Army ROTC Question(s):

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Elysian, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. Elysian

    Elysian New Member

    Feb 16, 2012
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    Hello from sunny California :biggrin:,

    I am 17 years old and a junior in highschool. I've always considered myself a rather intelligent person (no arrogance intended) but never put the extra "umph" into my school grades. My grades are decent though (I don't have a GPA to give you). I recently got this drive to join the military, and decided to try to be commissioned as an officer rather than enlist because college is important for my future and my parents really want it as well. I wanted to go to the Naval Academy, but I'm homeschooled (please don't stereotype. We do go outside sometimes.) so I've next to zero extra-curricular activities that would be of any importance to the Academy. SO, I joined my local Sea Cadet battalion, which really helped me zero bits since I joined at such a late age. No one there has really helped me in my planning of my future there, and it's been a rather unfortunate mediocre experience. My parents can only help me a limited bit because my dad's workaholic schedule and my mother only has the time to assist my little brother with his schoolwork.

    Anyways. That's my self background.

    Where I'm at now:

    I went down to Fullerton University to talk with the Army ROTC that have an officer there. After talking a few hours with a first lieutenant, he gave me a couple of options.

    1. Pay for my own college and join ROTC
    2. Apply for a scholarship and join ROTC
    3. Do the SMP program, go to basic the summer before freshman year, and get school payed for a 6 year National Guard Reserve contract.

    Now, a huge selling point of the ROTC is that I would like more than anything to have them pay for my college. I don't want to crush my parents with debt, as they've done so much for me already.

    I don't think I have what it takes to get a scholarship for the money, but I am interested in this SMP program.

    From what I understand what the officer said, I could go to Army Basic Training the summer before freshman year of college, and be in the National Guard reserve while in college. This way, the military would pay for my college.

    Also, I should mention: I do all my classes at a junior college now, so I am receiving college credits. Will this effect anything I plan on doing with ROTC or anything? I don't want it to interfere.

    I've gone through the forums for a while, but I really haven't heard anyone touch on this subject. Do any of you have experience or knowledge of this program? I really need some advice on what to do.

    Also, about colleges, do I need the blessing/approval of ROTC to begin applying? Does anyone know when I should be applying to colleges? I really don't know. Plus, I'm not really sure what I want to in the military/ what I want to major in in college. Haven't really found something I'm passionate about.

    Can the National Guard/Army Reserve pull me out of school at anytime to be deployed?

    I would like to thank you guys for running such a great forum. Also, if there's is some sort of *post count* I need to meet prior to posting such a thread, I apologize (some forums work as such).

    You all have a great day.

    God bless,


    Also, if any of you have been to Army Basic, it'd be cool to hear your experience.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2012
  2. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army 5-Year Member

    Mar 8, 2010
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    There is another option that the LT didn't SMP, use TA and GI bill to help pay for college, and serve on active duty when you graduate.

    Here are some random answers to your random questions:

    If you go to basic training you won't be deployable. if you go to AIT you will until you get contracted in ROTC.

    Make sure you understand exactly what the Guard will and will not pay for if you do SMP. There is also the option to do SMP through the Reserves, and the benefits may be slightly different for the Guard, depending on what state you are in.

    There is also a thing called a GRFD scholarship, which is tied to SMP. It will pay all tuition and fees for up to three years, if you meet all requirements, agree to serve in the Guard/Reserves upon graduation, and do SMP while in college.

    If you are just doing this for the money, you might want to think twice. Becoming an Army Officer is a big commitment. If you don't know where you want to go to school, or what you want to study, what makes you think you are ready to commit to military service. The military does a good job of making service look like the easy, most lucrative path out there. It can be for some, not for most.

    This link might help explain the SMP program a little more.

    Good luck
  3. Elysian

    Elysian New Member

    Feb 16, 2012
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    I haven't found something I love to do yet, that has nothing to do with my ability to make a commitment for something I want to do.

    Thanks for your advice. I read the article you posted and I still feel like there's a lot I don't know about the entire workings of the program.

    Any more advice any of you have is welcome


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