A couple of questions about SMP

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by turnerle, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. turnerle

    turnerle Member

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    So, I will be starting as an MSI walk-on at a state university this fall. The recruiting officer said that I stood a pretty good chance at receiving a campus based scholarship. However, as we all know, nothing is definite until you have it in writing. So, I'm considering doing SMP as a way to help pay for college if I don't receive a scholarship. I just had some questions though...

    When is the earliest time I can enlist in the SMP and what do I have to do to receive benefits from SMP (i.e. attend BCT/AIT or LTC), and can I still earn an active duty commission through SMP? My only concern is that if I have to attend BCT and AIT that I will miss some school. Again, the recruiting officer said that if I went SMP I would go down to the local recruiters office, enlist, bring my contract back to the PMS and the from there I would become a contracted cadet and I would receive all the SMP benefits and not have to attend BCT because an ROTC contract overrides a National Guard contract, but I would still have to attend the monthly and summer drills(as the recruiter said). And again, I'm not sure about that, not that the recruiter is a bad guy or anything just that I think he doesn't have all his facts right.

    Anyways, many thanks in advance! :thumb:
     
  2. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    He is not neccesarily lying to you, but not telling you everything. You can enlist in the Guard whenever you feel like it. Contracting with SMP is just you simply becoming attached to ROTC. Your MOS in the Guard would change to 09R and you could be slotted into an empty PL position.

    You do not have to attend basic to join SMP. However, it will affect how much money you get per month. You must attend basic and AIT to get your GI Bill Kicker.

    In essence, you could walk down to the recruiter, enlist and take your enlistment contract and go to ROTC and get SMP. However, you may miss out on a couple of hundred dollars per month.

    Also, if you go to Basic and AIT you most likely will miss a little bit of school. Especially if you enlisted today. It's the nature of the beast.
     
  3. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    Don't quote me but I think you needed a year or two under your belt before you could fully be accepted with SMP. I don't think you will be accepted off the street without at least basic. However, as you already stated basic and AIT are not needed to be a SMP cadet.

    If your goal is active duty remember to NOT take any GRFD or National Guard scholarship money as it WILL bind you to take a a reserve commission.

    You do no have to miss school to be SMP. You can get slotted a basic slot during the summer and attend AIT right after and still have time to get ready for school. It all depends on the MOS, just don't pick medic or LPN. Infantry or cav scout are OSUT and are usually pretty short. You can also split AIT and basic between different summers.
     
  4. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Bull is right, the recruiter just left out a few important details.

    As Bull stated, you would receive your drill pay once you enlist in the Reserves or NG. To receive the GI Bill and Kicker you would need to complete both BCT and AIT. Make sure you look at the pay scale for enlisted Reserve and NG, also look at the amount you would receive with the GI Bill and Kicker. You will then be able to decide if you would need the extra funds.

    One thing the recruiter had mixed up, the earliest you can contract as a SMP Cadet is the beginning of your Sophomore year, and that is not a guarantee. Some SMP cadets have waited until the end of the sophomore year and some never received a contract. Battalions now have limited number of contracts to give, as a SMP you will be competing with all the other SMP's and non scholarship/walk on cadets for those limited contract spots. Some battalions have seen SMP cadets accept GRFD scholarships just so they are able to stay in the program and complete college because there were no standard contracts available.

    If you choose to go to BCT and AIT you will most likely miss some school. It is a challenge to get a BCT slot that line up perfectly with summer break, there are sometimes delays, if you get an injury you are put back a week or more which can cause you to miss the start of school. Aglahad is correct, you can do a split option and do BCT one summer and AIT the next. Getting both done in one summer and still get to school on time is nearly impossible. If you choose the split option then you would not be able to participate in any summer training such as Airborne or Air Assault since those are don the summer after your sophomore year. If you do SMP without BCT and AIT and you get a contract the start of your sophomore year then you could compete for those summer training slots.

    Since you would not be able to go to BCT until next summer and you would not be able to contract this year as a SMP, I would suggest you just start school and ROTC and talk with the cadre about the on campus scholarship options and talk to them as well about SMP, they will be able to give you the information you need and give you a better picture as to how many contracts they expect to have to offer.

    One thing to keep in mind, if you enlist in the Reserves or NG and something happens and you are unable to get a ROTC Contract (and it does happen) you will still be obligated to fulfill your enlistment requirements, if you had chose not to go to BCT or AIT you will then be required to complete both.

    One of the best things you can do right away to increase your chances of getting a Campus Scholarship, is to get a high score on your first APFT. Keep working out and working on proper form and do your best, this is the first chance you have to make a very positive impression on the cadre.

    Best of luck to you.
     
  5. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    I took the liberty of looking up your past post from April.

    You will have two issues contracting with ROTC:

    1) the asthma you menion in your April post. DODMERB will need to waiver you.

    2) your overweight condition you referenced in the same thread. Even if you are able to pass all three portions of the ROTC APFT, you can fail the Army weight standards requirements, and therefore fail to qualify for Contracting. Lots of cadets who are over the body mass standards can still do quite well on the APFT... though it seems illogical, the Army cares about weight even if APFT performance is not affected.

    I suggest you take care of the weight issue as a priority. It is the only thing you can actually control right now, as you cannot control how the DODMERB will decide on your prior asthma, and whether they are satisfied it will not become an issue in the Field where it would impact the safety of troops serving alongside you. Bringing your weight down should also allow you to get better times in the 2 mile run portion of the APFT.

    Which actually leads to a quesiton I have: can a person serve in the Reserves or NG without passing the same physical health standards used by ROTC, and the Academies? In other words, if a person cannot get a Waiver from DODMERB for a very mild asthma condition, wouldn't that failure also disqualify a person from enlisting in the Reserves or NG?
     
  6. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    It is a different Physical Process but Asthma can cause the same problem in regards to becomming Medically Qualified for Enlistment.
     
  7. turnerle

    turnerle Member

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    Precisely what I was planning on doing. I was planning on enlisting NG at the end of my Freshman year since I've already paid for it, attending BCT, coming back my Sophmore year and hopefully getting a contract, which the recruiter said is pretty likely because most of the MSI and MSII cadets at the battalion only want a good grade and don't compete for or want contracts and scholarships (not to mention that battalion is relatively small, only about 14 cadets entering MSI). And yes, I have been working getting top marks on the first APFT.
     
  8. turnerle

    turnerle Member

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    Yeah, I've been working on getting my weight down and working on the APFT
     
  9. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Just one question.

    The recruiter you are talking with, is this the Recruiting Officer at the ROTC Battalion or is it the recruiter at a local recruiting station, it makes a big difference.
     
  10. turnerle

    turnerle Member

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    Recruiting Officer at the battalion. I would assume that the recruiter at a the local station wouldn't know much about my school's particular ROTC battalion, seeing as he/she is more concerned with getting people to enlist than enroll in ROTC. Not to mention that there are 4 other large schools in the region each with an ROTC battalion and the recruiting station is in a large metropolitan area.
     
  11. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    That's good, your sure right about the local recruiters. Sounds like you have a plan. Good luck getting a Campus Scholarship.
     
  12. Ohio2015Parent

    Ohio2015Parent Member

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    Tunerle,

    Best wishes to you for your upcoming MSI year. Please ask a lot of questions about how the awarding of contracts will be handled. My DS is SMP/Ohio National Guard at a state u - there were originally 35-40 cadets competing for approximately 16 contracts. The numbers dropped off since many SMP cadets either gave up and left the program or found at BCT/AIT they were released for a variety of reasons. My DS is graduating next week from BCT. He has written about many recruits being medically released and/or "recycled"(starting BCT all over again) due to injuries or medical conditions -- asthma was a factor in a few he mentioned. Please do not feel I am trying to sway you from your plan B or C - just ask questions and continue to research for all possible plans you can use to complete your education and military service goals. The path is long and full of many unforseen twist and turns.

    Oh, and advice my DS swears he will pass on to all SMP cadets -- go to BCT in the late winter/spring semester - AIT summer. I guess it's been pretty damn hot in Georgia this summer :biggrin: All the Army BCT bases are in the hot zones of the country!
     
  13. khergan

    khergan Member

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    These are issues you'd want to talk to your PMS about, or perhaps a National Guard representative other than a recruiter. Understand that SMP works differently for the NG and the Reserves, and that their policies will determine BCT/AIT/etc. I know that Reservists in our states are not allowed to become SMP without first going to both BCT and AIT, whereas I've heard of NG cadets who didn't even go to BCT and getting contracted. It's a mixed bag, but ultimately it will come down to whatever their policy allows you to get away with.

    However, one important thing to know is that according to regulation (AR 601-110), you cannot be truly "SMP" until you are in your MS3 year. You can be an enlisted soldier who is also in ROTC, but you can't sign the SMP contract legally until you are enrolled in the advanced (MS3 or MS4) portion of the course. Once signed, you immediately get promoted to E-5 (for purposes of pay) and get to act as officer trainee in your respective reserve component.
     
  14. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    SMP cadets can sign a contract the beginning of their sophomore year (MS2). These cadets start receiving the ROTC stipend and as long as the fulfill the requirements of the contract they move on to the Advanced course under the same contract.

    Of course it is not a guarantee that a SMP cadet will be offered a contract, a lot depends on how many contracts the battalion has available and how many cadets are competing for those contracts.
     
  15. Ohio2015Parent

    Ohio2015Parent Member

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    This is how the Ohio National Guard and schools ROTC PMS and ROO have explained it too. Perhap this also varies by state or Guard vs Reserves? DS will be a MSII and is preparing to sign this fall, provided nothing has changed since July within in his school's OML(how they are determining which cadets will or will not be offered contracts at this time).
     
  16. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    I think he is mistaken. Once you sign your contract you are "truly" contracted. I don't see any other way around it.
     
  17. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    Just going to throw this into this thread just in case anyone is interested. An SMP hopeful at my BN said today she was told by our ROO she now needed 60 credit hours to contract as SMP. Whether this is something unique to her situation or is becoming the new norm due to cuts, I'm not sure. But it's and interesting bit of info I heard today.
     
  18. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Interesting

    A sophomore SMP cadet that went to BCT this past summer from my son's battalion is planning to contract after tomorrows APFT. I'll post if that happens as planned.
     
  19. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    Thats why I'm curious as well. It could be something that just came down the chain or a unique thing.
     
  20. turnerle

    turnerle Member

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    I've heard roughly the same thing. I've heard anywhere from 15 to the 60 credits you've mentioned. However, AR 601-210 makes no mention as to required credits, only that you must have a minimum of 2 study years left and enroll in MSII within a year after enlisting. This applies only to the reserves and I'm looking up NGR 600-100 and NGR 600-200 for the NG requirements for SMP since that is what I want to do.
     

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