U.S. Army ROTC Disenrollment for Misconduct
A Norwich University Cadet was referred for disenrollment from the U.S. Army ROTC Program based on allegations of misconduct. The allegations stemmed from the Cadet’s alleged participation in a time-honored tradition at Norwich known as the UP 500. This event involves the gathering of Cadets on the university’s parade field at the first snow fall. The Cadets then run a number of laps around the field.
Often times, the Cadets engage in horseplay during this event such as throwing snow balls, pushing, shoving and tackling each other, all in good fun. In 2015, the event got out of hand when a number of Cadets, in addition to the customary horseplay for this event, allegedly rigged trip wires to cause runners to fall, threw snow balls with nails and/or glass inside of them, doused runners with bleach, tossed objects at runner such as garbage cans.
Several Cadets were injured and required medical attention. The Army initiated a widely publicized investigation into the misconduct from the UP 500. Following this investigation, a number of Cadets were found to have engaged in misconduct and as a result, were recommended for disciplinary action, to include disenrollment from the ROTC Program.
A Cadet who was implicated by two eyewitnesses for engaging in misconduct that led to others’ injuries retained Attorney John L. Calcagni III to represent him at his disenrollment board. This particular Cadet was in his fourth year of college, known as an MS IV Cadet, and had already completed the training and course work required to graduate Norwich and commission as an Army Officer.
The disenrollment action came some weeks before graduation thereby stifling the Cadet’s future plans, to include commissioning. The Cadet graduated college with his peers, but was prevented from commissioning or going to his scheduled Officer training school after graduation. His future plans remained on hold pending the outcome of a disenrollment board. After careful planning, preparation and strategy development, Attorney Calcagni and his client put together and executed a successful defense at the board. As a result, the Army retained the Cadet in ROTC and has since commissioned him as a Second Lieutenant (2LT).