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Can you do reserves while in dental school?

Discussion in 'Military Dentistry' started by Avery07, 06.15.10.


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  1. Avery07

    Avery07 Lifetime Donor

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    So I'm applying to dental school right now and upon acceptance will opt in to the HPSP program.

    My question is can I also serve in the reserves while in the HPSP program and while I'm attending dental school?

    I don't plan on making a career out of the military but can't say that I won't right now either. I would like to keep this door open and if I chose to do the career, I would like to have those 4 years of dental school count towards my 20. Under HPSP they would not, but if I could somehoe do reserves on top of all of this, I could.

    So.. where do I stand in all of this?

    Thanks.
  2. krmower

    krmower

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    If you join the Guard or Reserves now, you will be an enlisted Soldier doing something "non-dentistry' related since you are not a dentist (with the exception of the Guard program that is going away). Also, they would ship you out to go learn your job skill during dental school - they are not going to defer your training.

    The advantage of joining the Guard/Reserve in school is that it will build your overall pay in the long run, the down-side is that they are not obligated to let you get out when you graduate to go do something different. The Reserve is more likely to let you swing into HPSP or maybe even active duty - but the Guard is an entirely different entity.

    There is not much benefit joining during dental school if you are planning on doing HPSP.
  3. Avery07

    Avery07 Lifetime Donor

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    I thought if you are a college student, you can not be deployed?? As in I'd have my 1 weekend/two weeks and otherwise be untouchable?? It would be a 4 year contract, ending upon my graduation from dental school. I would do training January '11, graduating early-- attending d school in fall '11.
  4. krmower

    krmower

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    It is that way in the HPSP program. You are talking about joining a regular reserve unit - there are no guarantees with that.

    I had a friend in Law school deploy his final year for a year. He was not in any type of HPSP program - just a regular guard unit. When they need you, they will take you unless something they sign prohibits it.
  5. teeth63a

    teeth63a Dharma Dentist

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    HPSP years can count towards retirement only if you do Reserves or Guard after HPSP read my full post here:

    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=708461

    While you are a dental student you are a 2nd lieutenant in the IRR. You *still* can make enough points for retirement years even though you are in the IRR and a student.

    The retirement system works like this: your retirement pension is based on how many points you make over your military career. Active duty guys get 1 point for each day in the service. Reservists and and guardsmen get limited amount of points based on their drilling days and/or CE credits or training that they do. If they activate then they get the 1 point per day on active duty.

    You need 50 points in one year to have a good retirement year, max 130 for reservists. You get 15 points automatically for having a pulse. You'd need to make 35 more points or more to get a good retirement year. You can make more points doing CE work, get them online at www.train.army.mil, or meet with an RTU group.

    Go to my thread http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?p=9033130 and read post #21 for more info on how to get points.

    The paperwork still needs top be submitted to HRC in order to get points credited.

    Joininig the guard or reserves will probably not be in your best interest since you are not yet a dentist and you won't have a lot of leeway that dental officers have in terms of substituting drills. It would also be massively inconvenient if your AT (active time) coincides with stuff you need to be doing for school.

    Long story short, you can make your HPSP student years still count for retirement without having to actually be in the regular reserves or national guard.
  6. Avery07

    Avery07 Lifetime Donor

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    Thanks for the reply. I just got back from talking with the reserves recruiter and he informed me that I wasn't as untouchable as I thought I was.

    If I did manage to find a way to do HPSP simultaneously with reserve service (despite the potential deployment (join a non-deployable unit)), wouldn't these years benefit me in terms of gaining me a higher starting salary with the military?

    Also.. the (undergraduate) student loan repayment is a tempting offer that HPSP lacks.
  7. teeth63a

    teeth63a Dharma Dentist

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    Possibly if you were in the ROTC as a college student. But you're now a dental student. Taking on a regular commission outside of the HPSP will make you a regular reservists subject to the normal rules of deployment.
  8. Avery07

    Avery07 Lifetime Donor

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    I would do ROTC while in dental school (assuming there is ROTC on the main campus).
  9. teeth63a

    teeth63a Dharma Dentist

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    I think you will not be able to "join" (ie get orders cut) another unit because of your HPSP status. I think the only unit you can "train" with is an RTU unit. As an IRR soldier, you *might* be able to train with regular reservists or guardsmen, at the discretion of the commander. You'll do a weekend drill with them *without pay*, but submit paperwork to get retirement credit.

    If by some miracle you do get to be in a regular reserve unit *and* get the HPSP, theoretically you will get credit for higher salary in the army.

    I'm almost sure you will be prohibited from being assigned to any other unit while under contract with HPSP- you are contracted to be a dental student and your reimbursement is tuition and a stipend. You can't be under two contractual obligations (one for HPSP and one for the reserves). Of course if you are not HPSP, you can sign any reserve/guard contract you want.

    Let me warn you though...I'm a guardsman here in my state. I'm in the midst of a 19 day work week... The one weekend a month literally means one weekend a month... So the 12th weekend gets stacked along with the 11th weekend, in order to have 2 full weeks for active time in another month. So in June I had 2 drill weekends, and including my private practice, that makes a 19 day work week. This past saturday we drilled from 6 AM formation until the mission was complete at 7:30 PM. On sunday wasn't as bad, from 6:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Next month is our 14 day active time. Do you really want to subject yourself to that while you're in dental school...?
  10. teeth63a

    teeth63a Dharma Dentist

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    Is ROTC available to those on the professional school level? My impression was that it was for undergrad.
  11. Avery07

    Avery07 Lifetime Donor

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    The recruiter told me as long as it was at the same college, it was ok.. but who knows for sure. This is a very unique situation.
  12. del Sol DOHC

    del Sol DOHC

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    Interested to see what you find out. I thought I read somewhere that HPSP students are prohibited from drilling with a reserve unit for pay...

    Also, I am not sure what you will gain from doing ROTC while in dental school. ROTC time does not count for pay or retirement, and you will already have a scholarship for dental school through HPSP.
  13. Avery07

    Avery07 Lifetime Donor

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    ROTC assumably allows me to be undeployable whilst serving in the reserves (all while being in dental school and in HPSP). Otherwise, when Uncle Sam calls, I'm SOL.
  14. dentalOH

    dentalOH

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    You cannot serve in a Reserve unit while in the HPSP program.

  15. del Sol DOHC

    del Sol DOHC

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    That is an Army regulation, but I'm sure the other services have the same rule. You still may be able to do what teeth63a suggested and participate with a Reserve unit for points only, or do correspondence courses.
  16. Avery07

    Avery07 Lifetime Donor

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    Thanks for the replies everyone. I'll stay away from the reserves. I suppose if it would have been possible, it still would have been a long shot-- given the highly unprobability of dental school complementing my reserve duties.

    Thanks again.

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