Jan 1, 2014
36
1
NJ
Status
Pharmacy Student
I will be enrolling this coming fall and I am seriously considering the military option to pay off huge debt that will pile up (approx. 155000 including undergraduate). So, I looked into some old threads about military pharmacy and I get the rough idea what is going on. I called three branches today and it seems like pharmacists are not welcomed in the military.

Basically

Army: there is no scholarship program for pharmacy students. Only licensed pharmacist can apply and get 120k repayment etc.

Navy: Get E-6 pay for 48 months for 4 yrs commitment after graduation.

Airforce: None at the present.

Navy scholarship seems like a rip off to me since i have to serve 4 yrs for 2 yrs of benefits. The pay is not great either.

Also, the fact that doctors and dentists get so much benefits in HSPS programs and pharmacists do not makes me sad.

I guess I have to just wait for new opportunities in military this coming October..
 

fauxden

7+ Year Member
Dec 6, 2010
321
77
Status
Pharmacist
soooo your name neams pharmacist in Korean... cool
....
i lived korea for a about 2 years. as far as your question, i have no idea
 
OP
Yaksa
Jan 1, 2014
36
1
NJ
Status
Pharmacy Student
soooo your name neams pharmacist in Korean... cool
....
i lived korea for a about 2 years. as far as your question, i have no idea
haha good to know. Why did you visit Korea? Are you Korean?
 
Sep 16, 2013
29
9
Status
Pre-Pharmacy
Graduate Students

Navy Health Services Collegiate Program (HSCP) – Receive up to $134,600 while finishing your degree. This amount includes a generous monthly salary and housing allowance ranging from $3,280 to $5,610 for up to 24 months.*

Offers have many variables. To get details and find out which offer would benefit you most, request that a Navy Officer Recruiter contact you.

*Navy HSCP housing allowance based on graduate school location. Increased offer amounts available in areas with a higher cost of living.

Practicing Professionals

If you’re currently a practicing professional, you can take advantage of an available $30,000 sign-on bonus and:

Navy Health Professions Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP) – Receive up to $80,000 to help repay your graduate school loans by applying to receive $40,000 each year for up to two years.*

To be eligible, you must serve as an Active Duty Medical Service Corps Officer for each year you receive the loan payment.

Offers have many variables. To get details and find out which offer would benefit you most, request that a Navy Officer Recruiter contact you.

*Offer depends on specialty, service requirement and availability


not a bad deal just deciding if you want money during school of a lump sum after

but keep in mind

3873.90 a month for the first 2 years isn't that grand even with a 2000+ BAH your looking at around 60-80k for 2 years

but hey no student loans
 
Jun 6, 2013
244
43
The Woodland Realm
Status
Pharmacist
Navy (know the most about, since that's what I'm in)

See:
http://www.navy.com/careers/healthcare/clinical-care/pharmacy.html

Navy does HSCP for 24 months max for 3 years active duty payback, 5 year IRR (individual ready reserve), Air Force does HPSP (not sure how long), no idea on Army.

Three options as described above for Navy: HSCP (apply P2 year for entry in May of P3 year - get your paperwork/physical/recruiter contact stuff done ASAP for October 1 submission); HPSP NOT available for pharmacy in Navy. Other options: direct accession and HPLRP described above. HPLRP can not be used in addition to any of the above until AFTER your initial commitment (can take loan repayment after HSCP, if you still have loans and if you agree to 2 more years beyond your initial 3 of active duty).

HSCP, as described above by demihope, is base pay at E6, BAH and BAS enlisted, with BAH dependent on if you have dependents (married, kids) and on location. Around $40,000-$45,000 if married (I am married and was married when started HSCP). Can easily find non-dependent numbers. Promote to E7 if you get one referral that actually ends up being an accession. Also you are active duty with military ID, getting access to military bases, exchanges, and can use your ID to get military benefits (like free meals and theme park tickets, and discounts places).

More questions? Feel free to PM or reply.

This thread has some good info.
 
Last edited:
Jun 6, 2013
244
43
The Woodland Realm
Status
Pharmacist
It seems like pharmacists are not welcomed in the military.
It may seem that way, but that may be because they don't have a huge demand for them, much like the civilian world... they aren't hard to come by anymore, so offering extremely enticing benefits does not need to happen...

Also, the fact that doctors and dentists get so much benefits in HSPS programs and pharmacists do not makes me sad.
Yeah, when you compare directly pharmacists may seem to get cheated (MDs/dentists get HPSP for full tuition/fees and a monthly stipend), but in reality, again, pharmacists are in less demand. Also, we do go to school less in general (majority 6 year programs vs. 8 (yes I know there are some shorter programs)). Also, doctors and dentists make more than pharmacists to begin with, so the military has to offer them sweet deals. Pharmacists make out pretty well with the Navy's program, if you can get an acceptance. It's very competitive (still haven't had an absolute number, but have been told that around 10 or less candidates nationwide accepted into the Navy's HSCP). If you think that you would make $120K/yr after graduation as a civilian pharmacist, assuming no residency... you make about $80Kish/yr as 1-3 year Naval pharmacist (O3), with $40Kish/yr in school x 2 years, it averages out pretty close after you account for taxes (taxed much less in military because you are only taxed on base pay vs the civilian pharmacist who is taxed on all pay). After your initial 3 years, if you don't do a residency right away, you get an automatic $15K on top of your 80K. So you make out pretty well. Plus, right now anyway, there is a 20 year retirement, with pension... but DON"T do it for the financial reasons, as many have stated before me. You'll be taken care of financially, but only join if you have a heart to serve and are open to the life of a military man/woman (deployments, moving around a lot, military politics, etc.). No amount of money can make you truly enjoy being in the military unless you like the life of the military to begin with (in my opinion anyway). And I haven't even gotten my first duty station yet.
 
Sep 16, 2013
29
9
Status
Pre-Pharmacy
Also you are active duty with military ID, getting access to military bases, exchanges, and can use your ID to get military benefits (like free meals and theme park tickets, and discounts places).
Keep in Mind in most places the Base Exchange and Commissary are not that great of a deal but yes you can get free or discounted tickets to Six Flags !

like TLAD said do it because you want to serve not because you want to make alot of money.
 
Feb 5, 2014
4
1
Status
Pharmacist
I too am strongly interested in applying this fall for the army Pharmacist position. Does anyone know what preferences factor into the boards decision. I am a retail pharmacist with 5 years Rph experience and currently pharmacy mgr with a pretty strong résumé. Also, do they take existing loan amount into consideration? Meaning, the less loan repayment the better. If so, I only have ~28k left. Anyone know if I have a good chance?
 
Jun 6, 2013
244
43
The Woodland Realm
Status
Pharmacist
I too am strongly interested in applying this fall for the army Pharmacist position. Does anyone know what preferences factor into the boards decision. I am a retail pharmacist with 5 years Rph experience and currently pharmacy mgr with a pretty strong résumé. Also, do they take existing loan amount into consideration? Meaning, the less loan repayment the better. If so, I only have ~28k left. Anyone know if I have a good chance?
A big preference is someone who gets their paperwork done well in advance and submits the first day it is due - at least in my case it was the early bird gets the accession. I don't think your loan amount has anything to do with it because I think that is private information and has nothing to do with your candidacy as a pharmacist. Your interest and willingness to pursue a military lifestyle/career is HUGE because they don't want to train someone who will be in for 3 years and out if they can help it (or however long the commitment is for Army).

From goarmy.com

Requirements
Active Duty
  • Diploma from a school of pharmacy acceptable to the Surgeon General
  • Must be between 21 and 42 years of age (may request a waiver)
  • License to practice in the United States
  • Must be a U.S. citizen
Helpful Skills
  • Ability to make accurate, immediate decisions
  • Perform under stress
  • Apply critical technical and thinking skills
  • Tremendous concentration

I think with your resume you fit the bill. Just apply early and be on the recruiter about getting things submitted. Have a strong personal statement/statement of interest.
 

Misaenator

7+ Year Member
Sep 18, 2010
246
46
TX
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided), Pharmacy Student
A big preference is someone who gets their paperwork done well in advance and submits the first day it is due - at least in my case it was the early bird gets the accession. I don't think your loan amount has anything to do with it because I think that is private information and has nothing to do with your candidacy as a pharmacist. Your interest and willingness to pursue a military lifestyle/career is HUGE because they don't want to train someone who will be in for 3 years and out if they can help it (or however long the commitment is for Army).

From goarmy.com

Requirements
Active Duty
  • Diploma from a school of pharmacy acceptable to the Surgeon General
  • Must be between 21 and 42 years of age (may request a waiver)
  • License to practice in the United States
  • Must be a U.S. citizen
Helpful Skills
  • Ability to make accurate, immediate decisions
  • Perform under stress
  • Apply critical technical and thinking skills
  • Tremendous concentration

I think with your resume you fit the bill. Just apply early and be on the recruiter about getting things submitted. Have a strong personal statement/statement of interest.
I don't think the Army has such a big push for RPh anymore at this point, esp when all the troops are coming back. They try to cut corners and people in order to save $$$. The Army isnt as lucrative as its used to be. At least not for pharmacy. Medicine maybe.

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk
 
Feb 5, 2014
4
1
Status
Pharmacist
Thanks TLAD... I just hope I get the opportunity to serve. I am heading to the recruiters on Wednesday. And Misaenator, you're probably right - I will be taking a major pay cut, but sometimes its nice to say you gave back to the country. This is my way of serving.
 
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Reactions: TLAD123

Misaenator

7+ Year Member
Sep 18, 2010
246
46
TX
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided), Pharmacy Student
Thanks TLAD... I just hope I get the opportunity to serve. I am heading to the recruiters on Wednesday. And Misaenator, you're probably right - I will be taking a major pay cut, but sometimes its nice to say you gave back to the country. This is my way of serving.
Ok, let me know how it goes after your meeting with the recruiter. Good luck!

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk
 
Jun 6, 2013
244
43
The Woodland Realm
Status
Pharmacist
I don't think the Army has such a big push for RPh anymore at this point, esp when all the troops are coming back. They try to cut corners and people in order to save $$$. The Army isnt as lucrative as its used to be. At least not for pharmacy. Medicine maybe.

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk
I get the same vibe even from Navy. It sometimes feels like they don't want to deal w/ pharmacists because they are trying to cut so much but have to have them around. This is just from my experience with their collegiate program. The options have even dwindled from when I applied/accepted 2 years ago.
 

Misaenator

7+ Year Member
Sep 18, 2010
246
46
TX
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided), Pharmacy Student
I get the same vibe even from Navy. It sometimes feels like they don't want to deal w/ pharmacists because they are trying to cut so much but have to have them around. This is just from my experience with their collegiate program. The options have even dwindled from when I applied/accepted 2 years ago.
Yup

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk
 
Mar 4, 2012
849
158
Durham, North Carolina
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
looks like you have an obvious choice. yeah Army doesnt have full scholarship on pharmacy school. probably ROTC + HPSP. you must have a citizenship by the way.
 

Misaenator

7+ Year Member
Sep 18, 2010
246
46
TX
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided), Pharmacy Student
looks like you have an obvious choice. yeah Army doesnt have full scholarship on pharmacy school. probably ROTC + HPSP. you must have a citizenship by the way.
The citizenship is no brainer. Anybody who applies as officer has to be U.S citizen anyway. Only concern is whether ROTC+HPSP is an option or not. The Army is so iffy and unclear abt this type of scholarship esp for the pharmacy program. Maybe somebody out there has more info than me!?

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk
 
Mar 4, 2012
849
158
Durham, North Carolina
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
I've been looking for HPSP + ROTC option too but it was very vague at my time (two years ago). for you, AMEDD recruiter is the best source. However, currently army pharmacists are oversupplied too (actually this happens to army and air force altogether)

The citizenship is no brainer. Anybody who applies as officer has to be U.S citizen anyway. Only concern is whether ROTC+HPSP is an option or not. The Army is so iffy and unclear abt this type of scholarship esp for the pharmacy program. Maybe somebody out there has more info than me!?

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk
 

Misaenator

7+ Year Member
Sep 18, 2010
246
46
TX
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided), Pharmacy Student
I've been looking for HPSP + ROTC option too but it was very vague at my time (two years ago). for you, AMEDD recruiter is the best source. However, currently army pharmacists are oversupplied too (actually this happens to army and air force altogether)
AMEDD Recruiters they want to play phone tag themselves too. I believe you about the RPh's oversupply in the Army though. Oh well, lets hope for the best. We'll see. I wonder about the OP who was supposed to talk to the recruiter this week to see what the outcome was.

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk
 
Feb 27, 2014
11
0
Status
Pharmacy Student
Hi guys,

Thanks for posting this info. It is really helpful. I spoke to a Navy recruiter yesterday. I was just trying to find out the basics of how pharm school works in the Navy. He didn't seem to know anything about pharmacy and just told me to look it up online. I found the link posted above and that was really helpful but I'd like to ask a few more questions.

I'll tell you about my situation first. I start a four year PharmD program in southern California this September. I am married and have a seven month old son. We plan to have a second child (most likely our last child) before the four year program would be over. I'm considering the Navy for two reasons. First being that I always desired to serve in the military in some capacity. Second being the relief it would provide with loans. After four years and two kids (not goats, human children), we were thinking of having my wife take some time off work to raise the children. The only remaining concern then would be our house. We own our house here and are not sure what we would do with it for 3 years while we would be stationed elsewhere.
(that we'll figure out on our own unless you have specific ideas)

As I see it, the benefits are as listed:

HSCP: Receive up to $134,600 while finishing your degree- How exactly does this work? is it a monthly stipend? Or payed out in a lump sum to help with school bills? Is this only paid out during first two years in the Navy/the final two years of the pharm school. My pharm school alone will be over $200K not to mention loans that I am still paying off for undergrad.

HPLRP: Receive $40K four two years. Can this be taken advantage of at the same time as the HSCP.

The way I understand this is you will make up to $134,600 while in school plus $80K to pay for school loans. Then you will receive a salary once you start your 3 years that are owed to the Navy.


If I were a single man, it wouldn't be an issue but being married with a son I have to have everything straight so that my wife and I can make the best decision for our family.

Thanks
 

Misaenator

7+ Year Member
Sep 18, 2010
246
46
TX
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided), Pharmacy Student
I spoke to a direct source yesterday also, and as of right now, the mil isn't offering any incentives in term of slrp or bonus whatsoever for pharmacist. Things might change next year who knows!?

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk
 
Feb 27, 2014
11
0
Status
Pharmacy Student
Thanks, they aren't very clear about how it works on the website,and the guy I spoke to at recruitment didn't know anything about it.
 

Caverject

15+ Year Member
Aug 19, 2003
7,725
29
Hi guys,

Thanks for posting this info. It is really helpful. I spoke to a Navy recruiter yesterday. I was just trying to find out the basics of how pharm school works in the Navy. He didn't seem to know anything about pharmacy and just told me to look it up online. I found the link posted above and that was really helpful but I'd like to ask a few more questions.

I'll tell you about my situation first. I start a four year PharmD program in southern California this September. I am married and have a seven month old son. We plan to have a second child (most likely our last child) before the four year program would be over. I'm considering the Navy for two reasons. First being that I always desired to serve in the military in some capacity. Second being the relief it would provide with loans. After four years and two kids (not goats, human children), we were thinking of having my wife take some time off work to raise the children. The only remaining concern then would be our house. We own our house here and are not sure what we would do with it for 3 years while we would be stationed elsewhere.
(that we'll figure out on our own unless you have specific ideas)

As I see it, the benefits are as listed:

HSCP: Receive up to $134,600 while finishing your degree- How exactly does this work? is it a monthly stipend? Or payed out in a lump sum to help with school bills? Is this only paid out during first two years in the Navy/the final two years of the pharm school. My pharm school alone will be over $200K not to mention loans that I am still paying off for undergrad.

HPLRP: Receive $40K four two years. Can this be taken advantage of at the same time as the HSCP.

The way I understand this is you will make up to $134,600 while in school plus $80K to pay for school loans. Then you will receive a salary once you start your 3 years that are owed to the Navy.


If I were a single man, it wouldn't be an issue but being married with a son I have to have everything straight so that my wife and I can make the best decision for our family.

Thanks
You may want to look into the Air Force and Army. Both offer HPSP. If you find an Army recruiter denying it, move on to another AMEDD recruiter...it's not widely known
 

Misaenator

7+ Year Member
Sep 18, 2010
246
46
TX
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided), Pharmacy Student
You may want to look into the Air Force and Army. Both offer HPSP. If you find an Army recruiter denying it, move on to another AMEDD recruiter...it's not widely known
Was that what you did? I find its a waste of time chasing those AMEDD recruiters, some know how to put together the pkt, some talk whole bunch of nonsense that i already know. And they bounce you around, saying they will pass ur info to whoever know what they're doing. But who knows if they actually do it. Normally, the senior enlisted sgts are the one handling the promo and getting ppl to sign up and work on their paperworks. And its sad, but some dont really know what they're doing. My point is: Dont blindly depend on those recruiters, babysit and chase them until the pkt is done and in time for the annual board.

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk
 

Caverject

15+ Year Member
Aug 19, 2003
7,725
29
No, I did HPLRP. I had no idea I wanted to go into the military until my last year of pharmacy school when I had a rotation at a military facility.
 
Feb 27, 2014
11
0
Status
Pharmacy Student
I did the Army ROTC-HPSP CO-OP program if you want more information.
The army was actually my fist choice. I wasn't sure how it worked and the Army recruiter that I spoke to said that my university did not have an ROTC program. He also said there was no program for pharmacists as well.
 
Mar 2, 2014
2
0
San Antonio, Texas
Status
Pharmacy Student
Could you?

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk
This program does actually exist. The whole idea of the program is it will pay for 6 years of school. It's supposed to work like this. You get an ROTC scholarship out of high school which awards you with 4 years of tuition. You get into pharmacy school after 2 years of undergrad. After the four years of ROTC you will be commissioned as a 2LT. After you commission you send in a packet for a modified HPSP scholarship which doesn't have to sit in front of any boards...it's just approved. This adds two more years to your service, one year less than normal for HPSP. HPSP now pays your final two years of school. That's where I am right now (P3).
 

Misaenator

7+ Year Member
Sep 18, 2010
246
46
TX
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided), Pharmacy Student
This program does actually exist. The whole idea of the program is it will pay for 6 years of school. It's supposed to work like this. You get an ROTC scholarship out of high school which awards you with 4 years of tuition. You get into pharmacy school after 2 years of undergrad. After the four years of ROTC you will be commissioned as a 2LT. After you commission you send in a packet for a modified HPSP scholarship which doesn't have to sit in front of any boards...it's just approved. This adds two more years to your service, one year less than normal for HPSP. HPSP now pays your final two years of school. That's where I am right now (P3).
Can I pm you?

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk
 
Feb 27, 2014
11
0
Status
Pharmacy Student
What influenced your decisions about which branches of the military to join as a pharmacist?
 

blueheron

Chemist
Sep 4, 2013
249
77
Knoxville
Status
Pharmacy Student
Keep in mind if you are looking at a loan repayment program only like the Army, that active component is looking at about a 30% decrease over the next few years. The incentives may not be out there as this process takes place.
 
Feb 27, 2014
11
0
Status
Pharmacy Student
i don't think i'm looking at only a loan repayment. I'm trying to decide which branch would allow me to stay on the west coast
 

blueheron

Chemist
Sep 4, 2013
249
77
Knoxville
Status
Pharmacy Student
Then Air Force or Navy would be your best bet. However, "needs of the Navy/Air Force/Army" will put you where they want you, especially if they need you somewhere else more. That being said, they don't like shelling out these big incentives, so they want to keep you happy. You staying for 8 years is cheaper than paying for two people 4 years each.
 
Feb 27, 2014
11
0
Status
Pharmacy Student
If I wanted to stay on the west cost would the Navy have more positions then say the army?
 

blueheron

Chemist
Sep 4, 2013
249
77
Knoxville
Status
Pharmacy Student
Most definitely. Navy has mainly East coast, gulf, great lakes and west coast. The Army usually puts bases where no one wants to live... Big contenders for first duty stations are Kansas, Missouri, The Carolinas, Kentucky, New York, Texas. The bases out west are fairly small except maybe Fort Lewis, WA.
 
May 23, 2013
28
5
Status
Pharmacist
I've applied for army 2 years in a row after graduating. I am a very good candidate all around and don't have any flaws unless you nitpick. I got waitlisted both years because I had no previous military experience. Also army was willing to pay up to 120k but amount would be taxed around 30%...Just some things to think about. gl
 

blueheron

Chemist
Sep 4, 2013
249
77
Knoxville
Status
Pharmacy Student
I've applied for army 2 years in a row after graduating. I am a very good candidate all around and don't have any flaws unless you nitpick. I got waitlisted both years because I had no previous military experience. Also army was willing to pay up to 120k but amount would be taxed around 30%...Just some things to think about. gl
Yes they do usually take 25% right off the top when you get bonuses or incentives.

That is actually good to hear for me because they told me prior service didn't get preference, and I have been in for 10 years. I figured that wasn't the case. Did they admit to you the reason was no prior service?
 
Feb 27, 2014
11
0
Status
Pharmacy Student
thanks blueheron, There are several Navy bases that I wouldn't mind moving my family to in CA (or better said, where my wife wouldn't mind me dragging her along too). I wasn't sure about Air force bases.
 

blueheron

Chemist
Sep 4, 2013
249
77
Knoxville
Status
Pharmacy Student
Not sure about the Navy, but the Army you list your "top 3" places you want to be and it's 90% you'll get one of them. But you still have to be willing to accept the chance you won't.
 
May 23, 2013
28
5
Status
Pharmacist
Yes they do usually take 25% right off the top when you get bonuses or incentives.

That is actually good to hear for me because they told me prior service didn't get preference, and I have been in for 10 years. I figured that wasn't the case. Did they admit to you the reason was no prior service?
My recruiter told me both years that people with prior experience had a better chance/were getting selected; so he told me indirectly - even though he made it pretty obvious - that prior military experience = better chance to get selected. He has tried to get me to join the reserves and transition from there, saying that it is the best chance to gain experience and go active duty. It makes sense, but it's bs...I'm not being cocky but I doubt everyone selected those 2 years are a better candidate than I am, physically and/or mentally.
 

blueheron

Chemist
Sep 4, 2013
249
77
Knoxville
Status
Pharmacy Student
Probably, sometimes you wonder how someone ended up in charge. But they usually prefer their own. They already trained you before and you were (at least at one time) accustomed to the military life, and should be easy to reintegrate you. That's just how they see it.

Thanks for the answer.
 

RutgersEMSOP10

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 27, 2009
74
3
Jacksonville, FL
Status
Pharmacist
When choosing a station would you select 3 bases or general areas?

Naval Air Station North Island
Naval Base Coronado

Naval Station San Diego

or

San Diego, CA
Lemoore, CA
Monterey, CA

Thanks guys

Well, all of the facilities located on those bases are run by NMCSD. Sooooo....you have made one choice. A better answer is that you will be picking a duty station/billet. As a new lieutenant you will pretty much be restricted to:

NMC San Diego
NMC Portsmouth
Walter Reed NMMC
NH Jacksonville
NH Lejeune
NH Pensacola
NH Bremerton
NH Pendleton

MAYBE - Okinawa or Guam