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Should I join with the possibility of deployment while in college or wait till eligible for SMP?

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  • Should I join with the possibility of deployment while in college or wait till eligible for SMP?

    While I am going to college should I join the guard after I get to the maximum amount of allowed body fat to enlist or just be a non-scholarship ROTC cadet during the first two years of college while I am trying to get my Bachelors of science? I wouldn't mind deploying while in college but it would put back getting my B.S. Would it be more beneficial to be enlisted in the guard before becoming an officer?

  • #2
    Re: Should I join with the possibility of deployment while in college or wait till eligible for SMP?

    Two things, you will gain an enlisted perspective and if you are giving the chance to deploy your GI Bill will go way up and you last few years of college you won't be broke!

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    • #3
      Re: Should I join with the possibility of deployment while in college or wait till eligible for SMP?

      Thanks for your input First Sargent Airborne

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      • #4
        Re: Should I join with the possibility of deployment while in college or wait till eligible for SMP?

        If your ultimate goal is to become an Officer, just do ROTC. 2 years of time as a Private doesn't really bring much "experience" to the table. Just ask a SFC how much experience a SPC with 2 years in service has.

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        • #5
          Re: Should I join with the possibility of deployment while in college or wait till eligible for SMP?

          Originally posted by Lance13A View Post
          If your ultimate goal is to become an Officer, just do ROTC. 2 years of time as a Private doesn't really bring much "experience" to the table. Just ask a SFC how much experience a SPC with 2 years in service has.
          Zero.

          My time spent on drill as an MOS'qd SPC centered around cleaning weapons, listening to platoon sergeants tell jokes, and parking 10 ton trucks. There's nothing 'high speed' you can do in an engineer company.
          Last edited by VICEROY06; May 27th, 2013, 05:48 PM.

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          • #6
            Re: Should I join with the possibility of deployment while in college or wait till eligible for SMP?

            Originally posted by Lance13A View Post
            If your ultimate goal is to become an Officer, just do ROTC. 2 years of time as a Private doesn't really bring much "experience" to the table. Just ask a SFC how much experience a SPC with 2 years in service has.
            Two years more than a 2LT? =P

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            • #7
              Re: Should I join with the possibility of deployment while in college or wait till eligible for SMP?

              Originally posted by VICEROY06 View Post
              My time spent on drill as an MOS'qd SPC centered around cleaning weapons, listening to platoon sergeants tell jokes, and parking 10 ton trucks. There's nothing 'high speed' you can do in an engineer company.
              That's still experience, albeit of a different kind. The new lieutenant will know viscerally the impact his orders have on Soldiers. It may not change what he does, but it may change the manner in which he does it. I, for one, made a special effort to ensure that my Soldiers knew what was going on, and why we had to do things a certain way. The Soldiers don't necessarily know what you know (and vice versa, which is why I also made an effort to solicit their ideas and input whenever practical and appropriate).

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              • #8
                Re: Should I join with the possibility of deployment while in college or wait till eligible for SMP?

                Originally posted by matthew.ritchie View Post
                That's still experience, albeit of a different kind. The new lieutenant will know viscerally the impact his orders have on Soldiers. It may not change what he does, but it may change the manner in which he does it. I, for one, made a special effort to ensure that my Soldiers knew what was going on, and why we had to do things a certain way. The Soldiers don't necessarily know what you know (and vice versa, which is why I also made an effort to solicit their ideas and input whenever practical and appropriate).
                100% correct sir, and I should have elaborated further with my answer. Choosing the junior enlisted route over the 09S option was the reason why I enlisted. I will feel more comfortable with my SPC experience when I report to my next unit as a 2LT rather than coming in as a fresh officer. And for other readers of this post I'm not knocking those that went the 09S route.

                This was a personal choice--an avenue that I wanted to pursue so I wouldn't be a fresh lieutenant without a clue of how the enlisted ranks think and feel. There's a lot of knowledge I've gained as an SPC that would help make my job as a 2LT much easier rather than trying to learn everything from the get-go.

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                • #9
                  Re: Should I join with the possibility of deployment while in college or wait till eligible for SMP?

                  Originally posted by VICEROY06 View Post
                  Zero.

                  My time spent on drill as an MOS'qd SPC centered around cleaning weapons, listening to platoon sergeants tell jokes, and parking 10 ton trucks. There's nothing 'high speed' you can do in an engineer company.
                  As a former 12B in an Engineer line unit; we did a lot of high speed stuff. And that is a shame that you wasted two years. Yes, there were times, I just hung out in the squad cage and BSed but we did do quality training; often at times.

                  The AD SPC with 2 years TIG is put to work. And to a certain extent, you are right about the medical.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Should I join with the possibility of deployment while in college or wait till eligible for SMP?

                    Originally posted by Chief Kemosabe View Post
                    As a former 12B in an Engineer line unit; we did a lot of high speed stuff. And that is a shame that you wasted two years. Yes, there were times, I just hung out in the squad cage and BSed but we did do quality training; often at times.

                    The AD SPC with 2 years TIG is put to work. And to a certain extent, you are right about the medical.
                    Hooah on medical.

                    I am/was a 12W.

                    Combat Engineers are our high speed counterparts!

                    It was either get locked up in one of the most high speed infantry units in Alabama, and be on deployment until I miss the age limit for accelerated OCS or pick daisies with an Engineer company. It was a great experience nonetheless.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Should I join with the possibility of deployment while in college or wait till eligible for SMP?

                      Originally posted by VICEROY06 View Post

                      There's nothing 'high speed' you can do in an engineer company.
                      It's unfortunate Vice had this experience, but at least in my Combat Engineer company, about every other drill we get to do "high-speed" stuff. Biannual weapons qual, demo ranges, M2/M249/M240B ranges, CQB are all things we've done this FY, and not all at AT.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Should I join with the possibility of deployment while in college or wait till eligible for SMP?

                        Originally posted by ack202 View Post
                        Two years more than a 2LT? =P
                        Haha, point taken, but I stand by my statement. Having been enlisted for ~2 years before I contracted, any "experience" I gained other than the traditional PFC stuff (cleaning stuff, setting stuff up, breaking stuff down), was me taking the initiative to learn extra, which can be done on SMP status, as well. Cadets have just as many opportunities as Privates (arguably more) to pick the brains of the Senior NCOs and Officers in the unit. I think SMP is a very important thing to do, especially if the Cadet is going NG, but I don't think that an extra 2 years as a Private will add any more experience or knowledge than MSL 101/2 and 201/2 will give.

                        THAT SAID, it's usually pretty obvious which Cadets/2LTs have gone to Basic Training and which ones haven't. The discipline factor of attending IET is a distinguishing factor, but that may be the only real benefit in my experience.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Should I join with the possibility of deployment while in college or wait till eligible for SMP?

                          Originally posted by Christopher Evan View Post
                          While I am going to college should I join the guard after I get to the maximum amount of allowed body fat to enlist or just be a non-scholarship ROTC cadet during the first two years of college while I am trying to get my Bachelors of science? I wouldn't mind deploying while in college but it would put back getting my B.S. Would it be more beneficial to be enlisted in the guard before becoming an officer?
                          Keep in mind, if you join, do the Split Option & attend BCT between your Fr & Soph year you're going to gain experience, discipline and vastly improve your physical condition. These all will effect the OML and your opportunities to receive that ROTC Scholarship. Along with these benefits you have time in service and time/points toward your retirement down the line.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Should I join with the possibility of deployment while in college or wait till eligible for SMP?

                            Originally posted by enceladus View Post
                            It's unfortunate Vice had this experience, but at least in my Combat Engineer company, about every other drill we get to do "high-speed" stuff. Biannual weapons qual, demo ranges, M2/M249/M240B ranges, CQB are all things we've done this FY, and not all at AT.
                            Hey LT it wasn't all hum drum. I got a chance to go to an Indy race and ride in a two-seater Indy car at 150mph! Wait--that was with my RSP unit. Nevermind. Carry on!

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                            • #15
                              Re: Should I join with the possibility of deployment while in college or wait till eligible for SMP?

                              Count on the lowly specialist to disagree, but I would think that spending a couple years enlisted can be very beneficial. Some of the best officers that I've been under we're E-6's before recieving commission. 2 years doesn't seem like a long time to gain experience, and in the big picture it is not. But there are a handful of soldiers in my company who had a deployment and WLC in two years. 2 years in garrison won't account for much experience. But deploying as a lower enlisted soldier before recieving commission will greatly open up your vision on the bigger picture. Knowing the experiences of the men you lead will never hurt you.

                              As for engineer companies not doing anything high speed, that is true and untrue I guess. In a battalion of engineers, a MAC and Sapper company are usually the only ones I've seen do anything high speed. We spent two weeks in a camp we made with a couple ACE's in the woods while the 12W and other non-combat soldiers stayed on an established area with air conditioned buildings. We did demo and had MRE's for breakfast while they did organized PT and hot chow. I can see how that's a bit of a drab experience.

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