SMP

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by pj01720, Jan 24, 2010.

  1. pj01720

    pj01720 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    0
    Does anyone know anyone who/ has anyone gone through ROTC and participated in the Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP). I am trying to decide if I want to do so myself. It would be great if people could post what they know about the benefits or drawbacks of the program. Thanks!
     
  2. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,826
    Likes Received:
    2
    Drawback: You can't be on a ROTC scholarship to participate. You also need to have completed your first year of college. If you are on a ROTC scholarship, you have to give it up.


    Benefits:
    You qualify for $4500/year federal tuition assistance. You MAY also qualify for tuition assistance from your State guard.
    After you contract with ROTC - you get drill pay as an E-5.
    Any Army schools or training you attend in the summer - you get E-5 pay.
    When you contract with ROTC you ALSO get the ROTC monthly stipend and book allowance.
    You get ROTC points for SMP and attending drill weekends. If available to you, you can attend ROTC training (i.e. ftx) in lieu of drill and get paid for it.
    You have an increased chance at some Army training - i.e. Airborne or Air Assault.

    You sign an enlistment contract. If you leave school then you will have an obligation to your guard unit. Once you contract with ROTC you can't go to Basic or AIT. This is to prevent kids from dropping out when/if their guard unit deploys. If you haven't gone to AIT then you can't deploy.
    You won't pick an MOS. Likely they will assign you to a Guard unit close to your school.

    Years in service - begin when you enlist. If you do SMP the last two years of college then you commission as an O-1 +2. You will get paid more than your West Point cohort and those who had ROTC scholarships.

    You really need to talk to your Guard recruiter and an Officer in your Battalion.
     
  3. pj01720

    pj01720 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    0
    why can't you be on scholarship and do SMP?
     
  4. bdaMom

    bdaMom Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Messages:
    151
    Likes Received:
    0
    If my son doesn't get an AROTC scholarship, we'll be looking at SMP. At what point do they join the Guard or Reserves, before their freshman or sophomore year in college? And are they able to go Active Duty after college, or would they have to remain with whichever they were with (Guard or Reserves?)
     
  5. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,826
    Likes Received:
    2
    pj - those are the rules. The purpose of the AROTC scholarship is to provide officers for Active Duty. The purpose of SMP is to supply officer to the National Guard. You can't be in two programs at once.

    bdaMom - You can commission Active Duty if you are SMP, in fact being in SMP can increase your chances of being selected. (gives you more points). Be careful though - if a SMP accepts tuition assistance from their state guard they will be committed to serving in the state guard. They may be able to pay back the money if they want to go AD though.

    Your son can join the Guard anytime, either before freshman year, after freshman year etc. Some kids even give up their ROTC scholarships and go SMP. If he wants to go to boot camp he must go before he contracts with ROTC though. Without a scholarship most kids will contract before their junior year in college. That will be when he will get his stipend etc.
     
  6. bdaMom

    bdaMom Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Messages:
    151
    Likes Received:
    0
    That's a good thing to remember, thanks. How about the Army Reserves? I think my son would rather go in the Reserves than the Guard, but I don't think we know all the differences yet. I'm sure the ROTC battalion at the state college can give us the specifics.
     
  7. 2012Cadet

    2012Cadet Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    Messages:
    608
    Likes Received:
    0
    Couple of Qs:

    1. So if you had a scholarship and applied to SMP after 1st year, if declined you still get to keep the scholarship, right?

    2. How do the benefits/cons of SMP compare to the benefits/cons of joining Reserves after high school then going to college? Also, what are the benefits/cons of each?
     
  8. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,826
    Likes Received:
    2
    1. You don't get "declined" from SMP. SMP is Simultaneous Membership Program - to join means you enlist in the National Guard or Reserves and are a ROTC cadet at the same time.

    2. Joining the Reserves after high school and going to college - you can choose to be in ROTC or not. If you do not choose to be in ROTC then you will not commission as an officer and will serve in the Reserves as enlisted (unless you go to OCS after college). A lot of soldiers choose this for a variety of reasons. Since you are enlisted you will go to Basic (summer before college) and then to AIT. This can delay your college entry and if your Reserve unit is deployed you will deploy as well (even in the middle of the semester) unless you are in a special program.

    If you sign up for ROTC while in the Reserves you will be on the path to Commission as an officer, either in the Reserves or Active Duty. As a ROTC cadet you are non-deployable while in college.
     
  9. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,826
    Likes Received:
    2
    bdaMom - you can do SMP in the Reserves.
    He will need to talk with the folks at his college. It might depend which units are nearest to the college - you don't necessarily get to pick your unit, rather they assign you to one. It really doesn't matter since as an SMP you are basically an intern. After graduation you can switch to Reserves or AD or even a different Guard or Reserve unit.
     
  10. bdaMom

    bdaMom Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Messages:
    151
    Likes Received:
    0
    Great info, thanks so much!
     
  11. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,826
    Likes Received:
    2
    Disclaimer - this stuff gets complicated. What I posted is true to the best of my knowledge. I hope at least gave you questions to ask a recruiter.
    Also - don't forget, this is the US Army - all is subject to change!

    One more thing - some ROTC Battalions won't have any SMP cadets while others will have a lot of SMP cadets. You might want to ask about that when you visit.
     
  12. 2012Cadet

    2012Cadet Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    Messages:
    608
    Likes Received:
    0
    One more question: do any of the other branches have an SMP type program?
     
  13. bdaMom

    bdaMom Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Messages:
    151
    Likes Received:
    0
    We've just sent a list of questions to the ROTC unit and Reserves contact listed for the college as well. If I get any good info back I'll post it.
     
  14. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,826
    Likes Received:
    2
    Nope.


    bdaMom - great! that would be helpful to all.
     
  15. bdaMom

    bdaMom Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Messages:
    151
    Likes Received:
    0
    The PMS at the college referred us to a Reserves recruiter for questions on SMP. I'll list what he told us, and if anyone knows differently, please let us know.
    - Will need to do Basic Training this summer (9-10 weeks).
    - Can do Split Op so the job training portion is done the following summer.
    - Basic is in MO or SC
    - The Army is really backed up, so if we wait until May (when we'll know for sure the scholarship isn't coming through) to sign-up for Reserves, he wouldn't get a Basic Training date until Sept or Oct (which will mess up starting college.)
    - Need to sign-up in the next month to get a June date for Basic.
    - Can opt-out of 1st semester of ROTC because Basic covers it. However, need to be in ROTC so you're not deployable.
    - Can sign-up for Reserves and have a Basic Training date all set... and if the scholarship comes through in April or May, ROTC voids out the Reserves contract.
    - Also, if you do Reserves and ROTC, then apply for a 2 or 3-year scholarship and get it, ROTC voids the Reserves contract.
    - $4,500 year towards tuition
    - GI Bill is $12,000 total paid over 4 years
    - GI Kicker - wasn't sure about this (do you need AIT before it's paid?)
    - Drill pay $500-800/month
    - 6 years Reserves commitment starts right when you sign.
    - Time in college counts as part of the 6 year commitment. When done with school, can be an officer in the Reserves to finish time, or apply for Active Duty officer.
     
  16. plmmar

    plmmar Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Messages:
    224
    Likes Received:
    0
    Each state runs its own Army National Guard program. Check out the website for the National Guard in the state you are going to be going to school in. There are some differences between states.
    Once you enlist in the Guard your residency and drilling is done there in that state. We live in Florida but son joined National Guard in Wyoming. That's his home now. He just finished basic and will be going to AIT in Texas. After he's done with AIT he will go back to Wyoming to begin school in the fall. After the first semester he hopes to join AROTC. (He's already had one year of college.)
    AIT is usually done right after basic. When you go through the enlistment process, boot camp and AIT dates are coincided to follow one another.
    They are backlogged. Son enlisted in July and went to basic in November.
     
  17. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Messages:
    3,001
    Likes Received:
    301
    Good information. One caution- your son will be deployable from the completion of AIT till the signing of an ROTC contract- since he is not in ROTC and doesn't plan to be immediately after he returns to school he won't be SMP- he is going to be a regular drilling Guardsman until he does join ROTC. If that unit gets mob orders before he signs a contract with ROTC I believe he will be going with them.
     
  18. bdaMom

    bdaMom Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Messages:
    151
    Likes Received:
    0
    What if you do split option for Basic with the Reserves? If son joins Reserves now, does BCT this summer, joins ROTC in college in the fall, does AIT the next summer, then SMP technically starts the start of his sophomore year, correct? Could he be deployed in this senario?
     
  19. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,826
    Likes Received:
    2
    My understanding is that once you have done AIT you are deployable unless you are also contracted into ROTC.

    One option is to do ROTC during the freshman year in college and join the Guard/Reserves during that time. The Guard won't pull him out for Basic - he would go in the summer, probably May. In the meantime he will drill and collect drill pay. After Basic, he would go back to school and contract with ROTC the beginning of his sophomore year.
    Not sure about the Reserves or the Guard in every state but some states no longer allow Contracted ROTC cadets to go to Basic or AIT. Kids who want to go to Basic (some do) need to go before they contract with ROTC.

    It is headspinning and complicated and every kid has a different situation and different needs. You need to sit with a recruiter, ask questions and go over all the options.
     
  20. plmmar

    plmmar Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Messages:
    224
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks, he's prepared for that eventuality. His MOS is combat medic. That's why he chose to go this route. He wanted to gain the experience and respect that comes from being on active duty. It has reaffirmed his commitment to be an officer and I think he will be a better one for it in the long run.
     

Share This Page