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  • Do I have my information straight?

    Hi,

    Ok so I want to make sure I have all my facts in order before I enlist to make sure that the National Guard is not going to stop me from what career I want to pursue. I am currently a Senior in high school graduating this year. I've already been to MEPS and I need a visual consult and I expect to be a part of the NG within 1-2 weeks. Then I plan to start college in the beginning of 2014 attending SIUE after BCT and AIT. I also plan to take ROTC in college. I go to a military high school where we are in uniform every single day. Now my question is about commissioning, assuming I do well in college and get accepted into a medical school, if I commission as an officer will that stop me from going AMEDD and going to med school? Basically will my contract with the NG be an issue? Am I correct in assuming that I can then be transferred into AMEDD regardless of MOS? I just want to make sure my little roadmap is accurate before I get into the guard and they tell me "oh, well you have to finish up your contract before you can go to medical school".

  • #2
    Re: Do I have my information straight?

    Being in the NG will not stop you per se, but it will complicate your schedule. I am no expert on medical school, but I am certain it is no walk in the park. So, considering your presumed need to study on the weekends-how will having officer duties through out the month and being tied up one weekend per month play into your study habits? It will be harder to attend medical school compared to the average joe because you will have a mandatory obligation elsewhere in the NG...but the NG promotion is all about 'hey, go to school and be a citizen soldier...' And if my understanding is correct you need some sort of medical certificate(s) in order to go into AMEDD any way... I believe?

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by Hawks; March 30th, 2013, 09:27 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Do I have my information straight?

      Originally posted by Hawks View Post
      Being in the NG will not stop you per se, but it will complicate your schedule. I am no expert on medical school, but I am certain it is no walk in the park. So, considering your presumed need to study on the weekends-how will having officer duties through out the month and being tied up one weekend per month play into your study habits? It will be harder to attend medical school compared to the average joe because you will have a mandatory obligation elsewhere in the NG...but the NG promotion is all about 'hey, go to school and be a citizen soldier...' And if my understanding is correct you need some sort of medical certificate(s) in order to go into AMEDD any way... I believe?

      Hope this helps.
      Doesn't really help, you just posted some general obvious information. Looking for someone with some actual experience. If I was in AMEDD as a med student, depending on my unit they understand my academic responsibilities.
      Last edited by Xalyx; March 30th, 2013, 09:44 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Do I have my information straight?

        Originally posted by Xalyx View Post
        ...before I get into the guard and they tell me "oh, well you have to finish up your contract before you can go to medical school".
        This was the basis of my response.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Do I have my information straight?

          AMEDD is a significantly different animal than the rest of the Army.

          If you are accepted to medical school, no matter what military status is at that time, you can commission in the AMEDD as a medical student. Your duties then revolve around medical school, and maintaining basic military readiness (e.g., pass APFT, weapons qualification). This is a simplification, of course, but enough to get you started. You really need to talk with an AMEDD recruiter, to whom your National Guard recruiter can direct you.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Do I have my information straight?

            As LTC Ritchie says, if you are accepted to medical school, you can commission in AMEDD as a medical student, regardless of your MOS while enlisted. This is important, because only if you are in a med student role will your time be somewhat protected (in a medical student role you are able to drill on flexi-training schedule, which allows you to miss as much as every other drill if you have a schedule conflict with medical school). If you are not in a medical student role, things can be challenging to say the least.

            I personally have mixed feelings about ROTC for folks who are interested in medical school. ROTC has sunk more applications than it has helped. ROTC with the active services is a killer, as you are obligated to fulfill your contract unless you get an educational delay, and there are far more medical school applicants than there are slots for the delay, which means a lot of potential doctors have to (rightfully) fulfill their duties first, which causes problems with prerequisites expiring, tests needing to be retaken, new letters of reference needed, etc.

            This is less of an issue for Guardsmen, but it still can be problematic. Any ROTC grad will tell you stories about doing PT at 0530 a few times a week which killed their chance to study or toiling away all weekend while a test was looming on Monday. From what I've seen as a Guardsman, ROTC grads make some of the best officers (other than those who came up through the ranks), but it is much more of an obstacle than an asset for those who are med school bound. While medicine ironically looks for applicants with exactly the kind of attributes personified by the Army Values, it tends to run lukewarm about folks with military experience (particularly with pending military obligations) and ROTC makes it difficult to have grades and scores as good as if the person had more free time to focus on studies.

            The biggest challenge to becoming a doctor is getting in to med school. If you take a hundred people graduating high school who say they want to be a doctor, about 70 change their minds after their freshman/sophomore year science classes. You lose another 20 when they start taking advanced science classes like OChem, PChem, Biochem, etc. Of the 10 left, you probably lose 5 or so to MCAT struggles (a standardized test you need to do well on for med school). Of the 5 who end up applying, statistically, only about half get in.

            My point is not to discourage, but to highlight that medicine is a very tough road and it is extremely hard to get in to med school. If you have ANY challenges academically, you need to look hard at whether military service or medicine is more important to you right now (because you can always join the military later as a doctor). If you are passionate about both, I would consider enlisting in the Guard and serving while in undergrad. You will have your schedule challenged and it may make things hard sometimes, but it will not occupy nearly as much time as ROTC and you will be fulfilling a service for your country as a MOS qualified soldier. ROTC makes for good officers, but you will have BOLC later when you enter medical school and while the training is nowhere near as intense, at the end of the day, the Army wants you for your medical skills. And if you take ROTC and it torpedos your application to medical school, you and the Army both lose.

            Final point, Xalyx- Being courteous and respectful is good policy in general, but when you go asking for people's time on a public forum, it's critical. No one gets attaboys or any bennies by helping out people asking questions, so knocking them for their answers like in your reply to SPC Hawk's really makes other people hesitant to help you. I'm one of the few doctors on this forum and only have time to visit occasionally, so I came very close to closing this thread before responding when I saw you brush off SPC Hawk for giving "obvious information." As you are not yet in the Guard, what you know about the military is rumor and assumption, so any Guardsman's advice, particularly when given freely, should be appreciated or at least respected.

            Call 1-800-Go-Guard and ask for the contact information for the Illinois AMEDD Officer Recruiter. Any other recruiter will not understand fully the process. And they shouldn't be expected to. AMEDD is a unique track in the Army and medicine is an animal unto itself. Good luck with the process. If you have other questions, you can post them here.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Do I have my information straight?

              That was an excellent response, I made sure I read it twice. You've helped me put things into perspective and I may have to forego ROTC. Medicine and military service are both important to me, and I can't see myself postponing my service and joining later. Serving in the guard while an undergrad is completely fine, although I'm disappointed about the setbacks you listed about ROTC. I suspected there could be some conflicting issues which is why I made a point to mention that. As for my reply to SPC Hawk, words are often misinterpreted in text form because of the lack of tone, and I thank you for giving me the benefit of the doubt. I completely understand your point. As far as the challenges of medicine, you're not discouraging me, quite the opposite. I realize that this is quite an endeavor, and if I fail at least I can say that I tried. A mind is a terrible thing to waste and I believe that I should take full advantage of my potential.

              I want to thank all three posters for your help.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Do I have my information straight?

                Originally posted by Xalyx View Post
                Hi,

                Ok so I want to make sure I have all my facts in order before I enlist to make sure that the National Guard is not going to stop me from what career I want to pursue. I am currently a Senior in high school graduating this year. I've already been to MEPS and I need a visual consult and I expect to be a part of the NG within 1-2 weeks. Then I plan to start college in the beginning of 2014 attending SIUE after BCT and AIT. I also plan to take ROTC in college. I go to a military high school where we are in uniform every single day. Now my question is about commissioning, assuming I do well in college and get accepted into a medical school, if I commission as an officer will that stop me from going AMEDD and going to med school? Basically will my contract with the NG be an issue? Am I correct in assuming that I can then be transferred into AMEDD regardless of MOS? I just want to make sure my little roadmap is accurate before I get into the guard and they tell me "oh, well you have to finish up your contract before you can go to medical school".
                While having a long-term plan is good a short-term plan is even more important or you won't make it to your long-term goals. Worry about AMEDD later. In the short term juggling the National Guard and getting your undergrad degree should be enough of a full plate as a kid just graduating from high school. At least that way you can get some first hand NG experience under your belt and pay for college while you're at it. in the long-term you'll be more of an asset as an MOSq'd soldier with an undergrad degree under your belt and little to no debt. You'll also be able to make a better decision on which direction to go once you're in your junior year in college.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Do I have my information straight?

                  One caveat that was only alluded to here and not fully addressed was deployments or orders. While serving as an SMP cadet attached to a unit, you are contractually protected from going on any deployments or orders (AT is a exception that is handled case by case). However, if you are simply a soldier going to school and something comes up, you are not protected and obligated to go with your unit.

                  Something to think about.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Do I have my information straight?

                    Originally posted by jmclaughlin1701 View Post
                    One caveat that was only alluded to here and not fully addressed was deployments or orders. While serving as an SMP cadet attached to a unit, you are contractually protected from going on any deployments or orders (AT is a exception that is handled case by case). However, if you are simply a soldier going to school and something comes up, you are not protected and obligated to go with your unit.

                    Something to think about.
                    Ooooooh. I thought SMP was frowned upon in these parts.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Do I have my information straight?

                      Originally posted by VICEROY06 View Post
                      Ooooooh. I thought SMP was frowned upon in these parts.
                      Heh. I did it and it was ok. My job with the unit didn't change... other than wearing a dot v. rank. There were other cadets, but they were the persona non-grata for all the good they were.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Do I have my information straight?

                        Originally posted by jmclaughlin1701 View Post
                        Heh. I did it and it was ok. My job with the unit didn't change... other than wearing a dot v. rank. There were other cadets, but they were the persona non-grata for all the good they were.
                        I commend anyone that is or was mature enough to go through undergrad ROTC. I don't regret the decisions I made--I just know I wanted to get the full party/athletics/girl-chasing college experience.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Do I have my information straight?

                          Originally posted by VICEROY06 View Post
                          I commend anyone that is or was mature enough to go through undergrad ROTC. I don't regret the decisions I made--I just know I wanted to get the full party/athletics/girl-chasing college experience.
                          Ha ha!! Gotcha!!

                          I was actually a grad student doing ROTC. Older than all of the cadets and all but one of the cadre... the PMS! It wasn't too difficult with all the partying/athletics/skirt chasing. Mainly because my wife wouldn't let me out too often unaccompanied.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Do I have my information straight?

                            Originally posted by jmclaughlin1701 View Post
                            Ha ha!! Gotcha!!

                            I was actually a grad student doing ROTC. Older than all of the cadets and all but one of the cadre... the PMS! It wasn't too difficult with all the partying/athletics/skirt chasing. Mainly because my wife wouldn't let me out too often unaccompanied.
                            Right back at ya!

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