I am under contract and oath, with a full scholarship and monthly stipend, free books etc...
Man, you got screwed! (Of course, I'm still in after almost 17 years, so who am I kidding?)

When I had the full ROTC ride, my obligation was only five years as well. Somewhere along the line, they must have upped it, and it might depend on the cost of your tuition, too. I went to a "cheap" (at the time) school-- if the Army is paying out for any school in the Boston area they want to keep you as long as they can. It was 20+ years ago when I started up, so I would imagine the policy changed at some point.

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10-26-2010, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Kirk- NEHJ View Post
Man, you got screwed! (Of course, I'm still in after almost 17 years, so who am I kidding?)

When I had the full ROTC ride, my obligation was only five years as well. Somewhere along the line, they must have upped it, and it might depend on the cost of your tuition, too. I went to a "cheap" (at the time) school-- if the Army is paying out for any school in the Boston area they want to keep you as long as they can. It was 20+ years ago when I started up, so I would imagine the policy changed at some point.

Nope it's the same whether it's a $40,000+ school like Northeastern (where my scholarship was originally to) or here at Zoomass where it's only about 20,000 with room and board both accounted for. Technically it's: 4 active, national guard, or reserves followed by 4 active, national guard, or IRR I believe. I just consider it 8 since I am planning on going active all the way.

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10-26-2010, 03:43 PM
  #28
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40,000 to Northeastern. No wonder so many people are in debt these days.

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10-26-2010, 04:32 PM
  #29
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Originally Posted by Kirk- NEHJ View Post
You're preaching to the choir. But it is what it is.

And, I just wanted to point out that that's a really bad choice of words on your part. I know what you're trying to say, but with the suicide rate in the Army at an all-time high (even among recruiters), maybe a little more sensitivity next time, hmmm?
I was being bluntly truthful on that. The suicide rate for military recruiters is enormous right now. These guys are stressed out by impossible quotas and a job where they have to take getting yelled at and insulted by parents, teachers, and teenagers for trying to do their job. And a number of them are choosing gun shot wounds as their way out. It's not pretty, and if a private company was driving people like that there is no way the government wouldn't look into it. Instead the quotas will drop as the military sizes down in the near future and people will forget about it.

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10-26-2010, 04:35 PM
  #30
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Originally Posted by Kirk- NEHJ View Post
The commitment for the service academies is five years active duty. Robinson did a few years on active duty, but not the full five, finishing out his remaining time on reserve status.

I believe Detroit Lions DB Caleb Campbell, who was drafted in '08 under the belief that he would also be released to take a shot at the NFL immediately before the army pulled back, did two years in uniform and then went to camp this past summer. I don't know his status off the top of my head-- whether he made the team or not, but haven't heard much about him lately.

As an Army PAO, and this is just my personal opinion here and in no way any kind of official position or condemnation, but I'm a little perplexed at my service's ham-handed handling of McKelvie's status; he and the Bruins were led to believe that the policy had changed, allowing him to make a go at the NHL right away, but somehow, the enormous bureaucracy once again muddled things up. That said, he got a hugely expensive college education on taxpayer dime, and the rest of his classmates who don't have his prodigious hockey talents are out there fulfilling their commitments, so I can understand the side who wants him to do his time and repay Uncle Sam like everyone else. At the same time, it's a bit of a double standard, because the Army sponsors troops in the Olympic program and they don't serve in traditional assignments and instead are free to hone their skills on their respective sport.

The biggest problem with the whole thing is that McKelvie was told one thing, and then had the rug pulled out from under him. That's wrong. When he entered West Point, he was likely not considered a pro hockey prospect in any way shape or form, but probably is one of these classic late bloomers who established himself and demonstrated the kind of potential that attracted the B's and prompted them to sign him to a contract. Had he known he would be competitive for this kind of career, he more than likely would have followed his twin brother to Bemidji State or some other NCAA D1 program and not West Point.

Unfortunately, the military isn't the best place to find people who see the bigger picture sometimes and could have understood the good PR that having an Army officer moving on to a potential NHL career could have generated not only for the service but the West Point athletic program. I'm reading Gen. (ret.) Hugh Shelton's autobiography right now, and in the first 100 pages, he related two separate stories of cold, callous, myopic actions taken by people who, if using just an ounce of common sense and compassion, could have engendered terrific loyalty and followership on Shelton's part. Luckily for us, he didn't let that kind of moronic behavior dissuade him from serving 30 years and ultimately becoming the highest ranking general in our military as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs in 1997, but I have seen some very good soldiers get out over the years because of idiots above them who simply cannot see the bigger picture and let their own limited worldview impose an unnecessary misery on others.

I'll get off the soapbox, but like I said-- it is the simpleton who hides behind the regulation and policy rather than find the kind of solution that allows everyone to win. I have no doubt that Lt. McKelvie has and will continue to serve with honor, but between him and Campbell the army has essentially screwed itself out of bringing in any high-end talent who may want to entertain the notion of serving but also may have aspiration of a career in pro sports. A very good friend of mine (and West Point grad) recently left the Army because his infantry branch manager couldn't get off his duff to do the paperwork to get him a dispensation to take two years to attend Harvard Business School, which he got into on his own while deployed to Iraq, I would add. My bud wanted to stay in, and all he was asking for was a deferment on his assignment as an observer/controller in California to attend grad school instead. But this fool-- and I'd call him that to his face if I ever met him-- didn't want to do that because it meant he would have to file additional paperwork and have to get someone else to take the assignment. My friend said, with you or without you, I'm going to Harvard-- and he did, graduating this year and now has a very nice job with Amazon. But, to my view, this country would be much better off if he were still in uniform. I hold one idiot major, who probably thought he was being "Mr. Billy Bad-a**" by denying a guy the chance to attend one of the most prestigious institutions in the country, accountable for not allowing the service to benefit from LB's sterling education in Cambridge that he could have brought back into the military with him. Abject stupidity, but it happens.

I just tell you this story to highlight that sometimes, the service can't help itself. And that as much as we would like to believe that a simple decision like the one to let McKelvie slide and give it a go at his pro hockey dreams would be nice, but that sometimes, we're a slave to individuals and their own biases and limitations.

Again- this is just my opinion and not an official position. I've watched the McKelvie case with interest and was hoping that someone would intercede on his behalf, but that didn't happen, so he'll have to take the longer road. But, if Johnny Boychuk has taught us anything, sometimes, the longer road weeds out those who aren't committed and provides the best lessons to those willing to put in the work and deal with multiple setbacks.
In 1979, I got a call from my buddy stationed at Natick who said he was going to Walter Reed and was I interested in going to Natick. I said I was, and then hung up and called my assignment officer. The first thing he said was, "Ok, but first you have to find someone to replace you at your current assignment." Stupid me, I thought that was his job. This assignment officer always managed to show up to visit me right before the Bing Crosby gold tournament and always managed to visit the guys in Georgia right before the Masters.

OTOH, we have two wars going on, and the Army needs everyone it can get. During these times, they increase the standards for a medical discharge or retirement, and then during peacetime change them back.

Naturally, the very first thing I did after signing in at Natick was drive to Riverside, get on the Green Line, and go to North Station for an appointment with none other than one Milton Conrad Schmidt to purchase my Broons tickets. But wait, it gets better; I got to go to a Broons-Habs playoff game while there for my interview.

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10-26-2010, 06:05 PM
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HockeyKrishna43 View Post
I was being bluntly truthful on that. The suicide rate for military recruiters is enormous right now. These guys are stressed out by impossible quotas and a job where they have to take getting yelled at and insulted by parents, teachers, and teenagers for trying to do their job. And a number of them are choosing gun shot wounds as their way out. It's not pretty, and if a private company was driving people like that there is no way the government wouldn't look into it. Instead the quotas will drop as the military sizes down in the near future and people will forget about it.


McKelvie's situation is unfortunate, but to to make the logic leap to the suicide rates and issues with recruiters and bring McKelvie's situation into it-- a bit of a stretch. I understand it's a systemic problem in the army especially, but there are so many issues and factors in play-- using the McKelvie situation as a bridge to that-- I dunno-- seems like it doesn't really belong in this discussion forum. That seems to be better off in a political forum somewhere.


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10-27-2010, 12:30 AM
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HockeyKrishna43 View Post
I was being bluntly truthful on that. The suicide rate for military recruiters is enormous right now. These guys are stressed out by impossible quotas and a job where they have to take getting yelled at and insulted by parents, teachers, and teenagers for trying to do their job. And a number of them are choosing gun shot wounds as their way out. It's not pretty, and if a private company was driving people like that there is no way the government wouldn't look into it. Instead the quotas will drop as the military sizes down in the near future and people will forget about it.
It's already happening... ROTC scholarships used to be given out like candy (post 9/11) until this school year, which happened to be the year I was applying. The need went down, as did the number of scholarship recipients in apparently one of the larger applicant pools(?), leading to a massive increase of competition that is likely just going to continue. As it is, I think I got one of my school's 4-7 national scholarships in a school of 26,000 or so. I am pretty sure that # used to be at least several times that. Just saying...

Also I don't think it is really necessary to bring in suicide rates and that stuff into here.

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