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.)