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09 Romeo Program vs. enlistment

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  • 09 Romeo Program vs. enlistment

    I talked on the phone to a national guard recruiter about joining the national guard and going to college at the same time. He recommended since i wanted to go into ROTC at a college that I become a drilling member of the national guard avoid Basic and AIT by going into the 09 Romeo Program. My question is what is the difference between the 09 Romeo program vs. enlisting in the National Guard with the intent of eventually being contracted through SMP? Is your status nondeployable in the 09 Romeo Program? Would this effect educational benefits if I decided to go this route?

  • #2
    Re: 09 Romeo Program vs. enlistment

    09R is a Simultaneous Membership Program member. They are active drilling members of the National Guard and contracted at ROTC. While drilling as a cadet, they are paid equivalent to the rank as E5.

    To answer your questions, the difference between SMP and enlisting is as being an SMP member, you are non deployable. You will not deploy if the unit that you are assigned to does.

    The biggest part is, if you chose an SMP contract, you are not eligible for the GI Bill while in college. If you enlist, go to basic training and AIT, you are then eligible for GI BIll and can use it while being a contracted cadet at ROTC.

    As an SMP member, you are eligible for federal tuition assistance, which is $4,500 a year.
    Last edited by 11BSoldier; November 8th, 2012, 08:52 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: 09 Romeo Program vs. enlistment

      Originally posted by 11BSoldier View Post
      09R is a Simultaneous Membership Program member. They are active drilling members of the National Guard and contracted at ROTC. While drilling as a cadet, they are paid equivalent to the rank as E5.

      To answer your questions, the difference between SMP and enlisting is as being an SMP member, you are non deployable. You will not deploy if the unit that you are assigned to does.

      The biggest part is, if you chose an SMP contract, you are not eligible for the GI Bill while in college. If you enlist, go to basic training and AIT, you are then eligible for GI BIll and can use it while being a contracted cadet at ROTC.

      As an SMP member, you are eligible for federal tuition assistance, which is $4,500 a year.
      The National Guard recruiter implied I'd be actively drilling and start recieving benefits my freshman year of college. I thought SMP was only a contractual obligation to ROTC going into your junior year of college? The state in which I was planning on doing SMP in has state benefits paying 100 percent of tuition and automatically you are a resident of the state. I was told by the recruiter that I would qualify for that once i signed the contract and began actively drilling(Summer heading into college). If you could shed light on these issues and tell me if I'm wrong on any of this it would be greatly appreciated.

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      • #4
        Re: 09 Romeo Program vs. enlistment

        Originally posted by ZAROTCZ33 View Post
        The National Guard recruiter implied I'd be actively drilling and start recieving benefits my freshman year of college. I thought SMP was only a contractual obligation to ROTC going into your junior year of college? The state in which I was planning on doing SMP in has state benefits paying 100 percent of tuition and automatically you are a resident of the state. I was told by the recruiter that I would qualify for that once i signed the contract and began actively drilling(Summer heading into college). If you could shed light on these issues and tell me if I'm wrong on any of this it would be greatly appreciated.
        Nope. Those are two separate beasts. We've got some ROTC gurus on here that can chime in and give you the gritty details. But, in general, the contract you would sign for ROTC during your Junior year is separate from the ENLISTED contract you sign under the SMP program. Another way of saying it is that, every graduate of the ROTC program will sign some kind of contract (traditionally during their Junior year) to serve in the Army (traditionally Guard or but some do go straight to Active Duty) as an Officer for a certain period of time. However, only SMP Cadets will sign an enlisted contract as well, because they will be drilling in an enlisted capacity until they commission/complete their ROTC training. Does this make sense? This is just a basic synopsis, so I would encourage you to investigate the details of your contractual obligation/nuances and the timeline to get a complete picture.

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        • #5
          Re: 09 Romeo Program vs. enlistment

          If you sign an SMP agreement you will drill monthly as a member of a National Guard or Reserve unit. You will not drill as an enlisted Soldier but rather an 'officer in training'. Usually you will be placed underneath the guidance of an officer (Staff Shop head, Platoon Leader, Company Commander, etc.) and he/she will teach you what their job is all about and you MAY have some responsibilities that officers have to deal with on a day-day/drill-drill basis.

          If you sign an SMP contract, this obligates you to the National Guard or Reserve in the even you DO NOT complete ROTC an commission as an officer. In this case, if you voluntarily/involuntarily dis-enroll or are dis-enrolled from ROTC you will be rolled into the National Guard or Reserves and will be forced to complete Basic Training/AIT for ANY MOS they need.

          Once you contract through ROTC (which is the contract you will sign your Junior year or before) you are obligated to complete the program or be rolled into a component of the Army (in this case your SMP contract would take precedence and you'd go into whatever component your SMP contract has you in). Your ROTC contract will be what gets you a cadet stipend every month and what allows the ROTC BN to take 'ownership of you'. From the day you sign your ROTC contract until the day you commission you belong and fall under your ROTC BN.

          The SMP is a good way to get some experience, although I am personally against someone simply walking in and drilling and getting a pay check while not having first completed at least BCT/AIT. But that's a separate issue. Just do your research man, and don't rely on everything a recruiter has to say to you.

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          • #6
            Re: 09 Romeo Program vs. enlistment

            LoneStarSoldier was mostly right.

            The only way you are obligated to the NG or USAR after comission is if you took a GRFD scholarship. Even if you choose a branch at LDAC and get a LOA from a unit, you can still go Active if your OML score warrants it. Just becaue you sign on as an SMP doesn't mean you have to stay in the NG/USAR (living proof right here).

            As for dropping out of the SMP program and whether or not you have to stay in is another matter (it's sticky), especially if you "enlist" under an 09R/S contract because those are time based. Meaning, you have to be in a commissioning source or commissioned by a certain time of you'll get admin seperated. I've seen it happen...

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