Swore in...but they "made a mistake"

  1. Currently, I am a senior nursing student about to graduate with my BS in nursing. Last year, I had applied to go active duty in the Army. However, they only accepted a small number of new grads (my recruiter told me 50 in the entire country) into the Nursing Corps. A few weeks later, he called me and told me that they had offered me a position in the Reserves, so I accepted.

    I immediately signed all of the paperwork, and I swore in. I was excited. I was going to get good training, good benefits, student loans paid, and some sort of income (seeing that I don't have a job for after college yet). I was even hoping that they would call me to go active, given everything that's going on in the world right now.

    A couple of months later, I called them up just to check on the status of...whatever. My recruiter says to me that they had "made a mistake," and that I was never supposed to be accepted into the Reserves. While the AD Army does accept new grads, the reserves requires at least one year of experience.

    I was shocked. I didn't know what to do at first but accept that. But now looking back (I learned of this news just a few days ago) I am just angry. Aside from missing out on training and benefits, I was expecting them to pay off my student loans and to give me some pay while I looked for a civilian job. Granted, I did not join the Army for the money, I'd go overseas in a heartbeat to help others if they asked me to. But I signed a contract with them, swore in, and planned my future around that idea.

    How could they make a "mistake" like that? Where did they see that I had a year of experience to begin with?!

    I emailed a lawyer, but now that seems to complicated....I don't really want to try to sue the Army because they probably won't accept me in the future if I apply again. Except, I don't want to go through the whole application process again!

    I'm just venting at this point, but does anyone have any advice? Is what they did normal?
  2. Visit teddy4987 profile page

    About teddy4987, BSN, RN

    Joined: Jan '11; Posts: 30; Likes: 4
    Registered Nurse; from US
    Specialty: 5 year(s) of experience in Critical Care


  3. by   just_cause
    Was this an official commissioning with DA form or just a ceremony of acceptance that was conducted? I'm sorry to hear about this.. would like to cont' to hear more information as the situation brings more info to the table.
    Have you discussed this with the station cdr and your recruiter? I would try to do a sit down to learn more about this if you haven't done that already.
    Sorry to hear about your situation.
  4. by   New1LT
    Were you going through a health care recruiter because that is one major screw up. And the fact that nobody notified you immediately is very disheartening. I feel so bad for you. It will be kinda tricky if not impossible to file suit against the Government. I know you signed a contract, but remember, you didn't even have the qualifications to really sign that contract. That's why I'm curious if it was a health care recruiter. It shouldn't have even made it through the channels without your resume showing nursing experience and letters of recommendations from your employers in the nursing field. I really do feel bad for you and even worse knowing that the Army may potentially lose a future soldier due to someones lack of detail.
  5. by   teddy4987
    It was a healthcare recruiter - I made sure of that when I started looking around to be a part of the military. As far as I know it was an official ceremony - we conducted it in front of the US flag at the Recruiter's office, with other members of the office as witnesses. Maybe it wasn't official?

    After my recruiter told me everything, he just said to "keep in touch" and that I can apply for next year. I really was excited to be a soldier

    Thank you for replying - I'm just now so scared of having no job at all after graduation, when I was betting on having the Army at least part-time.
  6. by   New1LT
    Just keep plugging away and work at getting a new grad position in your community. There are places that have GN Internships. Seek them out, get the experience, and re-visit your Army pursuit. The military is ever changing. One year they could be short nurses and the next they won't. Ebb and flow!!! Good luck! There is plenty of information on this website that can help you with all services, not just Army. Good luck with graduation!!
    Last edit by New1LT on Apr 12, '11
  7. by   just_cause
    The reason I ask is in the past decade the commissioning route changed (this meant all officers, except USMA, commissioned as reserve officers despite being active duty... etc etc) and this results in things like you probably couldn't commission until graduating, passing nclex and then doing an official swear in after your orders are cut. Then this is documented on your DA form etc etc.. where as typically they do a 'ceremony' that is essentially for show for the individual, pictures, family etc for those learning of acceptance perhaps but not actually swearing in - despite saying the oath. I know it sounds a bit confusing and others here can probably chime in with a better explanation.
    I almost agree with previous poster as despite how lame it seems I have a hard time believing a lawyer is going to be able to solve this situation - even if they local recruiter wanted to - he doesn't really have the ability to change it.. just my 2 cents.
  8. by   Pixie.RN
    Quote from teddy4987
    As far as I know it was an official ceremony - we conducted it in front of the US flag at the Recruiter's office, with other members of the office as witnesses. Maybe it wasn't official?
    I did the same thing, and it wasn't official -- I didn't sign an oath of office (DA Form 71) at the time, so it was ceremonial, not official. If you didn't sign a DA 71, it wasn't an official swearing-in. I had to swear in again at officer basic, and this time I signed a DA 71.

    I am sorry you're going through this.
  9. by   CRF250Xpert
    Sorry to hear about your negative experience. Unfortunately, the deck is heavily and impossibly stacked against you if any legal action is your goal. Your contract should have been no less than 10 pages of fine print that eventually states they can kick you out for any reason at any time. That includes, “oops – goodbye”. About 5 or 7 years ago, the USAF said, “I think we let too many officers in – so we are kicking out 3500 – goodbye”. It happens. Those were folks with ROTC, bonuses, experience, etc. I was in a year group to be kicked out, but being medical made us exempt from the cut.

    So, again, sorry about the negative experience, but fighting that is going to prove impossible. If entering the service is your end game, start all of the paper again and go back to the board.