Did you know that more than 20,000 students in the U.S. are participating in ROTC programs at colleges and universities? Partaking students are making a military service obligation in exchange for scholarships and other benefits. The University of Montana and Montana State University are the two primary schools that offer Army ROTC. Students at several other schools now can also access this curriculum through partnership agreements that were established.
About Title IX
U.S. educational institutions are required to comply with Title IX to remain eligible for federal funding. This was a civil rights amendment that was implemented in 1972 by the U.S. Department of Education to combat sexually-based discrimination. All schools must designate a Title IX Coordinator who creates and maintains written procedures for investigating and equitably ruling on these matters.
Examples of discrimination include obstructing or impeding someone's participation in programs or access to benefits based on their gender or sexual identity. Sexual harassment is also prohibited, such as promoting false stereotypes or making unwanted sexual advances. Acts of sexual violence including assault are prohibited and may have criminal implications. These victims may not have given consent to participate in sexual activity or are incapable of giving consent due to age, incapacitation or mental deficiency.
All those that are subject to these disciplinary actions can choose an advisor that will function in a support role. An attorney who is well-versed in these matters must be promptly retained after allegations are made. This timing is critical to allow for sufficient preparation. You should be prepared to make clear statements and effectively respond to questions. Your attorney may also engage in discussions to negotiate a resolution on your behalf.
Title IX and ROTC Disenrollment
Most institutions employ a preponderance of the evidence standard in proving allegations. Students who are found to have committed violations of Title IX are likely to be suspended or expelled from their school. ROTC students are also likely to face disenrollment for breaching their written agreement with the government.
Disenrollment can result in the loss of eligibility to become a commissioned officer. The student may also be held financially responsible to repay the benefits they have received and be compelled to active-duty service. The Army, Navy, and Air Force each have written guidelines related to the disenrollment process. Your attorney will strive to protect your right to due process and advocate for your best interests.
Common Aspects of the ROTC Disenrollment Process
- The investigations and rulings are overseen by a “board of officers or investigating officer”
- Students are always entitled to “appear personally before the board or officer”
- Orders for financial reimbursement or to comply with an active-duty service requirement are at the discretion of the Secretary of the Military Department
Experienced Defense Lawyer for ROTC Students in Montana
ROTC students have definite goals for their future that can quickly be shattered by allegations of a Title IX violation and the likely subsequent disenrollment. Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento will work to create an effective strategy of defense in these matters. Promptly contact his office at (888) 535-3686 for assistance.
Montana colleges and universities where Joseph D. Lento can help as your or your ROTC student's Title IX advisor during investigations, hearings, and appeals include, but are not limited to, the following schools (schools in bold have Army, Navy, and/or Air Force ROTC programs or are affiliated with schools where students can take ROTC classes):
- Blackfeet Community College
- Carroll College
- Chief Dull Knife College
- Dawson Community College
- Flathead Valley Community College
- Fort Belknap College
- Fort Peck Community College
- Little Big Horn College
- Miles Community College
- Montana State University
- Montana State University Billings
- Montana State University Great Falls College of Technology
- Montana State University Northern
- Montana Tech of the University of Montana
- Montana Tech College of Technology
- Rocky Mountain College
- Salish Kootenai College
- Stone Child College
- The University of Montana
- The University of Montana Western
- University of Great Falls
- University of Montana Helena College of Technology
All students must be extremely mindful when accused of sexual misconduct at their college or university; ROTC students in particular, however, can have even more concerns at all stage of Title IX proceedings because the stakes are higher yet – When first contacted by their school's Title IX office, when a sexual misconduct investigation begins, when facing a hearing or an appeal or when seeking further recourse by filing a Title IX complaint with the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights when necessary. For ROTC students who are facing a Title IX case and their families, it is critical to take the necessary precautions as soon as possible, including having an experienced attorney advisor, when accused of sexual misconduct. Unfortunately, some students, not being as familiar what is at stake and also their rights in the process, will mistakenly believe that if they "just explain what happened," everything will work out. Title IX cases can be won, but students and their families must recognize, however, that achieving a favorable in a Title IX case requires a dedicated and intensive approach best handled by a professional who has a track record of successes in the Title IX disciplinary arena.
Fighting passionately for the future of students at colleges and universities throughout the nation for over a decade, Joseph D. Lento knows how important it is to mount the strongest defense because he understands that an ROTC student's academic future and future commission and military career is at stake. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph Lento is a licensed attorney in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, is admitted as an attorney pro hac vice in state and federal court if needed when representing clients nationwide, and serves as a Title IX advisor to students facing sexual misconduct investigations, disenrollment proceedings,and disciplinary cases in Montana and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.