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Advice Need: Possible 12 Month Deployment

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ThisisReality

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I am an infantryman in the National Guard, and my unit this past weekend was given a warning order of a possible deployment to the Middle East in the middle of next spring semester. Nothing is set in stone or guaranteed yet.

I am not against deploying, but the timing is the problem: I am a senior already scheduled to take my MCAT this May and was planning to apply in June for the next cycle. I am not sure this would be feasible while I am deployed. I would also have to withdraw from all my class next semester if deployed and be unable to take my MCAT or apply - setting me back 2 years because I would need to take an extra semester or year when I got back, then apply and take a gap year.

I also had plans to do HPSP and have been talking to a Army medical recruiter. I was in the process of filling out a DD368, but I am not sure if that will have any effect on me being deployed?

Please, any advice anyone?
 

Donald Juan

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You really need to talk to your recruiter and unit command about this. If you are in a non-volunteer status (i.e., you haven't been deployed recently), and you haven't yet been accepted to medical school you might have to go on deployment.

As someone who has been through this stuff, you need to stay the course at applying to med school until you get orders. Nothing set in stone means this deployment could very easily get totally cancelled or pushed back another year.
 
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KaBoom'd

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You need to stay the course until you have orders in hand. This isn't an OIF/OEF surge we're talking about, so you should find out details well in advance. Are you new to the guard? Is your unit on some sort of 1 year on, 3 year off cycle? Either way, what I'm getting at is that you should tactfully be seeking information, especially in the new calendar year.

Obviously you'll have to roll with it if it happens. You could probably fight your way out of going if you compromised all morals, but that's a terrible idea. First deployment? Look at it as what could be a really positive character building experience. That's not to suggest it will be fun, but it'll give you a perspective that 99.9% of Americans don't have and will never get a chance to see.
 
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KaBoom'd

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Also, I don't think you'd have to take a gap year. You need to stay the course and take the MCAT as planned. If orders are dropped and you leave before then, wrap your mind around taking the test May 2017. Overwhelming odds are that you'll have sufficient study time wherever you are, and you'd have plenty of time the first half of the trip to get into some good routines. That's all considering a 12 month trip, which may not be the case. 9 months would put you home with at least 3 months of studying before the May exam, if you were forced to miss this one. You could then apply the summer before you finish your final senior semester.
 

Spector1

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Keep studying and preparing for the mcat, worse case scenario, you are somewhat prepared to start studying again to take it when you come back
 

Derpz

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Does your unit force you to deploy? We have people volunteer and usually fill all our deployment slots that way.
 

ThisisReality

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Also, I don't think you'd have to take a gap year. You need to stay the course and take the MCAT as planned. If orders are dropped and you leave before then, wrap your mind around taking the test May 2017. Overwhelming odds are that you'll have sufficient study time wherever you are, and you'd have plenty of time the first half of the trip to get into some good routines. That's all considering a 12 month trip, which may not be the case. 9 months would put you home with at least 3 months of studying before the May exam, if you were forced to miss this one. You could then apply the summer before you finish your final senior semester.

WOW. Great advice. Did not think about taking the MCAT and applying when I got back. Then I could finish my last year of college, while interviewing. Thank you SO much!
 

ThisisReality

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Does your unit force you to deploy? We have people volunteer and usually fill all our deployment slots that way.

You really need to talk to your recruiter and unit command about this. If you are in a non-volunteer status (i.e., you haven't been deployed recently), and you haven't yet been accepted to medical school you might have to go on deployment.

As someone who has been through this stuff, you need to stay the course at applying to med school until you get orders. Nothing set in stone means this deployment could very easily get totally cancelled or pushed back another year.

Don Juan - I have never been deployed. This will be my first. I talked to my healthcare recruiter and he says if I get federal orders, it will take precedent. I talked to my platoon sergeant and he sent my DD 368 (Conditional Release) up to the CoC, but it will most likely not help. Because unfortunately - Derpz - the entire battalion is deploying and higher is asking for a certain amount of troops, and it is basically the size of our battalion.
 

ThisisReality

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Thank you everyone! I really appreciate the advice and helped alot with me processing the recent news and figuring out my game plan.
 
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