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Is the Military Paying Your Tuition Worth It?

Discussion in 'Pre-Physical Therapy' started by Janus8088, 03.26.11.

  1. Janus8088

    Janus8088

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    Just a few questions that do not seem to get enough face time in the PT section here on SDN:

    1) Has anybody gone through and joined a military branch (whether it be Navy, Air Force, USPHSCC, etc) as a way to pay for PT school?

    2) Worth it?

    3) Perks? (before, during, and after service)

    4) Specifically as a PT, would that influence where you are stationed?

    5) Advantages of going with one branch over another?

    Currently, I have my ticket to LIU's DPT program and waiting on a few wait-listed schools.
     
  2. johncronejr

    johncronejr

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    If I were eligible (i'm not because of a physical disqualification), I would jump all over the Baylor PT program. Tuition/books free PT education, get paid $42K to go to PT school, and attend a great school. Nothing wrong with that picture at al for me
     
  3. DPTHopeful921

    DPTHopeful921

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    Janus,

    Did you get into the Baylor DPT prgm???
     
  4. maxblink

    maxblink

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  5. Kin 2010

    Kin 2010

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    Is there anyway to do this without joining through the baylor program?
     
  6. Janus8088

    Janus8088

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    I wish! No, I was considering going through a different channel, i.e. direct commission.
     
  7. Janus8088

    Janus8088

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    Yes there is. Some of the military branches does direct commissions (i.e. officers without the ROTC/military academy) for professionals (Doctors, lawyers, dentists, PTs, etc). The US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps is one of the minor branches of the military that ONLY take in professionals [link (PT falls under "Therapist")].

    And of course, these commissions come with the perks we are all so familiar with. Now it just takes a little digging to find out what the non-perks are.
     
  8. Janus8088

    Janus8088

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    Thanks Max for the response! It was good to hear a few lines of critique about the deal (esp your second point); any deal THAT good always made me worry.
     
  9. bc2

    bc2

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    I have also been considering military service after PT school (although I am a long way from applying still). For me it would be more than just the financial benefits. You got to remember that the needs of the military come first. I am single, no kids, so going from place to place every couple of years is no issue for me. As far as doing PT (physical training), well I like working out. I like pushing my limits, its part of what made me interested in physical therapy. I think its interesting how the body works and what I can do to improve myself. As far as the worst case scenarios (like war), well, its the military, it aint Kinkos or Wal Mart, you should have the mindset that the worst can happen. I did some digging around and found that Navy Health has an FB page and there is a current Lt. DPT who has been answering questions about service and PT. He did 2 years in the public sector and then went into the service and says its great. So that might be something you can check out to get more answers. I have also asked every PT that I have met through work and volunteering if they know of anyone who went into the service, but no one knows of anyone so far. This is a good thread, I hope someone out there can give us some solid info.
     
  10. Janus8088

    Janus8088

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    Thanks for the heads up about the FB discussion with LT Robert Nosek!

    If anybody else wants to take a look, the thread can be found [here].
     
  11. Smerf

    Smerf

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    There's at least one definite upside to being a PT in the military: being able to order diagnostic imaging.
     
  12. lpacho

    lpacho

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    .
     
    Last edited: 01.27.12
  13. ArmySlider

    ArmySlider

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    There are so many misconceptions running rampant on this thread in reference to military service, I don't even know where to begin.

    Ipacho: Who is the recruiter assigned to your geographic region? If you let me know, I'll shoot him/her a note and see if he/she will let me know when they want people to start inquiring about the application process.

    Keep in mind that since the board results are still fairly new, the recruiters are waist deep in getting those applicants who were accepted inprocessed and in to the program. The process is pretty lengthy and work intensive. When I started speaking to the recruiter, she told me to hold off until after May because she was busy getting things in order for the new class. Then once May was over, she worked on my packet tirelessly.
     
  14. DPTHopeful921

    DPTHopeful921

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    Janus, you said you thought about direct commission. does this mean you already have your DPT? or were you looking at going to a civilian college, getting a DPT, then joining the military?
     
  15. DPTHopeful921

    DPTHopeful921

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    ...and i agree with ArmySlider, there are tons of misconceptions in this thread. lpacho, def let ArmySlider know who your recruiter is, he can prob help you. I was told the same thing by recruiter. Once the PT board is over, they are doing the Dietician Board next, and then they are letting applicants know if they got in or not, and then inprocessing those who accept. May sounds about right, or late April at best to contact your recruiter...
     
  16. ArmySlider

    ArmySlider

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    First, One of the BIG factors for ME becoming a Physical therapist vs. becoming say a CIA agent, doctor, lawyer, whatever is I want to start a family. Yes, this is possible in the military, and yes, it is extremely difficult. You'll be stationed every two years, and your wife will either have to be a stay at home wife, or defer starting her career for awhile. This could create some rocky problems, and isn't worth having tuition paid off. If you are single and expect to be, GO for it I say.

    This is my favorite, however, it doesn't explain why I have a successful marriage and three kids at home. It also tries to refute the fact that my wife in fact has a career, and is currently about to finish up a double Master's Degree in Behavioral Health Counseling. I'd say probably 80% or more of officers in the Army are married, and have children, and I'd go further in estimating the divorce rate for military officers is lower than the national average. The issues brought up in this point are negated by a mature decision on who you marry.


    Second, all through PT school you'll have to do PT tests, attend military events, be on perfect behavior, etc. It isn't smooth sailing through the programs, you will be expected to be involved and do stuff. You know the ROTC guys in undergrad who are always busy and running around? That's what it'll be like, but with 20x more homework.

    Your mission in the Army-Baylor program is to graduate and become a licensed therapist in the military. You will have military functions to attend, but those are relatively uncommon.

    Oh, and heaven forbid you be expected to maintain some sort of physical conditioning while in school. You will not be expected to be an elite athlete. You are expected to maintain some semblance of physical fitness, which I will add, if you are considering a career in physical therapy, you should already be doing that on your own.

    Third, you'll be owned and controlled. What drew me to physical therapy was the fact after I graduate, I could blindfold myself and choose ANY location in the country and find a job. Just check monster jobs, there's JOBS everywhere. I come from a small town, and there's like 13 listings... This is so cool because I'm going to change a lot in 3 years ( just think of the span between 10th grade and college), and who knows what I'll want to do.

    Good for you.
     
  17. Janus8088

    Janus8088

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    I am looking to go through a civilian PT program (currently accepted, but have not started yet) and join the military as a way to pay for school either through a military scholarship or the loan repayment option.

    If I have my terminology incorrect about what constitutes a direct commission, sorry for the mix up. But really, I'm just looking at the bottom line ($) here.
     
  18. ArmySlider

    ArmySlider

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    Direct commissioning simply means that you are commissioned (by virtue of your profession) without having to go through a traditional commissioning source (West Point, ROTC, or OCS). If you have a DPT, you can be a direct commission into the Medical Specialist Corps as a physical therapist. As far as them repaying your school loans, you will need to check with a recruiter first. I've never been a recruiter, but I know there is a limit on how much they will pay back (I think something to the tune of $60,000).
     
  19. jsull312

    jsull312

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    I'm a little confused about the difference between "direct-commission" & the Army-Baylor route. Is there a way to join the military & have tuition paid in full if you do not attend Baylor? If so, would you join the military at the beginning of the DPT program or the end? Thanks!
     
  20. ArmySlider

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    No, the only way to have your "tuition paid in full" is to attend Baylor. The reason your tuition is paid there is because it is an Army program and individuals attending the school are commissioned as officers when they begin. Their job as an officer in the military for the first two years is to successfully complete the program.

    To my knowledge, PT school is not covered by the HPSP (Health Professions Scholarship Program). This only covers medical, optometry, dental, veterinary, or psychology.

    Direct commissioning just means that you are commissioned without having to go through ROTC, West Point, or Officer Candidate School.
     
  21. maxblink

    maxblink

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    Last edited: 09.02.12
  22. ArmySlider

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    1) Honestly man, you have no business raising red flags to people interested in this program if you have absolutely no experience in either this program, or in the military in general. I do not take issue with you raising questions, but stating "facts" that you base off what you see "undergrad ROTC" students do is absolute nonsense.

    You are obviously far too intelligent to make radical assumptions on what someone can or can't do. I am not "the exception", not by a long shot. I am much closer to "the rule" when it comes to Army officers. I would be more than happy to communicate with you outside of the public board to explain to you what I (and many others) have experienced when it comes to military servicemembers and family situations (marriage, divorce, etc.) I think some of you preconceptions might be true when you look at other populations within the military.

    You mention moving every two years, but what is your experience with the Army assignment process? The assignment process in the military, especially for Officers, has lengthened to give individual officers more time at a single station. I can't speak for anything prior to 2003, but I can tell you it is not uncommon to spend 4-6 years at a single location now (with the average time on station being 3-4 years).

    Many military spouses do just fine maintaining a career while serving as a military spouse. It is possible, however, as I stated in my earlier post, this is something that can be negated by making an informed decision on who you marry.

    2) Please go back and read what I wrote about maintaining a certain degree of physical conditioning. When did I outwardly support the pervasive military model of physical training?
    If you wish to discuss anything related to physical fitness or conditioning, I welcome the discussion, however, again you are basing your argument off of something you have never experienced yourself.

    If you go back to your argument that you are speaking to the masses, you would have to agree that most people don't fall into the top 5% of physical conditioning. So my statement that you have to maintain some semblence of physical conditioning is better suited for those that perhaps don't already maintain a high level of physical readiness.

    Outside of officer education schools (Basic Officer Leader Course, Captain's Career Course), Officers are generally allowed to conduct physical training on their own, and generally only take a PT test once every six months. I have been a commissioned officer for 5 years now, and I can count on one hand how many times I have had to do "standard army pt". I train on my own, and have for years, and each time I take a PT test, I score the maximum allowable score and I do so without doing a single sit-up, push-up, or run anything more than 800 meters.

    You mentioned a population within the military lobbying to get the model of physical training changed. Yes that is true. Now, please look at the military's human performance optimization movement (just google search "human performance optimization"). This directive tasks the physical therapists to serve as the command's subject matter expert for the physical training of the command's Soldiers. You are absolutely right about long, slow distance running and sit-ups being exceptionally high in occurrence of injury. Again, you are obviously a well-educated individual, and I would even say that you would be an ideal candidate for the US Army-Baylor program, or even serving as a PT in the Army because the more people we have question, and then action trying to get the training paradigm in the Army changed, the faster the process will move along.
     
  23. maxblink

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    Last edited: 09.02.12
  24. Litlwarrior08

    Litlwarrior08

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    Regarding the HPSP--as recently as two weeks ago, I read where the issue of adding Physical Therapy to the list of scholarship repayment (in underseved areas) is coming up for vote in the fed. house Bill HR 1426 and senate S 975. Recommend you write to your house and senate reps. ASAP. Not sure when it goes to vote.
     

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