Army SMP questions for graduating senior

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Louis1995, May 29, 2013.

  1. Louis1995

    Louis1995 Member

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    I'm going to be graduating highschool in about 2 weeks and I got a couple questions regarding the smp program

    Is it possible for me to attend basic training this summer? I am already enrolled in the army ROTC program for next year and wanted to see if there's anything I could do over the summer.

    - How time consuming is the SMP program?

    - How much tuition assistance will SMP provide if I choose the reserves?

    - Can I not choose the national guard option if I'm going to an out of state school?

    - Is basic training required to do the program?

    - Could I still apply for campus scholarships if doing SMP?

    - Would I need a car my freshman year in order to drive to bases for reserves training once a month?

    - Who should I call in order to register for SMP? Campus rotc program? Army website?

    - What would be the advantages and disadvantages of doing SMP rather than soley doing ROTC?

    And finally would you reccomend the SMP program? I really am not doing much this summer and figured I could possibly get a head start and get basic training out of the way

    Thanks
     
  2. sheriff3

    sheriff3 Member

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    I know very little of the SMP program. I can tell you my DS friend is shipping out this morning for AIT in Arizona. After that he will attend Airborn school and then attend college starting the second semester (Jan 2014). He attended basic last year between his junior and senior year in HS. Best of luck.:thumb:
     
  3. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    There is no way you would be able to enlist and get a ship date for BCT this summer in time to be done when your school starts. You can check with a recruiter but it is highly unlikely.

    Basic is not required to do SMP, the only thing would be that you would not get the GI Bill if you did not go to Basic.

    Tuition assistance depends on the state and NG unit you join.

    You can join a Guard unit in the state you are attending school.

    You would drill one weekend a month.

    A car would almost be a must if you do SMP unless you have other cadets training at the same unit which you can carpool with.

    Above all, talk with your new battalion about ll the SMP options before signing anything.

    Search this forum for SMP discussions, there are a lot of them and you can get a lot of info and questions answered by reading them.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2013
  4. khergan

    khergan Member

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    - How time consuming is the SMP program?

    Not really. Being an SMP cadet doesn't add any more time than being in the Guard/Reserve does normally. It's the ROTC commitment during the week that takes the time.

    - How much tuition assistance will SMP provide if I choose the reserves?

    As of last I checked, $4500 a year in tuition assistance, plus whatever the MGIB selected reserve gives you. I think it's a couple hundred a month for Reserve MGIB.

    - Can I not choose the national guard option if I'm going to an out of state school?

    Yes, you can join the Guard, but you'll have to do a state transfer. It'd be better to wait and join the state you end up in, rather than have to do a bunch of transfer paperwork as a brand new private.

    - Is basic training required to do the program?

    Yes, because you won't be able to be a SMP cadet until your MS2 year, so in the meantime yes, you will be required to go to BCT.

    - Could I still apply for campus scholarships if doing SMP?

    No. You cannot be on ROTC scholarship and SMP cadet. If you accept a scholarship, you'll be removed from the Reserve/Guard and placed into the ROTC control group.

    - Would I need a car my freshman year in order to drive to bases for reserves training once a month?

    Depends on the program. Some programs are more well established and provide transportation, others don't. Usually cadets will work well together and give rides to younger cadets who don't have rides.

    - Who should I call in order to register for SMP? Campus rotc program? Army website?

    You don't "register" for SMP per se. As long as you are 1) a member of the Guard/Reserve, and 2) are contracted through ROTC, during your MS2 year you can fill out an SMP agreement contract which your commander has to sign, agreeing that you can become a cadet in his unit. He/she doesn't have to sign the form; it's a choice to allow you to renounce your enlisted MOS and become a cadet. Once this is all done, you get switched in the system to a 09R, which is the MOS for cadet and get promoted to E5.

    - What would be the advantages and disadvantages of doing SMP rather than soley doing ROTC?

    SMP provides the opportunity to work with real soldiers and get real training. I'm not saying ROTC isn't real training, but a lot of the times, the stuff in ROTC doesn't accurately reflect the operational Army. So it's an added benefit to be able to have Army peers and officers in your unit that you can ask for mentoring, help and generally gain more experience than a non-SMP cadet.


    And finally would you reccomend the SMP program? I really am not doing much this summer and figured I could possibly get a head start and get basic training out of the way

    Yes, I would recommend the SMP program. It provides a needed dose of reality for many young cadets who don't actually understand what the Army is all about. It'll give you experience, some training and the ability to have real soldiers you can talk to and learn from. It will also give you a good idea of what the Reserve component is all about, which is a good thing. Many ROTC cadets have this false idea that the Reserves is only for the worst cadets or some nonsense like that. Being there for years will give you experience but also a better knowledge of where you want to go.
     
  5. Louis1995

    Louis1995 Member

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    Thanks for all the great info. So what if I wanted to go active duty once I commisioned? Would SMP allow me to do that?

    And since I'm technically not an MS1 cadet yet could I still attend basic this summer?

    I have a feeling that the on campus ROTC scholarships will be highly competitive so hopefully SMP will be the safer bet to help pay for college
     
  6. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    This is correct in a sense.

    You would not be a contracted cadet as a SMP until the start of your sophomore year at the earliest. This is the case whether you go to BCT or not.

    It is not required to go to BCT to enlist as a SMP cadet. There have been several cadets that signed up for SMP, they drilled during their freshman year, contracted their sophomore year and never went to BCT. The only reason to go to BCT and AIT is to get the GI Bill.

    Since you would most likely not be able to go to BCT this summer you would, if you want, go to BCT the summer after you freshman year, then you would go to AIT the summer after you sophomore year. You would not start getting your GI Bill until you started your junior year. If you go this route you would not be able to go to any summer training such as Airborne, Air Assault, ect the summer after your sophomore year if your AIT took the whole summer.

    Make sure you look at all the options and do your research. Talk to someone at your new battalion about SMP, they should be able to answer all your questions.
     
  7. bjb2016

    bjb2016 Member

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    False. You can be in the SMP on scholarship and still drill in the guard.
     
  8. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    The only scholarship you can have and still be in the Guard is a GRFD.

    If you accept a GRFD you cannot commission Active Duty, you are restricted to the Guard/Reserves.

    You cannot receive a campus scholarship and still stay in the SMP program.

    bjb, careful how you answer these questions, there are a lot of variables when it comes to ROTC and SMP.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2013
  9. QA1517

    QA1517 Member

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    If you go the Military Junior College route and receive an Early Commission MJC Scholarship you will be in ROTC, National Guard and drill once a month. Then after you commission in 2 yrs you are in Guard and continue to drill until you graduate with a bachelors degree from your follow up school. At that point you can compete for active duty based on your OML standing like all other new 2nd LTs. ROTC Scholarship trumps National guard so the guard cannot refuse to let you go active duty.

    Campus based scholarships do not participate in Guard or drill until they graduate and move on to the follow up school to finish their 4 yr degree. Unsure of active duty possibilities then.

    Agree with the GRFD.
     
  10. Louis1995

    Louis1995 Member

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    So after thinking it over, I'll probably just stick with ROTC. Is there any way I can attend basic but not enlist or join the SMP program? The reason I ask is because it'd give me some good experience and I wouldn't mind the extra money!
     
  11. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    No, you cannot go to BCT (Basic) unless you join the Guard or Reserves. As a regular cadet you cannot attend Basic.

    Do well in school and ROTC and you will have opportunities to attend summer training such as Airborne, Air Assult, or others during the summer after your sophomore year, provided you are contracted.

    Join the Ranger Challenge team at your Battalion, hard work and extra training.
     
  12. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    While prior service cadets generally do well, basic training will not make you a better officer
     
  13. khergan

    khergan Member

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    To the OP:

    Just be aware that it's possible to have a dual-military status and NOT be SMP. You can, for instance, be enrolled in ROTC and be a member of the Guard or Reserve, and stay like this throughout the entire duration of your service with either of those organizations.

    In fact, most cadets who eventually go SMP are in the Guard/Reserve and adopt the SMP status later.

    I've had cadets who joined the Reserve, intending to go SMP, be in ROTC and eventually drop ROTC and decide to continue being an enlisted soldier. Likewise, we've had cadets who have joined the Reserve and ROTC, and later become SMP cadets because they wanted the increased responsibility and pay.

    Remember, it's an option, not a requirement. SMP is an opportunity to give you better pay and more responsibility in a Guard/Reserve unit, one that you can choose to take if you so desire.


    Edit:

    One more thing - I would argue that going to BCT and seeing what life is like as a private will do wonders for your overall knowledge of how the Army works, and probably make you more motivated to become an officer. If you see both sides of the coin, it's easier to have an objective view of how each side functions, and will enable you to have more information when deciding whether to contract with ROTC and become an SMP member.
     
  14. Marist College ROTC

    Marist College ROTC Member

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    What state will you be attending school in ?
     
  15. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Do this, and you will be deployable your entire time at school, you could also be called for training during school. Not advisable.

    I would double check to make sure you can be a member of the National Guard and a contracted ROTC cadet without being SMP.

    Debatable.
     
  16. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    I agree with Jcleppe. Basic training is what it is, training. It doesn't give you a realistic outlook on the Army because you are in training status the whole time. No unit and no day to day grind of a line unit. I don't consider basic/AIT as prior service and I stand by my statement that it does not make you a better officer.

    Now an E-6 with 3 deployments will probably have a richer outlook coming to ROTC, however a NG E-2/3 with basic (and perhaps AIT) in my opinion has a better grasp of Army warrior tasks and skills but not necessarily a firm grasp of the enlisted life.
     
  17. gojack

    gojack ....

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    :thumbdown:IMHO Sorry but NOPE:thumbdown:
    I went from E-1 to E-5, worked for many officers, all types from West Pointers to OCS,
    Some were good and some were bad, the only thing different about G2G's was they were OLDER. (not better)
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2013
  18. Louis1995

    Louis1995 Member

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    I will be joining IUP's warrior battalion which is located in PA
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2013
  19. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    This, exactly. The SMP folks in my BN that joined out of high school and then went straight to college do not have better insight on the big army, nor do they come to ROTC knowing a great deal more than basic scholarship cadets. They know basic soldiering skills and their MOS.

    The ones that did help mentor other cadets were all guys who had multiple deployments under their belt and were all NCO's by the time they hit ROTC. Even then, you can ask them all how ROTC was and they'll tell you there was still a learning curve. It's a different animal than their big army jobs.
     
  20. mbitr

    mbitr Member

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    You could always wait until the following summer if you don't get a campus scholarship. If you aren't contracted by then you wouldn't be doing any schools (Airborne, etc) during the summer anyway. You'll also have longer to see if the Army is the right fit for you. Once you enlist, you're going to be committed to finishing out your Guard/Reserve contract if you don't stick around for ROTC. That means even if you wanted to continue as enlisted, you aren't going to be able to do it as active duty. SMP is great as a way of obtaining extra benefits (Tuition Assistance being a big one) if you can't secure a scholarship. Other than that, you're counting your eggs before they've hatched by doing it this early.
     

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