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  • Grad degree ROTC/SMP or O9S

    First off, I appreciate everyone who takes the time to help out in these forums. The information is priceless!

    Brief background: I've been considering the military since I was 17 (now almost 25). I did a brief 2 month stint with the AFROTC at my university but had to back out due to bad timing and various other reasons. Since then, I've always thought about getting back in. I recently took the ASVAB and scored quite well (93 AFQT) and I've been talking to a ARNG recruiter who is really great to work with. He isn't pressuring me at all and is willing to provide information. My brother-in-law is a Captain in the Army and I've also been using him as a resource. However, I'm hoping for some additional insight here.

    I originally went to my recruiter and inquired about the O9S program as that is what I thought would be the best option after doing a lot of research. I have quite a bit of student debt from getting my bachelors degree and I wanted to be able to take advantage of the SLRP offered under the O9S enlistment option. I understand that I would be enlisting as an E4 during BCT and then an E5 during OCS "drill."

    I am hoping to start a masters program next fall that is a two year program. My intention was to do BCT and Phase 0 OCS prior to school starting and then go through the remainder of OCS while also going through school and commission roughly the time I graduate. As my recruiter explained it, I would not be eligible for SLRP until I actually commissioned.

    However, my brother-in-law recommended I go through ROTC/SMP instead. Is it possible to enlist under the O9S program AND do ROTC? From what I understand, if I take an ROTC scholarship, I can't accept the SLRP upon commissioning. Is that the case? (Here is where I got that info) I was under the impression that if I enlist under O9S that essentially THAT is my MOS. But if I then sign up for ROTC I would be changing my MOS to a cadet, not the O9S. I don't know that I want to do ROTC if I can't get an ROTC scholarship as I don't know that there would be much benefit. The main benefit that I see is that ROTC would pay my housing and a monthly stipend.

    Isn't it the case that EITHER WAY the GI Bill would pay my tuition, etc?

    My primary goals are to get student debt paid off and get my masters degree. I also (obviously) have a desire to serve as it has been on my mind since I was 17. I feel like I might finally be at a stage in my life where I'm ready and the timing is right but now I just need to figure out the details.

  • #2
    Re: Grad degree ROTC/SMP or O9S

    No. Those are two different career paths.

    Decide what is most important to you, and prioritize. You can have everything you want, just not all at the same time.


    • #3
      Re: Grad degree ROTC/SMP or O9S

      It's about as far as it is wide. Enlisting with an OCS contract may get you to being an officer faster. My own preference would be go to OCS and become a officer as fast as possible. You could make some good money doing SMP ROTC. But you would become an officer faster through OCS. And make more money as an officer. I'm an OCS snob, so I say go with OCS.

      Though at the end of ROTC you can possibly either go active duty or stay in the guard.
      Last edited by Chaplain4me; October 27th, 2012, 10:57 AM.


      • #4
        Re: Grad degree ROTC/SMP or O9S

        Hey guys thanks for your answers. You gave me some things to think about. I realized I needed to do some more research and so I did. I've come to realize that the O9S program might not be the best option for me. Really the only advantage is the SLRP. It looks like the best option is SMP. However, that leads me to two options: I can go to LTC and do SMP or I can enlist and go to BCT/AIT and then join SMP. The latter seems like the best of both worlds. I end up with the experience of going through what a soldier goes through and on top of that I'd be eligible for the MGIB-SR and the Kicker, which would be just over $700 a month more. I certainly wouldn't complain about that as my grad program wouldn't allow me much time to work--I have to have an internship every semester.

        That leads me to the question of whether or not an individual can go to BCT/AIT and then immediately contract with ROTC. Is that possible? I can't find a single shred of info regarding the matter out there. I was thinking I could enlist and go to BCT followed by AIT all before about July. Then I'd go to two weeks annual drill in July and then I'd start school in August and contract with ROTC and hopefully get a GRFD scholarship for the SMP program. Are the GRFD slots really difficult to get as I'm hearing? Am I running the chance of the Guard saying "no" when I want to contract with the ROTC? Will they say "sorry we just got you MOSQ'd in BLANK so now you are going to do that job and we aren't going to let you change to O9R."



        • #5
          Re: Grad degree ROTC/SMP or O9S

          Maybe your commander has to approve you to attend ROTC.


          • #6
            Re: Grad degree ROTC/SMP or O9S

            I'm literally about to take the same route as you. I had to take a leave of absence from my undergrad for financial reasons and plan on going to BCT/AIT as soon as possible. From there it looks like there will be a couple months of downtime before I register for classes in the Fall '13, but once I do I plan on contracting SMP immediately. I've been in and out of the ROTC office at my school and from what I can gather they wouldn't hesitate taking someone who's already been through BCT/AIT. But it ultimately comes down to who's running the ROTC department. For instance I know that I can't get back from BCT/AIT in May and join ROTC right away. I'm going to have to wait until school starts to do that. And you'll also be receiving some aid from the ROTC department (I think just a stipend), but obviously they would have to like you in order to make that investment. I suggest going into the ROTC dept. of whatever school you plan on attending and see what they think before you commit to that plan.


            • #7
              Re: Grad degree ROTC/SMP or O9S

              Short answer, yes, you can do the BCT/AIT process and then contract with ROTC to do SMP. You will be slotted in the 09R MOS once you contract. Your command may not like it, but there is nothing they can do about it. ROTC contract trumps the NG one.

              We had a few cadets who did this. Only one got grief from his old unit because he drilled there as an 11B, got AB as a perk for rocking it and then contracted ROTC. His commander didn't like that they spent money on him for special schools and he bounced. But other that some verbal flak, there was nothing they could do to stop him...

              GRFP is getting super competative. If you can't get one, your next best bet would be to contract as a non-scholarship cadet and use your state's STA and FTA to pay for the school and/or your GI Bill.