SMP?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by CSU Cadet, Oct 29, 2015.

  1. CSU Cadet

    CSU Cadet Member

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    Hello, so I am in the future soldier program, getting ready for ROTC. I was told before that if I went SMP, I would have to get a reserve commission upon graduating. However, upon talking to my sergeant, he said there are better benefits going SMP than there is getting an ROTC scholarship, and that I can get a regular commission out of college just like any other cadet. Can anyone tell me the benefits that are better, because I am kind of confused as I have been told multiple things.

    Thanks,
    Darien
     
  2. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    Stop talking to a recruiter and talk to the ROO of your local ROTC program. You are not preparing for ROTC in the Future Soldier Program, you're preparing for basic training. Nothing more.

    Your local recruiters are NOT your best source of info on ROTC or commissioning. It's not their job. Their job is to get you to enlist and your interests are not theirs, no matter what they say.
     
  3. CSU Cadet

    CSU Cadet Member

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    I'm talking about physically ready, and the sergeant in question has gotten several cadets into the SMP program at Colorado University. Also, I've never been pressured to enlist, after 2 1/2 months of being in the program, they know I want ROTC and I feel like they are genuinely there to help. I will talk to an ROO though, thank you.
     
  4. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    I'm sure he has. Bottom line, if you want to serve as an enlisted soldier talk to a recruiter. If you want to join ROTC, talk to a ROO. The Future Soldier Program is not going to teach you physically what you can't already learn on your own.

    I'm sure the sergeant is a great guy, I'd hope so, he's the face of the Army. But his job is not to get you into ROTC.
     
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  5. BlackKnight89

    BlackKnight89 Member

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    Darien, Bull is right. If you are still in high school, I would recommend you focus on trying to get a ROTC scholarship. The SMP program can come later. You can commission active duty as an SMP Cadet. I had over 35 SMP cadets as a brigade commander in the Guard and well over half went active duty through several ROTC programs to include VMI and Virginia Tech. SMP is a good program, but realize it is in addition to your ROTC obligations. You will have to attend drill and annual training. Most states will allow you to miss annual training to attend your ROTC LDAC. Again, talk to the ROO at the ROTC Detachment for details. There are some differences between states.
     
  6. Ghaz

    Ghaz Member

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    Only do SMP if you are 100% okay with completing your National Guard/Reserve enlistment if commissioning doesn't work out for you in any way (there are many things that can come up and end the process for you).

    In my opinion, only do SMP if you are unable to secure an ROTC Scholarship towards the end of your sophomore year.

    SMP is really only better for people in a situation such as mine where being in the National Guard allows me to retain Tricare benefits (for a fee) that I had on Active Duty, since I have a family.
     
  7. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army

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    The benefits of eventually being SMP are mostly financial. In some cases, at some schools you may actually be getting more benefits than if you were on scholarship. Some would argue there is an experience benefit, but I think that benefit is overblown.

    The bigger issue is the risks of SMP. The biggest risk is that if you enlist first and come to school freshman year and enroll in Army ROTC there is no guarantee that you will be able to contract and enter the SMP program. You can't contract until sophomore year unless you are on scholarship. Freshman year you technically belong to the Guard/Reserves and you only become SMP when you contract. These days even getting contracted non scholarship is competitive. If you don't get contracted you will be subject to being mobilized and deployed. And as mentioned above, having to drill on weekends is one more thing on your plate to worry about, when you should be focused on being academically successful.

    As a ROO, I usually recommend that a prospect consider waiting until after freshman year if possible to enter the SMP program. Each program is different, so, just as the rest have said, talk to the ROO at your school of choice, and definitely apply for the scholarship. Even if the benefits are better with SMP, being on scholarship is still going to be a clearer path to becoming an Army Officer if that is what you want.
     
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  8. Kyguardmom

    Kyguardmom Member

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    Hi Darien. My son enlisted in the Army National Guard with the intention of eventually enrolling in college/ROTC and pursuing the SMP route. He completed BCT this past summer, and is now in his senior year of high school. He will complete his AIT the next summer before freshman year of college. He's has already applied and been accepted to his college of first choice, after an extensive joint meeting with his NG recruiter and the ROO from the college.

    It's worth mentioning that his NG recruiter is very experienced (over 20 years of service) and he has earned our trust. We are very fortunate in that. It's also worth mentioning that his father and I have maintained a strong presence in all these negotiations because my son is still a minor (17 years old).

    So that said, the potential benefits of becoming an SMP cadet can outstrip the benefits of ROTC scholarship. He'll receive tuition assistance from the Guard starting freshman year. Once contracted, he would also receive stipends from SMP and ROTC, potentially over $1000/month combined. Then, there are additional scholarships available through the Guard, which put together could make for essentially a full-ride at this particular college, which offers room & board assistance for Guard scholarship winners. However, accepting any of these scholarships removes any chance to compete for active duty.

    Again, all of those are potential benefits. At this juncture, my son is first and foremost an enlisted member in the National Guard. And he will remain so if he fails to meet any of the milestones along the way to eventually commissioning. Some of those are in his control, and some are not.

    And that is why most here strongly recommend the clearer path of applying for ROTC scholarship.
     
  9. CSU Cadet

    CSU Cadet Member

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    Thank you guys for the help. I'm definantly applying for the scholarship, I actually have the PMS Interview coming up!
     
  10. Frankie

    Frankie Member

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    Can you participate in SMP as a non-scholarship contracted cadet (MS3) who has not attended basic/AIT and still commission onto Active Duty?
     
  11. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    I would speak to your ROO about your specific situation as it could vary state to state.

    If you're interested in it for money reasons, looking at part time work might be a good option too. If you're trying to get experience, you're better off focusing on your schoolwork.
     
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  12. Frankie

    Frankie Member

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    Will do, thanks!
     

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