KDBuff

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I've been selected for both the Army and Navy HPSP for dental school, and am trying to decide which is the best choice for me. I am leaning toward the Navy because I have heard that work and living conditions would be better, as well as locations.

Is anyone aware if the programs differ, and what they offer are different in any way? They seem to be identical to me, but maybe there is something I'm missing. Any feedback would really be appreciated, this is a very tough, important decision for me. Thanks,

Kevin
 

Homunculus

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if you were in medical school, i'd say Army in a heartbeat. the Army has a larger GME department, has limited GMO's (which are supposedly being phased out), and a better run HPSP program.

the Navy is small, uses GMO's extensively, and students i know in HPSP say their student management people are terrible.

however, since you are dental things could be different-- i would suggest asking the student affairs department at your school if anyone is on naval HPSP and asking them.
 
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HooahDOc

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Anyone with more info about the Army HPSP? I have always been told that Navy and Air Force take much better care of their officers than the Army.
 

Spang

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I must offer an opposing view in regard to the Navy HPSP admin types. I've had nothing but good service from them in every instance. I had 13 years of active duty in the Navy before starting medical school and expected the typical GS-civilian level of service, but the registrar they have now is very proactive as is the director.

Everything else regarding the Navy and GMO's, etc, I would agree with. I empathize with anyone having to make a service choice with very little to base it on. I've experienced the other services to varying degrees as an aviator and would say that I would not choose Army or AF over Navy now. Some of that is personality and stereotyping though.

Spang
 

iwakuni_doc

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Spang,

Thought you might enjoy this:

USN or USAF?

by Bob Norris

Bob Norris is a former Naval aviator who also did a 3 year exchange
tour with the Air Force flying the F-15 Eagle. He is now an accomplished
author of
entertaining books about US Naval Aviation including "Check Six" and
"Fly-Off". Check out his web site at <http://www.bobnorris.com/>. In
response to a letter from an aspiring fighter pilot on which military
academy to attend, Bob replied with the following.

12 Feb 04

Young Man,

Congratulations on your selection to both the Naval and Air Force
Academies. Your goal of becoming a fighter pilot is impressive and a
fine way to serve your country. As you requested, I'd be happy to share some
insight into which service would be the best choice.> Each service has a
distinctly different culture. You need to sk yourself
"Which one am I more likely to thrive in?"

USAF Snapshot: The USAF is exceptionally well organized and well run.
Their training programs are terrific. All pilots are groomed to meet
high standards for knowledge and professionalism. Their aircraft are
top-notch and extremely well maintained. Their facilities are
excellent. Their enlisted personnel are the brightest and the best
trained. The USAF is homogenous and macro. No matter where you go,
you'll know what to expect, what is expected of you, and you'll be
given the training & tools you need to meet those expectations. You
will never be put in a situation over your head. Over a 20-year
career, you will be home for most important family events. Your Mom
would want you to be an Air Force pilot...so would your wife. Your Dad
wo! uld want your sister to marry one.

Navy Snapshot: Aviators are part of the Navy, but so are Black shoes
(surface warfare) and bubble heads (submariners). Furthermore, the
Navy is split into two distinctly different Fleets (West and East
Coast). The Navy is heterogeneous and micro. Your squadron is your
home; it may be great, average, or awful. A squadron can go from one
extreme to the other before you know it. You will spend months
preparing for deployments and months on deployment. The quality of the
aircraft
varies directly with the availability of parts. Senior Navy enlisted
are the salt of the earth; you'll be proud if you earn their respect.
Junior enlisted vary from terrific to the troubled kid the judge made
join the service. You will be given the opportunity to lead these
people during your career; you will be humbled and you will get your hands
dirty. ! The quality of your training will vary and sometimes you will
be in over your head. You will miss many important family events. There
will be long stretches of tedious duty aboard ship. You will fly in
very bad weather and/or at night and you will be scared many times.
You will fly with legends in the Navy and they will kick your ass until
you become a lethal force.
And some days - when the scheduling gods have smiled upon you - your jet
will catapult into a glorious morning over a far-away sea and you will be
drop-jawed that someone would pay you to do it. The hottest girl in the
bar wants to meet the Naval Aviator. That bar is in Singapore.

Bottom line, son, if you gotta ask...pack warm & good luck in Colorado.

Banzai

PS Air Force pilots wear scarves and iron their flight suits.
 

iwakuni_doc

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Spang,

Thought you might enjoy this:

USN or USAF?

by Bob Norris

Bob Norris is a former Naval aviator who also did a 3 year exchange
tour with the Air Force flying the F-15 Eagle. He is now an accomplished
author of
entertaining books about US Naval Aviation including "Check Six" and
"Fly-Off". Check out his web site at <http://www.bobnorris.com/>. In
response to a letter from an aspiring fighter pilot on which military
academy to attend, Bob replied with the following.

12 Feb 04

Young Man,

Congratulations on your selection to both the Naval and Air Force
Academies. Your goal of becoming a fighter pilot is impressive and a
fine way to serve your country. As you requested, I'd be happy to share some
insight into which service would be the best choice.> Each service has a
distinctly different culture. You need to sk yourself
"Which one am I more likely to thrive in?"

USAF Snapshot: The USAF is exceptionally well organized and well run.
Their training programs are terrific. All pilots are groomed to meet
high standards for knowledge and professionalism. Their aircraft are
top-notch and extremely well maintained. Their facilities are
excellent. Their enlisted personnel are the brightest and the best
trained. The USAF is homogenous and macro. No matter where you go,
you'll know what to expect, what is expected of you, and you'll be
given the training & tools you need to meet those expectations. You
will never be put in a situation over your head. Over a 20-year
career, you will be home for most important family events. Your Mom
would want you to be an Air Force pilot...so would your wife. Your Dad
wo! uld want your sister to marry one.

Navy Snapshot: Aviators are part of the Navy, but so are Black shoes
(surface warfare) and bubble heads (submariners). Furthermore, the
Navy is split into two distinctly different Fleets (West and East
Coast). The Navy is heterogeneous and micro. Your squadron is your
home; it may be great, average, or awful. A squadron can go from one
extreme to the other before you know it. You will spend months
preparing for deployments and months on deployment. The quality of the
aircraft
varies directly with the availability of parts. Senior Navy enlisted
are the salt of the earth; you'll be proud if you earn their respect.
Junior enlisted vary from terrific to the troubled kid the judge made
join the service. You will be given the opportunity to lead these
people during your career; you will be humbled and you will get your hands
dirty. ! The quality of your training will vary and sometimes you will
be in over your head. You will miss many important family events. There
will be long stretches of tedious duty aboard ship. You will fly in
very bad weather and/or at night and you will be scared many times.
You will fly with legends in the Navy and they will kick your ass until
you become a lethal force.
And some days - when the scheduling gods have smiled upon you - your jet
will catapult into a glorious morning over a far-away sea and you will be
drop-jawed that someone would pay you to do it. The hottest girl in the
bar wants to meet the Naval Aviator. That bar is in Singapore.

Bottom line, son, if you gotta ask...pack warm & good luck in Colorado.

Banzai

PS Air Force pilots wear scarves and iron their flight suits.

:laugh: :laugh:
 

Spang

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That was great! Obviously those are stereotypes, but stereotypes evolve for a reason!!

I have tried to forget the many times I was scared SH#TL&#$ trying to get aboard the ship in crummy weather but I've also tried to recall being shot off the pointy end as the sun is rising over the eastern Med with a whole day of easy flying ahead of you, it is one of the best feelings in the world!!

Air Force pilots are what they are. We know it, they know it, everyone knows it. They are very, very good at what they do and they do some very, very important stuff. That being said I would not want to have to share a six-man with five of them for a nine-month WESTPAC either!!

A great example of the difference in mindset: we needed a GPC, a ground powercart, for one of our airplanes that was stranded at an Air Force base waiting on parts. The local Air Force folks had six of them, six extra of them, sitting in a hangar but wouldn't let us use one because they were required to keep "x-number on hand". On hand for what? In case they're needed. Well, we need one. Sorry. Flash forward a couple of months. We're working in the Adriatic supporting some death-from-sky stuff going on in a former-republic-of-what-have-you in eastern Europe. A Marine EA6 needs a piece of metal tubing (fuel line) that needs to be bent a certain way in order to make the flight schedule the next day. A sailor comes in at 8:00p at our base, and bends that thing, we through it our plane fly 3 hours to get it there so the hard-charging, nail-eating jarheads can put that thing back together and make the flight schedule happen. That is the difference. Argue all you want about the Blues vs. the Tbirds or bombers vs. carrier pilots, Colorado vs. Annapolis, but that story is where the rubber meets the road and it's for real.

I don't know if Navy medicine is going to be anywhere near those extremes or foster the freindships like I had as a brownshoe, but I'm proud to be part of both communities!

Joe
 

Homunculus

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Originally posted by JKDMed
Anyone with more info about the Army HPSP? I have always been told that Navy and Air Force take much better care of their officers than the Army.

i haven't heard anything in regards to officers being treated better/worse in one service over another, especially in the medical department. active duty combat units are an an entirely different animal, and i would be hesitant to let the combat side of the house influence what i thought of the medical system.

the comments above about Navy/Air Force aviation are probably true, and they have the first hand experiences to prove it. however, what i said about the student management office for Naval HPSP students is also from what i have observed first hand. One HPSPer was so fed up with the system he tried to switch branches to Army. needless to say, it didn't work, lol. strictly medically speaking, i still think the Army or Air Force is a better choice for medical education, for the reasons i listed in my first post.
 

Spang

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Originally posted by Homunculus
strictly medically speaking, i still think the Army or Air Force is a better choice for medical education, for the reasons i listed in my first post.

I don't disagree with you there, especially if you have no prior exposure to any of the services. The GME opportunities in the Army and AF seem to be better, though with the new move toward civilian medical proivders, that too may change. I think, all other things being equal, I would choose based upon specialty training availability and billet locations. None of this is within your control of course, but you have to kind of work toward something. For example if you WANT to live in Minot, for god's sake don't join the Navy :rolleyes: Seriously though, if you want to do ortho and live in DC then the Army or AF are probably better bets. If you want to crawl in the grass with the snake eaters and don't mind living Va. Beach or Tampa, join the Army or Navy. See what I mean?

Spang
 

Navy Dive Doc

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Iwakuni, you beat me to it, I saw that the other night and was planning on bringing it over to post somewhere on SDN. Thanks, classic post.

I did 2 years in Dental School (on a Navy Dental HPSP scholarship) before I punched out and went to med school . ( A nightmare making the switch over in HPSP land, but that's another story.)
Anyway, you will deploy for 6 month stretches on a Big Grey Boat if you do Navy dental, and you will do this before you have any hope of an ortho,endo,OMFS, etc. residency. At least that was the case back in 96. I don't know how it works for the Army, but the Navy wants you to deploy. Especially with the recent announcement about downsizing things which can be outsourced, my suspicion is the ONLY thing the Navy will want from the dental world in a few years is a body on a ship.

Buyer beware.
DD
 
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