advice on SMP?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by ZAROTCZ33, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. ZAROTCZ33

    ZAROTCZ33 Member

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    Hello everyone it's been awhile since I have posted. I have recently visited my first school of choice and was given a pretty tough decision to make. This decision would be easy with a 4 year national scholarship, but I would say that is a slim chance of happening. I talked with the ROO at the University which had informed me of a new fact which is that all ROTC cadets(non contracted) are given in state tuition. I will say the tuition per semester is very minimal compared to most large publics in the country. My other a option is to join ROTC while being in the simultaneous membership program. In this state I would receive a tuition exemption. I am very committed to pursuing ROTC and in all honesty getting the best bang for my buck. If anyone has insight on this I would appreciate it. Taking SMP incurs a contract which I must fulfill and arguably adds burden on being as successful in college. SMP will make me an better officer with more in depth training. ROTC I could compete for an on campus scholarship while still receiving a substantial discount on tuition. Thank you for all advice ahead of time.
     
  2. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    So if you contract as an SMP cadet you essentially get free tuition? Usually if you take any state or reserve money you will be forced to go guard or reserves when you graduate. I am curious to see if that contract still places you in with the GFRD folks even if they aren't technically paying and it is really just an exemption. However, I guess if it is a contract then you will be going NG. Some more clarification would be nice as to what this contract is because I am not familiar with tuition exemption at least not in my state.

    As for a burden, being an SMP cadet isn't really that time intensive. My room mate was an SMP cadet for four years and besides the weekend a month drill his schedule really wasn't any different than mine. I don't really think this is an issue and you can still do SMP and go active if you want as long as you do not take any GFRD money.
     
  3. ZAROTCZ33

    ZAROTCZ33 Member

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    I was told that I can still do every program all other ROTC cadets participate in. Airborne school, CULP, Air Assault and so on. I was told even with the tuition exemption I am qualified to be commissioned into AD army. The ROO told me that 2/3 of the battalion is SMP, so transportation to drill wouldn't be a huge issue. The conflict is making sure I like the school and making sure ROTC is the right choice for myself. I believe it is, but my parents beg to differ. Interstate transfers to another national guard unit is not clear and cut. I don't want to be backed into a corner with no way out at the very least to a different state national guard unit. The financial benefits seem pretty good though after contracting the beginning of my sophomore year I would receive drill pay and Army ROTC stipend. Sorry if I sound motivated monetarily only. I truly want to serve it just makes sense for me to take the better deal fiscally.
     
  4. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    I agree, you need to get some good clarification as to what any contract says regarding SMP, you could very easily be restricted to the NG.

    As a whole SMP is a great program as long as you understand everything. SMP cadets do not become Contracted cadets until their sophomore year. SMP does not guarantee you will be contracted, you will compete for these contracts with other SMP and non scholarship cadets. If you do not perform to standards you can run the risk of not becoming contracted which means you can't continue in ROTC past your sophomore year. The competition for these contracts will vary from school to school depending on how large the battalion is and how many contracts they have to offer. If you do not get a contract you will still be required to fulfill your Reserve/NG obligation.

    Those are some of the risks, there are pluses as well.

    If you attend both BCT and AIT you will be eligible for the GI Bill and Kicker as well as your monthly drill pay, once you are contracted you will also receive the ROTC monthly stipend. Depending on the cost of tuition, SMP can actually be a better deal financially. The big issue is to make sure you know how the tuition is handled and that you can still compete for Active Duty if that's what you want.

    Two more things, there are many SMP cadets that are able to handle school, ROTC and drill, it just takes some time management. The other thing, don't expect that being SMP will make you a better officer or give you a leg up. A lot will depend on what you do when you drill, some cadets get to shadow a LT and others shuffle paper in an office, it all depends. When my older son graduated not one of the top 5 in his battalion were SMP, that's just an example, some SMP's do very well. It will all come down to you personally.

    Don't give up on the scholarship just yet, the results from this board have not been released yet and there is still one more board.

    Bets of luck.

    Hopefully OhioParent will chime in on this, her son went through the SMP process and is doing great, she can fill in some details of the process her son went through.

    What do you mean by Interstate Transfers to a different NG unit?
     
  5. ZAROTCZ33

    ZAROTCZ33 Member

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    When I refer to interstate transfers I am talking about if I have issues at the school and want to transfer to a school in a different state. I believe it is a bureaucratic process. I was told by the National guard Liason/Recruiter that I would incur no debt to the state if I for some reason wanted to transfer to another national guard unit in another state. I just can't envision them giving me a tuition exemption and their time to let me off scot free. This is just the worst case scenario. I'm sure I will enjoy the school. I was told by the ROO and NAtional guard recruiter that the Infantry Unit I would be placed in I would shadow a LT. I run the risk of that being some nice fluffy recruiting talk though, but they seemed genuine in saying that. If anyone can tell me the Efficiency of the SPACE-A program in giving guardsmen flights that would be nice to know. Since this is a four hour flight from my family.
     
  6. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    I would not count on Space A for flying back and forth between school and home, you will very low on the pecking order. Remember the A stands for Available, and believe me, the flights are a real hit and miss when you have to be somewhere at a certain time.

    Thanks for clearing up the Interstate transfers.

    I would be very careful when counting on the fact they would not require re-payment should you transfer to a different state, depending on how the tuition assistance works.

    This would be the same issue should you receive a scholarship, if you decide you want to transfer back to a school in your home state the scholarship will probably not follow you there. If you transfer after you start your sophomore year you could be on the hook for re-payment as well.
     
  7. Ohio2015Parent

    Ohio2015Parent Member

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    SMP has been a good program for my DS -- there have been several nail biting moments -- but all in all he'd do it again.

    I'm glad you are talking with the ROO and liasions for NG at your school of choice - DS followed this path also. Most of what they told him was accurate, but they up front told him they could not guarantee his unit placement - perhaps that is just how Ohio does things, each state will have differences. DS's contract allows him to accept NG tuition assistance and still have the option of AD, Ohio changed that policy Spring of 2012 that you cannot take tuition assitance and go AD without incurring repayment. Make sure they spell that out for you in BOLD letters. A big thing that changed from when he joined the NG and his actual contracting, was the limited number of contracts his school had to offer. The draw down in military led to a decrease that his ROO/recruiter could not have prepared him for - instead of pretty much being a guaranteed contract he had to compete with 35-40 other SMP hopefuls for roughly 15 contracts. An internal OML was established and fortunately he proved himself and was awarded one this fall. Make sure they spell out how many SMP contracts they have, how many recruits and how they will handle "walk ons" to AROTC in the contract process. Yes, the financial support from the NG has afforded my son his dream school, but without the contract he doesn't earn the dream of becoming an Army officer.

    DS is assigned to a unit preparing to deploy in Spring 2014 so he gets the opportunity to see the process of getting everything together. Currently he is shadowing the Co. XO and in late summer will switch to shadow a PL. Since he and 4 other SMP cadets cannot deploy they are being prepared to be left in charge of the rear detachment(approx 30-35 people). He feels very fortunate to have a wide variety of opportunites to watch, learn and practice the role of an officer. It doesn't hurt that now the enlisted call him "sir":wink: I guess military courtesy requires this, personally, I think its a little over the top:rolleyes:

    He has run into a few time management issues -- exams seem to always start the Monday after drill, and no, they do not allow you time to study. Luckily, he's doing very well academically and fits this into his study plans. His school ROTC also has a large percentage of SMP and does work around that obligation when scheduling FTXs and PT tests. Its nice that they take into account their cadets NG responsibilities.

    Also, remember, just as a scholarship cadet can have their contract revoked and face significant penalties, so can a SMP cadet. DS had a brush with this in December(a month after contracting) luckily, it was resolved and his contract is safe. Nail bitting moments will be ongoing until the Army safely pins those bars on at his commissioning ceremony:thumb:

    Keep doing your research - be patient with the Jan and Mar AROTC board results - once you raise that right hand you belong to the NG, SMP or not.
     
  8. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    This is for anyone reading the thread or just interested in "Cadet" regulations regarding SMP/CTLT/DCLT or any military training in general. Under Army doctrine and policy cadets are not required to be saluted or called sir/ma'am. If there is a MSI out there in uniform who balks at an E-7 passing by and not rendering a salute, do not attempt to correct him. As per AR 600-20, cadets are simply referred to as Mr/Ms./Cadet or Ca-det/Cadidiot/Dot as some other popular variants. The document does go on to say that the seniority of command does place cadets in between WO and NCOS however.

    Now I have seen forums referencing a military document named CC Circular 145-11-98 stating:

    "ROTC cadets are not subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and are not eligible for command. They will not be placed in any position requiring them to act directly for the commander such as duty officer, handling of any public funds, or records pertaining to same; nor in any position requiring an officer's certificate. Cadets will not be issued weapons where the use of deadly force may be authorized. Subject to these limitations, cadets may serve any duty normally assigned to lieutenants, including officer-of-the-guard or officer-of-the-day, if such duties are performed under the supervision of the staff duty officer.
    b. While serving in leadership positions, ROTC cadets are not authorized to issue orders to individual enlisted members; however, commanders are encouraged to ensure that cadets are given courtesies and respect normally reserved for officers of the U.S. Army. Their military rank is above that of enlisted personnel, but below that of commissioned or warrant officers.

    3-3. Military courtesy. Cadets will serve in officer positions. Enlisted personnel will be encouraged to salute cadets and address them as "Sir" or Ma'am" or by their title and surname (e.g., "Mister Jones" or "Miss Jones"). Official correspondence will refer to them as cadets (e.g., "Cadet Jones"). Cadets will not be referred to as "third lieutenants". Commanders will ensure the personnel of his/her command understand these instructions."

    Note the word says encouraged and not required. So far I have yet to find a official document stating these regs and a Google search is rather inconclusive. Simple copy and paste just leads to other forums referencing the same paragraph so the validity is still in question

    I know this wasn't the topic of discussion but I have seem quite a few cadets at drill or any other training make the mistake of correcting an NCO about the position of attention/addressing/saluting etc. We have a lot of lurkers here and I feel this needs to be addressed because cadets truly are a grey area in the paradigm of the military.
     
  9. Ohio2015Parent

    Ohio2015Parent Member

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    Aglahad,

    Thank you for posting the regulation copies. DS feels very akward to have enlisted, many of whom have served multiple deployments, refer to him as "sir". I would hope that no cadet would ever correct or try to order an enlisted person about while in any training. That would be a high sign to me that they do not have the humility and respect for those who serve with them to truly serve as an officer.

    DS's unit is used to having SMP cadets due to their location close to his campus. Perhaps this is why their commander "encourages" this extention of military courtsey and the enlisted are comfortable with this form of address. As I stated, I feel its a bit over the top.

    So future SMP lurkers - don't expect it, but don't be surprised either, if someone calls you "sir" or "ma'am" while serving with your unit.
     
  10. mbitr

    mbitr Member

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    Your son shouldn't feel awkward about it. Putting on the gold bar isn't going to make him any more experienced than he is right now. I'd argue that the most valuable experience he's going to get as an SMP cadet is going to be a better understanding of what it is like on the enlisted side of the house. And I don't mean just attending basic training--honestly after having spent six years as enlisted I barely remember mine. Putting aside customs and courtesies as a fairly redundant formality, most enlisted aren't going to put up the same wall to him that they would for an officer. He can learn a lot more about joe in ways that vanilla Lieutenants don't get the chance to outside of CTLT and what have you.
     
  11. Novus Caesar

    Novus Caesar New Member

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    I have a copy of that reg. It is dated 1998 which is when I was in ROTC, but it was available for download from TRADOC at least until 2009. Not sure if it is still in effect, but I imagine it is.

    It is called "Cadet Command Circular 145-11-98" and is entitled "Reserve Officers' Training Corps - CADET TROOP LEADER TRAINING (CTLT)." It is a part of "Cadet Cmd Reg. 145-11."
     
  12. khergan

    khergan Member

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    Bottom line is that a cadet's status and responsibilities as an SMP member will be determined by the commander of the USAR/NG unit that they're part of.

    I happened to be lucky and be in an unit where my commander was very supportive of me, and it went well. People called me "Cadet" and didn't salute. It wasn't a big deal. Some units do, some don't - it's not a requirement.
     

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