Posted on Feb 2, 2016
SGT Ases
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My cousin is finishing his sophomore year in college and was just accepted into their ROTC program starting in August. His end goal is to be an officer in active duty army. Being enlisted I only have limited knowledge of his options so I thought I'd ask here.

He's considering joining the Reserves and checking into the Cadet program but I'm not sure how all that plays together with ROTC?
Posted in these groups: General_of_the_army_rank_insignia OfficerThcapm08l9 ROTCUnited_states_ar_seal.svg Army Reserve
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CPT Infantry Officer
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Here's what would do if I could do everything over.

1. Enlist as an 11B in a local ARNG unit. The Infantry training will set him up for success in ROTC.
2. Contract into ROTC
3. Sign an SMP contract and continue drilling with the Infantry unit. When he commissions he'll have 4 years time in service and a much better foundation to build on as a junior Officer.
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CPT Infantry Officer
CPT (Join to see)
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CPT (Join to see) I had classmates who were SMP Cadets and commissioned into the RA. This was 2009, so things may have changed since then.
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CPT Battery Commander
CPT (Join to see)
>1 y
I don't think an SMP contract obligates you to the guard. A guaranteed reserve forces duty (GRFD) scholarship obligates you to the Reserve Component (USAR and ARNG). But accepting a GRFD may make one ineligible to receive GI Bill benefits and/or unit tuition assistance. Recommend some research on the trade-offs.
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CPT Pdd Oic
CPT (Join to see)
>1 y
CPT (Join to see), you're right, but no one here seems to have clarified to him the difference between simply participating in SMP and signing a contract. A lot of people here have advised him to pursue SMP without qualifying their statements and without making the distinction between signing a contract and not doing so. I'd hate for him to get duped by a recruiter into signing an SMP contract without knowing the obligation he's incurring if he really wants to go RA.
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LTC Retired
LTC (Join to see)
>1 y
CPT (Join to see) - No, the SMP contact has nothing to do with his eventual assessment onto active duty or into the reserves. Many of my SMP cadets go on to active fury at commissioning. The real deciding factor is the toe of contract they sign. A GRFD (Guaranteed Reserve Forces Duty) contract will put him in the USAR or ARNG. An SMP can have a regular line contract.
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COL Jon Thompson
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I am a Recruiting Operations Officer for an ROTC program so my life consists of working with students to get them into an ROTC program. There are many ways your cousin could go about doing this. If his goal is active duty, I would encourage him to look at a line scholarship as that is the only scholarship available to him that allows him to compete for active duty. If he joins the USAR then his only scholarship opportunity takes active duty off the table. He can always go for a non-scholarship contract as a Soldier in the USAR and that keeps all options open. In any case, if he enlists in the USAR and does ROTC, he will have to be a Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP) cadet. SMP requires approval from both the ROTC program and the USAR unit. While not required, they may want him to attend basic training and AIT which could cause him to miss a semester. He should talk with my counterpart at whatever school he is attending to get all the options laid out. It difficult to explain everything clearly in an email or reply on here. If he is on RP, he can message me directly for some other information. I hope this helps.
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COL Jon Thompson
COL Jon Thompson
>1 y
Doing BCT and AIT over the summer would work but there are only a few MOSs that allow you to do that. Typically, the cadets I work with will do either 88M (Motor Transport Operator, aka Truck Driver) or 11B since those can be completed in one summer.
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MAJ Glenn Bergeron
MAJ Glenn Bergeron
>1 y
Jon, Does ComTek still have the contract for ROTC support? I left in 2007.
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COL Jon Thompson
COL Jon Thompson
>1 y
MAJ Glenn Bergeron - They have a small one but most employees became GS employees. I started with them in 2007 and became GS in 2013.
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CW4 Craig Urban
CW4 Craig Urban
5 mo
My first battalion commander was Dennis Benchoff. Fort Ord. As a cw3 and the log chief at us army recruiting command support center I met him in the commissary one day and he says you again chief? He was DCG east. This was 1983. After I retired and was working in Luxembourg my battalion commander Bob Cox says Benchoff is flying in to see the site and a brief on us getting locked into the AMC systems and GCSS army. I said Bob I know Benchoff. He was then the 3 star deputy AMC commander. He says great. Me and you meet him when he gets off the chopper. He gets off and Cox salutes him and he sees me. Jesus Christ you again Craig
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CPT Company Commander
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The "Simultaneous Membership Program" (SMP), if he chooses that route, places cadets with a Reserve unit with the standard monthly training and summer training. He is credited for those years of service and earns Reserve pay (E-5 level I think). He is paid more if he attends basic and OSUT during the summer. If he is not at a senior military college, he has to compete for active duty and his branch based on a national OML that is finalized after LDAC and his Junior year of school. Please let me know if you have more questions.
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SGT Ases
SGT (Join to see)
>1 y
Ok. So being enlisted on AD and then going for a commission, he will still end up on the OML with everyone else. Would that still be dependent on grades (like ROTC) or do other things play into it?
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CPT Company Commander
CPT (Join to see)
>1 y
Grades are big but there's much more to it than that: fitness, Cadre input, LDAC assessment, and some others. If he's AR and goes AD as a cadet, yes I'm 95% sure he falls into the OML with everyone else.
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COL Chief, Land Forces Division
COL (Join to see)
>1 y
He does fall in with the OML. 100%. There are no options unless you are at West Point. You will be assessed at the beginning of your Senior Year and be told what you are going to do about halfway through the year. His placement in Active Duty is dependent on that OML. As CPT Jordan states, it is multi-facetted. Grades, PMS listing, PT, LDAC score, etc. It all adds up. Now...for reference: I had a 2.39 GPA. I was in the middle of my class on the OML. I was in the top 1% tactically out of LDAC and consistently got 300 on my PT test. Of those who graduated in my year group, only 2 of us have had Battalion Command and I am the only one who had Maneuver Battalion Command.
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MAJ Glenn Bergeron
MAJ Glenn Bergeron
>1 y
There is (or at least recently was) something called a GRFD contract (Guaranteed Reserve Forces Duty) if he KNEW he didn't want to go active.
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