Expediting Interview Decision for Military Deployment?

gshocked

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I am an active duty Army officer applying this cycle, and recently found out that I will be moving to another unit that may be deploying in December.

I got in my secondaries quickly after my MCAT results came out in August, but that still puts me behind the power curve in the review stack for interview slots.

Does anyone have experience or advice regarding requests for expediting the secondary review?
 

NotASerialKiller

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I'm pretty sure that this is one of the only reasons that med schools will grant an early decision for. Good luck, hopefully someone will have more specific tips.
 

LizzyM

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I think that you should put everything in an email to each school to which you've applied (use the bcc function to keep each school in the dark about the other schools to which you've applied.)
You might say something along the lines of "given the [xx]% probability that I will be [overseas/in [place name] /deployed <--choose whichever you wish] beginning in December 2015, I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to interview not later than November 30. I anticipate returning to the US in [month] 2016 and anticipate discharge in [month] 2016. I thank you for the opportunity to be considered for admission to medical school.

This should light a fire under schools that might consider you for interview but won't motivate those who weren't going to invite you anyway.
 
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I don't have any advice to you for early interviews, but I am assuming you will be able to leave the service before school starts next fall? I would be incredibly leery of a December deployment. You could easily be looking at not getting back until after school starts depending on where and what you are deploying for.
 

LizzyM

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I don't have any advice to you for early interviews, but I am assuming you will be able to leave the service before school starts next fall? I would be incredibly leery of a December deployment. You could easily be looking at not getting back until after school starts depending on where and what you are deploying for.
This is precisely the concern that adcoms will have.

@gshocked looking back on your post history and your intention to be admitted and then ask for a deferment is going to completely backfire because of the earlier than expected deployment No school will bother to interview you if you are deploying and not returning in time for the start of the school year. Most schools are not looking ahead to spending precious interview slots on applicants who are not available to fill a seat in the coming year but desiring to interview for a seat the year after that.

You are in a tough spot not being available to interview in the coming cycle and yet now likely to be a reapplicant when you do get around to reapplying.
 
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Spector1

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med schools are usually pretty nice to service members both active and ret.
 
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gshocked

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@LizzyM : I appreciate you articulating your concern. I knew that a deployment was likely next year during the application cycle for 2017 matriculation, which is when my timeline would allow me to start school. I was hedging my chances by taking the MCAT and applying a cycle prior, then asking for a deferment wherever I was accepted.

I'll keep on this path for now. The silver lining is that this earlier deployment would be to a place with more reliable connectivity, so applying next cycle would be feasible if necessary.

Thanks to all for comments.
 

LizzyM

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Frankly, I might suggest that you withdraw your applications with a message that due to a deployment that will take you to [fill in the blank -- say overseas assignment if you can't be specific] through [tentative date] but that you intend to withdraw your application reapply for matriculation in 2017. Believe me, schools will remember you with fondness rather than looking at you a year later as a "reapplicant". You could add " if an interview before 11/30/15 with the possibility of deferring matriculation until 2017 is an option at your school, I am open to that as an alternative to withdrawing." That would seem to be a way to have your cake and eat it too.
 

Gastrapathy

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I'm puzzled by this story. Its rare for the .mil to deploy someone or move them between units for their last 7 months of service. What is your EAOS? If its 2017 to begin with, you should not apply this year.
 
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DokterMom

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Frankly, I might suggest that you withdraw your applications with a message that due to a deployment that will take you to [fill in the blank -- say overseas assignment if you can't be specific] through [tentative date] but that you intend to withdraw your application reapply for matriculation in 2017. Believe me, schools will remember you with fondness rather than looking at you a year later as a "reapplicant". You could add " if an interview before 11/30/15 with the possibility of deferring matriculation until 2017 is an option at your school, I am open to that as an alternative to withdrawing." That would seem to be a way to have your cake and eat it too.
This - absolutely this.

- This path is a pro-active and responsible course of action by someone who now finds himself in an awkward position, but is clear-headed, forthcoming and wants to treat everyone fairly.

- The path you plan is convoluted, borderline dishonest, inconsiderate of the schools' time, and suggests you have trouble making rational decisions. (You applied for a spot you cannot fill? What were you thinking?)
 
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gshocked

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@Gastrapathy : deploying near the end of your service is far from rare in my limited experience. The requirement is that you're back in the States no fewer than 90 days out from your ETS - and for seniors nowadays, that timeline is typically maxed out. The reality is that with rapidly shrinking force caps in most theaters, commanders must do more with significantly less. My EAOS is the beginning of October 2016. I could go on terminal leave and start school simultaneously. However, if I were told to deploy, I would prioritize that and push my ETS until after the deployment, necessitating a 2017 school start date.

@LizzyM : thank you for the tough love. Obviously, withdrawing is not something I would be excited to do, but I appreciate your explanation. It seems that if I do get tagged for a December movement, the issue will force its hand.

@DokterMom : I value your input and the way you explained LizzyM's suggested path. Though certainly convoluted, I disagree that I'm being in any way dishonest. My choices were to apply knowing I would probably ask for a deferral and risk the school's decision, or to wait until next cycle and risk the possibility of deploying and not being physically able to apply. If asked, I would explain my situation candidly.

Deployment orders are cut on short notice. I haven't been told that I will deploy, but I can see it as a possibility (ie, 'some portions' of my larger organization will deploy, but no one has been tagged yet). If my marriage were on the rocks, and I thought that there'd be a chance that I could divorce next year and would need to defer acceptance to handle legal/financial issues, should I just not apply? I would argue that many deferrals are granted for circumstances that were known by the applicant to be possible if not probable during the application cycle. Moreover, the schools I applied to have policies that allow for deferral consideration for 'once in a lifetime opportunities' among other reasons that would prevent an applicant from matriculating.

The application process can be a year long - or longer if you're wait listed. In my case, there are too many variables in that year to know without a doubt when I would matriculate - however, my opinion is that I'm being as pro-active as I can, keeping as many doors open as possible, and minimizing the time I've spent out of school. As I chose to apply only to schools that grant deferrals, I don't think that I'm significantly wasting the schools' or admissions committees' time, nor am I negatively affecting other applicants.

I am not trying to hoodwink the system, but rather trying to operate within my constraints.

I sincerely appreciate everyone's experienced wisdom.
 
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DokterMom

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Sorry @gshocked -- Didn't mean to imply that you were being dishonest, just that your actions could be perceived that way.
 

Gastrapathy

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Oct 2016 is really tight now that leave is back to 60. Probably still worth applying if you are sure you'll get terminal leave.