Simultaneous Membership Program ?

KeyzCat

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Nov 15, 2015
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250
Just a couple questions. If a cadet is not able to do Basic/AIT prior to Freshman year would there even be time in the summer between Freshman/Soph year since Basic Course is done that summer. Since they would be Reserves or Guard while in school is that same as for those that do ECP making it difficult to commission upon graduation as Active Duty. The ability to be getting 'OJT' as an 'apprentice' 2nd Lt is a great positive but if an Active Duty career is final goal is there more risk than benefit?
 

Cadet_091

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Jul 30, 2015
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My friend is doing SMP, and he is going to basic/AIT after his first semester. It is possible to do basic your Freshmen summer (summer after highschool) and then AIT your Sophmore summer. If you go through basic you do not have to do CIET. Of course, you would have to sign up for SMP a month or two before your freshman summer if you do not want to miss any school.
 

AROTC Parent

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Nov 3, 2009
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Just a couple questions. If a cadet is not able to do Basic/AIT prior to Freshman year would there even be time in the summer between Freshman/Soph year since Basic Course is done that summer. Since they would be Reserves or Guard while in school is that same as for those that do ECP making it difficult to commission upon graduation as Active Duty. The ability to be getting 'OJT' as an 'apprentice' 2nd Lt is a great positive but if an Active Duty career is final goal is there more risk than benefit?
Others will come along with more experience. However, the limiting factors for AD from Guard/Reserve SMP are accepting a GRFD scholarship or not being released from Guard/Reserve commitment when it is time to apply to commission. For Guard this is very 'state' dependent.
 

AROTC Parent

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Nov 3, 2009
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Just checked his status and had the you were not selected so really glad he picked His favorite school that was only Army ROTC (Offered a 3yr AROTC) instead of the other two that had NROTC hoping for a 4 yr NROTC.
KeyzCat - Why is your DS considering SMP if he has a 3 year AROTC Scholarship? Check with the Recruiting Ops Officer at his school but isn't SMP off the table if he accepts the 3 year national scholarship?
 

Kronk

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Feb 28, 2014
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To throw some more confusion into the mix... You are able to use the 1 month long CIET (Basic Camp) in place of BCT as well
 

sandnnw

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Jun 26, 2012
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Yes, there is time, but you have to work very closely with a recruiter. Remember, you are ENLISTING into the Army FIRST and I have no idea if the contracts have changed since I took this plunge myself (1985), so again, READ everything and you might get a lot of push back from AROTC/CC on this. Being a scholarship awardee and taking on BCT so closely to contracting feels a bit counterintuitive to me. For example, you will have to find an open slot in a reserve or guard unit with the expectation of filling and completing BCT/AIT and returning, READY for combat, fully trained. Not sure how the unit command is going to stomach this plan, knowing you will be jumping ship in a few years (or even months as is the case).

Plus, if your DS/DD obtains a 3.5 or spot 4 year award after starting school, it may be a moot point (contract).

Not sure if there is much benefit either, even economic. Perhaps a tuition/fees break for a state school? Any other former, more recent or current enlisted-to-cadet SMP please chime right on in and help with this question. Interesting!
 

zachcleigh

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Jul 6, 2015
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Two friends of mine who were planning to begin college fall semester of 2016 will be starting college spring semester of 2017, because national guard is requiring they complete basic/ait before they go to ROTC. This is in the state of Georgia. I'm sure it varies by state, and may even vary inside of a state. Best thing to do is ask your POC.
 

Jcleppe

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Feb 10, 2010
Messages
6,768
Just a couple questions. If a cadet is not able to do Basic/AIT prior to Freshman year would there even be time in the summer between Freshman/Soph year since Basic Course is done that summer. Since they would be Reserves or Guard while in school is that same as for those that do ECP making it difficult to commission upon graduation as Active Duty. The ability to be getting 'OJT' as an 'apprentice' 2nd Lt is a great positive but if an Active Duty career is final goal is there more risk than benefit?
I have to echo the statement made by a previous post, why is your son looking at BCT/AIT with the Guard since he received a 3 year Scholarship. You realize if he joins the Guard he will give up the 3 year Scholarship and any chance of getting a scholarship upgrade his first year. The only scholarship he would be able to receive if he joins the Guard is the GRFD, while it will pay for tuition/books/and fees, it will require that he commission into the Guard/Reserve. Your son could apply for SMP but he needs to make sure there are slots available in his battalion.

As others have said, make sure your son has a conversation with his battalion ROO before he decides on or signs anything.
 

PennStateArmyROTC

Penn State ROO
Joined
Feb 20, 2015
Messages
19
This discussion has so many factors, it's hard to address them all.

Just a couple questions. If a cadet is not able to do Basic/AIT prior to Freshman year would there even be time in the summer between Freshman/Soph year since Basic Course is done that summer. Since they would be Reserves or Guard while in school is that same as for those that do ECP making it difficult to commission upon graduation as Active Duty. The ability to be getting 'OJT' as an 'apprentice' 2nd Lt is a great positive but if an Active Duty career is final goal is there more risk than benefit?
  1. Someone stated it above, but BCT is a direct substitution for Basic Camp (CIET), when it comes to Advanced Course qualification methods.
  2. If a cadet is awarded a 3yr AD scholarship through the national process, they will NOT be an SMP cadet (at least initially). The National process only awards Line scholarships (i.e. Active Duty), and cadets that contract on a Line scholarship can not contract as SMP Cadets. Last year, USACC determined they again held the authority to convert scholarships from Line to GRFD, but even that takes a few extra steps. If there is a way to do a simultaneous conversion/contracting for 3yr AD winners, then I'm not aware of it.
  3. Any recruiter that says you can enlist as an SMP Cadet, without DIRECT approval/coordination with the ROTC program, is incorrect. We work with our local recruiters, and have them execute the DD Form 4 (Enlistment Document) for all of our SMP Cadets, but this is simply an effort to get them credit for individuals for whom they typically wouldn't get credit.
    • Side Note: A few years ago, USACC implemented a contracting cap, and some cadets who were NOT offered ROTC contracts had to choose an enlisted MOS, after their 'SMP' contract fell through. For everyone's information, the MOS for an SMP Cadet is 09R, and there's no requirement for an 09R to attend BCT or AIT. Technically, the only authorized way to obtain an 09R designation is to contract into an ROTC program, and this makes that Cadet ineligible for BCT/AIT. The ROTC training and (eventually) BOLC provide the initial entry training for Cadets/Officers.
  4. Technically, 3yr AD winners are not under contract with ROTC until the first day of their Sophomore year (barring an upgrade), so the ARNG/USAR have the right to ship them to BCT, without impacting their college enrollment dates. That said, this typically benefits no one, and most ROOs will fight tooth and nail to get the Cadet released from their obligation prior to shipping.
Speaking from personal observations, National Scholarship Winners who enlist in high school have HUGE administrative difficulties when it comes to contracting. To contract, these folks have to get a DD Form 368 (Conditional Release) from whatever component in which they enlisted. Not surprisingly, the motivation to get this form completed pales in comparison to their original enlistment documents. A huge limiting factor is also that the approval authority for these forms is often the first O-6 in the soldier's chain of command. No Recruiting and Retention Commander wants to go to his/her Brigade Commander to ask for an autograph on one of these.

Bottom line, the SMP program has so many beneficial factors, but navigating the convoluted restrictions and processes can be very painful, if an individual fails to get their ducks in a row BEFORE signing contracts with either the reserve component or ROTC.
 

Jcleppe

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Feb 10, 2010
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6,768
The above should be required reading for anyone considering enlisting.

Thank you for taking the time to pass along such great information.
 

KeyzCat

Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2015
Messages
250
Thank you all!!! DS and I both misunderstood the program. He was told about it at school when requiters would come and they gave the impression that he would be in ROTC and get to also be in Reserves or Guard getting OJT time as a 2nd LT. As soon as I saw that it was in Reserve/Guard the conversations I read in here which helped have him change his mind about ECP. Sometimes it almost feels like it is intentionally convoluted. For those that asked about why he didn't do this this summer if he was going to he doesn't turn 17 till Aug so he could not enlist. Thank you all and hopefully this will also help the next round. DS was mostly interested in it because the recruiters that came to his school misrepresented that this worked with ROTC not an either or. ROTC and AD assignment are his number one desired path.
 

PennStateArmyROTC

Penn State ROO
Joined
Feb 20, 2015
Messages
19
I do want to clarify one point. A vast majority of recruiters are doing nothing wrong. More often than not, they accurately present their information and potential benefits for the audience. Where they sometimes fall short, in my opinion, is the presentation of ALL possible options, and the perceived prioritization of the Army's needs over the individuals. (I've argued that the Army, specifically USAREC and ARNG, would be better served if recruiters earned partial enlistment credit for completed ROTC applications, but that's a different discussion.)

Technically, you CAN participate in ROTC and serve in the ARNG/USAR, simultaneously...contracted or not. Even if every single ROTC applicant enlisted in a reserve component prior to college, only about 20% would run into the administrative challenges that I described above. Also, since the timeline for receiving the GI Bill and FTA is now one year AFTER completion of AIT, enlistment could potentially put someone on a faster track to some form of financial aid. Enlistment is certainly not detrimental to any of our non-scholarship applicants, either. They can still compete for campus based Line or GRFD scholarships, or elect to contract non-scholarship and compete for Active Duty.

Bottom line, there are many options out there, and the reason things are so convoluted is that (if we're being honest) Big Army does a TERRIBLE job of ensuring national awareness of the available options and the differences between them. It's critical that people are proactive in their research and ask lots of questions to ensure they find the right fit.
 
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