BOLC Question

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by CoachBart, Oct 29, 2016.

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  1. CoachBart

    CoachBart 5-Year Member

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    Hi, these questions are from me-not my son. Many times I ask a question and folks say I am surprised your son does not know this. However, I am the one asking. I just figure I will try and educate myself the best I can without bothering him with lots of questions. Here is my question: My son will graduate & commission as an Army 2nd Lt. in December. He mentioned to me that he was told by an advisor at his school as a heads up tip that he would more than likely need to set aside money for housing & living expenses prior to attending BOLC because he probably would not start receiving pay for a month or two after he reports. I figured that some of you could give me a heads up on what to expect expense wise since I am the one who will have to front any monies. So I wanted to know how much money do I need to set aside? Will I need to send food money too? I did some internet research and I read that one service member stated that he received a pay advance loan when he arrived at BOLC for expenses. But the post was a couple of years old so I don't know if it still works that way. As a matter of fact I don't know how it works at all so please enlighten me. I will also share that DS said he would learn sometime in November during Thanksgiving break his branch assignment. So I don't know where he will be attending BOLC. But his top 3 choices were 1. MP, 2. CBRN, 3. Adjuct General. Any other guidance is appreciated. Thanks.
     
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  2. Jcc123

    Jcc123 5-Year Member

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    I think my son borrowed about $2,000 -$2,500 from us when he first went to BOLC. This was a deposit on his apartment, rent, daily expense money, household items, some uniform and equipment things he needed, etc. He signed into BOLC about the third week of June and received his first paycheck at the end of July.

    He did not take the career starter loan, and had paid us back by that fall. I know many people advocate taking the loan as a cadet, but he's pleased with how it's worked out for him. He's very happy to have zero debt as a 23yr old, and has managed to put a 5-figure amount in savings since arriving at his first duty station in May, while also maxing his Ira contributions.

    Depending on your son's branch, he may or may not have to arrange his own housing. Infantry is a pcs move, and between IBOLC and Ranger school, you can plan on a good 9-12 months at Benning. On the other hand, some branches are TDY and you live in a hotel. The expenditure requirements would be vastly different depending on where he goes. Unfortunately I can't speak to the branches you listed above, but someone here will be able to.
     
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  3. k2rider

    k2rider 5-Year Member

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    Military Police BOLC is at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. If I remember correctly, it's one of the longer BOLC's at 9-11 months in length....

    AG BOLC is at Fort Jackson in South Carolina
    http://www.ags.army.mil/Student_Info/BOLC/BOLC Frequently Asked Questions.pdf

    CBRN BOLC is also at Fort Leonard Wood and is 17 weeks long....
    http://www.wood.army.mil/newweb/chemical/cbrnBOLC.html

    My son's BOLC is 16 weeks long and they are required to leave on base *UNLESS* the base where BOLC is done will be your assigned base after training. If that's the case, you can live off site AND will be paid a housing allowance (BAH) which varies by location....
    http://www.militaryrates.com/military-pay-bah
     
  4. AROTC Parent

    AROTC Parent 5-Year Member

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    "how much money do I need to set aside?" None. He should get a credit card and build his credit responsibly. Start with USAA or any federal credit union. Or, he could take out part of the starter loan from USAA to get started. The total costs are widely variable ($100 to $2K). How many travel days/distance?, Car vs. plane?, PCS vs. TDY?, Does he need more uniforms?
    "Will I need to send food money too? " No, but you could send him pizza and beer money. Care packages are nice too.
    "1. MP, 2. Chemical, 3. Adjutant General" MP (17 weeks, 1st possible date 8 January) and Chemical (16 weeks, 1st possible date 10 January) are Ft Leonard Wood, Missouri. AG (12 weeks, 1st possible date 8 January) is at Ft Jackson South Carolina. These three should be TDY (temporary duty) enroute to first duty station because they are shorter than 20 weeks. If he has some sort of follow on course scheduled when he gets his first orders that put him over 20 weeks at the BOLC location it will be a PCS.

    The basics. Assuming Active Duty and no dependents.
    He will go to BOLC sometime after he graduates/commissions. Could be 3 weeks, could be 6 months or more. He will need to be able to support himself during that time period prior to BOLC and prior to getting his pay started at BOLC. Many move home. Some stay in their college apartments. This is a personal/family decision.

    When he gets a report date he can drive to BOLC and he will be reimbursed for travel. Depending on what his orders say he may also have the option of contacting the travel contractor (Carson Wagonlit) to get a plane ticket to BOLC but most LT's don't like being without a car for that long. The basic calculation is 350 miles a day (very easy to do) and he has to have access to enough funds to pay for his hotels, gas, and food enroute.

    He will have the option to take out a Pay Advance at BOLC. It's rare to not get your first paycheck within 4 weeks.

    Every military installation is different in terms of housing for BOLC. Quartermaster at Ft Lee puts them in the IHG (Holiday Inn on Ft Lee) for example but Infantry at Ft Benning requires them to live off post, or in post housing, because it is a PCS. In either case he won't need furniture or too many household goods at this point unless he chooses an unfurnished apartment for a PCS.

    He will be authorized to move household goods (HHG) if it's a PCS. Move.mil is a good starting point for him to educate himself. If TDY generally he will keep his furniture in storage, or at your house (kidding kind of - but not) until he knows his final assignment for PCS. That's when he has to be well educated on his PCS moving options and coordinate timing of pick up or give someone a power of attorney to let the packers in for a move. The good news here is he may not have any significant amount of furniture and HHG. My kid had a fourth of the garage full (bedroom, kitchen, and living room) but the first move was a PCS, not TDY. For most, less is more - uniforms, civilian clothes, computer/laptop, his favorite pillow, ... it depends on his expected living situation.

    Great posts and links by JCC and k2rider

    Edit: If TDY at any Army installation consider signing up for the IHG rewards (Holiday Inn, Candlewood, Staybridge... ) program. They have the Army contract and if staying for 12-17 weeks at an IHG on post they can rack up points. The reward 'points' can't be used at the IHG locations on military installations, only the civilian locations.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2016
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  5. AROTC Parent

    AROTC Parent 5-Year Member

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    Most Army IHG 'hotel' rooms have kitchenettes with stovetop, microwave, and mini refrigerator. They also commonly have grills available outside for use. Ft Leonard Wood (MP and Chemical) and Ft Jackson (AG) use the IHG on post for BOLC students if TDY and space is available.
     
  6. cb7893

    cb7893 5-Year Member

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  7. asuwur

    asuwur Member

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    As an aside, if they have different phases at different installations, they can do school DITYs from each place but side trips don't count. Only the weight (600 lbs max) and mileage from A to B and then B to C or final installation. They do terrible jobs explaining this to the kids. They need to go into transportation at each installation (cadre usually herd them in but not always). No matter what, it's to your officer's benefit to get empty and full weight tickets from a certified and printed scale (most offices don't accept handwritten tickets anymore) so they can submit it when possible....and to save any receipt that might help them. Every installation is different how they go about things but JFTR is JFTR. That'll help give him a little money (supposed to pay 10 days after submission but it can take longer).
     
  8. AROTC Parent

    AROTC Parent 5-Year Member

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    Asuwur - You are right that the education for military moves is non existent.

    For reference, what BOLC has phases at different installations? I know AMEDD BOLC has phases after the general course (Nurse, Dental, Veterinary, .. ) but they are all at Ft Sam Houston.