ROTC/SMP questions

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by ConfusedMominMA, May 1, 2013.

  1. ConfusedMominMA

    ConfusedMominMA New Member

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    Good morning. My 1st post here.

    My son will be going to UCONN in the fall for Mech Eng. He is thinking about doing AROTC. Whenever we have spoken with the ROTC reps at a college fair, etc. the SMP program comes up. Hoping that someone will be able to answer some of my questions:

    1). If a student does the SMP program are they definitely considered non-active while students? I would not want him to get called up to help out with a natural disaster, etc while he is supposed to be at school.

    2) If a student does SMP, is there a commitment component to both the Army and the National Guard after graduation? How does that work?

    3) My son is interested in a program at UCONN called EUROTECH which is a 5 year program with a 6 month study abroad in Germany and a 6 month co-op at a German corp. Generally how does the AROTC handle study abroad? Can he get a leave of absence to participate in this program?

    Thank you for your help.
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I'm sure there are folks here who can provide specific answers, but I wanted to point out SMP has come up fairly frequently in the past and you might find out quite a bit of information by doing a search on SMP.
     
  3. ConfusedMominMA

    ConfusedMominMA New Member

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    Thank you. I will do that.
     
  4. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    I won't get into specifics because I don't want to give you any wrong info since things are always changing, but your son will be fine.

    1) Contracted SMP cadets are non-deployable. I'll leave the mobilization (for natural disasters) part up to someone else.

    2) His commitment would be to one, not both, since in broad terms, they are the same entity.

    3) I've had ROTC friends do 5 year engineering programs. And I've had ROTC friends study abroad. Combining the two would be between your son and his unit, but I would say it is, most likely, possible.
     
  5. Ohio2015Parent

    Ohio2015Parent Member

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    Make sure you are talking with his potential AROTC unit and a NG representative/recruiter that they hopefully will recommend. NG regulations vary by state, so your best information will come from them about SMP program details.

    My DS at one time was considering a 5 year year program w/internship requirements and the AROTC program was open to this situation.

    You're asking the right questions - just make sure it is from sources that know the correct answers for his state and school!
     
  6. ConfusedMominMA

    ConfusedMominMA New Member

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    Thank you everyone for your help. There are so many details, it is hard to keep it all straight. Yes, he really needs to start talking to the ROTC people at UCONN and an NG rep from CT.
     
  7. sheriff3

    sheriff3 Member

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    Our DS is good friends with a young man who is SMP. Upon graduation this month from HS he will be headed to AZ to help with border control for 26 weeks. Looks like he will start school in the dec-jan timeframe. Just FYI
     
  8. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    Well he can't be SMP if he hasn't already graduated high school. It's probably because he is is split-op guard. I have never seen a cadet mobilized who was CONTRACTED get sent for state duty and miss school. ROTC priorities surpass the guard's
     
  9. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    SMP Cadets don't contract until the beginning of their sophomore year at the earliest. The only way a person can be deployed or called up is if they have completed both BCT and AIT.

    If a person joins the NG and goes to BCT the summer after their senior year in high school, then starts college, they can't be called up because they have not completed AIT. They are not contracted their first year and then go to AIT the summer after their freshman year of college. when they return to school they can be contracted as a sophomore, at that point they are non deployable and can't be called up, if for some reason they are not contracted at that time then all bets are off as far as being called up or deployed.

    Timing is everything with SMP, Aglahad is most likely correct. the friend of your son's had probably already completed BCT and AIT through a split option.

    This is not the way to go and can be risky since they are not yet contracted. The contract with ROTC is the key to all of this.

    The best course is the one Ohio215parent's son took. Join the NG/SMP, do not go to BCT right after high school. Start college, finish freshman year, then go to BCT, start sophomore year, work to get that contract, then go to AIT the next summer...or don't, it's not required to go to either BCT or AIT unless you need the extra GI Bill money.

    There is a lot to know about SMP, Ohio215Parent has seen her son navigate the process and be very successful, she is a great resource.
     
  10. sheriff3

    sheriff3 Member

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    Timing is everything with SMP, Aglahad is most likely correct. the friend of your son's had probably already completed BCT and AIT through a split option
    Jcleppe you are correct. DS friend did BCT and AIT summer between Jr and Sr. year. Sorry for the confusion.
     
  11. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Yep, that's the risk they take when they do the split option, they become deployable at that time and it can really conflict with school until they contract in ROTC. Something to be very careful of when looking into SMP.
     
  12. gojack

    gojack ....

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    SMP description

    SIMULTANEOUS MEMBERSHIP PROGRAM (SMP)

    The SMP program enables students who possess a minimum of 30 credit hours and a minimum 2.0 CGPA, to be a member of the Army National Guard or Army Reserves and an ROTC cadet simultaneously. Contracted cadets hold the pay-grade of a Sergeant (E-5) in their Guard or Reserve unit and serve as Officer trainees under the supervision and guidance of a Commissioned Officer. Pay is approximately $274.00 per monthly drill (2010 pay rate; <2 years of service). Additionally, contracted SMP cadets receive the ROTC subsistence allowance depending on academic year: $350-Sophomores, $450-Juniors, $500-Seniors.

    Basic Combat Training (BCT) and Advanced Individual Training (AIT) can be completed in one summer and in time to start the Fall semester, or BCT and AIT can be taken over two consecutive summers, depending on the Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) chosen. Upon successful completion of BCT, students are eligible to receive Federal Tuition Assistance (TA) which is $4,500/Yr, Also, upon successful completion of AIT, students are eligible for the Army GI Bill which pays $333/month directly into your bank account, while enrolled as a full-time college student. Some MOS's qualify for bonuses (called "kickers") which add an additional $350/mo upon joining Army ROTC (some conditions apply; ask your ROO). But, the type of MOS is not a critical factor when joining/contracting as an SMP cadet. The reason is because when you are a contracted cadet, your monthly drill training will be under the supervision and mentorship of an Army Officer. The MOS kicker simply adds a financial benefit during college in route to achieving your degree and commission as a 2LT. All together, an SMP cadet could receive over $1,400/month while attending college full time, while federal TA and state TA (if in ARNG) pays for college tuition.

    NOTE: To retain TA benefits, the student must achieve a minimum 2.5 GPA per semester.

    As an alternate means of joining the SMP program, and without having to attend Basic and/or AIT, certain qualified applicants who do not have adequate time remaining to complete the four ROTC MIL 100/200 classes before their junior year (or first year of Masters degree), or have enough time to complete BCT/AIT in one summer, may be eligible to attend the Leaders Training Course (LTC). The Leader's Training Course is an all expenses paid, four week course conducted at Ft. Knox, Kentucky and is designed to fulfill the MIL 100-level and 200-level class requirements for entry into the ROTC Advanced Course. Graduates of LTC who contract with ROTC may be eligible for a $5,000 signing bonus. Successful completion of LTC can qualify the student to join the SMP program, which enables them to receive Tuition Assistance, Drill pay and the ROTC stipend, but not the GI Bill or GI Bill Kicker. Also, as an LTC graduate, the student can choose to pursue the "Non-Scholarship," "Non-SMP" route, which means he/she is fully qualified to join ROTC, but would rather pay his/her own way without serving as an SMP in the ARNG or Reserves. The only financial benefits of this route is the $5,000 signing bonus and the monthly tax-free ROTC stipend.

    NOTE: Only students who have two years remaining until degree completion, and who have not attended all four MIL 100/200 level courses, are eligible to attend LTC. Allocations are limited, and they are based on a "best-qualified" basis (CGPA, APFT, etc.).

    Contracted SMP ROTC cadets are non-deployable with their unit, and by regulation, are to complete and obtain their degree and commission. Assignment as an SMP cadet in a Guard or Reserve unit is dependent on cadet choice and unit approval.

    SMP is a administrated at the State level, so the SMP benefits in every state are different. Talk to the Recruiting Officer (ROO) at your University, he/she will walk you through your options, this is a complicated program, with many options and moving parts - be very cautious, if you fail to complete ROTC and commission - you will serve in the National Guard as an enlisted solider.

    Note; ‘Regular’ National Guard Recruiters are not trained in SMP, ask your ROTC ROO who to deal with.

    Expert opinion Here:

    http://goldenknightbattalion.wordpress.com/2011/01/12/smp-another-option/
     
  13. gojack

    gojack ....

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    If schooling/classes/travel are a requirement for the degree program, then usually AROTC will work with it, if it is optional (for the degree) then usually not. The ROO at UCONN would be the one to ask:

    ( UCONN Major Glenn A. Colby, Recruiting and Operations Officer glenn.colby@uconn.edu (860) 486-6081 )
     
  14. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    You can't be SMP before college regardless of when you completed BCT/AIT. I'm guessing this friend is in RSP, not SMP, since he is in high school.
     
  15. ConfusedMominMA

    ConfusedMominMA New Member

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    I need to go look up what AIT and BCT are.

    So if I am understanding you correctly:

    1. you can't be deployed for NG once you are contracted with ROTC
    2. you can't be deployed for NG until you do BCT and AIT

    So, yes, it definitely sounds like timing is everything
     
  16. Ohio2015Parent

    Ohio2015Parent Member

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    Timing is a lot of the SMP program. DS joined the NG after graduating from high school, but with the combined efforts of his ROO and NG recruiter he was not assigned an immediate Basic Combat Training slot, instead it was delayed until after he completed his freshman year of college. DS will not attend AIT - will not receive any additional GI Bill funds while he's in college. Due to generous room and board discounts from his unit, his NG(OH) pays full instate tuition and he has merit scholarships too so GI Bill benefits were not needed, however, many of his fellow SMP cadets do need these funds and attend AIT this summer after completing their sophomore year of college. Also, a lot of SMP cadets will take a semester off school and go during their freshman year BCT-AIT combined.

    When considing SMP options, also make sure to talk with UConn's ROO about how many contracts they have for your DS's "year"(MS I is freshman, he would contract as an MSII). My DS ended up having to compete to secure a contract, some of his fellow cadets were disenrolled just last week for lack of contracts and to proceed into the MSIII(junior) year a cadet must have special permission or be contracted.

    The support DS received from his ROO and recruiter(recommended by the cadre so he was in the loop about AROTC/SMP) made this a little more bearable. It is a detailed, nerve wracking program at the beginning - once the contract is secure and signed it is a great program(unless your kiddo does something stupid to get disenrolled or fails to meet standards). DS is enjoying his NG unit experience - the unit deploys late winter 2014, so he is assisting two different officers with the preparations needed to train, stock and deploy an unit. Great experiences for seeing the officers roll.

    Continue asking questions here, but do pursue a contact from UCONN to get you the most accurate information:thumb:

    BCT - Basic Combat Training(boot camp)
    AIT - training schools that vary in the number of weeks to train for specific jobs in an unit(ie, medic, infantry, truck drive ect...)jobs are referred to as MOS's.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2013
  17. fx567

    fx567 New Member

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    Make sure your kid first focuses on getting contracted, and completing DODMERB first before doing SMP. If he enlist's first and something goes wrong, for example he can't contract due to not passing DODMERB's, he will belong to the NG and go to BCT. By being contracted, you cannot deploy as an SMP cadet. Also if he want's to try for AD, tell him to not sign a GRFD contract (the guard recruiter's sometimes encourage this) because that will lock him into the NG. Hope this helps, SMP is a great program overall.
     
  18. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Good advice but, the only way a cadet can contract before their junior year without SMP is to be on scholarship, if you are on scholarship you can't be SMP.

    Waiting until the cadet contracts before joining NG/SMP would mean they would not join until they were a junior. This would not leave any time for them to attend BCT and AIT to allow them to receive the extra funds from the GI Bill.

    You are correct in the regard that there is always the risk as a SMP of not contracting and then having to fulfill their obligation to the NG/Reserves. This is why those that consider SMP should make sure they understand the program fully and know the obligations upfront. The biggest thing is to stay away from the local recruiters, get your information from the ROTC Battalion Enrollment officer first.
     

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