AROTC scholarship vs SMP

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by NCmom23, Oct 27, 2013.

  1. NCmom23

    NCmom23 Member

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    My DS is a 4yr scholarship recipient. He is currently in the first semester of his MS1 year. He has mentioned to me on two occasions that he is considering joining the SMP in order to gain more OML points.

    I have done some cursorary research through older posts and it looks to me like this is not a wise choice to make. There doesn't appear to be any real benefit and some very obvious potential "problems". I would like him to continue to remain strictly a scholarship cadet. He is doing well academically, in PT and in his MS classes.

    I would love input from all of you have have more knowledge on this issue. He tells me there are upperclassmen who have done it and are encouraging him, as well as a someone at the university (someone who sounds more like a recruiter to me).

    Thanks for any wisdom you care to share.:smile:
     
  2. Ohio2015Parent

    Ohio2015Parent Member

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    As you have read in the older threads - there are pros and cons either way, but personally, if he's doing well and is a scholarship holder there is no reason to change his status. Let him talk about it, but suggest he also read these older threads. There may be more cash money in the SMP (with AIT and the GI bill kicker money and drill pay) but that isn't the most valuable asset right now - the CONTRACT is the goal and he could look into a lot of other ways to earn OML points that a SMP cadet might not be able to juggle with the added time constraints of drill, missed school for BCT and AIT.

    Freshman year is a lot of fun - they come up with all types of crazy:wink: Mine looked into being a cheerleader just to get the OML points for a outside sport...hanging out with the cute girls wasn't any part of it:rolleyes: Didn't end up doing it, played indoor soccer instead - but so many new ideas and learning to balance the OML/ROTC into their college life come up over and over again.

    Good luck!
     
  3. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I agree with the assessment about the potential problems. I also agree that if he's doing well then there is no need to go this route for extra OML points. GPA will be the biggie anyway. It actually sounds more like a peer pressure issue to me. An attempt to belong to the "group". I'm sure there are other "groups" in the unit he could associate with and perhaps even do something other than SMP to bring up his OML points. Good luck with that though. I thought as my kid grew older he might listen to ol' Dad a bit more but I guess we're not there yet. YMMV. Would love to hear how things turn out.
     
  4. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Ohio2015 Parent is a great resource for how the SMP journey works.

    One thing for your son to consider is that he would not get that GI Bill and Kicker unless he completes both BCT and AIT. Since he didn't complete BCT between high school and freshman year he is behind the curve, he would probably have to miss a semester of school to get both done, not a good idea at all.

    The money from SMP once he completes BCT and AIT is good unless the current tuition is higher then what he would receive. Remember he won't receive the GI Bill until he finishes BCT and AIT, until then the tuition is on him and what ever tuition assistance he can get from the NG.

    Be careful, some states are now requiring the cadet to fulfill their service obligation in the NG if they take "Any" tuition assistance. Make sure he understands all the requirements and is aware that these requirements can change at any time.

    Ohio is right, the Contract is the big thing right now, SMP does not guarantee a Contract. Ask Ohio how the competition was in her son's battalion. There is always a risk your son would not get a contract, he would then still be required to fulfill his NG obligation as enlisted, no commission.

    Right now your son has a Scholarship and is Contracted, the brass ring so to speak. The only way he can lose it is by something he does such as dip below the Min. GPA, fail an APFT, or get into trouble.

    Peer pressure can be tough when they are just starting, but this pressure is leading him in the wrong direction. Your most likely right that there is probably a recruiter talking to him. He may also be hearing how important going to BCT is to be a good officer, not true at all, while it is a good experience, it is not worth dropping a scholarship for.

    As far as the extra points for SMP, he can get the same number of points doing Color Guard. The SMP points do not raise the score that much and can easily be made up with things that will take a lot less time then Drill once a month.

    SMP is a good program, another path to get to a commission, it's not something that you throw the path you have in hand away for.

    By switching to SMP your son would be putting at risk his chance to commission. Ohio's son is SMP but he is also contracted and started school over 2 years ago, things were different then, it's harder now.

    Hope he really thinks hard about this and has a long talk with his Cadre before he makes a rash decision.
     
  5. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    I would say it is not worth it. Thousands of people commission each year to AD with a branch of their choice that did not need SMP.

    And the trade off for SMP points vs. the time commitment that could affect his GPA and other opportunities to boost points does not seem worth it.
     
  6. Thompson

    Thompson Member

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    ... and I believe it became slightly easier since the dead zone was ridded, since there is now a DA OML model in addition to the CC model.

    Another potential reason why said cadets are trying to get him to do SMP (at least in once case), is because of said cadets get a referral from your DS, they get some sort of bonus. One of my friends is planning on doing SMP, and was talking with an SMP cadet. The cadet told him, that if he referred her - she would make rank a bit earlier ... in any case some sort of mutual benefit.
     
  7. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    The changes that effected the dead zone has nothing to do with whether a cadet will get active duty. The dead zone, or lack of, deals with the AD OML.

    Active duty will still be competitive, even more so as the years go on.
     
  8. mbitr

    mbitr Member

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    Do you have a source for this? I'm curious because other than a GRFD contract I've never heard this before. I was under the impression Tuition Assistance was entirely Federal money. I don't see how a state Guard could put stipulations on that.
     
  9. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    I tried to find the article where I read this but no luck, I believe the Ohio NG was starting to require the NG Obligation. Hopefully Ohio2015Parent will help to shed better light on this. I believe this dealt with TA from State NG funds.
     
  10. Ohio2015Parent

    Ohio2015Parent Member

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    Yes, Ohio did change from allowing TA and either AD or NG service to IF you take TA and serve AD you may have to repay the TA. Now, in Ohio the NG covers the cost of any in-state school tuition and fees(pretty nice:thumb:) however, I believe only a portion of these funds are federal($4,500 is in my mind for some reason) the state makes up the difference depending on the school(DS is approx. $5500.00 a semester). So, since the state has skin in the game perhaps that is why they can change the deal. This change happened Spring of 2012(a year after my DS entered the guard so he is grandfathered in, a few MSII this year are caught in the new rules depending on when they swore in). This is one reason why I caution hopefuls that are living in a different state than where they plan to attend school to make sure they are talking to a respected recruiter from the state of their school and hopefully recommended by their ROO. As state budgets tighten up this was probably a easy change to get approved. Knowing the details and keeping up with the changes is critical for any cadet(several are quite upset about the student loan repayment program being cancelled too....)
     
  11. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    I see no problem with it unless you take state/reserve money. It's a good experience and a chance to dabble in the "real" Army one weekend a month.

    Lets be honest your grades really shouldn't take a hit with the extra time at drill unless you are some crazy engineering or biochemistry double major who needs every weekend for lab prep or studying. If grades suffer solely because of SMP, then time management is the obvious problem.
     

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