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  • Did minor mistakes ruin my chances of a LE career?

    Hello Officer Forums!
    I came to discuss something that is very personal and hard for me to talk about.
    At the end of this short read some of you may think that I am overthinking or overreacting however this has haunted me for years.
    Many years ago just as I hit age 20 I was discharged from the Air Force with a General (General under Honorable Conditions - NOT GENERAL UNDER OTHER THAN HONORABLE a.k.a. OTH) discharge for Minor Disciplinary Infractions.
    Discipline quickly improved and commander (a Captain) recommended chain of command to retain me. (decision was being made by a Lieutenant Colonel)
    Sadly the recommendation of retention letterhead did not do it and I got separated.

    I was informed that I was eligible for re-enlistment by any other branch and many years after cleaning up my immature act and expanding my education and career I was determined to
    make things right. I went to the Army and presented my package as well as previous service records.
    My discharge as well as circumstances were looked at and my suitability review got approved almost instantly by the Army recruiting command and I was cleared for MEPS and ready to rock and roll.
    Due to my discharge MEPS requested a psych eval, which I did not think much about, before fully clearing me for reenlistment.
    I ended up taking 2 tests which had over 1000 multiple choice questions in it and it was not fun - I started getting quite impatient because I was expected to be back at work at noon and I am still sitting in that room at 1:30PM barely more than half way though the tests. I started flying through questions and not giving them thought. Long story short I did not respect this test in any way nor did I understand the potential consequences that I would have to face. I got a call back 2 weeks later from the recruiting company informing me that MEPS claims that my test "suggests a personality disorder".
    I was in shock and did not understand if it was me or the way I took the test or an error on the results that put me in this position.
    I had a conversation with recruiting and they suggested I get a 2nd opinion by a board certified psychologist to hopefully get good results and appeal the results.
    I ended up scheduling a completely psychological/mental health evaluation at a psychologist who just so happened to in charge of screening the applicants for the police departments in the area.
    I was required to give a background statement, interview and was asked to take paper tests called the MMPI and MCMI, which had similar questions like the computer tests I took before but differently worded.
    Long story short I received my results back 2 weeks late in a sealed envelope addressed to MEPS and a copy for myself.

    The results summarize: "The profile deals effectively with situational demands. There are no elevations on the clinical syndrome scale therefore no distinctive clinical syndromes appear in this profile. The profile is within normal limits and no psychological diagnostic considerations are warranted at this time."
    I am currently in involved in a very long process of getting the initial MEPS findings overturned, which happens to be a very tasking process that is very time consuming (almost a 2 year process now).
    I have also acquired my FAA issued pilot license and a FAA Medical Certificate - a government contracted senior flight surgeon, who also reviewed my results and cleared me on the stop for a second class medical certificate.


    I do not have any criminal record / arrest / driving record and try to follow the law to the fullest extent.
    From my understanding I have 2 things going against me:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1.) A General under Honorable Conditions Discharge (some local PDs list "Under Honorable Conditions" specifically as qualifying however my local PD website states that anything "Non-Honorable" is disqualifying however I do not know how to interpret that since there are 2 types of General Discharges - Under Honorable and under Other than Honorable.

    2.) A personality disorder misdiagnosis which was overturned by both a board licensed Law Enforcement Psychologist as well as a HIMS / FAA Senior Flight Surgeon.

    What I HAVE going for me:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1.) Associates Degree in Science
    2.) Licensed Pilot Holding a Medical Certificate that clears me for Commercial Flight
    3.) USPA licensed skydiving coach
    2.) Numerous IT certs including Office Certs
    3.) Strong ASVAB/GPA (top 5% percentile)
    4.) No Criminal Record / Arrests
    5.) Excellent physical shape (competitive swimmer)
    6.) I made the campaign website for the Mayor of the city where I would like to serve (mutual friends with a family I know)
    7.) Very good friends currently already serving in the Police Department who are willing to write recommendations
    8.) Excellent work place reviews
    9.) Military Training (all completed)
    10.) Licensed to carry with numerous firearm courses completed
    11.) Lived in this city for over a decade and know it inside out
    12.) A letterhead from the local Army Recruiting command recommending my Re-enlistment and my Misdiagnosis to be waived
    13.) Previously recognized by another PD for assisting and volunteering
    14.) Red Cross certified Lifeguard + Medical Background
    15.) Multilingual


    I know this is a very unusual case I have going.
    I am fully prepared to not find the answers or the advice that I am looking for but I will take words of wisdom and recommendations any day!
    Thank you in advance!
    Last edited by HOAX32; 08-07-2019, 03:54 PM.

  • #2
    Aaahhhh Yeah.

    OK, let's look at what you perceive to be your many qualities.

    Originally posted by HOAX32 View Post
    1.) Associates Degree in Science
    4.) No Criminal Record / Arrests
    5.) Excellent physical shape (competitive swimmer)
    8.) Excellent work place reviews
    Applicant meets the minimum qualifications for the position. Nothing special here.


    Originally posted by HOAX32 View Post
    2.) Licensed Pilot Holding a Medical Certificate that clears me for Commercial Flight
    3.) USPA licensed skydiving coach
    2.) Numerous IT certs including Office Certs
    3.) Strong ASVAB/GPA (top 5% percentile)
    6.) I made the campaign website for the Mayor of the city where I would like to serve (mutual friends with a family I know)
    7.) Very good friends currently already serving in the Police Department who are willing to write recommendations
    9.) Military Training (all completed)
    10.) Licensed to carry with numerous firearm courses completed
    12.) A letterhead from the local Army Recruiting command recommending my Re-enlistment and my Misdiagnosis to be waived
    13.) Previously recognized by another PD for assisting and volunteering
    Absolute fluff. Does nothing to demonstrate you ability to perform the duties of a police officer. It does show you don't know how to number things in order.

    Originally posted by HOAX32 View Post
    14.) Red Cross certified Lifeguard + Medical Background
    You will have to take this again in the academy.


    Originally posted by HOAX32 View Post
    15.) Multilingual
    Ah ha! Found one! This may get you an extra point or two on the oral board, assuming the second language you speak is one tha common to the area you are working.


    I hate to burst your bubble, but hiring is based on your demonstrated ability to perform the duties of the job you are seeking. While what you've posted shows perhaps a good work history and community involvement, you will need to score high on the written and oral to get anywhere.

    With respect to your psych issue, applicants are screened at the time of appointment to determine if at that time, they are free of any psychological issues that would impair their ability to do the job. While past history will be looked at and considered, it is your state of mind now that is important. As long as your head is straight now and there is no continuing history, you shouldn't have an issue.



    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by HOAX32 View Post
      Hello Officer Forums!
      I came to discuss something that is very personal and hard for me to talk about.
      At the end of this short read some of you may think that I am overthinking or overreacting however this has haunted me for years.
      Many years ago just as I hit age 20 I was discharged from the Air Force with a General (General under Honorable Conditions - NOT GENERAL UNDER OTHER THAN HONORABLE a.k.a. OTH) discharge for Minor Disciplinary Infractions.
      Discipline quickly improved and commander (a Captain) recommended chain of command to retain me. (decision was being made by a Lieutenant Colonel)
      Sadly the recommendation of retention letterhead did not do it and I got separated.

      I was informed that I was eligible for re-enlistment by any other branch and many years after cleaning up my immature act and expanding my education and career I was determined to
      make things right. I went to the Army and presented my package as well as previous service records.
      My discharge as well as circumstances were looked at and my suitability review got approved almost instantly by the Army recruiting command and I was cleared for MEPS and ready to rock and roll.
      Due to my discharge MEPS requested a psych eval, which I did not think much about, before fully clearing me for reenlistment.
      I ended up taking 2 tests which had over 1000 multiple choice questions in it and it was not fun - I started getting quite impatient because I was expected to be back at work at noon and I am still sitting in that room at 1:30PM barely more than half way though the tests. I started flying through questions and not giving them thought. Long story short I did not respect this test in any way nor did I understand the potential consequences that I would have to face. I got a call back 2 weeks later from the recruiting company informing me that MEPS claims that my test "suggests a personality disorder".
      I was in shock and did not understand if it was me or the way I took the test or an error on the results that put me in this position.
      I had a conversation with recruiting and they suggested I get a 2nd opinion by a board certified psychologist to hopefully get good results and appeal the results.
      I ended up scheduling a completely psychological/mental health evaluation at a psychologist who just so happened to in charge of screening the applicants for the police departments in the area.
      I was required to give a background statement, interview and was asked to take paper tests called the MMPI and MCMI, which had similar questions like the computer tests I took before but differently worded.
      Long story short I received my results back 2 weeks late in a sealed envelope addressed to MEPS and a copy for myself.

      The results summarize: "The profile deals effectively with situational demands. There are no elevations on the clinical syndrome scale therefore no distinctive clinical syndromes appear in this profile. The profile is within normal limits and no psychological diagnostic considerations are warranted at this time."
      I am currently in involved in a very long process of getting the initial MEPS findings overturned, which happens to be a very tasking process that is very time consuming (almost a 2 year process now).
      I have also acquired my FAA issued pilot license and a FAA Medical Certificate - a government contracted senior flight surgeon, who also reviewed my results and cleared me on the stop for a second class medical certificate.


      I do not have any criminal record / arrest / driving record and try to follow the law to the fullest extent.
      From my understanding I have 2 things going against me:
      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      1.) A General under Honorable Conditions Discharge (some local PDs list "Under Honorable Conditions" specifically as qualifying however my local PD website states that anything "Non-Honorable" is disqualifying however I do not know how to interpret that since there are 2 types of General Discharges - Under Honorable and under Other than Honorable.

      2.) A personality disorder misdiagnosis which was overturned by both a board licensed Law Enforcement Psychologist as well as a HIMS / FAA Senior Flight Surgeon.

      What I HAVE going for me:
      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      1.) Associates Degree in Science
      2.) Licensed Pilot Holding a Medical Certificate that clears me for Commercial Flight
      3.) USPA licensed skydiving coach
      2.) Numerous IT certs including Office Certs
      3.) Strong ASVAB/GPA (top 5% percentile)
      4.) No Criminal Record / Arrests
      5.) Excellent physical shape (competitive swimmer)
      6.) I made the campaign website for the Mayor of the city where I would like to serve (mutual friends with a family I know)
      7.) Very good friends currently already serving in the Police Department who are willing to write recommendations
      8.) Excellent work place reviews
      9.) Military Training (all completed)
      10.) Licensed to carry with numerous firearm courses completed
      11.) Lived in this city for over a decade and know it inside out
      12.) A letterhead from the local Army Recruiting command recommending my Re-enlistment and my Misdiagnosis to be waived
      13.) Previously recognized by another PD for assisting and volunteering
      14.) Red Cross certified Lifeguard + Medical Background
      15.) Multilingual


      I know this is a very unusual case I have going.
      I am fully prepared to not find the answers or the advice that I am looking for but I will take words of wisdom and recommendations any day!
      Thank you in advance!
      These are not 'minor mistakes.'

      Anything other than Honorable Discharge: As in HONORABLE Discharge, (not any variation of General Discharge) you're not going to get hired. I know a good guy that screwed up in the Marine Corps and got an other than Honorable. It's the kiss of death.

      On further reading, you're given a second chance and have issues as it's not going your way/taking too long? I'd find another career route.

      As for what you listed as having going for you, I agree with L-1, only #15 is relevant. Number 9 is BS, you didn't complete the 'big one' also known as your enlistment.

      You may not like what you're reading but it is an honest and accurate assessment.
      Last edited by Zeitgeist1; 08-07-2019, 11:31 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        #2 was NOT overturned by your FAA medical. Those are a piece of cake and an AMED isn’t a board licensed Psychiatrist.
        Now go home and get your shine box!

        Comment


        • #5
          You would be a no go here.

          Comment


          • #6
            Here, it would depend on what his separation code was. Based on what he posted, it sounded like he had a favorable one, but perhaps I misread?
            Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

            Comment


            • #7
              Why would someone fight for two years to have a psych eval overturned? Why not just test again during the next cycle? If you're good between the ears, you will probably pass.

              Comment


              • #8
                Some serious red flags here. Type of discharge, psychological issues (even with second opinions), and others.

                You must remember that not everything is "pass or fail" in LE hiring. You will always be competing with a pool of applicants (frequently 20 or more for every opening), and there are likely to be several others with acceptable education & experience levels to select from, so those with obvious red flags may receive little consideration in the hiring process.

                The liability issues of putting a badge on someone's chest and sending them out into the community are extremely high, so any potential indication of instability or aberrant history must be carefully weighed in the process.

                Sorry, Bud. I've done hundreds of backgrounds and I've been a hiring authority (police chief), and you would probably not make the first cut.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I agree that there is too much baggage in the history.................too many red flags that will stick with you

                  Your MMPI breakdown because it wasn't going your way speaks volumes


                  by the way, those were not MINOR mistakes You don't get kicked out of the military for minor crap
                  Last edited by Iowa #1603; 08-07-2019, 08:59 PM.
                  Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

                  My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by retired1995 View Post
                    Some serious red flags here. Type of discharge, psychological issues (even with second opinions), and others.

                    You must remember that not everything is "pass or fail" in LE hiring. You will always be competing with a pool of applicants (frequently 20 or more for every opening), and there are likely to be several others with acceptable education & experience levels to select from, so those with obvious red flags may receive little consideration in the hiring process.

                    The liability issues of putting a badge on someone's chest and sending them out into the community are extremely high, so any potential indication of instability or aberrant history must be carefully weighed in the process.

                    Sorry, Bud. I've done hundreds of backgrounds and I've been a hiring authority (police chief), and you would probably not make the first cut.
                    I appreciate the honest and professional response.
                    I am looking forward to completing a service term with the Army in order to be able to present a fully Honorable discharge. I am not too concerned about the misdiagnosis at MEPS. If I had known the first time that the test was a potential deal breaker, I would have given it more thought before answering senselessly.

                    @IOWA
                    Army reviewed my discharge packet and laughed saying I got the book thrown at me and that they would have had me do push-ups for the infractions. As for the word “minor”, I did not pick that word. The Air Force separation code literally says “minor infractions”.

                    @Aidonea
                    The military works a little different.
                    Certain things will keep you from enlisting for life or until qualification requirements change. Your medical expires in 2 years but when they reevaluate, they reuse findings from the last exam that are considered “permanent”.
                    Last edited by HOAX32; 08-08-2019, 12:21 AM.

                    Comment


                    • Iowa #1603
                      Iowa #1603 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Make light of your past if you want...........that is your story and I understand you want to stick to it.

                      LAW ENFORCEMENT administrators will take the work of the military supervisors very seriously.

                      The offenses were MINOR enough for the military to get rid of you .....that speaks volumes

                  • #11
                    Lot of baggage, issues are not minor. You would be a no go for my agency.

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      You wouldn't make it through our BI process. Too much turmoil in your background.

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        OP has no clue about what he speaks.
                        Please provide WRITTEN statements from your “recruiters” stating that your were misdiagnosed and mishandled.

                        Recruiters bs daily. They just move applicants, MEPS has total control and are NOT responsible to Recruiting. You’ve claimed you were “misdiagnosed “, seems the MEPS Docs got it right.
                        Now go home and get your shine box!

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Complete your Army contract with an honorable discharge, get your bachelors then reapply.

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Originally posted by NorCalAspirant View Post
                            Complete your Army contract with an honorable discharge, get your bachelors then reapply.
                            Thank you for the response. That is the plan.

                            CCCSD
                            A recruiter did not sign anything. It is a formal memorandum signed off by SRRNCO and Company commander and psychologist stating
                            that I received a more thorough reevaluation and was found to be mentally fit.
                            I prefer to not throw out information visible to the whole web.

                            At no point did I consider my mistakes minor myself - I mentioned that it has haunted me for years now and that I have many regrets. Minor mistakes do not do that. Life regrets do.
                            The word MINOR is simply the word that the Air Force used as in my narrative reason for separation.
                            My DD214 shows:

                            Discharge: Under Honorable Conditions (General)
                            Narrative Reason for Discharge: Minor Disciplinary Infractions

                            I was a little sh*t back then and I am not denying it and if I could I would travel back in time and back-hand myself in the face and tell myself to get my sh*t together.

                            CCCSD - this was not a regular AMED but a Senior AME with HIMS background who was qualified to review my results. As a matter of fact he had the authority to issue my medical clearance albeit the prior diagnosis based right on the spot based on my reevaluation and after reviewing results. Regular AMEs can not and are required to refer all documentation to the FAA.
                            Last edited by HOAX32; 08-08-2019, 05:23 PM.

                            Comment

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