"Take a contract" -- what does that mean?


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Sep 24, 2008
I've been reading about people who "take a contract" with one or another branch of the services. I can't really understand completely what that means. When does one do that? Is it scholarship $$ related, or pay related? Are you enlisted until graduation, then go to OCS and become an officer?

Are all contracts the same? Are they negotiable?

Thanks in advance for any info.
Signing your contract means that you will be obligated from that point. For a scholarship cadet -(For the Army and I assume for the others as well) when they are discussing this-you are going to contract on the first day of your sophomore year . (You will contract at the start of your Freshman year as a scholarship cadet but you will have a decision to make at the start of the next year because the first year is essentially a "gimme"- the start of your Sophomore year is where you incur your service obligation. For nonscholarship cadets you will contract at the start of your junior year and then will start recieving a monthly stipend.