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Another military noob thread

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

  1. DinoSaysRawr

    DinoSaysRawr Cake or Death?
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    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. :)
     
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  3. colbgw02

    colbgw02 Delightfully Tacky
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    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.
     
  4. DinoSaysRawr

    DinoSaysRawr Cake or Death?
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    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! :)
     
  5. DeadCactus

    DeadCactus SDN Lifetime Donor
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    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...
     
  6. colbgw02

    colbgw02 Delightfully Tacky
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    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.
     
  7. dtn3t

    dtn3t Member
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    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.
     
  8. colbgw02

    colbgw02 Delightfully Tacky
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    Right - hence the bolded part.
     
  9. dtn3t

    dtn3t Member
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    I see what you were saying now. My bad.
     
  10. DeadCactus

    DeadCactus SDN Lifetime Donor
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    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...
     
  11. colbgw02

    colbgw02 Delightfully Tacky
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    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.
     
    #10 colbgw02, Aug 21, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2011
  12. DeadCactus

    DeadCactus SDN Lifetime Donor
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    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
     

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