The Academy Insider Your Guide to The United States Naval Academy

#023 - The United States Naval Academy Conduct System with Rob Roy '11

January 01, 2020 GRANT VERMEER / ROB ROY '11 Season 1 Episode 23
The Academy Insider Your Guide to The United States Naval Academy
#023 - The United States Naval Academy Conduct System with Rob Roy '11
Show Notes Transcript

I'm joined by Rob Roy who is a class of 2011 graduate from the United States Naval Academy.   He is a Navy pilot and currently serves as on the Commandant's staff at the Academy as the conduct officer. Rob was in the 9th Company.  

One of the unique aspects about life at the Naval Academy is we do have a conduct system, and it's not just for big things. We talk midshipmen regulations, which could be things as simple as having a haircut that's out of regulations or not shaving that day. 

We talk about why the conduct system is the way it is, why it's important, and I think at the end of the day, once you do get a little perspective, we talk about the really positive aspects of why we have a conduct system. 

This episode will answer your questions about what the conduct system is and different unique aspects of the conduct system. We explain terms like getting "fried" and what an adjudication is. We'll talk about tours and demerits and all the things that you may have questions about regarding the conduct system at the Naval Academy.

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Links Mentioned in the Show:

Rob's Podcast - Adventure Bound -

Rob's Adventure Bound Facebook Page -

Rob's Book Recommendation:  Set for Life by Scott Trench 

Grant Vermeer:   0:03
This is your host Grant Vermeer Naval Academy class of 2017 and I'm your academy insider. It's my goal to be your guide through the Naval Academy experience. By sharing my stories and providing you inside information into the life of a midshipman. Academy Insider is in no way officially affiliated with the United States Naval Academy. All of the content on Academy Insider is my own. It does not reflect the views of the United States Naval Academy, the United States Navy nor the Department of Defense. Everyone and welcome to the academy insider podcast today. I'm joined by Rob Roy, who was a class of 11 graduate from the Naval Academy, a Navy pilot and now back at the Naval Academy on the common on staff as the conduct officer for the brigade amid shipment. One of the unique aspects about life at the Naval Academy is we do have a conduct system, and it's not just for big things. I mean, we're talking mid shipment regulations, which could be things as simple as having a haircut. That's out of regulations not shaving that day. Ah, uniforms. Being out of standards, maybe being a minute or two late to class, which is just kind of crazy to think about it, unless you're actually part of the Naval Academy. But if you join us on this episode, we talk about why the conduct system is the way it is, why it's important. And I think at the end of the day, once you do get a little perspective, we talk about the really positive aspects of why we have a conduct system. So I think this episode will answer a ton of your questions about what the conduct system is different unique aspects of the conduct system. And we'll talk about terms like getting fried what an adjudication is. We'll talk about tours and demerits and all the things that you may have questions about regarding the conduct system at the Naval Academy, so make sure to tune in. This is a great episode, and I hope you guys enjoy it. All right, everyone, and welcome to the academy insider podcast Rob, thank you so much for taking time out of your day to join us and talk all about the conduct system, which I know isn't generally, ah, the favorite topic of people. But it's one that's extremely interesting and unique to the Naval Academy. So thank you for sharing your time to talk with us,

Rob Roy:   2:07
Grant Brother. It's a pleasure. Thanks for having me on

Grant Vermeer:   2:09
absolutely before we get started. If you don't mind just telling my audience a little bit of background about who you are, where you're from, how you ended up in the Naval Academy because you are enable academy graduate as well on. And then a little bit of background about you as a midshipman. What company? Rin Major and maybe thinks something's you were involved in during your time at

Rob Roy:   2:27
the Academy. Yeah, absolutely. So my name's Rob Roy, I 2007 graduate of the Naval Academy. I was in ninth company my time. There are four years I'm originally from outside Pennsylvania area. So born and raised had a really good blue and gold officer and just kinda had my eye set on the Naval Academy. And I saw this movie. You may have heard of it called Top Gun when I was a kid, and that kind of just set me up for a ah, a path that I wanted to pursue. Does one of those, you know, like, Hey, I want to become a Navy pilot. What is that? And then kind of as a gun. The high school's like No, like, I really do want to go do that. Like, how do I do that? You found out. You know, C s r o t c. And then, of course, the Naval Academy or other academies will be do that. And then just kind of being from Pennsylvania, short three hours away, my parents for ah, very gracious and would take me down every now and then. I got to see and kind of found love with the campus, which of course, is beautiful. Um, and ah, and yeah, I just had my heart set on that extremely lucky got in. I was kind of always ah, b plus student high school, but had a lot of the extracurriculars going for me, you know? Ah, involved in all kinds of sports. And so that really helped, I think, get my foot in the door on and then sew my time. The academy did four years there and then eventually service elected pilot and ah went on to fly. See two greyhounds for the navy.

Grant Vermeer:   3:39
Fantastic and did you do any summer training's during your time at the academy? Did you get the opportunity to do in aviation cruise or anything that solidified your interest in naval aviation, or were you just kind of going in blind being like, Well, top gun was sweet. Hope this works out. Yeah.

Rob Roy:   3:53
I mean, like, anything. I think when you when you grow up and you realize that it's not always like the movies. Ah, you quickly learn that going into it. But I definitely did some summer training. And did you? In aviation Cruise. I got toe spend a month with a V F A squadron in Oceana, which was awesome. Got a backseat riding a hornet, which is a really good time. Ah, but of the academy, you know, that just kind of knew I would be a pilot. I mean, ah, lot of good buddies in the Marines would just wasn't for me like my hair too much. I didn't really see myself as anything else. Um nfo, you know, if she was a strong back up just to get in the in the air than pilot was my first choice. So, uh, a patient cruise, I believe was going to first a year. Definitely. I don't say such solidify them or just, like, didn't dissuade him. Okay. Yeah, that It all my boxes are gonna get checked if I if I go aviation. So I kind of help helped make it. Aah! Over Conakry decision after that.

Grant Vermeer:   4:43
And then you ended up making your way back to the academy. Now, which is where you're currently at. How did you go from flying to then? Make your way back to the academy? How was that process? How did you select those orders to return to the Naval Academy? And then, if you don't mind just telling the audience a little bit about what your current job is Academy?

Rob Roy:   5:00
Yeah, not about us. So I flew the money War Cod, as we call it, the ground Kai's standing for carrier onboard delivery. So that's what we call the plane. I'm a car guy called pilot and Food every three years. A great time in my squadron in Norfolk, Virginia. And then after I was up for orders, you talk with the detailer who is the person that kind of tells you we're going to go? Ah, in my community particularly. I've got a lot of Hornet buddies and E two friends. Hell oh, Bubba's And they kind of have a little more of a pool to choose from. Just a community much bigger at my community is very, very small. I think there's somewhere around 60 you know, qualified aircraft commander, like C two pilots in the world. So very small community. Um, and for us, they want us to go fly t 45 on to be an instructor pilot, as we call an I p in any s Meridian or King's own was Mississippi or Texas. I just you know, I didn't really want to go back to those locations, was trying to get away from the South a couple years doing the tour, and I was trying to go anywhere else, Um, that I could ah, the detailer after a lot of back and forth, eventually offered the caddy. But to me, it'll be a really good opportunity to go back because I talk about how beautiful was. You know, before I went there. Of course, when you go there like give me your I'm ready, ready to move on to go the fleet. But you know, once you're graduated in, not a machine, and it was just in the opportunity kind of go back, You know, I've got a family. Now. I've got a young son who's a Tyler and growing a wife and two dogs. So Annapolis is a great town, obviously, especially on the other side to experience. So that was kind of how I fell into these orders. And currently I am the comic Dawson at the Naval Academy.

Grant Vermeer:   6:29
And were you billeted at the conduct officer? Is that kind of just a job? You get shuffle around like you have general orders to the academy as kind of 1/2 and then they kind of figure it out from that point.

Rob Roy:   6:38
Yeah, exactly. So I was getting, you know, staff, like for comin out staff particularly. There's probably six or seven of us, Lieutenant. 03 types. Ah, that are That's what we're supposed to do. All the company officers, they're they're the 30. Every year there's about six or seven that there was called a lead cohort. They are in the lead program l e A. D. And they're going to their masters for a year, then become company officers for two years. I just with the nature of my orders, trying to go to Mississippi or Texas and doing that process. I don't really know anything about supply of the academy. Nor was it really on my radar. A lot of people that go the academy and that just for Marines and Swallows and N F O's and everyone like LA times they're applying to become a couple officers so once and that was kind of fell in my lap. Okay, great. I'm going to Annapolis and just kind of whatever was available, in which case I was built. It just for, like, comment staffed. I was actually the Simi Oh, for my first year and 1/2. And now I'm conduct for, uh, What's looking would be like the remainder of my time here at the Naval Academy.

Grant Vermeer:   7:34
Great. And so what is your role as the conduct conduct officer appears again? This is now gonna be The main focus of this podcast episode is the conduct system at the Naval Academy's who can explain a little bit of your role as the conduct conduct officer what it is and then as a result, what a normal day is like as the conduct officer at the Naval Academy.

Rob Roy:   7:54
Sure, yes. So I think on a system that OK, I was nothing more than just the checks and balances, I would say of midshipmen doing what's expected of them. I mean, when you raise your right hand and you join what you and I both have obviously for years apart, you kind of you realize you're up to a higher calling and higher purpose, and you're not necessarily going to college a side note. We have no hats and have, like, little not college with an end star on the top. So it's like you're not their party, and before your thing that we have plenty of great times is great, you know, uh, like mixed fraternity and brotherhood and sisterhood that we have there and a lot of my best friends in the world so appointed you go there knowing that you sign up for something higher than yourself and the comic system, it's kind of it is what it is. Not really a good thing, A bad thing. It just kind of keeping Michigan and check um, anything from, you know, just essentially there's nothing common human regulations, which we call mid Rex. And any time you violate one of those instructions or break with the rules, you know, quote unquote. Ah, you're gonna be adjudicated and essentially, you know, put on restriction or no place in the comic system, and you have to kind of serve, you know, like, make up for what was drunk. So we're talking underage drinking. Um, you know, maybe on a lesser note, you know, like your uniforms out of regular regulations. Um, just kind of doing rates. No things that you shouldn't be doing if Europe leaving. You're driving a car onto the r. That's obviously a big no no. So, you know, they would kind of make sure that you're following the program that that you signed up to do. Essentially, that's the day to day. I'm gonna work like they don't live there anymore. A lot of midshipmen seem to think that I do, um, there with back in my day, which wasn't that long ago, you know, we didn't really have, um, Gmail and iPhones. Not really a thing. Now, you know, you could just email left and right, So I gotta work normal working hours and essentially just handle the big love stuff. Um, in the conduct system, we have Miners majors in six days. Hard to explain, but it's just an old system from like 2030 years ago. Um, Majors and six K's six came meeting at 6000 level offense again, back to an old system from way back when, Ah, but I do with those primarily, which are like the big stuff stuff that when I hear like the lady that cuts my hair. So oh, so and so you know, I didn't mean to do that. Well, you know, I mean, I like kind of day when he decided Thio, you know, drive a car into the yard. But the little stuff, like I said, like if you're not being good, please or not, if you're here gets out of Rex, I don't really do that stuff. That's more on a company officer level. Milo, I'm not out to get anybody just kind of deal with what's presented to me. Unfortunately, you know, looking toa protect the academy are not a force about a fortune to deal with everything but ultimate to protect the Academy protective midshipman and, uh, just hold the standards. So

Grant Vermeer:   10:33
yes, absolutely. And I think that's one of the interesting, interesting things you brought up. His examples of things that could put you in the conduct system you mentioned like a hair cut out of regulations or uniform, not up to standard or these or these things that a lot of people don't comprehend is like I don't see what the big deal about that is. We're not a normal school, and that's a big thing. Is like, Hey, if you show up potentially even just 30 seconds late to class and you get hit with a tardy that is a conduct level offense, so well, it's some schools. Some people might just be like Oh, man, I'm kind of tired today. I'll just download the power point off the website and just don't even go to class for us. Like if you are late to class, that in itself is potentially a conduct offense, which is just a very crazy idea. But it is fully embraced by the academy and I think that's something that a lot of people don't understand. That is just a normal part of midshipmen life, and it's what we've come to expect, and that's the standard. And that's how we operate on a day to day basis. Um, and so that's really interesting. But a lot of those a lot of those things do stay at will call the company level, which will be handled in company, and they can give out quote unquote punishments in something for those lower level offenses. Usually is something called demerits or tours. Do you mind just explaining a little bit about what a demerit is and a little bit about what a tour is? Just to give people a little background on some of these disciplinary words?

Rob Roy:   11:56
Term? Yeah, No, absolutely. It's funny you mentioned America because, you know, when I before I was convict off, So it's like I don't know what a demerit is. I always thought that was something that John McCain talked about is like I had 280 demerits and and I'm like, Well, I

Grant Vermeer:   12:09
guess we don't use anymore, but we d'oh, I wear their point matter. Yeah, the merits

Rob Roy:   12:15
essentially, and maybe people. Since pockets have heard the term, it may not know what it means. Obviously, it's a military term. I would also we call it a point system in the negative, Like not a good thing. Like, the more you have the worst you are something I wouldn't actually not the case. Yes, sir. The more damage we have. Ah, it just kind of is, ah, number representation of things that you did that weren't necessarily like up to code. So, um, you know, like I, for instance, I was actually, you know, true story, like on restriction when I was a midshipman and ah, I was no, You weigh on the fuse. Abin sur tardy. Whatever the case was, um, I served, you know, a restriction on I think I probably 10 demerits. Well, if you do something really bad, like egregious, like drink, underage or something along those lines. You know, depending on the adjudicating authority, your company officer, your title, sir, or the deputy commandant, you're gonna be awarded a certain number of demerits. And I think the idea is that it's just that when you are as you move up the ranks and getting towards graduation, people can look at you putting your alfa, which is the number we're all given and just kind of see, like if you have demerits and they're kind of maybe do some more digging and see what happened. It's more likely if you got a lot. Ah, it's from multiple conduct cases or honor cases, generally speaking, not really just from one, but it's the kind of way they could do that. And tours. Conversely, tours are a as you said, punishment. It's just one of the things that could be awarded to you. Essentially, you march around again. Your yield. Back in my day. We should do it at 5 a.m. Outside of tea court, rain or shine. Of course, I was on restriction like mid December, and it was super cold. Ah, now it's It's a different location. The academy. It's different time of day. But you you march with your rifle, your drill rifle, and you just kind of march in a big box for 45 minutes. And it's not really that fun, finding that it is a crime that you can reflect just as a midshipman. Um, honestly, I mean again, back to what we talked with beginning you just at the end of the day. It's funny being on the outside, like having onto the system and being an officer, you know, in my thirties, you gotta realize it's about it's about the bigger picture, about the bigger things. So it's the fact that Midshipman can make a mistake and keep everything in house if you wanna call. The way is actually kind of a neat thing, because oftentimes I think I like and my wife is a civilian. Shops went to Normal University, No school, and you know, you may not have a Virginia views on stupid you might be hearing from the police, but here, the academy, it's a chance to kind of correct things in house, you know, fix it. We'll need effects and then get them a Chipman, ready to become commission officers.

Grant Vermeer:   14:42
So that's aging point you brought up in something that I want to talk a little bit more about. Because, as Midshipman, we still do fall under the UCMJ, eh? However, for a lot of these conduct fences, we do handle it internally within our own conduct system. So where does that differential lie between being charged, like via the ucmj, a verse being charged under a violation

Rob Roy:   15:01
of the shipment regulations? Yeah, that's a great question. Honestly, one that I'm still learning. I work very closely with two Jags to judge advocate general's lawyers essentially, that work for the compliment. We talk every single day about things, and they, when they come to the academy, that they are like, just like the TV show, like they're legit lawyers. I went to law school and then they come the academy and it's it's it's kind of old little system. I almost sounds made up, but it just kind of is what it is with Captain Me. Um, it's obviously you and I are both active duty on the other side, like I am. I found of the ucmj a just like a midshipman. But I don't have made Rex. I would say it goes back to meet human regulations. So it's kind of weird seeing before. It's that you know, everything that happens under a certain threshold is gonna be handled by the naval kari. Obviously big ticket stuff, you know, sexual harassment, sexual salt, the really terrible things that air like point to, you know, percent like ever that ever happened. Because just by that human nature of things do happen Ah, that would be handled by NCs um, or the UCMJ a level in which case I don't get involved. That's that's kind of way above me. But you know, the day to day up. No. What? What what mansion would be getting in trouble for, Let's say or just kind of like, frowned upon for is all under the context that help that answers your question.

Grant Vermeer:   16:14
Absolutely does. So thank you for that. And then as some of the things that we feel like our kind of things that are handled under under midshipman regulations. A lot of times, things like wearing civilian clothes. We're not supposed to wear so many clothes or underage drinking. What have you seen is just general generalities. Oh, yeah, can't.  But in general, what are the common things that you see? Because I feel like sometimes people have this extremely romanticized view of midshipmen at the Naval Academy that they're perfect and they abide by the honor system. And they do everything perfectly every single day, which we need. Thio. Like I love talking about the subject because at the end of the day, these are really good people. But good people, you know, one we're call it like we're still college age kids. Um, almost at a certain point. And and sometimes good people do not great things in the moment. And so a lot of that stuff happened. So what are the things in general that you see that are common amongst midshipmen  Yea so I deal will accept earlier. A lot with the majors and 60 levels. I don't really see the day to day, you know, shenanigans that happened. I see a lot of the big level stuff. I mean, obviously I'm privy to it. I have access to it. It's just with my workload. I would say You know it the other day. It's ultimately people doing what they shouldn't be doing. It's a lot of times like usurping privileges, so you might have a plebe that's listing the media. You might have a second class just trying to park on the yard. You might have a youngster right now who gets caught driving? Yeah, um, underage drinking. You know that that is more common than not. And unfortunately, think with social media. People just kind of forget what they signed up for. And they see their friends, other colleges doing these things, and I think that's okay. And of course, yeah. Um, everything it gets back to you, the academy. So I would say those on the databases, but again, can I said before I'm friends, A lot of company officers and I don't think any one of us are trying to, like Burn Midshipman. Oh, yeah, I've got I've got a wife, and I've got two dogs and a grass to mow, I want to get home and my life to just unfortunately, you know, we're all trying to, like, you know, do what's right for the Navy. Ah, And so unfortunately, the Midshipmen decides to do that and of course, gets caught. We have all kind of It's like a it stinks for all, if that makes sense. But at the same time, it's a learning process, you know, for all to it's a chance for, like, us to re mediate. It's a chance for unless I forget, you know, we have a whole conduct staff, so I have a midshipman conduct roster. I've got six Battalion kind of Gloucester's. I've got 30 company conduct officers. I've got 30 company officers. Um, each company. I'm sure you talked with other episodes, and there's a company commander. Company XO, a bat commander, brigade commander Reggie. So all these midshipman have a chance to mentor theater peers, which can be very hard for the 22 mentoring. A 22 year old like that's tough like your could be your best friend. Or, of course, you're mentoring somebody younger. Them. So, like like a plebe. Or here's no one for you. Like what if the plea was a prior enlisted and their 22 years old in the first years of 21 year old like that stuff. But it just kind of those things that we signed up for. And so it's

Grant Vermeer:   19:08
a really good

Rob Roy:   19:08
chance, I would say on the other flips out the comic system, you know, looking back as a former chairman, it's a chance for the academy to kind of develop people like as they see fit. You know, we're we're handling things and internally, but also like it's like that leadership laboratory things, you know, we've talked about you talked on the podcast before, but it's a chance that so everyone not just the people that are like, you know, quote unquote getting punished, that are learning from but also people that are like mentoring them. Hey, man, like this isn't hard. This is easy for me. But you did this and that's not cool. I know we like we're friends and we went to the football game this weekend, but, like I got, ah, counsel you for this because I'm the kind of commander and you're not. And so I think that's the interesting side of it, too, is that it's a chance for everyone to kind of wear different leadership hats before they

Grant Vermeer:   19:52
get a commission in the fleet. Absolutely. It puts a lot of people in a lot of really difficult leadership situations about how you handle different scenarios and different things going on, especially with your peers. And I think when we talk about in the military, we like to handle things at the lowest level, and it gives people the authority and responsibility to uphold that standard and do that at the lowest level, which I think is really interesting. And that's kind of talking about when you were the conduct officer. You only deal with certain levels of offenses because we're able to kind of handle some of the lower level things at the company level. Exactly. It's important to understand the Naval Academy. It is a military units, a military organization. It is a command, right? And so a lot of times you get caught up in the factor like, Oh, I'm in college. I'm going to school. But no. At the end of the day, you are in a military unit and you need to uphold that good order and discipline. And so that is that is why we have this conduct system is to maintain good order and discipline within the begin midshipman. Um, yeah.

Rob Roy:   20:52
I mean, you're everyone's a cat card, you know, military D. And for those that listen, you haven't been to the Naval Academy at West Point of her first camera coastguard, you know, it's a base. I mean, we call it the yard. It's a nickname, but you know, you're going through. You've got Emma's master at arms at the gate. You've to show military to get on. I mean, you know, you we've got all the benefits of being in the military, but it's it's again like you're like a SP special wrangling a midshipman like an officer candidate, obviously. But yeah, I mean ultimate you are. You know, if we're three broke out and they needed officers like you could potentially re commission, you know, like that, Like, really quickly Mitchum and have died, like in combat and like the Mexican American War. You're proud of this. But I do. So I mean, it is one of those things that, uh, I actually take back the war two they did. They did commission people a little bit early when they need Thio. When? When things got real. So keep that in mind. Yes, you're in college, but you're also at the United States Naval Academy, not at pick your state university.

Grant Vermeer:   21:45
Yes. And with all of this, there's also so we talked about the conduct system. There's also an honor system which are technically two separate entities. But can you talk a little bit about the relationship between the conduct system and the honor system? And if the two ever overlap?

Rob Roy:   22:01
Sure. Um, you know, honor system, it's kind of self explanatory. You I would think of the honor system as you know, Michigan, a person of integrity. And we didn't lie, cheat or steal. I'm actually just completely pulling that. From what I'm doing because I don't I don't honestly do with the honor system. Every single day, there's a whole, you know, we have an old guy says we have a whole system on our instrument Internet at the Naval Academy called mids M i. D s not refuse with midshipman and what we call bids, but it's called meds and on made, you know, we've got, like, conduct tabs and honor tabs, so I don't really go in the other stuff aside too much. I do talk a lot with the honor officer. There's a you know, a commander who is the honor officer and a lieutenant. You know, we talk with lye, and they've got a whole honor staff that honor boards. Ah, but

Grant Vermeer:   22:44
you think of the

Rob Roy:   22:45
honor system. As you know, if you watched your steel and of course, get caught or turn yourself in Ah, you have to kind of go through the honor system. Um, the only time that really overlaps for me is if somebody let's say, you know, does something wrong and then lies about it. So like they got caught wearing civvies and then they say, Oh, no, I didn't. Okay, Well, If you did like we saw using night now you're lying. And but he were like, usurping your privileges. So that makes sense. That's kind of like how they overlap. Oftentimes they're like their own separate things. They have honor boards really don't know too much about. I know that they're mostly Michigan run and they legit. I mean, make a recommendation to the combat of midshipmen whose a Navy captain Navio six, on whether or not this person should state the Naval Academy. So it's a very serious. And I'm sure you talked about your past episodes or you will. But, you know, the honor treatise. And when they came up with that back in the day, it's a very serious concept and one that, uh, people, at least the academy tries to uphold. And as you said it back to the point, you know, we have, you know, at the time were all there. You know, you are general speaking agent 20 years old, in a male and female, and people do things that aren't necessarily ah in line with what's like acceptable. But, you know, honestly, like that's okay like it's you're there, you're there, you're there. to learn and you're there to like, we're there to, like, make you better as long as it's not, like, really egregious, like, terrible stuff. Often times it can mimic human can be, you know, helped along the way And I'll be honest, you know, seeing it now live on the other side a lot. Midshipman Lee, once it's all said and done and like, you know, they get over that initial shock there on the, you know, in the comic system, on restriction. Or like the embarrassment and oh, hey, man. Yeah, you know, it's not not cool. What happened? You know, fast for a few months ago to Conakry mediation. They're about to graduate first. He's they mostly get it. I mean, if not all of them, they kind of You know what? That was a really good thing, because now I'm gonna deal with a real 19 year old like, you know, Seaman apprentice in the Navy or Marine Lieutenant. Are, you know, Lance Corporal or some like that and I gotta, like, mentor them. And how do I do? How do you do that? As a 24 year old officer, How do you mental where a 23 year old petty officer, third class that that becomes a little more for challenge. No idea. Today, it's all really good stuff and also trying to better the Navy on record.

Grant Vermeer:   24:49
And that's a point that I want to leave with. If any parents or loved one of Midshipman is listening, it's not the end of the world. If someone gets in trouble, if someone gets entered the conduct system they get on restriction. It's not the end of the world. It's meant the Naval Academy in the mission statement is all about development, right? And that's that's a big piece of it is we're constantly trying to learn and then re mediate on something that may have happened. Ah, and if someone gets in trouble for something, they get put in the conduct system there on restriction. I think kind of the biggest thing that we're saying is it's not meant to the kind of systems not meant to be like a leadership tool in itself. Like we're just gonna put in the comics istan, punish you and just leave you like we're not putting you in time out. Time out. The whole purpose of this is then to provide you with the remediation process to provide you with conduct mentor to provide you with all these different things. So that way you can help get that perspective in the bigger picture where it's like, Hey, we're not We're not like trying to cast you out here. We're here to help each other learn, help each other, develop and grow as people on leaders. We all make mistakes. How are we gonna handle it? How are we gonna learn from it and do that? Because I'm not gonna pretend like I never violated a rule when I was at the academy. We have so many rules, like, you know, things happen. And like, obviously as a structure in a unit, we want to encourage everyone to follow the rules at all times. But unfortunately, the realistic view of that is, you know, rules get broken. And it's important, though as a unit, as the Naval Academy has, all that we do is Midshipman, is that we hold each other to a higher standard, hold each other accountable, and move forward from that point

Rob Roy:   26:23
Exactly. Said it beautifully. Yeah,

Grant Vermeer:   26:25
I appreciate it. Yeah, going off the cuff there could I could hand really quick, but we're going for it anyway. Um, all right, so one thing in regards to conduct that I now want to cover is we've used the word adjudicated a lot. We've talked about the term adjudication, so I want to talk about two things. One, I want to cover the term getting fried. And then the second thing I want to talk about is, once you get fried, you generally end up an adjudication. So if you don't mind, explains the economy inside our audience What the term getting fried refers to, and then a little bit about the adjudication process and what that is.

Rob Roy:   27:00
Sure. So I'd say getting fried at least when I was there. And certainly Ah, when you were there. And now honestly, it I would say it incorrectly means that you were put in the comic system means like, if I catch you doing something and as a midshipman and I put you in the system, I'm gonna fry you or you wouldn't have gotten fried. We're trying to change that culture around here that I've talked to a jag a lot to do in jags of matter. and difficulty officers. It really should mean when you if it if it's even anything that really should mean when you get adjudicated, because if you're putting the comic system but you're not really guilty of anything you're you have everyone has an investigation on, Of course, with that lower level stuff, like the haircut at a regs, let's say, you know, investigation might be more like your company. So but, like, they're really big picture stuff, the stuff that I deal with the day to day like you legit, have an investigator like there's a hole like 3 to 7 day process where you've got a E seven in the Navy, Marine Corps or company officer investigating your comic defense so that that kind of keep that in mind a lot and often times they do investigations that you know what? Actually, they didn't do this thing or it was blown up. Proportion were. Go ahead, knock this down to a minor or dismiss it, that kind of thing. And then I sent up the chain and the deputy goes okay, Yeah, that makes sense. So I would say like getting fried would be when you are found to be, you know, guilty. Um, and you have an adjudication, which we'll talk about that. Then you have got fried. But now, currently, if you here But for, you know, parents listening and trick you but one of the cabinet If here the time getting Friday just usually means you were put in the comic system and like, you got a little email from the automated system and you kind of know that you're being looked at for iconic defense, So that's kind of what it means. But we are trying to change the terms because it, like I was I was fried and ah, you know, other people were. But I know people that were fried and then it was dismissed. It was like, We'll be fried are like, fried like so it just it just one of those old terms it's been out of the academy probably never leave, but that's kind of what it means. Uh, commercially, an adjudication, Um, especially for the likes of the big picture stuff. Majors in six case stuff that ah that I get involved with. We have It's called adjudication. I don't really know how to describe it other than, um it's you stand at attention, and it's kind of like a hearing, which, actually, it's not that that's a different time entirely at the kind of. But it's like a hearing sense. Um, and just think of like any Mildred TV show you've seen minus like the jury and you have a judge, which is your Judy King authority, which is either the company at your company officer and a lieutenant or Marine Corps captain. Or it's coming. Your battalion officer, which is 05 Lieutenant colonel or a Navy commander or the deputy commandant, which is a Navy captain, or I'm Rick or Colonel. So you have your medication. You know, you have the whole midshipman senior command in there. We've got a bunch of different observers which are random. A Shipman, you please all the first things that are pulled to observe and the whole chain of command up to the battalion commander myself or and or the Mitchum iconic officer. Or if it's on the lower level like a brigade coming officer and, ah, and for the really high stuff, like a jag legit jag to make sure it's like, you know, the the teaser crossing the I's are dotted and in the theater. Judy King authorities. So the deputy comma, the battalion officer or the company officers? That's what adjudication is.

Grant Vermeer:   30:05
Yes, and adjudications are not comfortable. They're not ideal. Um, I was. So I served as the six battalion commander in the second semester of my first year. And up to that point, I had never been in an adjudication. Luckily like thank you in this. You know, um, glad to have not been in there, but but they're uncomfortable. So just for everyone's perspective, like literally, the accused midshipman will have to report front and center in front of that battalion officer or attention comin out of the kama dot report and have basically the charges read to the midshipmen. And then they're given the ability to either plead guilty or not guilty. Um, and then basically, after that, the adjudicating authority gets to make a decision on whether or not they find that midshipman in violation or not in violation of the charges presented. Basically, um, that's not fun. That's like a really uncomfortable situations. It's really tense, like you don't want to be in it, and I've seen adjudications handled extremely differently. not in terms of like the process, but basically once everything concludes, the adjudicating authority has the ability to address the midshipmen. And some are, ah, more colorful than others. Sure, but it's just yeah, So when we talk about an adjudication for anyone who's listening, that's literally what it is is that Midshipman goes in there. And all of that is determined right there by the adjudicating authority. And any punishment will be given an issued at that time as well.

Rob Roy:   31:38
Yeah, to your point there, they're not comfortable. And it's it's funny when you do something that would put in a comic system again, back to, like, the kind of like, like this silly stuff, all right. Like like a very premeditated like I'm going to drive, you know, when I should be driving. I'm going to drink under age. I'm going to do whatever like you think you're so cool in that moment. And then, of course you caught, and then you have adjudication. And then now, if you're like a first date like a senior, you're a lot of your peers were there and they're watching you and like you're if you're you know, you're in a company and you're a squad leader. You've got everyone. Your chain of command is there like it was a graduate with you and X number of days. And if you're on the other side, if you're like a plea, you've got all these people that are above you that are essential in your chain of command. You feel like you really let him down. So I would say it's definitely not fun. Um, that is not an academy is, um that is more or less something to expect in the fleet. If you get caught, then there is no conflict. There is no conduct system. There's the ucmj a that you got to deal with, like back to were saying before about you. You're really in a world of trouble. If you do something, if you stand for in your skipper and ah, you're on the other end of the the long tables, they say that's not a good time. So yeah, it's not fun. Um, a lot of lessons, a lot of humility to be had, especially because you think about your ideal candidate to the mechanic. And we said before, like, you know, they're all like really good. Ah, you know, guys and girls like they're usually pretty smart. They're, like, really good athletes are the rig athletics? Um, and then they do something silly, and now they're kind of just knocked down a peg or two to remain remind them how humble. Ah, they need to be in that they are just, you know, one of many. And they're nothing that special, but same time like they're part of the team and we want to help each other out. And, like, we all want to get to the finish line together.

Grant Vermeer:   33:19
Well said that at that. And that's basically what it is for anyone who has been in the military. I don't know if they use different term in different service is, but it be like the equivalent of a captain's mast in terms of how it's actually handled. It's a very, very similar process to help put that into perspective. Yes, but Rob, thank you so much for taking the time to come on here and explain, um, the conduct system at large, what it is and how that is implemented at the Naval Academy. Do you have anything else that you would like to mention about the convicts system. Any parting thoughts you'd like to leave before we jump into our lightning round of questions that I bring on for all Naval Academy graduates? You

Rob Roy:   34:04
know, I would just say, you know, it's somebody who wanted to go the neighbor kind of very bad, not that long ago in some lies about that, you know, you know, made to thousands like I was in high school and I wanted to go. He can't be more than anything. And it wasn't something I thought about. Obviously, we didn't have a podcast like this to hear this kind of stuff. But for those listening to either one of the academy or parents of of midshipmen that are currently there, you know it's not something that people are out to get, like your son or daughter or person. The academy, like I was in the comic system. I'm the convict officer is just one of those things that it is what it is. We're all the job dio from metaphors. I'm the conduct officer, um, and ultimately trying to help the mission now, And I'll be honest. I really try and do use it as an opportunity for me. I mean, I deal with arguably someone like, you know, the worst midshipman at the Naval Academy, and I try and shake all their hands, like on the eyes, and you treat him like human beings. And so I think it's a It's a knee, a way for me to a CZ well to mentor, you know, midshipman and future instance, second lieutenants. But ultimately, I would say the academy's not to get anybody just kind. One of those things we said before he did sign the dotted line. Ah, you when you put your hand the air, you agreed to be part of this and is Lana's. I mean, as long as you do your job and you're a good person like you're not gonna find yourself in the comic system or at least not find yourself in a really bad predicament on the other side of the comic system, like we all make mistakes that you say, like we've all done, you know, things like maybe you didn't do the plead things you have done all the time. But, uh, I would say, like the really bad stuff is stuff that is more premeditate. Anything else anything. I'll be really avoided if you just try and be a good person. Ah, and just, you know, graduate four years and move on to bigger, better things. Honestly,

Grant Vermeer:   35:42
yeah, and that's kind of the last thing that I would want to lead people to twos. You'll hear so many Naval Academy graduates who have been extremely successful in their careers as military officers and in the civilian sector go up until their stories of having gotten fried at the accountant going through the convicts system like this can be. I know it's It's never fun in the moment to be held accountable for your actions, but a lot of time. It is a catalyst to a lot of really good things in your development as a person as a leader. Um, so as we talk about this and talk about some of the, you know, less fun things that we have to talk about in regards to the Naval Academy like a conduct system, it could be seen as a very positive light if if it's treated like you were saying by someone with an open mind, who's willing to accept responsibility for what they did and are looking for that remediation to move forward in a positive manner. Um, and if it's done that way and people can tell you have that attitude towards it, they're gonna be so willing to help you and people like I've seen adjudications where people are like, I, ah 100% own up and admit to what I did. And I'm looking like I'm looking to kind of move forward here in a positive light that gets handled and helped in a really positive action out. Don't get me wrong. It's going to be held accountable for what's going on for sure. But, uh, you

Rob Roy:   37:02
and to your point, I mean, I've had several midshipman that were adjudicated. I mean, for your pretty I was a bad stuff, but, you know, like a pretty serious stuff, Nothing that couldn't be fixed. And now they're working for me. You know, a semester or two later. Like now they're my battalion comic officer, or they want to become the actual conduct officer. So and they were like, Hey, like I I messed up. No big deal. I'm like, great normal fell and they learned that I really enjoy the process. Ah, you know makes it better, and I want to help my classmates help people below me to, like, not make the same as excited. And here's what I learned. So I would say I've had a lot of positive on the back and like I said, it never is fun to be held accountable. Um, but it's ultimately with my job particular. It's stuff that we're not talking about. The little petty things were talking things that like you probably shouldn't have been doing. And it's a good thing you were held a candle because if you carry that behavior into the fleet, it could lead to, like, really bad things, like people could get killed like you could've run ish, you know, do things that you should do. Like I watch, like all kinds of things that, like, you know, with all you think of our Navy and military Marine Corps is a fighting force like you want, like the best of the best, like on wash it'll times. And so, like you need people that are honorable and like, full of courage and commitment. So that's kind of just ensuring that where molding those, you know, bright Ah, you know our high school kids to become, you know, now really polished naval officers.

Grant Vermeer:   38:22
Thank you for that. In the final thing that I will add if you're gonna do something stupid, I highly don't reckon you do anything stupid, but the last thing you should ever do is posted on social media. Like, uh, I don't know how many things I went to where people got caught because they just blatantly posted it on social media. So, uh, don't be Don't be that person. But anyway, with all of that, let's now jump into the lightning round of questions. Are you ready? I'm ready. Let's do all right. First question is having been a shipment and now staff at the Naval Academy. What is your favorite place like? What's your favorite spot on the yard?

Rob Roy:   38:59
Whom favorite place on the yard. Well, and there's so many beautiful places on the yard. Um, for me, if I think back to a time like as a machine, where you to go even now, I would say anywhere along the sea will, especially during like a really bad, really good re instructor, like the rain like a good rain storm. Like when? When things were quiet, and I know you know a lot of visitors on the yard and maybe it's dark at night. It was kind of low. My thoughts on a run oftentimes stop on the seawall. Ah, and just kind of reflect on my thoughts and it's good, like if you like. So I got that runner's high gone and you got the sweat moving. Uh, I would say anywhere along there is just a really need spot because you get to look at the academy all behind you. And of course, at that point, this scenario I've I kind of run around the academy that kind of seen everything and any. Of course, you see the Chesapeake Bay in the Seven River, and it's just nice with sea breeze and it just you feel like you're in a really special place in the world

Grant Vermeer:   39:51
after a gorgeous run and stop at the sea wall. Ah, you're now hungry and you're making your way to King Hall. What's the one meal that you hope is being served? Thinking home,

Rob Roy:   40:00
it's Ah, you're going back for years cause I mean King hold a long time, but definitely buff chick chicken would be the one

Grant Vermeer:   40:07
real solid. Um, all right, now, for a little bit more in depth question here. So we're going back to tracing back to your time at the academy. Who or what was the biggest influence on your current leadership style today? Um, like, what can you looking trace back to your time at the academy? That has really impacted who you are as a leader today.

Rob Roy:   40:29
Um, I had a lot of good, you know, mentors throughout the academy. One guy that comes to mind it wasn't messily at the academy was my blue and gold officer. He was a ah, former chief Warrant officer. 04 Back when it was the highest chief one officer rank you get. So he he was from Pennsylvania's name's Don Smith. He still blooming officer to this day. And I, you know, often would call him, and he would be a big mentor to me. And, you know, am I as well have gone to the Naval Academy because he was very connected and tied to it. And you're stood for all the values in the okay preachers, which is why he was I'm Lou, good officer, but looking back you know, kind of having a friend, An older friend. Um, too kind of, you know, you know, bounce ideas off of was really great. And I think he embraced everything. The academy stood force that was looking back. And even to this day, I call him and think about what? Well, what would he do it? How would he handle? You know, that's I feel like that's honesty is a big part of why I do try and respectful. Like when I deal with, you know, the not, You know, that's really great, you know, situations that have to do with at work. Ah, but also, people are people and people make mistakes. So I try and think of what he would do and what he would emulate. Try to emulate what he would Ah, what he would have done in that situation.

Grant Vermeer:   41:38
Great. Moving on. Next question is what is your favorite book?

Rob Roy:   41:45
Mmm. Favorite book. I mean, certainly the cabin. I haven't read a lot of books. I would say I've list I've read. I've listened to a lot of books recently, and I've gotten big into real estate investing. Ah, book that comes to mind, especially for anybody looking to go the academy, and it's really for anybody that's there. Currently is a book called Set for Life. Ah, the book by a guy name of Scott Trend. She's about my age. E is also a co host of the podcast called Bigger Pockets. They're very famous podcast on the real state space. If I met her a few times, actually had him. If the academy to speak, um, we work. So now he came from the Maryland area, came to speak this past April, actually in 2019 to speak of the Camry. But his book is really, really good, because it's all four. Ah, the recent college graduate that has college debt and what to do to become set for life, which you take that exact situation. Take away the college debt because most academy grads will have it. And then, obviously you add the you know, 37,000 ish dollars with the career start alone. It's an amazing book that I wish I read when I was there. It's all about you know how to buy a house and had a buy one like the house hack, which is a term meaning like Buy a dupe extra picture for punks like, you know, live in one side, ran off the other and howto howto set yourself up for life. Like in the long term, too, become financially free. So I really like that book because there's a lot of things replied to like military, but also just in general, like with How do I hope you find stuff? Because the Academy is really good in so many areas, but I would say we they lacked a little bit in the financial planning. We have plenty of briefs, but like it's just not stuff. It was like, applicable to me at the time. And reading this book was like, literally written for the recent college graduate and like, Wow, if I knew that, especially when I graduated 2011 Are you kidding me? Bottom Bottom of the market Coming up 11 12 13. Yeah, I would have bought a house, rented it out and then bought another house and use the V a lot. All these things I just had no idea existed. So I like that book a lot of special for me. Listen, this podcast set for Life by Scott trench.

Grant Vermeer:   43:39
Fantastic. Thank you for that recommendation. Um, And now and so if anyone wants to check out that book, we will put a link to purchase that book in the show notes, so you can definitely go check it out there. Um, all right. Now we're down to our last two questions, the first of which is what is your greatest memory from your four years at the Naval Academy?

Rob Roy:   44:01
Mmm. A lot of good memories. Um, the day we service selection, service assignment ever gonna call the day we actually find out what you get. Um, of course, I got pilot. Lot of my good friends got pie. And so my friends got Marine Corps. Going out that night was a really good time. That's one that comes to mind. I don't know. I have, like, a favorite memory. I mean, there's so many little looking back, you know, like like something doing please summer or, you know, on a random run with a friend, or I got to go to Mexico for a week, no further bicentennial, like there's just so many good times. I would say that one likes its reflection, comes to mind, but just so many random memories that every time I see somebody years later, like it brings up a new memory. Oh, yeah, we did that. You know the thing together, we You know what went on this run are really hard class and all that stuff. But that's when it comes to mind the service election night. Just because, you know, I'm sure you've explained before another episodes, but now, when you were with your company, you're with, like, you know, plus remind assertive, your best friends. You know, I was 1/9 company, and I was, fortunately, nice company. All of my four years, which now they do what they call shotgunning are scrambling. But when I was there was there for four years. And so I was with the literally chopping down the hall. Next, people during proof summer and four years later, you know, we all are becoming like officers together. So I was really needed to kind of go from 18 year olds 22 23 year olds. Ah, and find out what we're gonna do for the Navy Marine Corps. Kind of just see it all come full circle. That was a really good memory that comes to mind.

Grant Vermeer:   45:29
I love it. And so I actually recently I don't use the term scolded, but I was a recently informed that it is serviced assignment. It is. I think that's the official. That is, that is the correct term, even

Rob Roy:   45:42
even me going there. It's like I still,

Grant Vermeer:   45:44
you know, for whatever reason, when you're going through, it's is it didn't I would officially be selection.

Rob Roy:   45:51
Did I know this now? Just like kind of being set. When I was there, we called it service selection, but I think it definitely was. Quote unquote service is because you are getting assigned like provinces. But back in the day, which I mean 2030 years ago, it was little based on your overall order of merit. You know, if you were number 200 the class of 1000 you would after 109 people, you would go and literally pick what you want, which is kind of scary everything about it, like Okay, that s o because you did well in physics. Now you get to be a seal like I don't really know. I agree with that, but I kind of like the fact of its service assignment. Sounds scarier, but it's actually really good thing because there's a whole, like, vetting process, and you gotta kind of hit wickets and, you know, be smart, but also, like, you know, be fit for the community. Have you got a record? Like all the Marines were really looking at, You know, like like, congratulations. You did really well academically. And you don't get any comic trouble. So now you can go be a pilot win, like maybe you're not that good at flying, you know?

Grant Vermeer:   46:41
Yeah. So absolutely appreciate it. That's Ah ah, good Inside there. All right. And then the final question is just for anyone who may be a high school student are just interested in the academy. What advice would you give someone about what they should consider when trying to determine whether or not the Naval Academy is? Ah, reasonable college choice for them in something that they may be interested in? Yeah,

Rob Roy:   47:05
I would say definitely use resource that you have that when I was in high school, The time The big thing. We're like catalogs like legit, like inch and 1/2 thick books that they would send to all different high school guidance counselors today. That's all online. And today they've got this thing called YouTube and you can watch any video you want. You can really learn a lot. I mean, things like listening to this podcast. I mean, you could learn so much by just the research that are available. I would say podcasting you. She was a big one and plenty of videos out there. And then just think of it like the back end, like, you know, to you, Do you see yourself as a naval officer? You know, too many people go there to play foot, go the cabinet, any cattle to buy football or play a sport or or my dad was in the military and like, that's not really the right thing to do. Like if you love playing football and you wanna go, you serve your country. Then by all means, go there. But if you just want to go play a sport like maybe it's not the best place for you, Um, conversely, um, if you want to be in the military doesn't mean that you like, should go the naval county or any academy maybe shouldn't list. Maybe you should go. Coast Guard. Maybe we should go there first. It just kind of depends. I would just say I think it all the way through for me. I want to be on a Navy carrier pilot, and that's what I ended up becoming. And that's what that's what I am. And so it was a really good place for me because I was around that environment. But, um, if I just, you know, wanted to serve four years on and then get out, then. Obviously, you're four years of the academy. You have to serve another five minimum. On top of that, you kind of think of it. Yeah, I think of it. You know, long term, I would say you don't just think about it as a 17 year old. Think about it as a 30 year old. Think about it as a 45 road. If you are 15. Listen, this podcast You know, what is your 45 year old self going to be grateful for? Did you, like, make their decisions? So just think that way. I mean, if you want to do it just for the short game. Yeah, maybe rethink it. If you want to do it for the long game, then I would definitely give it. Give us more thought.

Grant Vermeer:   48:49
Great. Rob, thank you so much for taking the time to join us today on Academy Insider. We really, really appreciate it.

Rob Roy:   48:55
Also had grand really appreciate being living, become the pockets and appreciate what you're doing. So keep up the good work. And, uh, thank you. Thanks for keeping you informed.

Grant Vermeer:   49:02
Awesome. Thanks. And to the academy insider audience. I hope you guys have a great day and I hope you enjoy the podcast. Thanks. Thank you all so much for listening to the podcast. And I hope you enjoyed learning about the conduct system at the Naval Academy. Please leave me review on Apple podcasts and be sure to subscribe to the Academy Insider podcast. If you want to learn more about the Naval Academy, the life of midshipmen and some of the unique aspects about life in Annapolis, you can find more articles content in videos on my page, www dot academy and center dot com. Or you can find that information on Facebook with my page Academy insider. All links discussed in this show are listed in the show notes. So go check it out. And again, I'm Grant from here. The academy insider. Thank you so much for letting me be your guide to the Naval Academy.