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Army National Guard's new Med student program details.

Discussion in 'Military Medicine' started by EMH, Jul 31, 2008.

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  1. v-lander

    v-lander spungahundahground

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    Such great information here - much thanks to everyone who has contributed. I first found out about this on the Hawaii craigslist (was that you EMH? - the wording of the program description is pretty much identical) and am pursuing this.

    I am a big-time family man (wife, 3 year old, 7 month old) so HPSP always scared the crap out of me. This sounds a lot more doable.

    One question I had - the home campus for our school is in Arizona, but our years 2-4 take place in any one of 11 places across the country (ATSU-SOMA) in a bunch of different states. I'm studying in Hawaii for those years but then will likely be doing residency in yet another state. In transitioning from school to residency (i.e. Hawaii to another state), how do you think that will affect my ARNG service? Change to become a member of the guard in the state of my residency? Sounds like a "duh" question, but I thought I'd ask. I'll ask a recruiter, too, when I get a chance.
  2. amindwalker

    amindwalker Forgetful omniscient

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    PM me and I will hook you up with THE recruiter, who will be able to answer your questions thoroughly and correctly. This is a new program and it is possible that your local recruiter may not yet have all of the answers as of this time. I cannot answer your questions definitively, but I know someone who can (many of the guys on this thread can back me up on that). I too am a family man, and I can tell you that this is an awesome deal. Furthermore, transferring from state to state is normal in the Guard. How's the ATSU Mesa thing going? I got into Kirksville, but my wife made me turn it down.
  3. v-lander

    v-lander spungahundahground

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    SOMA is great overall. Some bumps here and there but it's pretty much what we all expected, being the first class through such a different curriculum. I will definitely have to PM you.
  4. EMH

    EMH M4 - Army NG

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    Wasn't me but I am not the only one who contributed to the info on this thread. I cut and paste good stuff that was spread out all over. Do keep in mind that this is new and some of the details are changing but the big picture still seems the same as it was. For example I found out today that there's a good chance I'll be eligible for federal tuition assistance next semester in addition to ASR $.

    Re: your question about being out of state. Good question to ask your recruiter and deputy state surgeon (an administrator who assists the state surgeon).

    On another note, I sooo wanted to go to med school in Hawaii but didn't apply based on the in state/out of state ratio. Are you a local?
  5. EMH

    EMH M4 - Army NG

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    Oh, and I have state boards Monday and already have an ASR control # and if all goes well I'll be getting paid 1 Nov. :thumbup:
  6. RDC12304

    RDC12304

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    What exactly takes place at these boards?

    Good luck, EMH!
  7. primadonna22274

    primadonna22274 Senior Member

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    Thanks for posting this. I've been considering HPSP but am a bit more interested in the Guard side. I considered NG in 2001 but for a number of reasons did not pursue it. I read the website and did not see any age exclusion (I'm 34, 35 in February). The program is appealing to me since I'm the primary wage-earner and giving up my PA income to become a physician will hurt...a LOT.
    Also curious, if anybody knows, if I were accepted and joined, would I be able to use any of that bonus to pay off PA student loans? (while in med school/residency) rather than have them continue to accrue interest?
    I'm in SC. Anybody know a recruiter in SC?
    thanks guys
    Lisa
  8. EMH

    EMH M4 - Army NG

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    I think it's pretty much like an interview.
  9. iatrosB

    iatrosB trying not to kill anyone

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    Sweet! :thumbup:
  10. iatrosB

    iatrosB trying not to kill anyone

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    I honestly don't know if we are eligible for the bonus. There is some confusion on that. But, if we are, you can't get it until after residency, so you couldn't use it for your loans early anyway...but it is a bonus and you can do whatever you want with it (as opposed to the student loan repayment).
  11. amindwalker

    amindwalker Forgetful omniscient

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    It's exactly like an interview. I had a Colonel and two Lt. colonels. But it's really no sweat after med school interviews. I do recommend that you cut off the ponytail, take out the earrings, hide the tattoos, etc, if that applies.

    primadonna22274: Age is not an issue, I'm 39. You can use the bonus for whatever you like, but it will only be available to you after graduation from med school, and it will incur additional obligation. I personally plan on taking the STRAP stipend during residency, then the bonus (may go up by then), then the loan repayment (not necessarily in that order, we'll see).

    I do not know a recruiter in SC, but I can hook you up with an all-singing, all-dancing, bodhisattva of a recruiter who will take good care of you. Just PM me.

    EMH: Let us know how it goes, we'll throw virtual confetti and the like. Bon chance, mon amie!!!
  12. iatrosB

    iatrosB trying not to kill anyone

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    Sort of...though it's watered down big time. Mine was basically them making sure I knew what kind of commitment I was signing up for. Supper low stress.
  13. primadonna22274

    primadonna22274 Senior Member

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    Thanks very much. I'll contact you when I'm ready for the info. Still playing the waiting game...waiting for interviews and hopefully acceptances. It's such a drag waiting..........

  14. EMH

    EMH M4 - Army NG

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  15. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator

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    Congrats, EMH. Long time coming....
  16. iatrosB

    iatrosB trying not to kill anyone

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    SWEET...now come the smilies from amindwalker :smuggrin:
  17. amindwalker

    amindwalker Forgetful omniscient

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    Yup, here goes...:soexcited::clap::claps::banana::biglove: :zip::welcome:

    Congrats LT EMH!! :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:

    I actually get paid to do that.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2008
  18. iatrosB

    iatrosB trying not to kill anyone

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    Me too! :clap::D
  19. amindwalker

    amindwalker Forgetful omniscient

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    Ain't it great?
  20. rookem11

    rookem11 New Member

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    well i haven't been on in a while was doing meps and then a cardiology consult and other assorted things to get in but I officially swore in last thurs and have submitted my ASR packet and now just waiting for Nov 1st to start getting paid. Thanks to everyone on here for all the information it was really helpful. I have one other quick question. My recruiter is under the impression that I am supposed to be promoting ASR around the school, but I feel like my primary promotion should be MDSSP, does anyone know for sure? Or are we just promoting any and all programs the guard offer? thanks
  21. EMH

    EMH M4 - Army NG

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    This is a good question that kind of came up today while reading my contract. It says I'm responsible for recruiting 2 new med students a year. Now that isn't a problem when I'm the only ASR at my school, but say next year when there's 3 of us (assuming I recruit two new ones), are we going to be fighting each other to get credit for recruits? This raised concerns with me that are as of yet unanswered.
  22. amindwalker

    amindwalker Forgetful omniscient

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    I do not promote MDSSP at all, just ASR. ASR is such a better deal than MDSSP that I never even mention MDSSP (other than to compare the two programs, and to indicate that there are other options available).

    Oh, and by the way: :soexcited::clap::claps::banana::biglove: :zip::welcome:
    Congrats LT rookem11!!! :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:

    I have a feeling that there is going to be an increase in the frequency of emoticons (smillies) on this thread since there are quite a few new commissionees on the way. So all you LTs out there, please feel free to welcome the new initiates with smilies or in your own corny way at will.
  23. rookem11

    rookem11 New Member

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    hey EMH, what contract did you sign that says you need to recruit 2/yr. In all the paperwork i have done I have never seen any requirements on how many we are supposed to get. Plus with only 200 spots for ASR/fiscal year, if the original 200 need to get 2 each that would be 400 and there are not enough spots to do that, so could you fill me in on that. Or if anyone else knows, because I had not heard we had any specific requirements. Not that it will be hard, I haven't even officially begun and I have two guys working on paperwork already:)

    Oh and thanks for the warm welcome amindwalker
  24. amindwalker

    amindwalker Forgetful omniscient

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    rookem11: No sweat

    EMH: I have not signed or seen anything regarding a 2/yr recruitment requirement. Perhaps it's a requirement for your state. It's mathematically a dumb policy as you mentioned, because although you won't have any problem, the ASRs that come along a little later will have a significant disadvantage in that area due to sheer numbers. I submit that pointing this out to your chain of command, might be a prudent course of action. Obviously not by way of complaint, but rather to provide strategic input from the boots on ground ASR (you) to your AMEDD R & R. My chain of command has always appreciated my input.

    In PA, we get a ribbon for referring 2 in a single year (it's called the recruiting ribbon).
  25. EMH

    EMH M4 - Army NG

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    It's a 3 page form titled "Active Duty for Operational Support (ADOS) Student Recruiter Program." It says in bold This agreement will be completed by all selected applicants for the ADOS Student recruiter program. Page 3 is the only page you sign and it's got your dates of service on the bottom.

    The exact wording of the line is 2. g. Missioned to recruit a minimum of 2 a medical/dental/physician assistant students per year, subject to RRC and NGB-ASM-O agreement.

    I am reading this as saying that if your RRC and NGB both think you're doing a satisfactory job then you're okay but aim for 2 a year. I hope it doesn't mean that once my state has a few ASR that we'll be cut throat about who gets credit for new recruits. Eventually I'll try to get clarification on this.
  26. RDC12304

    RDC12304

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    Just a question about some technicalities...

    The information that I have read states that you are allowed 30 days vacation / year. OK - so does this mean that you can only leave your AD site (AKA: your school) to travel during these 30 days? For instance, if I wanted to travel abroad...or even just to another state for reasons other than NG-oriented, would I need to get approval from my state OSM or take vacation time to do this?


    MEPS done, waiver approved - crossing my fingers on making the 1 Nov board.
  27. oli23

    oli23

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    i'm in the same position- and i have the same question- if anyone know the answer I'd like to hear it.
  28. amindwalker

    amindwalker Forgetful omniscient

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    It's 30 days/year (which can be broken up/spread out as needed, and you still get paid for it). I was told not to worry about it. But if you plan to leave the state or especially the country, you prolly should take some leave time to do so. It really sounds silly for us because we are med students who are paid to spread the good news about the Guard to our fellow classmates, but the regs are written with the garden variety, active duty soldier serving on a base in mind.

    At any rate, you should check with your chain of command or recruiter (whichever applies) for the official word on the issue.
  29. EMH

    EMH M4 - Army NG

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    I'd say that's a solid answer.
  30. tsbuqh

    tsbuqh "Great"

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    I did a similar program in the navy as an undergrad (NUPOC), vacation was essentially handled as stated above. You needed to report vacation and travel plans was if you were leaving the country. Also as active duty you can try to fly space available on military flights, and will need a copy of your vacation chit to get on the list. (so for all of you who are still bummed about not getting to do a rotation at tripler, you might still take a much deserved vacation and stay at the Hale Koa military hotel).

    One thing to remember about the military is that you can only carry 60 days of vacation into a new fiscal year. So at the end of your third year of active duty you would potentially have 90 days on the books, but would loose 30. A good question might be how the guard handles these days. You do not really need vacation days once you are off active duty. Terminal leave would be silly since you are not being asked to do much "work". Will they alow you to cash those days out (base pay only if I remember right)?

    OK, now for my questions/requests/info. I just got accepted to the University of Louisville SOM class of 2013. I am a prior naval submarine officer, who had no desire to play the naval residency games (I saw a few of my GMO friends get screwed). This sounds perfect. I can finish out a military career, get to play my own hand in the residency match, and of course the financial support a single income family needs to change career tracks. So anyone out there in Kentucky who needs a recruit?PM me with your name and I will use it. Also, it sounds like all of you are already at least MS1, but do any of you know if I could start drilling now, but still be protected under the non-call up clause of the ASR?
  31. amindwalker

    amindwalker Forgetful omniscient

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    Assuming you left the Navy as an O-3, you should be able to enter the Guard as an O-3 (you get half-time credit for non-AMEDD time-in-grade, so if you did 8 years in the Navy, you'd get four years credit for rank, = O-3). That would be about $5K/month taxable O-3 salary + about $1K/month non-taxable BAH + $200/month non-taxable BAS + insurance for you and yours.

    You could be the only student at your med school with a built-in pool and a Cessna. Not to mention all of the HPSPers would have to salute you from day one, the fourth year students would love that. You would probably graduate as a major! I better stop blowing all the sunshine up your six before you get a sunburn, but have I mentioned what a great deal this is for you?

    It will take some time to get sworn-in, but if at all possible you should go to OBLC-RC in the summer before year one. Upon commissioning, you could certainly drill while waiting for ASR orders to go through (Although that probably won't take long). Once you are on active duty, drill pay stops.
  32. v-lander

    v-lander spungahundahground

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    Another question for those in the know. I'm currently an OMS 1.5 - I'm having to take a year off from school while I take care of some things before starting year 2 next fall. I'm definitely interested in this program, but I'm also interested in other opportunities in my state's ARNG.

    Could it work for me to join the guard now and then jump into the ASR program when full-time school starts up again for me next year? Or possibly another scenario - I'm classified as a half-time student right now - would it be possible to start ASR now (putting me at ending the 3 years after 3rd year)? Are there any big advantages/disadvantages to getting into the guard for a year before starting ASR? Let me know what you guys think.

    I'd ask this of that recruiter you referred to me, amindwalker, but he hasn't gotten back to my latest email yet (now very busy, perhaps?). Hopefully the local recruiter will get back to me today.
  33. RDC12304

    RDC12304

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    In speaking with my state's OSM he has stated that any time you travel up to or over 150 miles from your AD location (school) you need to have a weekend pass or take leave...also, when not in school ASR participants would have to work M-F as an AMEDD Recruiter....I have another message out about just what that means (I can't imagine that this would happen that often given the year-long nature of medical school)...anyways, does anyone have any experience with securing a weekend pass / applying for leave / working as an actual recruiter M-F???
  34. EMH

    EMH M4 - Army NG

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    I think this is a good example of state to state differences.

    Also if anyone wants to add/remove/edit anything in the FAQ or first post of this thread let me know.

  35. amindwalker

    amindwalker Forgetful omniscient

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    v-lander: Since it will probably take a few months to get commissioned, you're most likely looking at Feb '09 or later. I don't think there would be any problems for you, in fact you could bang out OBC before starting up school again in the fall (it pays pretty well). You could certainly do some drill weekends, and furthermore, you may be able to get some full time work in the Guard while waiting for the ASR orders to go through (shouldn't take long) and while you're not in school.

    Note: The following may have changed;

    I was told originally that once you signed up for MDSSP (Guard version of STRAP), you would become ineligible for ASR. However, If you do ASR for the 1st 3 years, you could then do MDSSP for year 4.
  36. v-lander

    v-lander spungahundahground

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    Ok, so would you know if I could get going as an ASR now while only a half-time student?
  37. amindwalker

    amindwalker Forgetful omniscient

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    Normally, all you would need is an acceptance letter in hand to begin the process. You already have that (you may need to find it), so you should be able to get started now. Again, the process takes a while, and the ASR orders come AFTER you swear-in (might take a cupla weeks or maybe longer). You will have to write a letter explaining the gap in your education (any gap in education from pre-K to MD/DO/PhD/JD/STD must be explained in writing), but that's easily done.

    I do not think you can be placed on ASR orders as a part-time student, but since you have been accepted (already matriculated w/leave of absence) I think it should work for you. Everything that I have read about the program indicates that all you need is a letter of acceptance and you have that.
  38. Kris1

    Kris1 Mega-Senior Member

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    Quick question... can I participate in the STRAP and get the $75K concurrently. Say for example I begin a three year EM residency, drill monthly during residency to satisfy the 1:1 commitment for the $75K, while at the same time receive the stipend and serve 6 more years (2:1 commitment for the STRAP) post-residency?
  39. iatrosB

    iatrosB trying not to kill anyone

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    No, you can't get the 75K until you're finished with residency. And you cannot fulfill STRAP requirement at the same time of 75K requirements.
  40. amindwalker

    amindwalker Forgetful omniscient

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    There's lots of money out there, just not all at the same time. You can take it all sequentially for additional obligation. Don't forget loan repayment! :D
  41. stonewall22

    stonewall22

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    So, I'm working with a recruiter, just need an official acceptance letter. I love the idea of the Guard, the money will be nice, but even more importantly I think, is the opportunity to serve my country without joining the military...you know, feel like I'm part of something bigger than myself. Have a question and I'm curious if any of you have thought about it? Anyway, so you finish your residency and you're looking for employment-do you think potential employers will be put off by the fact that at anytime you might be called away for several months? Clearly this is putting the cart before the ox, but just curious if anyone else has considered this. I know once you have a job, not an issue (by law), but I'm thinking about the getting the job part.
  42. EMH

    EMH M4 - Army NG

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    To clarify, just because I don't want anyone having the wrong idea, you are joining the military when you join the guard. It's just you're a part time soldier as opposed to the HPSP folks who will be full time soldiers. I do share your sentiment of service however. For me it's an opportunity to serve with a low probability of getting shot at or having to shoot anyone (that may be what you meant).

    RE: employment. Different employers will feel differently about this. I think generally you wouldn't have any problems working for the VA or a large academic hospital. I have heard the VA is very guard/reserves friendly. Or locum tenens.
  43. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator

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    You're wise to start this early (and I'm delighted a recruiter is working with someone before they have an acceptance in hand; you must have made an impression). I started my paperwork in June and still haven't been able to get a physical scheduled due to waiting for waivers.
    Yes. I think there is the possibility it will ruffle the feathers of some potential employers. Technically, it's illegal to discriminate based on this, but it's technically illegal to discriminate on lots of things that get discriminated against. Such is life. I'm sure your dedication to service will impress some employers, but I have a hunch National Guard affiliation will hinder more than help.

    You're more likely going to find National Guard service a problem when looking for work at small democratic groups and whatnot. Working for large employers (especially government) shouldn't be a problem.

    What concerns me is that National Guard service will pretty seriously hamper your ability to set up a solo or dual private practice. I've read accounts of people who've lost their shirts trying to get locum tenens to cover while they were off for four months.

    But by joining the Guard now, you have plenty of time to evaluate how well it fits with your life. You can simply resign your commission after a year or so of service if you find it isn't compatible with your career. You've still served your country and can feel very proud of that.
  44. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator

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    EMH makes a good point worth repeating. Joining the National Guard is joining the Army. Your form of service will just be part-time. Right up until it's full time.

    You need to be willing to make that commitment. You need to be willing to sign documents that say, "I will leave civilian life behind and serve my country full-time in the Army at any time, anywhere, and for any length of time."

    There are some unhappy Guardsmen who joined in the late 1990's thinking it would be one weekend each month of doing drills and spending time in the woods with friends. When they started to get activated, it was unexpected and shocking.

    Don't let this be you.

    You won't be activated at all during medical school or residency. At this time, practicing physicians are only activated for three months boots-in-sand/four months total, every two years. At this time. This tempo can (and probably will) change by the time you are eligible for activation in seven years or so.

    In seven years, we may be living in peace or something like it, and Guard service will be one weekend each month, a humanitarian mission for two weeks each year and the odd wildfire/hurricaine thrown in now and then. Or we could find ourselves in an even worse war situation than the current one and you may find yourself called up for a year of duty.

    Sorry for the long post. I think the ASR scholarship and National Guard service is both the best deal and the best way for a new medical student to look into serving their country. But the needs of the Army will always come before your own. This is why it's called "service" and why it's a sacrifice and why I tip my hat to those to serve.

    Make sure that you go in with both eyes open and that this is what you are willing to do in the name of serving your country.
  45. stonewall22

    stonewall22

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    343
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    I understand this, sorry I wasn't more clear. What I meant by not military is I get to choose where I live, where I do my residency, and in what field I want, with short deployments coming (I read the paperwork-the goal is only once every two years)...and all of this while still being able to serve my country. I have a family, as I'm sure many will by the time residency is finished, and while I would love to serve, having to move frequently and facing very long deployments should I go an HPSP route (which are actually bigger concerns to me than missing out on the residency I want...if I had to do a GMO, big deal, eventually I'd get there). The ASR program seems too good to be true, a nearly perfect deal.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2008
  46. v-lander

    v-lander spungahundahground

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2003
    Messages:
    178
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    So I talked to a recruiter (not specifically AMEDD, but he did talk to that person), and was told that you do indeed have to be a full-time student to start ASR. Can't be part-time like I am now. Bummer. But I am looking into joining the guard anyway right now and then sliding into ASR when school starts full-time for me again next fall (I was told this was doable).

    The recruiter also told me that here in my state, I wouldn't even be drilling as an ASR. How cool is that?! Sounds too good to be true, though. Will have to get all the details from the actual AMEDD recruiter guy next week.
  47. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Messages:
    10,278
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 10+ Year Member
    Good stuff. I didn't mean to sound like a negative. Just want to make sure everyone approaches it with both eyes open.

    The guarantee of the residency of your choice/ability is absolutely huge. I opted out of HPSP not just due to GMO possibilities but the residency issue. Of the dozens and dozens of programs in a given field, the odds that one of the three offered by the military being absolutely perfect for me seems pretty remote. ASR lets you have the career you want plus military service. That's hard to beat.
  48. amindwalker

    amindwalker Forgetful omniscient

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Messages:
    339
    Location:
    LECOM-Hoth, class of 2010, baby!
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    notdeadyet is correct. You get the same commission (Army Reserve) that the West Point grads get by act of Congress. The difference is that you also get a commission from the state (Army National Guard), and it is in that capacity that you will serve. When the Governor calls, you deploy for the state (to fight a natural disaster, etc). When the President calls, you deploy for the country. I am certain that everyone already knows this, but perhaps it should be mentioned.
  49. v-lander

    v-lander spungahundahground

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2003
    Messages:
    178
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    Ok, just talked to an assistant recruiter and now I have even more questions. I'm planning on meeting with the main AMEDD recruiter when he returns from a conference next week, but I'll go ahead and ask here in case anyone knows.

    So I'm thinking of joining the guard now, as an officer (is that the best option?), and then starting ASR next fall when I start back up again as a full-time student (I've been told this should be no problem). He mentioned that I would be embarking on 10 weeks of basic/OCS training during the next year, for which I'd obviously have to leave home (have a wife and 2 kids - a major downer to consider for me). So I'm wondering now, how the heck do you get away with essentially becoming an officer as an ASR but escaping basic/OCS. Am I missing something here about any of this. Please clue in the clueless (that would be me!). How would you structure things if you were me? Moneywise, it's killer, because I could claim the fat enlistment bonus now, then all the good stuff the ASR program has come next fall. Anyway, please let me know what you think.
  50. EMH

    EMH M4 - Army NG

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Messages:
    759
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    The person you spoke with sounds like an enlisted recruiter. It also sounds like you've gotten a bit side tracked on your options. I had an enlisted recruiter somehow get ahold of me when I was considering the HPSP and even though you tell them straight up "NO, I DON"T WANT TO ENLIST" they won't quit trying to talk you into it, it's really quite impressive.

    You need to talk to an AMEDD recruiter who is familiar with the program. If you have trouble finding one in your state then ask for help on this board and people will point you to a regional recruiter that can help.

    You would not have to go to OCS. You would be a direct commission to 2LT. You would need to attend Officer Basic Course which is something like a 2-3 week course and is nothing like basic or OCS for that fact. Everyone at your OBC will be a med student/doctor/nurse/dentist etc... You don't have to attend OBC immediately but you can't get promoted until you complete it.

    The enlistment bonus is for people who enlist, not officers.

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