Except at MEPS. They had it out for me.You aren't going to get yelled at
May I please have a copy of this? xDThese are just a few. My husband actually has a 75 page document called "Reasons I Got Out of the Army". Seriously. If you want a fairly cynical view of the negatives of the HSPS there is a thread on here called "37 reasons not to be a military dentist", some but not all of which I agree with.
Totally not my experience.Except at MEPS. They had it out for me.
"IF YOU STOP AFTER THE SECURITY SCREENING TO PUT YOUR BELT AND SHOES BACK ON, YOU WILL NOT PROCESS TODAY. AM I UNDERSTOOD?"
"SIT UP STRAIGHT. DON'T MAKE ME ASK YOU AGAIN"- said by a receptionist to all 45 of us sitting in the lounge waiting for our turn to go and process.
May I please have a copy of this? xD
I feel like all I ever read now when the $ tag comes up is HPSPWhy don't a lot of people talk about it? Is it because of the limited spots? The locations?
I'm glad you were treated with the dignity and respect that you deserved- I wish my local MEPS did the same.Totally not my experience.
They were really respectful to us. To the officer candidates, they even let us cut in line lol
Lol MEPS was awful.I'm glad you were treated with the dignity and respect that you deserved- I wish my local MEPS did the same.
That said, the Chief Medical Officer and the Liaison for my service were both extremely respectful....calling me "Sir" and congratulating me. It's the other folks- the people working the main Check-in desk, the medical techs who conducted all the hearing/blood/eye tests, etc.- who were quite....unwelcoming.
Maybe a difference is that you had multiple Officer Candidates together? See- I was the only Officer Candidate during my processing. Everyone else was enlisting.
I didn't mind the waiting/medical tests/physical exam.Lol MEPS was awful.
This page breaks it down pretty well: http://www.goarmy.com/soldier-life/army-family-strong/health-care/vacation-army-leave.htmlHow many vacations days do you get? You just can't leave on the weekend, when you want to? When you ask to leave, can you be denied?
The only thing about that is, if I took leave but came back before work (like came back on a Friday, but no work until Monday, I would finish my leave on Friday so I don't get charged more. This way if they decided to be jerks and say that I need to come in on the weekend, i can do so without the risk of getting in trouble because I'm not on duty.This page breaks it down pretty well: http://www.goarmy.com/soldier-life/army-family-strong/health-care/vacation-army-leave.html
Here is what the website doesn't tell you:
No leave is charged for "training holidays" or if you are given a "pass". Training holidays are nice. They are usually attached to a regular holiday to give a nice, long 4-day weekend. There are also opportunities at times to ask for or earn a 3-day or 4-day pass (over a weekend) that doesn't require the Soldier to take leave (i.e. my husband got a 4-day pass because my son won the Troop Halloween costume contest. For real. Best costume contest prize ever!).
However, when leave is taken, every day the Soldier is gone is deducted as leave. So, if a Soldier leaves on a Friday and doesn't get back until Sunday the following week they would be charged for 9 days of leave, even though they only missed 5 days of work. You learn to think about it differently than taking days off work in the civilian world, and adjust your vacation accordingly!
Many units also have what they call "block leave" before and after a deployment and often during the holidays. The entire unit is usually encouraged to take leave during this specific time.
A Soldier can only retain 60 days of leave. If he/she has more than that at the end of the fiscal year anything over 60 days is forfeited.
....unless they have earned SLA (Special Leave Accrual). These are days of leave a Soldier accrues when they are in a combat zone or serving somewhere they cannot take leave (like a ship or a mobile unit) for more than 120 days. In that case the Soldier can accrue 60 days of regular leave + up to 60 days of SLA.
I'm not sure if there is a hard and fast military-wide rule about how far you can travel (like on the weekend, for example) without having a pass. Even on the 4-day holiday/training weekends if we were going to be going more than 150 miles (I think) and definitely if we were leaving the country my husband was supposed to fill out the travel pass paperwork (which was pages upon pages upon pages). The idea is they want to know where you are at all times. We were only two hours from Prague, which made it a quick and easy day trip, and admittedly we didn't always fill out the paperwork. However, if a Soldier doesn't fill out the paperwork he/she is basically forfeiting any military benefits during that time - they can get in a lot of trouble if something happens to prevent them from getting back in time for work, or if something happens that requires medical attention TriCare can refuse to pay.
There are often places that have Travel Restrictions - not only are Soldiers not allowed to travel there, but neither are civilian contractors or military-sponsored dependents (the spouse and kids).
And as with anything in the Army, they can always tell you no. Always.
Hope that helps!
Those (exception for the lab) are not completely our of your control in the military either - you need to learn the system, understand the proper channels and you can change them as well.. Supplies? We (within reason) can order whatever we wantYour assistants, front desk, which labs you work with, which supplies you get to use... when you want to take vacation, where you want to live.
You can easily get a practice loan from a bank as a dentist, and you have the freedom to work as much as you want to tackle on that debt.I believe those luxuries would fall under the category of "things limited by debt"
It's not too late. All the Air Force scholarships are gone, yes, but Navy and Army are still available.Didnt work, also Im underweight. Im 5'8 120 lbs. Recruiter said it was going to be too difficult.
And I think its too late to apply for this years cycle.
Isnt it due in a few weeks? I dont think I could send everything in time.It's not too late. All the Air Force scholarships are gone, yes, but Navy and Army are still available.
If your recruiter said "it was going to be too difficult," then it sounds like s/he didn't send your packet up to the waiver authority and isn't doing his/her job.
you're missing the point. you either are indebted to banks or you are indebted to the military. one causes you to pay an immense amount of interestYou can easily get a practice loan from a bank as a dentist, and you have the freedom to work as much as you want to tackle on that debt.
Military has its perks but so does private practice.
Depends on an individual's goals and desires.You say that like the other doesn't demand significant things in return as well.
I think that the military is a great option for a person in your situation. If I was single, I would absolutely be doing HPSP, but deployment and relocation would be highly disruptive to my fiancee's career and I have to consider her as well.Depends on an individual's goals and desires.
For a young, single guy like me.....man, oh man, it'd be AWESOME to serve our troops overseas (I'm smiling just thinking about it right now- I'll get to treat the people who are risking their lives for us everyday), practice dentistry using some of the best tech. out there (I think every Air Force and Army clinic now has a CEREC machine....many private practices do not) , attend some amazing residencies, be debt-free, and never worry about the headaches of practice management (and believe me, I've seen some extremely stressed out dentists who own practices...rising overhead, increased competition, etc is making them very unhappy).
The camaraderie and opportunity to deploy are really attractive to me.
But different people have different situations. And I recognize that for someone who is in a committed relationship and plans to/already has kids, the military is a tougher sell: stable childhood, school districts, etc. But even then, people with families make it work and have a great time. Check out KRmower's blog on Armystrongstories.
Your post is absolutely amazing! I am wondering how long did it take your husband to find a job outside of army medicine after he completed the active duty? Would the situation be different for the medical field?My husband attended dental school on the Army HSPS (2001-2005, active duty 2005-2009). As we both frequently say, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." Everyone will have their own unique experience. I will outline here the pros and cons for us personally. Please consider that this is just one family's experience, although I can say that many dentists we knew felt similarly about their time in the military.
*The money: The reason anyone signs up for a scholarship - the money. They paid every penny of his dental school education - tuition, fees, books, etc. plus a monthly stipend. For 45 days of the year he was supposed to be doing active duty. However his school, like many dental schools now, did not have a 45-day break in the summer. He submitted documentation of this and was exempted from doing the active duty, although they still paid him as active duty for 45 days of the year. Because I was working during his time in dental school we were able to put most of the money he earned into savings. And at this stage it is so very nice to not be paying on student loans when you also add in the costs of purchasing and running a dental practice. Most of his classmates are still paying on student loans 11 years later.
*Additional training: He applied for and was awarded a 1-year AGD program (in hindsight we now refer to this as "deployment prep"!). At the time, this year of additional training working alongside specialists of every field counted as one of his four years of payback. I've been told this is no longer the case. He received some wonderful training during this year. His first patients he was seeing out of dental school were Soldiers who didn't complain about how long it took and weren't paying out of pocket so no worries about how much it cost! He got much faster and also became very comfortable doing far more complicated procedures than dental school alone had prepared him for.
*Military Training: I think it would be difficult to replicate the physical and tactical training received in the military. I know many of the training exercises my husband participated in are not the type of thing he would have been out doing after work if he'd been a dentist working in a private or group practice.
*Adventure: After his residency we were sent to Germany. It was beautiful. We had a wonderful time traveling all over Europe. We flew Space A military flights to get back to the states on a few occasions (that's a whole separate discussion - it's always an adventure, but not always a good one!). When traveling in the US it was always so nice to drop in at the USO in the airports where we are always treated so kindly by the volunteers. Additionally, being in the military takes a lot of the headache out of living overseas. You can shop on base so you still have access to all of your American comforts. Military is exempt from paying the VAT (Value Added Tax) which is included in the prices you see in Europe. So when we went shopping we took a VAT form that gave us an automatic 17% (at the time) discount. We also had gas stations on post where we could fill up at the average US price per gallon, which is way cheaper than buying gas at a German gas station. When traveling inside of Germany we had special cards that still gave us the discounted gas rate. Outside of Germany we had to pay the going rate. Ouch. We spent multiple weekends at the military resort in Garmisch. If he was there for a training or conference expenses were covered. When we went on our own it was very reasonably priced. Here are the descriptions of the four full-service military resorts Armed Forces Resorts :: ArmyMWR.
*Medical benefits: All of our medical expenses were covered. I am not sure what the vision and dental coverage is in the US, but overseas we were seen on base at a clinic for almost all medical needs. The medical providers we saw were either active duty, reservists who had been called up, or civilian contractors. For medical services they didn't have on base we were sent to the local German hospital where we received excellent care, even though communication was rough at times. We did not pay one cent for any medical care during our time there. This included pre-natal care and an emergency c-section, stitches, a septoplasty, an emergency appendectomy, as well as routine visits and medical care for illnesses.
*Deployment: Most people would think I am crazy to list this. Five years ago I likely would have agreed. But now in hindsight, I can see how the deployment really helped shape and solidify many of my husband's dental skills. He was the only dentist on a base of 10,000 Soldiers and civilian contractors. If he could not fix the dental problem presented it likely meant the Soldier would be taking a helicopter to another base to see a specialist who may or may not be able to help. Additionally, we were paid extra during the deployment, exempt from taxes, and he accrued a crazy amount of leave.
*Friendships: We made strong friendships very quickly in the military environment. It is a very tight-nit group. I still consider many of our military friends to be our closest friends. There are lots of social events and ways to be involved, not to mention you will likely live in close proximity to other military.
If I thought harder and had more time I could probably come up with a half dozen other pros for our time in the Army, but I'll just leave it at that.
*Lack of control: This is prevalent in many aspects of military life. Just some examples from our experience: We were asked to rank our preferences for the AGD location. Out of 12 choices we were given our 10th (yes 10th!) choice, while a fellow classmate was given our 2nd choice even though he had ranked it 8 or 9. When we got to Germany the housing we were assigned was brand new and very nice, but was on a base that was 40 minutes from my husband's assigned base. They just hadn't planned well enough to have sufficient housing available and many of us had to suffer the consequences.
*The bureaucracy: This permeates every aspect of military life - filling out 20 pages of paperwork just to go away for the weekend (it was more when he was actually taking leave!), utilizing the medical system, trying to get a passport for my newborn son so we could fly home for a wedding, etc. It was exhausting. By the end we had become so acclimated to everything being so difficult and time-consuming that we were continually surprised by how NOT hard things are in the "real world".
*Deployment: I know the number and length of deployments is down significantly. However, during my husband's time on active duty he served a 15-month deployment to Iraq. I was in Germany with a 3-year-old and a 4-month old baby. The separation was excruciatingly difficult on everyone. And it's impossible to know when signing up for the HSPS what the global climate might look like during your active duty time. My husband commissioned in March 2001. At the time, the idea of deploying a dentist was unheard of. Fast forward six months and we have 9/11. By the time my husband graduated from dental school the military was heavily present in the middle east and dentist that didn't deploy were the exception, not the norm.
*The money: Once the active duty payback years are complete, the pay and benefits that the military can offer just can't compare to the income potential in civilian life. Even if there are some things a dentist LOVES about working for the military, you can separate from active duty and come back as a contractor and make a lot more than on active duty.
These are just a few. My husband actually has a 75 page document called "Reasons I Got Out of the Army". Seriously. If you want a fairly cynical view of the negatives of the HSPS there is a thread on here called "37 reasons not to be a military dentist", some but not all of which I agree with.
If we had known at the time what we were getting ourselves into would he have applied for and accepted the HSPS? It's possible he wouldn't have. But he did, and we try to see the many positives, including invaluable personal and professional experiences, that came from the experience.
If you have any other specific questions we try to be as open and honest about our experiences with people who really want to know. We went into it kind of blind, and hope that sharing our experiences can at least help others make an informed decision and have a clearer idea what they are getting into if they accept the HSPS.
Hope this helps!