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Military Athletes Can No Longer Defer Active-Duty Commitment

Image: Military Athletes Can No Longer Defer Active-Duty Commitment
Air Force wide receiver Jalen Robinette (AP Photo/Carlos Herrera)

By    |   Monday, 01 May 2017 08:08 PM

Military academy athletes can no longer put off their active-duty commitment to head right into pro sports after graduation, Military Times reported Monday.

The announcement came four days after Air Force Academy athletes hoping to be drafted into the National Football League found out the service would not approve waivers letting them sign with a pro team, the military news outlet reported.

Air Force wide receiver Jalen Robinette and safety Weston Steelhammer were shocked by the news, the Denver Post reported.

"I first found out waking up to a Denver Post article and bunch of text messages [last Saturday]," Steelhammer told the Post. "I was shocked as much as anyone else was. I thought it would be a pretty neat day, however it went down. I definitely didn't think it would go down the way it did."

The decision means graduates from the military academies have to serve as officers for their minimum two-year commitment; the memo also affected recently commissioned ROTC graduates.

"Our military academies exist to develop future officers who enhance the readiness and the lethality of our military services," Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said in a statement. "Graduates enjoy the extraordinary benefit of a military academy education at taxpayer expense."

The new policy rescinds one from last year, when the Pentagon began allowing academy athletes to apply for the Ready Reserve to defer their active duty requirement, Military Times reported.

"The department has a long history of officer athletes who served their nation before going to the pros," White said in her statement, referring to Naval Academy grads Roger Staubach and others, Military Times reported.

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Military academy athletes can no longer put off their active-duty commitment to head right into pro sports after graduation, Military Times reported Monday.
military, athletes, NFL Draft, active duty
268
2017-08-01
Monday, 01 May 2017 08:08 PM
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