Advice for Army Enlisted to HPSP

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Oct 26, 2012
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This post is to help any enlisted that were selected for HPSP navigate through the process of ETS and getting to school on time. I navigated most of this by myself, so I hope others can learn from my mistakes and help them reach their goals. I went through this process in 2018 (currently an MS2) and most of it should still be applicable.


February 1 - received acceptance to medical school (Texas System), however USUHS was my top choice. Until I heard from USUHS I talked with a healthcare recruiter and started gathering things I was going to need for my HPSP packet.

February 25 - received USUHS rejection and started packet for HPSP. I required a MAC waiver due to not meeting minimum requirements in an MCAT subsection, this took about 2 weeks. My goal was to get everything in for the April Board.

Early April - Still missing items required for board packet. Be prepared to hear conflicting information. Whatever they wanted I submitted as fast as possible.

Early May - Packet submitted without errors

Late May - Notified of being selected for HPSP

June/July - Branch release, submit packet to ETS, clearing post/unit

August 10 - Terminal leave

August 18 - School Stared

Once I received the HPSP acceptance my biggest hurdle was trying to figure out what the next step was. Here's what I did to get it done:

1) Emailed branch and got my release ( I did email this person in advance because I was set to PCS very soon and wanted to give him a heads up). Once you're selected you'll receive a memo saying so, this is like the golden ticket to get everything started.

2) Went to post in/out processing and picked up a Chapter 16-2 packet. I have attached the Ft Bragg example, it looks like it is for ROTC, but 16-2 Chapters are for "Discharge for acceptance into a program leading to a commission". Requirements can be found in AR 635-200 paragraph 16-2. Once you have everything in that packet, you get ETS orders, and it's all down hill.

- I needed appointments for a lot of things: CIF (this took about 2 weeks), separation meetings, travel, etc. Be flexible.

- CIF - you can print out your clothing record and do a precheck of everything before you turn it in. If you don't know what something is, you can google the nsn and see a picture. You want to be a one and done for this.

Other things to plan ahead for:

I am currently using the Chapter 30 Montgomery GI Bill concurrently with the HPSP stipend. The reason for using the Ch 30 instead of Post 9/11 is that the money for Ch 30 was greater. Another benefit is that once the Ch 30 is used up, I can request an additional 12 months of the Post 9/11. If you are going to use the Ch 30, prior to getting out you can pay $600 and receive an additional $150 per month. This can be done with DD form 2366-1 and submitting it to finance.

Several months before getting out, I got my Certificate of Eligibility from the VA so requesting the GI Bill would be faster.

Final thoughts - Start this process as early as possible and be proactive about it. Stay calm, there will be times when it feels like you're beating your head against a wall. Not very many people are familiar with the process. Explain it to them, know AR 635-200, para 16-2. You're going to be best friends with your S-1 by the end of this, be kind to them.

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