Split Training Option

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Sara, Apr 26, 2015.

  1. Sara

    Sara Member

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    I have some questions about Army Reserve or National Guard STO. I am a junior in high school, and I think I would like to do reserve sto, I know that this summer I would go to bct and next summer I would go to ait and then go to college. these might be dumb questions, but its things I am unclear about:
    -Would I be able to do AROTC in college, and if so could I go active duty? or would I be in the reserve after college?
    -how do rotc scholarships work if I did sto? would be ineligible for them?
    -would I be able to go to any college I wanted?
    -would I automatically do smp in college?
    thanks, and any information is helpful! :):):):)
     
  2. Ghaz

    Ghaz Member

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    If you want to do ROTC with the goal of becoming an Active Duty Officer, I would strongly suggest you skip joining the NG/Reserves and go straight for an ROTC scholarship. You honestly will not learn anything useful (most likely just bad habits instead) from being in a Reserve Component Unit for 4-5 years.
     
  3. Cav

    Cav Member

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    I completely disagree with Ghaz. There is a lot to be learned by enlisting prior to commissioning. I have no idea what "bad habits" Ghaz is referring to. Over the last 14 years, The reserve component has been deploying and fighting with the active component. I thought this stereotyping died a decade ago. The best leaders understand their Soldiers and actual experience cannot hurt. That being said, you should check carefully about enlisting in the ARNG if you want to go active duty. There have been a couple of posts on this forum claiming that it is not possible in some states.
     
  4. Ghaz

    Ghaz Member

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    Cav, I am pretty sure you do not have experience with the reserve component and active duty if you are saying that.
     
  5. Cluelessparent

    Cluelessparent Member

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    Obviously this poster has a very biased opinion. My DS chose to do SMP and still says it was the best decision for him. It can be like anything else, what you make of it. The first two years he learned at summer camps (not correct term is it AT) etc but was kind off in limbo as most of the unit he was in had been deployed. When he reported to his NG unit after contracting (Junior Year) they asked him, do you want to be involved hands on or like the other Cadets we have push papers and do office work. He said, "I choose to be involved." They put his feet to the fire, from field training, scheduling training, creating training packages, to teaching the packages, and he has learned tons. Of course it is DS's biased opinion but he states he has been farther along in understanding during field exercises ,LDAC etc due to this opportunity.

    Some particulars
    -It does take away from study time and school classes- Drill once a month
    -You can do ROTC but you either choose ROTC scholarship route or SMP Army FTA route. And if you are drawing Army FTA you can no longer draw GI Bill at the same time. After contracting, usually at the beginning of junior year, you will get a stipend. Vs ROTC scholarship you will get the stipend all years you have a scholarship.
    -Off course you get a guard check. If you have prior JROTC ect from high school you may start Guard pay at E3. After you contract and are assigned as a Cadet in Training (CDT) to a unit you get E5 pay
    I hope I got most of the above pay right there are others that understand the in and out pay better than I.
    -BEWARE- The biggie- as rules change with an SMP option AD may be off the table

    And yes you SMP all four years... You report to a RSP unit with folks that have not completed basic or AIT until you become Qualified and deployable. You did notice I said deployable... like during a school year. Most try to stay away from deploying students but id they say go you are bound.

    Bottom line talk to the important people and understand what you are signing.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015
  6. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    I'm only guessing here, but I think the intent of Ghaz's post was that enlisting in the reserves/NG and going straight to college won't give you the same experience as being actual prior service. Granted the NG/Reserve's have deployed alongside Active Duty, but a SMP cadet will not be deploying and will not even be working in the MOS they select for AIT once they contract in ROTC. Some cadets have good experiences and have a good mentor, some sit at a desk just to be kept out of the way when they attend drill, it really depends on the unit.

    Cadets that have been true prior service have the added experience and often do very well, those that just join the Reserve/NG and start college don't have that same experience and are not really viewed as prior Service just because the went to BCT and AIT. Some have a great experience with SMP, some do not, again it all depends on the unit.

    Also, be very careful with what tuition assistance you take from the NG, you could end up not being able to go Active Duty even if you don't take the GRFD Scholarship depending on what State you join in.

    Another thing, Being in the Reserves/NG does not guarantee a ROTC Contract, you will need to compete with every other non contracted cadet in the battalion. If you do not receive a contract you will still be obligated to complete your enlistment in the Reserve/NG.

    If you have the grades and stats to be competitive, look at the ROTC Scholarship as an option before joining the Reserve/NG on a split option, don't lock yourself into something so soon that may prevent you from getting what you want in the end. talk to an Army ROTC Battalion Recruiting Officer first to get a good idea of all your options, DON'T take the word of the local recruiter before you sign any paperwork.

    SMP is a great program, and it has served many cadets very well, just make sure you find out all the options before you join and ask a lot of questions about future canges in the program as it pertains to Active Duty.
     
  7. Cluelessparent

    Cluelessparent Member

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    And as jcleppe clearly stated and I missed it in my comments above... you are not guaranteed a contract. And as SMP in a SMC you will do ROTC, because at my sons SMC it is required. Not sure about ROTC for SMP at a school that is not a SMC prior to contacting, Junior Year, if indeed you get one? At this point IMHO. with all the changes being made, I definitely would look at ROTC Scholarships first. My DS just happened to be lucky enough to be on the front side of the cusp.
     
  8. Cluelessparent

    Cluelessparent Member

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    Jcleppe--- this was the kicker. Don't think you can learn the bad habits in a poor ROTC Unit as well?
     
  9. Ghaz

    Ghaz Member

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    I am sorry that I am a blunt person. Jcleppe has interpreted my intent the best. SMP does not make somebody "prior service" by any means. Also, it is very much a grab bag on whether or not your unit will give you any real training. In many cases, the best "real" training a RC unit can give you is still kindergarten-style compared to what you will do on Active Duty.

    Also, if you go SMP you need to be prepared to fulfill that 6 year enlisted contract if ROTC doesn't work out for you (statistically you are likely to not follow through and commission). SMP is very risky, plus the extra obligation usually means you have to kiss summer classes goodbye.

    Do not do SMP thinking it will give you a leg up, because it won't. The ROTC scholarship gives you much more freedom, and you can keep competing up until your Junior year for one. You can always drop your scholarship and go SMP if that is really what you want to do down the line.

    In short, only do SMP if you are 100% able to accept the following things if they happen: be enlisted for 6 years and never commission, miss out on all summer school activies, be in a lame duck unit, be in a unit that hates cadets, and have to miss school prior to contracting (contracting can take a long time) due to an army school you need to attend.
     
  10. Cluelessparent

    Cluelessparent Member

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    I agree with most... in particular the option of no summer school most likely cost DS the opportunity at a double major. Not totally but it did figure in the mix....
     
  11. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Absolutely. couldn't agree with you more. Just as all SMP Reserve/NG units are not the same, it goes without saying that every ROTC unit is not the same either. Nobody has a lock on where bad habits can form.
     
  12. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    ROTC has an attrition rate but I'm not sure I would say one is not likely to follow through. The attrition rate for Scholarship and Contracted SMP cadets is around 20%, I would say they are more likely to commission then not. Now getting that contract could be a lot more difficult and competitive in the next few years, that I'll agree with. It that case the SMP cadet will need to be OK with fulfilling their Reserve/NG Contract as enlisted.
     
  13. Cav

    Cav Member

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    Ghaz, I will correct you. I don't post often and generally do not provide personal information on a public forum. However, since you have questioned my credentials to make a statement regarding the USAR and ARNG I will provide a very limited bio. I have over 20 years of commissioned service and am serving on AD. I enlisted in the ARNG while in college and my original appointment was in the ARNG. I have served in ARNG, USAR and AC units. I deployed to Iraq in an AC headquarters with USAR units attached. I have attended Army War College and served at the HQDA level. That being said, I stand by my earlier post.
     
  14. Sara

    Sara Member

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    Thank you for replying! in the second bullet you say I can choose either smp or an rotc scholarship, would it be an option to do sto until I finish high school and then get an rotc scholarship and be AD?
     
  15. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Do you mean to ask.....Could you join the Reserve/Guard as a split option now, and then compete for an AROTC Scholarship either before or during college.

    I know you could apply for a GRFD Scholarship, but this would mean you have no option for Active Duty, I do not believe you would be able to apply for a Straight Scholarship once you complete BCT and AIT. You belong to the Reserves/NG then.

    Someone may correct me on this.
     
  16. Cluelessparent

    Cluelessparent Member

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    Sara, once you join guard you have a guard obligation. Whatever it is when you put your name on the line. And choose an ROTC scholarship may have been a bad choice of words :) Apply and if you meet the requirements and are chosen to receive one. Check this board and see how competitive receiving a ROTC scholarship has become. Not trying to sound negative, because you are in the right place to ask the pertinent questions.

    Someone said you will not deploy with the guard SMP. Well, in reality it has happened. We were told when DS went SMP that students from his College in the SMP program were deployed during Desert Storm. After returning the school guard rep. said it was a huge hassle getting everything straight and getting them back on track for school. Their words not mine. So they said they try to avoid deploying SMP at all cost now, because of the issues it involves getting them back on track in school, but that it could happen in extreme cases?

    And as mentioned Guard requirements and AD requirements are changing fast. Someone on here in this past year time frame posted about their DS was SMP and had taken no Guard money but found out when ready to contract in year two AD was off the table due to Guard SMP. The Ds was at Ala. (Search the forum, it should be easy to find or search my limited post as I have referenced it at least twice.) And it can change mid stream after you have signed. And promised monies are if available not guaranteed, believe me we have experienced this first hand.

    The money my DS received was:
    - Army FTA and it was cut by $500 after year two
    -State Guard Cap- which he did not receive during the sequestration mess
    -Monthly Guard Pay and Summer AT Guard pay (which some units canceled AT)
    -Was eligible for GI bill at same time as FTA... That has been taken off the table you do not qualify for both now at the same time.
    -Stipend once he contracted (start of year three)
    Bottom line is, he was going to serve if he could regardless... money involved or not. So I said why not let him try and offset some of the school cost...
    I have no idea but from reading here I think ROTC packages if you are awarded one are better?
    I know absolutely nothing about ROTC money or scholarships. These guys know the ins and outs. So if you absolutely want a shot at AD and you qualify for ROTC money then look hard before you consider SMP. With that said it worked out for my DS and I guess he lucked out with a good unit, Route Clearance, and he learned a lot. One of the guys in his unit will be giving him his first salute and he feels indeed honored to receive it from a great mentor.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015
  17. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    Unless something has changed, soldiers are non deployable once they contract as SMP. Simply being in the Guard and college or just enrolled in a ROTC course does not make someone SMP, so that could be where you've heard those stories.
     
  18. Cluelessparent

    Cluelessparent Member

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    Good to know for others... would not have been the only bad info we got from Guard folks.....The education Dept here could be particularly hard to deal with handling FTA.
     
  19. Cluelessparent

    Cluelessparent Member

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    This.... way up here in reply #6
     

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