SMP Questions

drakem

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Dec 1, 2016
Messages
33
Hi all,

I have recently started my tenure in Army ROTC this week, and I caught wind of something called SMP. As I understand, it's where you're a member of both the National Guard and Army ROTC, right? Can any army cadet join once I go through Basic training this summer? I have to go through basic because I'm joining late as a sophomore cadet (ML2).

Thank you!
 

Jcc123

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Apr 19, 2010
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You will not go through regular Army basic training just for joining ROTC as a sophomore. You'll attend ROTC basic camp, which is not basic training.

In order to be an SMP cadet, you must enlist in the National Guard or Army Reserve, and get an SMP contract from your ROTC unit. Those contracts are not guaranteed, and you could end up finishing your Guard contract as an enlisted member.

There are differences of opinion of course, but as far as I'm concerned the only valid reason to go SMP is if you cannot pay for school in any other fashion. It doesn't gain you more respect as "prior service", and basic/ait doesn't teach you to be a better officer.

If you can swing the cost of school without SMP, you'll gain much more by being involved in your ROTC program and the available extracurriculars like Ranger Challenge, and focusing on academics.
 

drakem

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Dec 1, 2016
Messages
33
Understood!

I'm getting by just fine tuition-wise for this year anyways, and I was always worried that SMP would get in the way of Pershing Rifles, Ranger club, etc. Thanks for the heads up!
 

wildcatmom

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Apr 8, 2013
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For other cadets who may be reading...My son was an Army Reservist first, and then joined ROTC. His Reserve Unit would only accept 2 SMP contracts at one time--One MSIII, and One MSIV. He was fortunate that when he returned to school that Spring semester after IET, that an SMP slot opened up after a Dec Grad commissioned.
Not sure if all units have this restriction. It may be a case by case basis, but it is another question you would need to ask of the Reserve Command before you select your unit.
 

MohawkArmyROTC

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For other cadets who may be reading...My son was an Army Reservist first, and then joined ROTC. His Reserve Unit would only accept 2 SMP contracts at one time--One MSIII, and One MSIV. He was fortunate that when he returned to school that Spring semester after IET, that an SMP slot opened up after a Dec Grad commissioned.
Not sure if all units have this restriction. It may be a case by case basis, but it is another question you would need to ask of the Reserve Command before you select your unit.

Some units put a limit on SMP cadets, but the reality is that they can have 3 cadets per officer slot in the unit. Additionally, cadets do not count against unit numbers since they are listed as O9R and are not MOS qualified. If you want to join as an SMP cadet, and your USAR/ARNG unit does not want to take on SMP cadets, you can transfer to another unit that will. Plenty of recruiters will help you with that.
 

MohawkArmyROTC

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Jan 18, 2017
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Hi all,

I have recently started my tenure in Army ROTC this week, and I caught wind of something called SMP. As I understand, it's where you're a member of both the National Guard and Army ROTC, right? Can any army cadet join once I go through Basic training this summer? I have to go through basic because I'm joining late as a sophomore cadet (ML2).

Thank you!

As stated Basic Camp is different than Basic Training. Here is what Basic Camp entails: http://ciet.futurearmyofficers.com/

However, you could go to the real Basic Training this Summer if you enlist, however I wouldn't recommend it as it really wouldn't do anything for you.

The advantages of SMP is the extra money through the monthly drills, and that those years of service counts towards your pay once you are commissioned. If you join the ARNG as an SMP cadet, some states give you additional education benefits above the normal Federal Tuition Assistance. The ROO at your school can talk to you about SMP, if that is something that you are really interested in.
 

Bondo7

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Nov 4, 2016
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As stated Basic Camp is different than Basic Training. Here is what Basic Camp entails: http://ciet.futurearmyofficers.com/

However, you could go to the real Basic Training this Summer if you enlist, however I wouldn't recommend it as it really wouldn't do anything for you.

The advantages of SMP is the extra money through the monthly drills, and that those years of service counts towards your pay once you are commissioned. If you join the ARNG as an SMP cadet, some states give you additional education benefits above the normal Federal Tuition Assistance. The ROO at your school can talk to you about SMP, if that is something that you are really interested in.

How does that differ from the ECP program? Also as to what you were saying about units not wanting to take on SMP cadets does that hold true to the ECP program as well?
 

QA1517

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Jul 11, 2012
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The ECP cadets go to CIET (Basic Camp). Same as other cadets. They may attend a certain session where all ECP's are there.

And yes, at least as far as my DS was concerned, there were some units that were limited to 1 or 2 ECP's or if they didn't have room for them they refused them. At DS's school, the ones that could not find a unit to drill with or had transportation to get to and from drill had to drill on campus. There was a captain there that had them do things on drill weekends. Not sure how that worked out on pay.
 

MohawkArmyROTC

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ECP is the Early Commissioning Program and that only happens at the Junior Military Colleges (Wentworth, Valley Forge, Marion, New Mexico Military Institute, and Georgia Military College).

ECP cadets are commissioned into the reserve after they are commissioned. They then go to a 4yr college to complete their Bachelor's degree, however they do not train with ROTC cadets as they are already 2LTs.
 

jllera1

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Aug 31, 2016
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ECP is the Early Commissioning Program and that only happens at the Junior Military Colleges (Wentworth, Valley Forge, Marion, New Mexico Military Institute, and Georgia Military College).

ECP cadets are commissioned into the reserve after they are commissioned. They then go to a 4yr college to complete their Bachelor's degree, however they do not train with ROTC cadets as they are already 2LTs.
My DD was just awarded a 3 yr AROTC scholarship at Georgia Military college on the ECP. Can anyone weigh in on this? She is still pending for USMA and is also considering The Citadel. I just don't know much about the ECP and if it's considered desirable for her future as an Army Veterinary, which is what she hopes to be one day....anyone?
 

MohawkArmyROTC

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My DD was just awarded a 3 yr AROTC scholarship at Georgia Military college on the ECP. Can anyone weigh in on this? She is still pending for USMA and is also considering The Citadel. I just don't know much about the ECP and if it's considered desirable for her future as an Army Veterinary, which is what she hopes to be one day....anyone?

Does she desire to serve on Active Duty or the reserves? It is harder for ECP cadets to get onto Active Duty than it is for cadets who go through the normal commissioning process. If she wants to serve an active duty upon graduation from college, she will have better luck going to the Citadel or USMA.

In order to serve as a Vet, she will have to get an advance degree. She will either have to commission into the reserve and go to Vet school after graduation or get an education delay if commission onto active duty, in order to go to Vet school.
 

jllera1

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Understood! My DD was accepted to The Citadel today. I am worried, because 1st yr is $52k for OOS and subsequently $18k per yr thereafter. Being a single mom making $40k a year there is no way I can afford that. I called financial aid and left a vm for them to call me tomorrow. She has worked so hard and I am hopeful. I wasn't familiar with most of this Military stuff, so am just learning. She wants to go active, so no GMI for her in the ECP program. She crossed that off her list. We did the FAFSA...any other opportunities she may qualify for financially?

Yes, she wants to stay in the Army for her career and retire. She went Army because of the possibilities of deferment for Vet school.
 

MohawkArmyROTC

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If she wants to go Active Duty as an officer, then the ROTC scholarship is the only way to get financial assistance from the Army. The only other options are to put off college now, and enlist for three years to earn the Post-9/11 GI Bill. She can get the Montgomery GI Bill by enlisting in the Army Reserve or National Guard while in school, however if she earned a scholarship she would have to be released from the Reserve or Guard.
 

jllera1

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If she wants to go Active Duty as an officer, then the ROTC scholarship is the only way to get financial assistance from the Army. The only other options are to put off college now, and enlist for three years to earn the Post-9/11 GI Bill. She can get the Montgomery GI Bill by enlisting in the Army Reserve or National Guard while in school, however if she earned a scholarship she would have to be released from the Reserve or Guard.
What about if she gets into USMA? She just got her last ACT scores and they seem promising.
ACT 30.5
Eng 32
Math 27
Read 35
Science 28
 

AROTC-dad

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What does she want more? Is it to be a Veterinarian or an active duty Army military officer?

A very small fraction of USMA grads are granted ED, to attend medical or veterinary school. Accordingly, USMA or AROTC is generally not your best path to a medical or veterinary college, unless you wish to serve out as a Army officer first and the pursue vet school afterwards on the GI Bill.

USHPSP may be a better path to become an Army Veterinarian on the government's dime.

http://www.goarmy.com/amedd/veterinarian.html
 

Capt MJ

Formerly Known As Attila The Hunnette
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This is a Navy story, but one of my officer friends in the Navy did a full career, retired, and used her education benefits to go to vet school. She is happily practicing as a large animal vet in the West.

Staying on AD long enough to get the Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits gives her all kinds of options. The benefits are easily researched online at va.gov.
 

cjcm43a

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If she wants to go Active Duty as an officer, then the ROTC scholarship is the only way to get financial assistance from the Army. The only other options are to put off college now, and enlist for three years to earn the Post-9/11 GI Bill. She can get the Montgomery GI Bill by enlisting in the Army Reserve or National Guard while in school, however if she earned a scholarship she would have to be released from the Reserve or Guard.
We are looking into the Army Reserve for our DD and we were told by the recruiter that she would be eligible to still apply for the ROTC scholarship once she gets to her college in addition to the tuition assistance of $5,000 per year - is that incorrect information?
 

MohawkArmyROTC

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She can apply for campus based scholarships or the Minuteman Scholarship as member of the Reserve/Guard, however that would be a GRFD (Guaranteed Reserve Forces Scholarship). She would have to commission into the reserve.

While on scholarship you can not use GI Bill benefits, however you can still apply for Federal Tuition Assistance.
 

MMICadet2017

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Apr 24, 2017
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I also received the ECP scholarship as well as others, I am wanting to go Active Duty after I get my BA. My question is must we stay reserve until all three years of service are up? How hard is it to transfer Active Duty? What hoops must I jump through basically.
 
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