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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. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator

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    Good to see you again, amindwalker. Glad to hear life's treating you well. You'll have to give us a "day-in-the-life" as a resident in the Guard. I know lots of folks are nervous about how flexi-training is respected for folks in residency with big hospital time commitments.
  2. DoctorPardi

    DoctorPardi In Memory of Riley Jane Moderator Emeritus

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    Hey man thanks a lot! You definitely were helpful.
  3. lawyerdoc2b

    lawyerdoc2b

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    I got word from my recruiter that my cholesterol waiver was approved and I am therefore medically fit for duty.

    She worked today to upload my package and submit for the selection board at Ft. Knox. I understand the next board meets 2 June 2010.

    Hopefully, the package submitted electronically will be accepted by the recipient and make the board as indicated. Hope springs eternal but given the hurry up and wait systyem I ain't holding my breath. I am hopeful of no further undue delays. Six weeks for a simple medical waiver 'cause I take a statin is a bit much. :xf:

    Maybe I'll be a 2LT before school starts on 11 August. :thumbup:
  4. AlphaPower

    AlphaPower

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    anybody know what form I need to fill out to get my uniform allowance?
  5. eflix

    eflix

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    Yes - it's just a form saying Payment - initial uniform allowance. You should get it from and submit it to your recruiter.
  6. Mr. Freeze

    Mr. Freeze Not right. (in the head)

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    Did you request a line unit?
  7. EMH

    EMH M4 - Army NG

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    Good to hear the end is near for you. I'm 12 months off. I'm surprised you'll be a battalion surgeon. I would have thought you'd need to be either past step 3 or board certified for that.

    Congrats.
  8. amindwalker

    amindwalker Forgetful omniscient

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    I wanted to be in a line unit. A cupla months ago, I was asked if I was interested in this position, so I said mkay.

    The term surgeon is a misnomer. In fact, the Surgeon General of the Army a few years ago was a nurse.

    This unit has been without a medical professional for 5 years. They want one real bad. They understand that I'm a non-deployable asset (ass for short) for the next 3 years during residency. They have been advised that I will be sans credentials for at least the 1st year. That's OK with them. They just came back from Iraq, and won't be due to deploy until 2013 anyway, so I should be available for them when it's time.

    I'd much rather be where I'm appreciated, than be the low man at the med det.
  9. Mr. Freeze

    Mr. Freeze Not right. (in the head)

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    Everything I've heard sounds like no matter what phase of ARFORGEN your unit is in, as a med professional, you kinda have your own cycle. I've already got it in my head that as a 61M, I will be 90d BOG+pre/post mob, 12m stabilization, rinse and repeat, independent of my unit. Most of us are too valuable to the fight to only use every 3-5 years.

    +1 to notdeadyet's wondering how well Stryker CO grasps Flex Training memo...

    However, some of the Bn Surgeon positions around my residency program would be very appealing.
  10. prior grunt

    prior grunt

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    Hello all,
    Thanks for all that post on this site. I have received tons of great information on here. So it is pretty much a given that ASR is gone and we can only hope it comes back. I was hoping someone might give me some advice. I am currently in the guard as an E-5 flight medic. I have been accepted to the UND School of medicine and my packet is at the USAREC board as we speak.
    I plan on going ahead with MDSSP. I might have read it wrong, but one post said if we take MDSSP we can not use HPLRP. Is this correct?
    My plan of attack is MDSSP, STRAP, HPLRP, and then the $75,000 special pay. Is this plan possible? Thanks.
    I have also read about some people worried about deploying. I have spent a year in Iraq and it was the most eye opening experience of my life as well as the most rewarding. Don't not join the guard for worry of deploying, you may regret it.
  11. EMH

    EMH M4 - Army NG

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    The MDSSP and STRAP both have a 2:1 payback. If you take 4+4 years of the two you'll have 16 years repayment owed when you finish residency. You can not take ANY other incentive pay until you finish that 16 years. You also wouldn't be able to quit until that obligation is up. This is why the MDSSP and STRAP are currently unpopular. You give up 2 years of future incentives for 24k a year while in school/residency. Make sure you read the fine print.
  12. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator

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    Actually, it doesn't work that way. MDSSP and STRAP are 2:1 only when taken individually.

    When you take MDSSP and STRAP together, MDSSP becomes 1:1. So if you take four years of MDSSP, and four years of STRAP, you'll owe 12 years of repayment after residency.
    Actually, one of the big perks about STRAP is that you can take HPLRP while in residency, as an R3 and above (non-STRAP folks must be BC/BE). You just defer your STRAP obligation paying phase.

    So if you do 4 years of MDSSP + 4 years of STRAP (for a 4 year residency), you can take HPLRP as an R3/R4/Attending1. You would still owe 12 years of payback, but it would not start until after your first year as an attending, since that year was used for HPLRP. Make sense?
  13. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator

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    Boy, and there is the rub, isn't it?

    If you take MDSSP plus do a four year residency with STRAP, you owe 12 years as an attending.

    I'm extremely hesitant to recommend any program that stacks on those kind of years to someone starting medical school, because it requires you to know what you want to be doing 20 years from now.

    Visualizing what you'll be happy doing in 20 years is hard for anyone, but it's particularly hard for someone just starting medical school. The fact is, you work on your statement of purpose and polish your interview preparing for med school to the point that you actually kid yourself into thinking you have a vision of how you'll end up.

    But it's all smoke. Most folks have very different ideas about what kind of medicine they want to practice as they make it through medical school. Most students (literally, most students) end up in a different specialty than the one they were convinced they'd do when they started.

    This is compounded by the fact that most students are starting off in their mid-20's, which is a point in our lives when, frankly, we have a pretty poor vision of the men and women we'll become. If you doubt this, talk to someone in their mid-40's and ask if they are the sort of person they thought they'd be 20 years ago. Prepare for laughter.

    I've had a wonderful time in the National Guard and do not regret my decision at all. I will finish up my obligation 18 months after finishing residency and can use this time to decide whether or not I want to stay in indefinitely. My intent is to stay in, but I am very happy that this will be a choice. Going through the stress, triumphs, defeats, challenges, and romantic/professional/financial life changes knowing that I had 20 years of obligation to the military to burn through would have been, to put it mildly, a bummer.

    So my un-asked-for advice to anyone out there is to consider the Guard very seriously, but to take it in baby steps. If you take MDSSP alone, you will end up owing 8 years. Same with STRAP. Unless you're prior service and know exactly what you're getting into, I'd consider the idea of doing either/or. And STRAP has a couple of big benefits over MDSSP: the ability to take HPLRP as a third year resident and the fact that you start after medical school, when you'll have a much better idea of who you are, where you are, what you'll be doing, and who you'll be with.

    But enough from the peanut gallery...
  14. EMH

    EMH M4 - Army NG

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    Thanks for clearing me up.
  15. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator

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    No worries. I find all that obligation payback stuff with MDSSP and STRAP so confusing I literally had to sketch out scenarios to get a bead on it. User friendly it's not.
  16. amindwalker

    amindwalker Forgetful omniscient

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  17. prior grunt

    prior grunt

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    So, are you saying that I can't take HPLRP as a third year resident if I do both MDSSP and STRAP back to back? Also, what would be the chances I would be able to get the $75,000 accession bonus.

    This is so confusing. You can definitely see I'm not the coldest beer in the fridge.:confused:
  18. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator

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    No. Sorry if I gave that impression.

    If you do 4 years of MDSSP + 4 years of STRAP (for a 4 year residency), you will owe 12 years obligation, starting immediately after residency.

    If you decide to take HPLRP, you'd do so as an R3/R4/Attending1. You do not incur additional obligation with R3-Attending1, but you don't pay back any obligation either. So you still have 12 years to pay back from MDSSP and STRAP, but your pay back would start as an Attending2. Make sense?
  19. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator

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    I'm not familiar with the $75K accession bonus. The only one that I've heard of like that was for full-time Army. And I thought only for dentists, but to be honest, I wasn't really paying attention.

    To the best of my knowledge, the only programs offered for AMEDD National Guard are MDSSP, STRAP, Special Pay (also sometimes known as Healthcare Professional Bonus) and HPLRP.

    If you have details on the accession bonus, post a link or document and I'll be happy to look into it.
    Don't sweat it. It's not a matter of brainpower, it's just memorizing a whole lot of uninteresting data points.
  20. lawyerdoc2b

    lawyerdoc2b

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    I undertand that a lucky 300 are in the ASR program. My recruiter told me that there are approx. 46 projected graduations im May/Jun 2010 and that the expectation is that a like number of folks on the "Merit List" (those with control numbers whatever that is) will be slotted in to fill the positions of those graduating.

    Has anyone heard anything?



    I start medical school in August 2010 and may commission before then (my application package for commission has been submitted and I'm done with MEPS).
  21. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator

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    Good luck with the waiting, lawyerdoc2b. And rest assured that as soon as anyone hears anything, they'll post it here. The rumor mill went crazy last year and this thread was a good source of information.

    Unfortunately, with ASRs not recruiting ASR candidates, this will probably cut down on the info that you'd usually find here, but if anyone hears of ASR starting up again, I'm sure it will get a mention here. Take care...
  22. Mr. Freeze

    Mr. Freeze Not right. (in the head)

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    Aside from a unit requesting that you become their Bn Surgeon, what other avenues are there for finding unit vacancies? I haven't had much luck searching GKO, and even less getting in touch with the IST Coordinator of my gaining state. I realize unit strength is neither readily advertised nor public knowledge. I would even settle for finding current unit POC's so I could cold-call some folks....
  23. prior grunt

    prior grunt

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  24. lawyerdoc2b

    lawyerdoc2b

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    Is there a maximum age for commissioning as a MSC 2LT Medical Student?

    What is the limit, if any?

    Are waivers available if there is such a limit?

    What regulation is applicable in this situation?
  25. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator

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    Ah, that looks to be the Special Pay (aka Healthcare Professional Bonus). I'd be careful about calling it an "accession bonus," because the Army has an actual accession bonus for dentists on the active side. So far as I know, the SP hasn't been called such.

    You can take the Special Pay, just not concurrently with HPLRP. And you can't take Special Pay while you're paying off your obligation with STRAP, so Special Pay would be many (20+) years from now. Who knows what they'll be offering by then?
  26. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator

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    Technically, you need to be 42 by time of commission, but this can be waived depending on your medical experience (e.g.: residency and/or post-residency work years) or by prior active duty service.
    You'll need to speak with someone from the state you're hoping to get commissioned in, as it might vary a bit.
  27. lawyerdoc2b

    lawyerdoc2b

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    Thanks notdeadyet. Funny thing, in 2008 my recruiter commissioned a medical student who was 56-year-old with an age waiver. Now, my application was kicked back in need of an age waiver and I ain't no where near 56. He keeps telling me "not to worry."

    Every step of the way it has been one stumbling block after another. We manage to solve the problem and move the ball forward. I just want to cross the finish line. No we wait on an age waiver. :(
  28. jkmph

    jkmph Non ducor, duco

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    According to my recruiter, the administration is probably not going to resurrect ASR but create a new program that is in between MDSSP and ASR in terms of financial lucrativeness. He didn't have any details other then that.

    My MEPS was delayed thanks to a torn ACL, but that stage in the process is rapidly approaching for me. He is heavily discouraging me from signing an MDSSP contract and simply being comissioned for drill duty for the next 12 months to see how things progress.

    Smoke up my arse or where there is smoke, there's fire? Who knows.
  29. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator

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    Weird they didn't mention that to you. There's no way anyone over 41 is getting a commission without an age waiver, so they should have prepared you for this speedbump.
  30. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator

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    Nobody. There's been no announcement that a new program is coming out. There might be or there might not be. You could make a good case for a replacement for ASR. You could also make a good case that it's a better use of resources to target actual practicing physicians (which the Guard is doing by bumping up their loan repayment programs).

    Signing up for MDSSP would preclude you from taking ASR, at least as it existed. Would it preclude you from taking any new programs that came down the pipe? No one knows.

    In fact, there's no guarantee that being in drilling status wouldn't preclude you from a new program. If I were recruiting king (god forbid), I could make a pretty good case for having a new program closed to anyone already in the Guard. Why buy a cow when you're getting the milk for free?
  31. lawyerdoc2b

    lawyerdoc2b

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    My recruiter did tell me that I needed an age waiver. He also said (like everything else) no worries age waiver are routinely granted. I've since discovered that every darn thing is a problem and sometimes a mountain to climb.

    It took MEPS a month to pre-clear me for the physical then six weeks for a cholesterol waiver and now this. Time just drags by. I'm a gnat's arse away from telling them to shove it. Funny thing, add four years to my age and if were already a physician I'd be in tomorrow. Seems to me drill pay for a medical student is a cheap way to lock in a doctor in four years. Who knows if I'll get the waiver. The recruiter claims that he isn't giving up until the Surgeon General says no. I'm hoping that this ain't just smoke blown up my arse. Pray for me as I too am notdeadyet.
  32. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator

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    He's right, they are routinely granted. You just have to submit for a waiver, which takes weeks. Just like the waiver for cholesterol. There's another waiver process which also takes weeks if there are any legal issues (prior arrests, etc.).
    Shouldn't come to that. Age waivers are routinely granted. It depends on how understaffed your state is for docs (most are desperate) and how old you are (don't post, just saying that 44 is viewed differently from 58).

    Think of this as an admissions process. If you can't stomach the waiting for the commission, the Army's hurry-up-and-wait probably wouldn't be for you. I'm still waiting for my uniform allowance.
  33. jkmph

    jkmph Non ducor, duco

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    While I can't argue with the logic, my recruiter lead me to believe that being in drill status did not prevent matriculation to either MDSSP or ASR. It's certainly a possibility that a new program might close this "loop hole" but if you can use other programs as a precedent, then it should be a reasonably safe bet.

    On the flip side, what would I make in 12 months of drill status? ~$350 a month?
  34. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator

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    It doesn't and it didn't, respectively. I just wouldn't make any unacceptable bets about criteria for any new programs that are currently just rumors, smoke, and mirrors.

    It'll be curious to see how it turns out. For many years, MDSSP was the only med school program and STRAP was the only resident program. The only recent bumps have been to HPLRP.

    Curious to see their logic, but I have a hunch they'll take a wait and see to how well it loan repayment works out. Spending $120K to get a board certified physician to sign up for 8 deployable years makes a lot more sense than spending $120K to get a resident who is nondeployable for much of that. And let's not even talk medical students.
    Yep. Right about that. Plus the $4,500 in tuition waiver each year.
  35. slycaper

    slycaper

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    I'm in the ASR program and wanted to go active after medical school (just finished 2nd year). Does anyone know it is possible, of course you have to be released from your current contract, but is it possible to jump into the military match and join a military residency program? How would you go about doing that? If anyone has any info please let me know. Thanks.
  36. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator

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    Yes, it's possible.
    Correct.
    I only know one person who looked into this and was told that he would be considered for the military match on a space-available basis, which for the Army would mean lesser desired locations for lesser desired residencies.

    First stop is asking your COC, since they're ultimately going to have to okay you going active at all. If and when they okay'd it, you'd need to check with an active AMEDD recruiter.

    Since you also would have to do civilian match anyway, it's probably wisest just to wait until you get closer, since any information they give you is going to be tentative until closer to your match date regardless.
  37. amindwalker

    amindwalker Forgetful omniscient

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    Be advised; Captain amindwalker is in the house!!!!
  38. EMH

    EMH M4 - Army NG

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    I mentioned in passing that I was told I couldn't apply for the military match to a doc that is a general in the reserves. His reply was nothing in the military is impossible with the right signature.
  39. MetalSlug

    MetalSlug

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    I live in a state where the state med school gives a tuition waiver if you are in the National Guard. Does anyone know how this works? I believe you must be an active member of the National Guard for a year before the tuition waiver kicks in. Would being in the MDSSP count for this year?

    Would it be possible to enlist in the National Guard before the MI year and then start MDSSP in MII?

    Also, how does participation in MDSSP affect matching in certain specialties and residency programs? I currently have an interest in radiation oncology, which pretty much only has programs at large academic centers.

    Thanks!
  40. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator

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    Keep him as a friend, EMH... Sounds like a good guy to know...
  41. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator

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    It should. You're drill status as MDSSP, so you're as "real" National Guard as anyone else. Check with your school's financial aid office to have them verify, but if the tuition waiver is applicable to Guardsmen, you should be okay.
    Absolutely. Doing so would also cut your obligation from eight years to six.
    There was a thread about this a while ago and the general consensus was that being in the Guard will help you at some places and hurt you at others. Be sure to explain that you're non-deployable.

    Read up on the Army Reserves as well and make sure you're okay with them as well. From my understanding, the Guard doesn't use radiation oncologists, so you'd have to be okay with either transferring to the Reserves after residency, or working as a flight surgeon, battalion surgeon, etc.
  42. Mr. Freeze

    Mr. Freeze Not right. (in the head)

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    If you are thinking about the Reserves, look into the APMC. I've heard mixed things about it, but most have overwhelmingly positive. You turn in your residency training time for drill, I mean, does it get better than that?
  43. alexmcnair

    alexmcnair

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    Can anyone tell me what exactly life is like as a doctor in the National Guard?
  44. EMH

    EMH M4 - Army NG

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    So I googled it. After browsing their site for 10 minutes I wasn't able to learn much and it more or less made me think of what the web looked like in the early 90's.

    http://www.usarc.army.mil/apmc/
  45. Mr. Freeze

    Mr. Freeze Not right. (in the head)

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    Haha, yeah it does. Just need a dial-up noise and the images filling from the top.

    I am not 100% knowledgable about it, but we did have to sit through a brief at BOLC. Then the next brief was a break-out with the NG, who said everything you heard in the last hour doesn't apply to you. Which I thought sucked since I was taking notes because it sounded so good. AFAIK, what APMC does is centralize AMEDD professionals within the Reserves. If you are USAR and take STRAP, you get assigned to APMC, but you can also apply to be assigned to it, particularly if you are outside a set radius from a TPU. It seems to take the state variability and the unit variability out of the equation when interpreting flexible training policies. Essentially, their policy is, as a professional you are "drilling" i.e. training for your battlefield role, all the time. So why chase you out of the service by being *******s about drilling requirements? A downside, if you view it that way, is that APMC is prolly one of the first places they look to PROFIS providers to needy units. But I think you are fooling yourself if you think you are ONLY going to deploy every 5 years or whatever your unit cycle is and ONLY deploy with them anyway.

    I am going to see how my interactions with the NG go and make any Component swap decisions at that point.
  46. n618ft

    n618ft

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    No. You're a civilian for the most part so it's whatever you make of it.
  47. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator

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    I think he's talking about the part of your life when you're serving, not the time you're doing the civilian thing.
  48. Renaissance Man

    Renaissance Man Saving the World Bronze Donor

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    This may be a dumb question but I have been following this thread for the past two weeks or so and wondering: what states give a tuition waiver to National Guard members? Thanks guys, notdeadyet, your info has been great btw
  49. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator

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    All states have a $4,500 tuition waiver. But it's worth remembering that this is very explicitly as funds are available. It might vary from state to state, but for mine, we required applications be in by December to ensure we'd have enough money for everyone for that year (the fiscal year runs 01OCT-30SEP. This $4,500 is not a medical student thing, it's for all Guardsmen at any level of college.

    In addition to this, states offer tuition waivers as well. It varies from nothing to 100% tuition. The 100% tuition varies from literally that to 100% of the state's undergrad in-state tuition. Here's a site that gives a basic listing of states, but as it's a civilian site, follow-up on anything you read there to verify. I haven't been able to find a National Guard site that lists that kind of info nationally.
  50. Dr Funk

    Dr Funk I am Jack's medulla

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    Johnson City, TN
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    Army SDN 2+ Year Member
    How do I find out if I have a control number for ASR? I was commissioned and started drilling in Feb, and my recruiter says I am the first on "the list" for my state. She says she does not know where I am on the "national list." Is there a way to view this via AKO?

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