SMP ROTC

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by MajorFox, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. MajorFox

    MajorFox New Member

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    I have recently went to interview for an ROTC scholarship. The person interviewing me said that I seem like an outstanding officer candidate and he would love to have me in his unit. Problem is I don't look very good on paper because I was home schooled and did not play a lot of sports in high school and he said they are cutting the ARTOC scholarships in half this year to top it off. He suggested a SMP contract with the guard. From what he said is I would go to basic training, then go to my specialized school, then I use the GI bill to go to collage and do the ROTC program anyway. He said its just like getting the Scholarship but you do basic training first and drill with the guard on top of your usual ROTC duties. This seems like a great option for me but I would like more info. So if anyone here has done it before of is planning on doing it please tell me about your experiences, the benefits, and the cons.
    Thank you
     
  2. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army

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    First off...it is not "just like a scholarship". I'm a big fan of the SMP option, but it is not for everyone. If you don't get a scholarship offer and If you are at a relatively low cost school I would recommend you come to campus in the fall ready to do your best to pay for your first year of school. Enroll in ROTC and make sure it is for you. If it is, and you can't manage to land a campus based scholarship then talk to a reserve or guard recruiter about the SMP program. Consider going to Basic over your the summer between freshman and sophomore year. At that time you should be eligible to contract the following fall. At that time you will also be eligible for tuition assistance from the guard/reserves. You can then consider going to AIT the following summer, becoming MOS qualified and eligible for GI bill. If the recruiter tries to talk you into Basic and AIT and missing a semester of school to get GI bill I recommend you seriously consider telling the recruiter you aren't interested. Why do I say that? In my opinion the sooner you finish your studies and commission the sooner you will be serving as a second lieutenant and the sooner you will be making LT pay. The sooner you can pay the limited debt you have incurred from school. The other thing to consider is if you go to basic (and potentially AIT) before you start ROTC, and then realize it's not for you, you still have a guard or reserve commitment. If you are serious about becoming an Army Officer get your schooling started, stay on track, and don't think just because you aren't getting all your school paid for by the Army that you aren't getting a good deal.

    http://goldenknightbattalion.wordpress.com/2011/01/12/smp-another-option/
     
  3. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Whether scholarship will indeed be cut in half this year is yet to be seen. There may be a drop in the National scholarships that are awarded. My son's school has given at least 3 campus scholarships this year so that opportunity may still be available for next year. I have read that there is a slight move towards giving more of the scholarship opportunities to the battalions so they can select from the new cadets. Only time will tell if that continues next year.

    SMP is a great program. Do a search through this forum, there are quite a few discussions regarding SMP.

    Remember that you do not need to attend BCT or AIT to participate as a SMP, you only need to complete BCT and AIT if you wish to receive the GI Bill and the Kicker which would give you more money for school.

    The problem is fitting both BCT and AIT into the schedule. If you do both together you will miss the first semester and start school late, not the best idea. You can also do a split option, complete BCT the summer before you start school and AIT the next summer. Fitting BCT in right after high school can be tricky, you may still not be able to finish before college starts.

    The other option is to start school, try for a campus ROTC scholarship, if you do not receive one then plan on attending BCT the summer after your freshman year. This would now mean that you would go to AIT the summer after your sophomore year. You would not start receiving the GI Bill or Kicker until the start of your junior year.

    SMP cadets compete with all other non scholarship cadets for a contract. SMP does not guarantee a contract, just be aware of that. If you do not receive a contract you will still be required to fulfill your Reserve/NG obligation.

    Once you are a SMP you will have drill once a month, you just need to work that into your schedule since it will mean one less weekend at school per month.

    There are a few cadets and parents of cadets on this forum that either have a son or daughter in the SMP program or are in it themselves that will be able to give you a lot more information. Again do a search of this forum and read all the posts regarding SMP, there are a lot and some very good information to be found.

    Note: Cross posted with Clarkson. Clarkson is a great source of information since he is a ROO, you might want to visit his Blog, it is a wealth of information.
     
  4. MajorFox

    MajorFox New Member

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    Thanks for the info. And I will be sure to do some searching on the forum for more information. Now, I just want to keep my options open, so I have one more quick question. I'm a senior in high school right now. Could I do SMP, and do BCT and AIT over the summer and attend collage this fall with ROTC? Or do I have to be in the program first before getting an SMP contract? Worst come to worst and I decide against ROTC(Very unlikely) I can finish school and fulfill my guard contract as an enlisted member. Correct?
     
  5. MajorFox

    MajorFox New Member

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    Never mind. I re read your post and you already answered that. Thanks again guys!
     
  6. Marist College ROTC

    Marist College ROTC Member

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    1) You can join the National Guard or Army Reserve independent of ROTC. The GI Bill benefits are in no way dependent on whether or not you participate in ROTC.

    2) The term SMP is often used incorrectly to describe non contracted ROTC Cadets that are also in the National Guard or Army Reserve. These Cadets do not receive Scholarship benefits, stipend, or book money. They are also not guaranteed to commission because they have not yet contracted with ROTC.

    3) SMP describes a contracted Cadet that is also in the National Guard or Army Reserve.

    4) You cannot sign a SMP Contract until Sophomore Year.

    5) You may find it difficult to pay for college with GI Bill benefits. You should check to see if the schools you are interested in offer additional financial benefits like the Yellow Ribbon Program.

    GI Bill Info: http://gibill.va.gov/
     
  7. ZAROTCZ33

    ZAROTCZ33 Member

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    Im by no means an expert on this topic, but I was planning on going the SMP route. I would look at state vs. federal benefits at the schools you were looking at participating in Army ROTC. Federal I believe is 4500 per year correct me if I'm wrong anyone. State benefits can sometimes be just as good or almost as good as the ROTC national scholarship monetarily. I would like to reiterate the point that previous posters have made that SMP will definitely add some more burdens to deal with such as transportation to drilling and an enlistment contract with the national guard which must be fulfilled if you do not become contracted in ROTC. I see a definite positive in being able to get a little more hands on experience in leading enlisted national guardsmen in drill with an officer guiding you.
     
  8. Ohio2015Parent

    Ohio2015Parent Member

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    Major Fox,

    You have received some great input about the SMP program. My DS has recently contracted thru this process. It has many potential pit falls, BCT is not fun and even after contracting having to remember it can still be taken away for stupidity(legal issues), injury or other issues of not meeting standards such as PT/academics. You really put some skin in the game by going this route to officer. My DS would do it all again but I've tried to warn those of you SMP bound to be very careful:thumb:

    DS will join his new unit this upcoming weekend and will be working under a 2LT PL in a unit preparing to deploy later this year. After they deploy the current plan is to leave an SMP MS4 in charge with the 2 SMP MS3s as PLs for the rear detatchment(approx. 30 people). So my DS's MS3 year could be filled with many obligations and opportunities thru his SMP position.

    This program works - but just keep in mind worst case scenarios like having to deploy while in college if you do not receive or keep a ROTC contract or having to repay money used for scholarships if you cannot fulfill your service...just like the national scholarship cadets - you have a lot to keep up.

    Enjoy the remaining time in high school. Good luck.
     

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