did colin goddard really serve?

We have discussed Colin Goddard in the past, and how the anti-rights movement seems to be leeching onto him for dear life because he is young, he has a tragic story, he is young, he seems to be pro-“gun control”, and he is young; but this time, we are going to discuss his words, specifically:

I have exercised my Second Amendment rights numerous times through hunting, going to the range, and I was in the Army for two years.

As Chris in AK points out, Colin is either lying, exaggerating, or both.

From all appearances and all public information, Colin was never on active duty in the United States Army; instead, he was part of the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (AROTC) at Virginia Tech for two years. “What is the difference?” you are probably asking? Well, the devil is in the details.

I cannot speak specifically to the AROTC side of the house, but when I was in Naval ROTC, I was not on active duty until the very day before I graduated when I took my oath and became a commissioned line officer in the United States Navy – to be certain, I was contractually obligated to the Navy for my last 2.5 years of school (and that number will be important in a bit), and I had every intention of securing and using that commission, but I was not “in” the Navy until I raised my right hand and repeated after my father.

With that in mind, and assuming AROTC worked the same way, Colin Goddard was never “in” the Army.

Now, as for that whole “2.5 years” bit… It took me 4.5 years to escape Georgia Tech, so that explains the random half. However, in the NROTC program while I was in college, anyone who could gain admittance could get an effectively free ride for the first two years – there were few strings attached, you did not have to sign a contract with the Navy, and you would not be held indebted to the government if you decided the Navy was not for you. At the beginning of my Junior year, however, I had to sign a very comprehensive contract basically saying that if I voluntarily quit, or failed out of school, or, for some other reason, did not receive my commission through my own fault, the Navy could either (a) forcibly enlist me for four years, or (b) force me to pay back the money they paid Tech over the course of 10 years. Things like that tend to grab college Juniors’ attention, let me tell you.

However, I knew a decidedly non-zero number of midshipmen (the term for NROTC students… AROTC and Air Force ROTC students are cadets) who did their two years in the program, cut ties, finished college, an went about their merry lives – did they go into the program with those intentions? I do not know. But aside from the PT, the marching, the mandatory classes, the uniforms, and losing a month of your summers, it was not a bad way to pay for two years of college at what could be a very expensive school.

If Colin Goddard was only in the AROTC program for two years, and assuming it worked the same way as the NROTC, he definitely was never “in” the Army.

Non-service-academy midshipmen and cadets are strange birds when it comes to the military… they are not subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, they have no place in the chain of command (which is always interesting during those month-long summer “cruises”), they have no command authority (apart from whatever situational authority they are granted by those who are capable of doing so) they are not officer or enlisted, they do not get DD214s when they leave the program, and they would be amongst the last to be called up to active duty should the situation call for it.

Speaking of, if Colin actually did take part of the Basic Rifleman Marksmanship training program, it was probably during either the Army equivalent of CORTRAMID, or during his sophomore summer activities, wherein he was introduced to what enlisted folks do in the Army (again, assuming AROTC works anything like NROTC did).

In case I have not said this enough, this entire post is written assuming that AROTC works along similar patterns as NROTC – honestly, the two programs did not officially socialize much at Tech, and I am not intimate with the inner workings of the other branches of the military. It is arguably possible that Colin enlisted, reserve or active, during his time in Virginia Tech’s AROTC program, especially with their whole Corps of Cadets thing, but it is not terribly probable. It is also possible that Colin was a “prior” – an individual who was enlisted, and then decided to become an officer by way of the ROTC program – but that simply does not fit the timeline or his explanation. Finally, if legitimate information does show up definitively proving that Colin did serve in the United States Army, either as an enlisted soldier or a commissioned officer, and either on active duty or in a reserve role, consider this post retracted and an apology tendered. But I am not counting on having to do either.

And this, ladies and gentlepeople, is a prime reason why the anti-rights nuts are losing ground on almost every front – you simply cannot believe a single word coming out of their mouths. The good news is that more and more Americans are realizing that, and moving away from supporting “gun control”, but we still have a long way to go, and we must always be cognizant of the stupid, simple lies that will sneak by unnoticed… like someone claiming to have served in the Armed Forces when they probably never did.

(Note 1: This is all without even addressing the fallacy that being “in the Army” allowed Colin the opportunity to exercise his “Second Amendment rights” – said rights obviously have absolutely nothing to do with the military service Colin probably did not tender.

Note 2: If you or your children are interested in both military service and a college education, the Reserve Officer Training Corps program is an outstanding way to accomplish both without the froofera necessary to be a ring-knocker, and that whole “(mostly-)guaranteed job upon graduation” thing is a hell of a comfort these days… Hit up the Navy, Army, or Air Force pages for more information.)

19 thoughts on “did colin goddard really serve?”

  1. I’m on duty tomorrow, and one of the guys on the shift before mine is a Corps of Cadets grad and now Marine 2Lt who is now in the local med school on the military’s dime. I’ll see if I can find out anything from him. It’s possible (but not likely) that VT does it differently on account of being a Senior Military College.

    I expect, however, that he’s full of it. I doubt the Army would let him leave early once he’s officially “in”.

  2. I was in Army ROTC in college in 1987-1989. It worked basically the same way you are explaining NROTC. I still think that he will “clarify” his remarks and say that he was misquoted. God knows the press misquotes us often enough.

  3. @ Jake: Huh. Thanks for the link to the USSMC stuff – I knew Virginia Tech was different, but never really knew why… The Corps of Cadets was pretty much the exact reason I did not even bother applying there once I had decided I was going the NROTC route – I figured if I wanted that kind of living, I would just go straight for the Academy. One interesting line from the Wikipedia article, though (which may or may not actually be accurate):

    Cadets at an SMC are authorized to take the ROTC program all four years, but taking a commission upon graduation remains optional, unlike other colleges where ROTC cadets are required to sign a contract to take commission before entering their final two years.

    I have to wonder if that means VT types are never under contract, or always. Dunno.

    At any rate, I would definitely appreciate you inquiring as to how their particular arrangement works, and if VT does anything special – it is very possible I am wrong, but it would surprise me greatly.

    @ Sean D Sorrentino: Heh, I am not even going to mention when I started NROTC…

    And, honestly (and not just for the sake of being contrary), I am going to have to say we are going to see nary a retraction or correction on his part – being a “veteran” gives him leverage he would not otherwise have, and you and I both know the media is not going to bother with this little story Chris broke. I mean, hell, when was the last time any Brady weenie corrected a factual misstatement they made?

  4. At Colorado School of Mines, we were required to take ROTC classes. At the time, folks said we were in ROTC by nature of taking the classes. They were the best classes. Very practical. We learned map reading, artillery calculations, concrete design, bridge building, and how to BLOW SHITE UP! Very fun. It was a nice break from calculus and physics.

  5. Sounds like the AROTC classes were significantly more interesting than the NROTC ones… sure, we went over ship classes, and weapon specifics (as much as we could, since not everyone at the classes always had clearances), and a little bit of tactics, but the overwhelming majority of classes were on ethics, leadership, command, etc. Interesting from an academic standpoint, but certainly not as entertaining ;).

  6. Had a friend who was AROTC, he was spending weekends running around in the woods wearing camo. The best the navy could do was put me in a damage control simulator where I almost drowned. I was gypped.

  7. Dude, you got to go to a damage control simulator? I was in the Navy, and the closest I got to drowning in a damage control simulator was the time they gave me a firehose and made me wash down the pier.

  8. @ GuardDuck: The DC simulator was not that bad… now, the drownproofing that they put us through for Aviation Week (which I failed), that was freakish. Trying to tread water for 5 minutes in a full flight suit, boots, and helmets was a gorramed nightmare.

    @ Sean D Sorrentino: Ahh, the happy days of working parties… I am sure you miss those ;).

  9. @Linoge: bite your tongue.

    I was a boiler operator. On that particular occasion, we had an air powered pump set up in the bilges of the forward machinery space, but it had been turned off by the midnight to 4am watch because the oily water tank we had on the pier was full. The 4 to 8am watchstander came down, saw the pump was off and the bilges were full, and turned it on. The tank overflowed onto the pier and into the bay. We got into a bit of trouble over that.

  10. No luck – I walked into the station and immediately had to go on a call (and another, and another…), so I missed him. I’ve got a couple of other sources I can check with, but I don’t know when I’ll run into them.

  11. I had two years of JROTC in high school. I was issued a ’03A3 to carry around the parade field every Wednesday and qualified marksman with .22LR at the High School range.

    So under the Goddard theory am I a veteran now?

  12. @ Sean D Sorrentino: Ahh, that is right, you were the certified nutcase… er… Machinist’s Mate.

    And whoo boy, if you so much as had a sheen of oil around your ship when you were in port when I was in, you had to shoot off a national-level message within six hours, and pay megabucks to clean it up, especially in San Diego (which has some of the nastiest water in the country… literally).

    @ Jake: No worries, like I said, I am not exactly holding my breath on being proved wrong.

    @ FatWhiteMan: Guess so. Time to start getting your discounts at Home Depot and whatnot ;).

  13. Oh, no worries – I was ELECTRO for my entire first DIVO tour, on a ship that was older than me, and one that they stopped making spare parts for shortly after the assembly line was struck, and I learned a rather healthy dislike for topsiders.

  14. @ Linoge wrote:

    Cadets at an SMC are authorized to take the ROTC program all four years, but taking a commission upon graduation remains optional, unlike other colleges where ROTC cadets are required to sign a contract to take commission before entering their final two years.

    I have to wonder if that means VT types are never under contract, or always. Dunno.

    Here’s how it worked at Texas A&M when I was in the Corps of Cadets. ALL Freshmen and Sophomore cadets were affiliated with a branch of service, whether they were contract or not. They all took the appropriate Military Science classes for their branch affiliation. After your sophomore year, you made your contract decision and signed the paperwork. If you went contract, you were required to take the MilSci classes (obviously). If you opted not to go contract, you became a Drill & Ceremonies cadet. You still wore the uniform, but you no longer wore your ROTC patch on the left shoulder. You swapped it out for the generic Corps of Cadets patch. As a D&C cadet, you could enroll in the year-level MilSci classes if you so chose, and if there was room, but you were not REQUIRED to.

    Hopefully that clears up the SMC stuff a bit.

  15. @ Merlin: Thanks for the clarification! Sounds basically like it was for us “normal” ROTC types, except we did not have the D&C types – we had “contract” and “non-contract”, and you could actually make it through all four years as a “non-contract”, and if there was space, they would still give you a commission. You had to pay for your own education, so I am not really sure what the benefit for you was, but if someone really, really wanted a commission, that was one way to at least try for it.

    Either way you cut it, though, it is looking like Colin Goddard was definitively never active duty, and thus his claims of being “in the Army” are falling quite flat.

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