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Kicked out of marine corps

My best friend Mike who was in my academy was discharged from the marine corps 6 years ago with an "Other than honorable" discharge "oth" for using anabolic steriods.He is concerned this with stop him from getting on a fire dept.He does not have a "dis honorable" its just classified as "other than honorable".He is working now on getting the discharge upgraded to an honorable.Has anyone ever heard of anyone else in this situation?

Note he also just got a DUI recently.He has never been in any other trouble other than this at least to my knowledge.

What do you think? Is it worth him going through all this.His dad was a Boston Fireman so I dont think he'll give up that easy.Thanks.

While I can't imagine anyone here trying to destroy Mike's dream, the challenges facing your friend are clearly significant - but not necessarily insurmountable.

Mike will not only need to be profoundly selective about *every* single one of his future actions, he will need to realize that he has severely limited his options on exactly where and when he might work as a Firefighter.

The only sure-fire way for him to fail however, is to start blaming "the system" rather than shouldering the responsibility of both his past actions and his future.

Still, we must be frank. He faces a very steep, long and rocky road. Though I won't say that any particular agency will automatically exclude him, it seems likely that the more time, distance and behavior he puts between himself and his "less than admirable" past, the better the odds of him working in or adjacent to the Fire Service.

Again I must emphasize, the odds are not in his favor - but your friendship will help him in this quest, and more importantly in life itself.

While some of the [url=]strangest places in this world to work as a Firefighter[/url] have some of the greatest demands and requirements, there may be a small community somewhere that someday would be willing to take a chance with your friend. The best thing that you can do for him is to be there when he needs to talk, and to encourage him to consider some alternatives to "Plan A" if he should not see success in the time he is willing to commit.

Please wish him my best in trying to get his life back on track.

Please no e-mail. Public replies only. Thank you!

Part of the selection process for firefighter involves screening the applicant to determine if that applicant fits into the "culture" of the fire service.
With a "Less-than-honorable" discharge from the Marine Corps due to the use of steriods and a recent DUI, there "appears" to be a serious lack of judgement (repeatedly).
Applicants to the fire service with a demonstrated serious lack of judgement either do not get hired or don't last long. No one out there wants a liability, such as this individual, representing the department.
Perhaps in time, and if this person can demonstrate an improvement in judgement, they may place themselves in a better hiring light. It can be done and it has been done! Best wishes

Hey thanks guys for your response.He understands the challenges ahead and hasnt quit yet so I dont think he will ever quit.Infact hes getting ready to go to pyramedic school shortly.Ill keep you posted as to when he gets hired.Then you will know that anything is possibe.

Hmmm, kicked out of the Marine Corps, DUI.....
Would your want to count on him to save your life?
Paul Lepore

Update: Mike just got hired in Miami Florida. So for all you guys who didnt think he was worth it and for those with the neggative opinions you know where you can put them now.For those who looked at his situation as a challenge that could be overcome with much persistence I thank you for your possitive influence.The fire service needs more people like you!

Congrats to Mike - and to you for being such a tried and true friend. We can only hope that his new career is met with much personal and professional success, and that the USMC's (hard-earned) lesson on the very real danger of anabolic steroids - and the awareness that drinking and driving is never to be tolerated, will remain with him in the years to come. One thing for certain is that many of the challenges of being a new-hire are just now beginning for Mike. Thankfully he has a friend like you to turn to.


Please no e-mail. Public replies only. Thank you!
This message was edited by lafdpso on 9-28-03 @ 12:09 PM

Don't take it personally. You asked for opinion and you got it. If you don't want to hear the answer, don't ask the question.

Paul Lepore, Captain
Author of "Smoke Your Firefighter Interview"
This message was edited by Paul on 10-1-03 @ 6:30 AM

Of course you are entitled to your opinion. Unfortunately it is a close minded one.If the fire service had to rely soley on YOUR opinion then we'd be in a world of hurt.Furtunately there are people out there with a heart and a brain that realize people do make mistakes, sometimes more than one,however its not about the mistakes you've made but how you choose to live your life after you have made them.You can sink your head and say its over or you can pick it up and say its far from over and do the things you need to do to make your life the life you have always dreamed.No matter how many people (like yourself) say it cant be done , IT CAN BE DONE AND HAS BEEN DONE over and over again.You need to think out of the box my friend! Below is a poem that I personally live by and thought it would help the firefighter candidates out there to keep their heads up and NEVER quit because it can and will be done if you persist long enough like my dear friend Mike has shown us!!


Somebody said that it couldn?t be done,
But he with a chuckle replied
That ?maybe it couldn?t? ,but he would be one
Who wouldn?t say so till he?d tried.
So he buckled right in,with a trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn?t be done,AND HE DID IT.

Somebody scoffed: ? oh, you?ll never do that?,
At least noone ever has done it,
But he took off his coat, and he took off his hat,
And the first thing we knew he?d begun it.
With the lift of his chin,and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn?t be done ,AND HE DID IT.

There are thousands to tell you it can?t be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure,
There are thousands to enumerate,one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you,
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
Then take off your coat and go to it,
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
That ?cannot be done?,
-Author unknown-

That poem sends a great message. I wish your friend well.
Paul Lepore, Captain
Author of "Smoke Your Firefighter Interview"

Thank you.I hope that poem is an inspiration to all. It should be put on everyones wall where you will see it every day. So for every day, every month, every year you struggle on your journey to the heavenly job you will remember, it can be done, it has been done, therefore if I persist long enough IT WILL BE DONE.

The best indicator of future behavior is past behavior. "Mike" has some major judgement (and ethical?) issues. To be blunt - I don't think he is a viable candidate and would think less of a department that hired him. There are plenty of candidates out there that don't have these lapses judgement.

"No matter how many people(like yourself) say it can't be done, IT CAN BE DONE AND HAS BEEN DONE over and over again."
Paul never said it can't be done. His question was, "Would you want to count on him to save your life?" My answer is no way. After getting kicked out of the Core for a stupid mistake that in itself will cause problems with getting a job, your friend got behind the wheel of a motor vehicle and endangered the life of everybody on that road. Was that good judgment? Read up on the recent problems some departments have had with their firefighters driving emergency vehicles after drinking. You said your friend got hired. Congrats to him. Obviously he has smartened up and proven that those mistakes are behind him. Or are they? I'm sorry if I am "closed minded" here, but I lost one of the most important people in my life to a drunk driver, and I don't have any sympathy for it. Good luck to your friend. Probation will be a very trying time for him. I hope he is successfull. Just remember that YOU asked, "What do you think? Is it worth him going through all this" So don't be bitter with people's opinions just because they don't mirror yours.

Did he get the DUI charge cleared up? Thats a major hurdle for any candidate..
This message was edited by TBHRacing on 6-26-04 @ 5:47 PM


I'm late on this one...

I'm less concerned for your friend "Mike" than I am at your naive dismissal of collective opinion from the forum of quality perspectives posted above.

As a belated addendum...I think it's oustanding that this gentleman was able to overcome the issues he faced to obtain employment in the Fire Service.

I also think that there are many, many more quality candidates with NO such issues lurking in their backgrounds.

At least here in California, I think the previous posts were completely accurate...and I can safely say (from within my little box :) ) that those types of issues are huge, if not insurmountable in some cases, to overcome.


The above post constitutes a personal opinion only, and is not meant to supercede any other post or opinion.
Good [work] Luck!

WOW....gotta tell ya, getting "kicked out" of any service branch is a very very serious thing to happen. I served six in the corps, saw ALOT of things happen , some very questionable and never saw anyone "discharged"...I think your friend needs to put a lot of very serious thought into his next moves.

Even though some do not believe steroids to be against the law, the service branches do. He has broken the "law" and been discharged. However, he who has not sinned may cast that first stone. We have ALL done things we are not too proud of, sometimes we can overcome them, sometimes we cant.

Time heals all wounds. It certainly healed mine.

Good Luck