1. What do you find most helpful? Give us your feedback on the 2019 SDN Member Survey to help further the SDN mission (and win prizes!)
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Dismiss Notice

Another military noob thread

Discussion in 'Military Medicine' started by DinoSaysRawr, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. DinoSaysRawr

    DinoSaysRawr Cake or Death?
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    Messages:
    311
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Okay, so I have recently been contemplating joining the U.S. Army after I graduate college as an officer. I, personally, want more life experience and serving my country would be perfect for that before I apply to medical school. I would just like to serve the minimum amount of years (I thought it was 2 but I recently just heard 3 years was the new minimum). I'd probably do MP (mainly because women can't do infantry :mad: but that's a different discussion)

    After that, I would just apply to med school as a civilian and continue with life. My question is, are there any huge drawbacks to this plan? If anyone that has done this could chime in that would be most appreciated. :)
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  2. colbgw02

    colbgw02 Delightfully Tacky
    Physician 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2004
    Messages:
    4,487
    Likes Received:
    2,673
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    As I understand it, the minimum amount of time for an officer to join the military is eight years. For most, much of that time can be spent in the individual ready reserve (IRR). The minimum amount of time you spend on active duty will largely depend on the specifics of your commissioning source and your contract. Just keep in mind that, even if you only serve actively for 3 years, the DoD will still have a claim on you for at least 8 years. Historically, IRR soldiers have rarely been called up, but it's a risk nonetheless.

    If your goal is to be an officer, then your plan is sound. Nowadays, many medical students come to medicine after having spent time in another career. If you are nearing graduation, then I would guess that OCS is your best option. Otherwise, does your school have an ROTC program? As with all things military, do your research, explore all avenues, and make this decision with your eyes wide open.

    This isn't a drawback, per se, but just realize that your plans, goals, and perspective will change a lot in the next decade. Try to keep your options open.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  3. OP
    OP
    DinoSaysRawr

    DinoSaysRawr Cake or Death?
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    Messages:
    311
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Thank you very much! My school does have an ROTC program. But I believe you have to complete 33 credits to graduate as a Second Lieutenant. I'm going into my third year now so that would probably delay my graduation. I would assume that going the OCS route if I'm a Junior would be the best option. Again, thanks for the reply! :)
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  4. DeadCactus

    DeadCactus SDN Lifetime Donor
    Lifetime Donor Verified Account 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    2,558
    Likes Received:
    636
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    All military contracts are for an 8-year minimum. Unless things have drastically changed, going active duty as a line Officer is going to incur a four year active duty obligation followed by four years in the IRR.

    You also do not get to choose your career field; you make a preference list and slots are assigned based on a mix of needs of the Army, your wishes, and where you rank compared to your peers.

    Shorter commitments and guaranteed careers are for people enlisting...
     
  5. colbgw02

    colbgw02 Delightfully Tacky
    Physician 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2004
    Messages:
    4,487
    Likes Received:
    2,673
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    This isn't true, as evidenced by scores of 3-year HPSP recipients who do 3-year residencies and leave active duty after 3 years.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  6. dtn3t

    dtn3t Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2004
    Messages:
    180
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    The 8 year commitment is true. Those with 3yr scholarships and 3 year residencies do leave after 3 years, but still have 2 years of IRR. I'm one of those folks.
     
  7. colbgw02

    colbgw02 Delightfully Tacky
    Physician 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2004
    Messages:
    4,487
    Likes Received:
    2,673
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Right - hence the bolded part.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  8. dtn3t

    dtn3t Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2004
    Messages:
    180
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    I see what you were saying now. My bad.
     
  9. DeadCactus

    DeadCactus SDN Lifetime Donor
    Lifetime Donor Verified Account 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    2,558
    Likes Received:
    636
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    A physician isn't a line officer. Joining the Army via a direct commissioning into a non-line position is a different animal from ROTC/OCS...
     
  10. colbgw02

    colbgw02 Delightfully Tacky
    Physician 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2004
    Messages:
    4,487
    Likes Received:
    2,673
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    For ROTC, you have to payback 4 years active if you had a scholarship. Otherwise, you can only payback 3 years. I'm not sure about OCS.


    ETA: Found this site regarding Army OCS. It states that the minimum active payback is 3-years, although I'm not sure how official that is.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    #10 colbgw02, Aug 21, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2011
  11. DeadCactus

    DeadCactus SDN Lifetime Donor
    Lifetime Donor Verified Account 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    2,558
    Likes Received:
    636
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Aww, [poop]. You are absolutely correct. I haven't looked into this stuff in years and I guess the details slipped away. Sorry to the OP for spreading bad information.

    For reference if anyone who visits the thread is interested:
    http://armypubs.army.mil/epubs/pdf/R350_100.PDF
     

Share This Page