herkyMD

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I've been trying to talk to a recruiter about Army HPSP for awhile but they've been getting back to me few and far between so I figured I'd ask here to see if anyone had any answers.

1. What is the requirement for body fat when commissioning as an officer? I've read places that you can be 26% when entering the army but need to be 22% by the end of basic. This was for enlisted recruits but I was wondering if it applied to officers as well. I know my weight is an issue and have lost 30lbs since I decided that the Army was right for me but I'd like to get my Application in as soon as possible for the best chance of receiving a 4 year scholarship. I start med school in August.

2. I had a heart murmur as a baby but it closed up a few days after I was born. I've never taken medication for it and it has never hindered me from playing sports or doing anything physical. I played 4 sports in high school and it never caused problems. Should I even list this on my HPSP application?

3. I had childhood asthma and didn't have any problems with it/treatment for it since the age of 11 or 12 until this past February when I had chest tightness induced by a viral infection. I have a friend doing HPSP for dental school and he got medical clearance on waivers for his asthma and I think he's had to take medication for it pretty regularly. Is this a big deal?

4. On the HPSP application when it asks if you've ever used an illegal substance. I have to admit (not proudly) that I have tried marijuana a few times but I've never had any legal trouble and haven't used in a year or more. Should I still select "yes" on the HPSP application? Is this a denying factor for the HPSP application?

5. How does the repayment work? Does residency count towards your reserve years of commitment? I'm just curious. I don't have a problem with being an active reservist after active duty has been paid back but I would like to know before I sign all of the paperwork.

Thanks for all of your help. I'm really excited for life as a military physician so any help with these questions would be greatly appreciated!
 

USArmyHPSP

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It is probably best if you research some of these questions on your own. The website www.apd.army.mil is the the Army's publication website. For your weight issues AR 600-9, Chapter 3 tables 3-1 and 3-2 outline the weight and body fat standards. These apply to officer and enlisted alike. For your medical issues AR 601-141, Chapter 2 outlines the physical standards for appointment and induction.

For marijuana - it's your integrity on the line. I will say that in most cases it's not a deal breaker.

Active duty service obligation is kinda tricky with many variables. I have a powerpoint slide that I can send you if you PM me.
 

NavyFP

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I've been trying to talk to a recruiter about Army HPSP for awhile but they've been getting back to me few and far between so I figured I'd ask here to see if anyone had any answers.

1. What is the requirement for body fat when commissioning as an officer? I've read places that you can be 26% when entering the army but need to be 22% by the end of basic. This was for enlisted recruits but I was wondering if it applied to officers as well. I know my weight is an issue and have lost 30lbs since I decided that the Army was right for me but I'd like to get my Application in as soon as possible for the best chance of receiving a 4 year scholarship. I start med school in August.

If weight is a problem, do some long thinking. Keeping in standards is important if you wish to stay Army and those who have had issues with weight in the past will tend to have issues again in the future. Not an absolute but a generalization. I am not sure what the actual limits are, but I don't think they change for officers.

2. I had a heart murmur as a baby but it closed up a few days after I was born. I've never taken medication for it and it has never hindered me from playing sports or doing anything physical. I played 4 sports in high school and it never caused problems. Should I even list this on my HPSP application?

Not a problem. Don't mention it. It will only create headaches.

3. I had childhood asthma and didn't have any problems with it/treatment for it since the age of 11 or 12 until this past February when I had chest tightness induced by a viral infection. I have a friend doing HPSP for dental school and he got medical clearance on waivers for his asthma and I think he's had to take medication for it pretty regularly. Is this a big deal?

Childhood asthma not treated after age 11 is not a problem and does not need a waiver.

4. On the HPSP application when it asks if you've ever used an illegal substance. I have to admit (not proudly) that I have tried marijuana a few times but I've never had any legal trouble and haven't used in a year or more. Should I still select "yes" on the HPSP application? Is this a denying factor for the HPSP application?

Admit to it. Say it was stupid. It is not a showstopper.

5. How does the repayment work? Does residency count towards your reserve years of commitment? I'm just curious. I don't have a problem with being an active reservist after active duty has been paid back but I would like to know before I sign all of the paperwork.

This is quite complicated and has been hashed out many times on this forum. A quick search will give you the answer you seek.

Thanks for all of your help. I'm really excited for life as a military physician so any help with these questions would be greatly appreciated!
see in red
 

teacherman84

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1. My paperwork from meps required 20% for the AF...not sure fr the other services though.

2. I would claim all the medical things, its better to be honest up front. Childhood asthma should be waived but Im not sure about the recent thing. Its up to the medical board so all we can do on here is speculate or give anecdotes.

4. Also be honest with the pot thing. Again its better to be forward with info. I had no problem getting it waived for HPSP and USUHS, and I dd have a run in with the law on record.

5. You owe 4 years active and 4 inactive ready reserves for HPSP, the actve commitment is longer for longer residencies and if you do a fellowship.

Good luck
 

DocArmy

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I've been trying to talk to a recruiter about Army HPSP for awhile but they've been getting back to me few and far between so I figured I'd ask here to see if anyone had any answers.

1. What is the requirement for body fat when commissioning as an officer? I've read places that you can be 26% when entering the army but need to be 22% by the end of basic. This was for enlisted recruits but I was wondering if it applied to officers as well. I know my weight is an issue and have lost 30lbs since I decided that the Army was right for me but I'd like to get my Application in as soon as possible for the best chance of receiving a 4 year scholarship. I start med school in August.
Here is a link to a worksheet to calculate your Army body fat. Put your height and neck size in and there you go. (I think that the Cadet Sampson page is working if the main one isn't) I was overweight when I signed everything and they were fine with it. Don't be too overweight. [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Age 17-20 - 24%, Age 21-27 - 26%, Age 28-39 - 28%, Age 40+ - 30%.. Try not to be just squeaking by, because the rope and choke may be done differently by different people, so just barely making it at home may not be good at OBLC.

2. I had a heart murmur as a baby but it closed up a few days after I was born. I've never taken medication for it and it has never hindered me from playing sports or doing anything physical. I played 4 sports in high school and it never caused problems. Should I even list this on my HPSP application?
I don't know. Is there an extensive paper trail? Did you see a cardiologist for a year or two, or did it take care of itself on its own with no more than monitoring by your FP? Unless you had to see cards and it was actually a health problem and not just some rando newborn thing, I wouldn't worry about it personally.

3. I had childhood asthma and didn't have any problems with it/treatment for it since the age of 11 or 12 until this past February when I had chest tightness induced by a viral infection. I have a friend doing HPSP for dental school and he got medical clearance on waivers for his asthma and I think he's had to take medication for it pretty regularly. Is this a big deal?
Did you take meds last February? If not, then it didn't happen. If you were taking meds, but just while you were sick with a chest infection, then you could consider that the inhaler you got then was treatment for your chest congestion, not your asthma.

4. On the HPSP application when it asks if you've ever used an illegal substance. I have to admit (not proudly) that I have tried marijuana a few times but I've never had any legal trouble and haven't used in a year or more. Should I still select "yes" on the HPSP application? Is this a denying factor for the HPSP application?
Yes, you smoked marijuana. Fortunately for you, docs are needed in the military and they probably won't stop you if you are clean and plan on staying clean. Not sure on this one, no personal experience. However, I took an airborne the night before my pee test and popped pos for cannibinoids. Funny b/c I have NEVER smoked anything in my life. They were very relaxed and offered to let me "take it again in a week or so." I insisted that they retest me immediately because I knew it couldn't be positive. However, coming up positive in your career will be devastating, so having only stopped a year ago might hurt you.

5. How does the repayment work? Does residency count towards your reserve years of commitment? I'm just curious. I don't have a problem with being an active reservist after active duty has been paid back but I would like to know before I sign all of the paperwork.
Ok, you will owe 4 years Active Duty (AD) and 4 Individual Ready Reserve (IRR). IRR is not a drilling reservist. IRR is basically a last group to call back in case of World War III.


Hope that helps.
 

ArmyBelle

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I wouldn't write the marijuana on my application. Why would you put something like that on your permanent file? Just never do it again and PLEASE don't have it in your system at MEPS! Then again, I've never been in your situation so I can't say... My advice, don't write it. Hopefully your friends will take down those facebook pictures of your Mike Phelps impersonation. hahaha, j/k!

A congenital heart problem isn't a big deal. Of course it would vary depending on what you had. You'd have to be more specific for me give real advice. ALL babies have heart murmurs... That's why it's not an APGAR point.

Now, the big consideration here comes down to the dollar bill. Let's say God FORBID, that you get sent to San Antonio or El Paso and end up dying from R>L hypoxia and/or an asthma attack. You'll be dead but your family won't be... If the Army finds our posthumously that you lied on your application, they don't have to give your family $400,000. and rightfully so. Furthermore, let's say you serve 20years in the Army and then retire with emphysema. And it comes out that you lied on your app. Ok... well, now it's going to affect your VA benefits. The question becomes, "What percent of your disability is the Army really responsible for"?

I say declare the health stuff for the reasons mentioned above. There have been West Point grads who've graduated with congenital heart defects. If the Army wants you then they'll make a way. If they can't then it wasn't meant to be. Try the Navy, they'll take anyone.

Every summer there is an HPSPer who comes to OBLC in San Antonio and has asthma for the "first time". The heat at Ft.Sam is no joke! Just so happens that last summer the SWEETEST fella got sick from the heat of Camp Bullis. It's an Army base so H1N1 was going around and then it was the hottest summer on record. Chances are that could be you... I'd hate for you or anyone to be in that situation... But it happens EVERY SUMMER! Then you have to go through that headache... If someone's asthma acts up CONUS then they can't deploy. It changes your status... Trust me, that's not the life you want for yourself!

Now, you plan to never have a MI or another asthma attack...
 

175961

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I wouldn't write the marijuana on my application. Why would you put something like that on your permanent file? Just never do it again and PLEASE don't have it in your system at MEPS! Then again, I've never been in your situation so I can't say... My advice, don't write it. Hopefully your friends will take down those facebook pictures of your Mike Phelps impersonation. hahaha, j/k!
so much for integrity.
 

IlDestriero

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so much for integrity.
Perhaps you simply can't recall the drug use at the time you filled out the application?
I'm no drug user, or attorney, but this document is a permanent part of your file. Just like on a medical record, if there's no documentation, it didn't happen. This can only cause you problems that you don't need or want, and it will always be there in your service record. It is worrysome that you used drugs as recently as 12 months ago. If you use in the service, they will throw you out. Zero tolerance.
They also make you take a breathalyzer, so tone down the partying the night before you go.;)
 

175961

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Perhaps you simply can't recall the drug use at the time you filled out the application?
I'm no drug user, or attorney, but this document is a permanent part of your file. Just like on a medical record, if there's no documentation, it didn't happen. This can only cause you problems that you don't need or want, and it will always be there in your service record. It is worrysome that you used drugs as recently as 12 months ago. If you use in the service, they will throw you out. Zero tolerance.
They also make you take a breathalyzer, so tone down the partying the night before you go.;)
I'm not referring to the OP at all....just to the comment of lying on an application. Everyone should try to maintain their integrity, especially if they are going to be an officer in the military. own up to your actions, that is all.
 

ArmyBelle

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just to the comment of lying on an application. Everyone should try to maintain their integrity, especially if they are going to be an officer in the military. own up to your actions, that is all.

I get what you're saying as an applicant. I do. Integrity is part of the LDRSHIP yah-da-yah-da.

but it's a bit naive and immature to think that way as a working physician. If you think that every patient in the civilian world and the military has a 100% honest record/history then you're going to miss most of your diagnoses. There's even a line on most histories where you gauge how "credible" the info is.

An as an adult, who is applying for a job, in an economy of 17% real unemployment... You'd be a fool to do anything extra to hinder your future.

Let's be practical. Let's say Guy 1 is full of "integrity" and he writes in his permanent record that he smoked some dope. Guy 2 smokes the dope but never writes it down. They both get into the Army and serve their country for 25yrs with a strong record. Now they both go to a board for promotion to see who is going to lead the command of region x. who do you think is going to be the new Commander? The druggie with integrity, or the one with the clean record?
 

teacherman84

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Let's be practical. Let's say Guy 1 is full of "integrity" and he writes in his permanent record that he smoked some dope. Guy 2 smokes the dope but never writes it down. They both get into the Army and serve their country for 25yrs with a strong record. Now they both go to a board for promotion to see who is going to lead the command of region x. who do you think is going to be the new Commander? The druggie with integrity, or the one with the clean record?
You really think after 25 years of service, admitting to smoking pot is going to come into play at all?
Like I said, I got the scholarship no problem with it on my record and I know of people with similar to better stats that were not accepted into the program. And that is just entering.
My brother, also fooled around with pot around the time I did, he enlisted out of high school and has had nothing but success in his intelligence career with the AF. Again, not seeing how a minor indiscretion has had any impact on his career.
 
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IlDestriero

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You really think after 25 years of service, admitting to smoking pot is going to come into play at all?
Like I said, I got the scholarship no problem with it on my record and I know of people with similar to better stats that were not accepted into the program. And that is just entering.
My brother, also fooled around with pot around the time I did, he enlisted out of high school and has had nothing but success in his intelligence career with the AF. Again, not seeing how a minor indiscretion has had any impact on his career.
If there is competition for the scholarship, and I don't know how competitive it is anymore or how competitive a candidate the OP is, you're fooling yourself to think that it might not be used as part of their decision making. I still say if there is no records of the event in question, it did not happen.;)
 

notdeadyet

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I get what you're saying as an applicant. I do. Integrity is part of the LDRSHIP yah-da-yah-da.
Acronyms and catch-phrases may be yah-da-ya-da but the core values such as loyalty and integrity are not. If you do not value integrity, you should not be a military officer. Or a physician, for that matter.
but it's a bit naive and immature to think that way as a working physician. If you think that every patient in the civilian world and the military has a 100% honest record/history then you're going to miss most of your diagnoses.
"My patients will lie to me, therefore, it's okay for me to lie."
An as an adult, who is applying for a job, in an economy of 17% real unemployment... You'd be a fool to do anything extra to hinder your future.
"Times are tough, therefore, it's okay for me to lie."
Now they both go to a board for promotion to see who is going to lead the command of region x. who do you think is going to be the new Commander? The druggie with integrity, or the one with the clean record?
If full facts are known, any collection of officers will choose someone with integrity who admitted to smoking pot before joining than someone who lied on his application. Period.

Everytime this "it's okay to lie" thing pops up, it makes me sad. This is the military, for crissake. If your word is no good, you have no business being an officer.
 

teacherman84

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If there is competition for the scholarship, and I don't know how competitive it is anymore or how competitive a candidate the OP is, you're fooling yourself to think that it might not be used as part of their decision making. I still say if there is no records of the event in question, it did not happen.;)
During my selection, only 40 candidates were accepted nationwide. If I know of two disappointed people I would imagine there were more. Im not saying it doesnt at all come into play but that if it didnt effect me getting the scholarship nor has it had any negative effect on my brothers career in intelligence (one of the more selective enlisted careers), I really dont think it is going to be a deciding factor 20 years down the road when a promotion is on the table.

Yeah it probably wont harm anyone by neglecting to be forward with the information but I personally dont think its right. I guess it is a matter of where you draw the line.
 

IlDestriero

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During my selection, only 40 candidates were accepted nationwide. If I know of two disappointed people I would imagine there were more. Im not saying it doesnt at all come into play but that if it didnt effect me getting the scholarship nor has it had any negative effect on my brothers career in intelligence (one of the more selective enlisted careers), I really dont think it is going to be a deciding factor 20 years down the road when a promotion is on the table.

Yeah it probably wont harm anyone by neglecting to be forward with the information but I personally dont think its right. I guess it is a matter of where you draw the line.
I'm talking about a month from now when the board meets, not 20 years in the future. Though, having said that, I would not want permanent documentation of getting high 3 times in college and trying coke once. Who knows what the future holds for anyone. That could be a huge embarrasing black mark for someone down the line. One that is completely avoidable now.
 

notdeadyet

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Though, having said that, I would not want permanent documentation of getting high 3 times in college and trying coke once. Who knows what the future holds for anyone. That could be a huge embarrasing black mark for someone down the line. One that is completely avoidable now.
It's a character thing. Would you rather be embarassed about admitting to some drug experimentation as a kid, or know that one of your first steps to becoming an officer was lying on your application?

This is one of those times that you largely decide the sort of person you will end up being. Anyone can tell the truth when it's easy. The sort of person who lies at this point is the one that finds lying is just a part of their life when they hit a difficult situation down the road.
 
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IlDestriero

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It's a character thing. Would you rather be embarassed about admitting to some drug experimentation as a kid, or know that one of your first steps to becoming an officer was lying on your application?

This is one of those times that you largely decide the sort of person you will end up being. Anyone can tell the truth when it's easy. The sort of person who lies at this point is the one that finds lying is just a part of their life when they hit a difficult situation down the road.
Who knows, who cares. It's not a problem of mine. That coming clean about a few bong hits in college is a pivotal moment that decides ones future character is a JOKE, come on give me a break. :rolleyes: If he really wants my advice, I'd say DONT TAKE HPSP, GO IN THROUGH THE FAP. Same endpoint, total training control and less reliability on luck. But he didn't ask that...:laugh:
 

notdeadyet

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That coming clean about a few bong hits in college is a pivotal moment that decides ones future character is a JOKE, come on give me a break. :rolleyes:
People who establish a pattern at lying when it's easier than telling the truth tend to continue that pattern. The person that does this is the kind of person I worry about when I ask, "Did you check Mr. Jones' breath sounds?" and you get a hesitation and "Uh.... yeah..."
If he really wants my advice, I'd say DONT TAKE HPSP, GO IN THROUGH THE FAP. Same endpoint, total training control and less reliability on luck.
That we agree on.
 

ArmyBelle

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I'm hardly a philosopher or an ethicist. However you're reminding me of an amazing lecture series from undergrad...
The point of it all was that "perfection is the enemy of good" and there are "necessary evils for the greater good". Aristotle I think? Don't have time to look it up because I'm at Saturday clinic... (which i loathe, btw. fml)

Lying is never "good". But all American Soldiers are doing good in the world... If you have to lie to serve then make it happen. It shouldn't "sadden" you that anyone would want to go through the hassle of signing up.

It's immature to think that as a grown-up and an Officer you won't be forced to do "bad" things for the greater good.

Lying about vital signs is lazy. Obviously the kid is putting in work debating these application answers. He's not flippantly checking no. Don't judge him. Are you going to judge your future patients in the EXACT same position? That's surely going to make you a good doctor <#sarcasm>.

Yes it's cute that George Washington told his Daddy that he cut down the cherry tree. It would have been really ****ty if Clinton wasn't President for smoking weed in college or if Bush wasn't President because he did lines of coke at Yale (depending on how you look at things). Both of these Commanders in Chief "lied" about their drug history use to get elected and they've both admitted to it once in office. So you're better than the President, Jesus?

Grow up and stop being so judgmental. It's an internet forum not judgment day.
 

teacherman84

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I'm talking about a month from now when the board meets, not 20 years in the future. Though, having said that, I would not want permanent documentation of getting high 3 times in college and trying coke once. Who knows what the future holds for anyone. That could be a huge embarrasing black mark for someone down the line. One that is completely avoidable now.
Yes I was addressing Armybelles claim that it would come to haunt you 25 years down the road. And I addressed how it affected me when the board met.

Yes it's cute that George Washington told his Daddy that he cut down the cherry tree. It would have been really ****ty if Clinton wasn't President for smoking weed in college or if Bush wasn't President because he did lines of coke at Yale (depending on how you look at things). Both of these Commanders in Chief "lied" about their drug history use to get elected and they've both admitted to it once in office. So you're better than the President, Jesus?

Grow up and stop being so judgmental. It's an internet forum not judgment day.
As much as I dislike a lot of what is going on in the current administration, Obama is proof that being forward about past youthful drug related indiscretions even before election is a lot less harmful than the afforementioned presidents who were found out after the fact.
 

notdeadyet

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Lying is never "good". But all American Soldiers are doing good in the world... If you have to lie to serve then make it happen.
No, some American soldiers are doing good. There are some dirtbags as well. Many of them make the news. Many of them grift, con, and hurt others in uniform. I'd be happier if they did not salute the same flag.

You meet some folks you'd trust with your life in the Army. You also meet folks you wouldn't trust with your library card. The difference is integrity.
It's immature to think that as a grown-up and an Officer you won't be forced to do "bad" things for the greater good.
Please don't equate the tough decisions an officer sometimes has to make with lying on your job application. It's kinda insulting.
Are you going to judge your future patients in the EXACT same position? That's surely going to make you a good doctor <#sarcasm>.
Huh? If a patient asks me if he should lie on his job application, I'd tell him the same thing.
It would have been really ****ty if Clinton wasn't President for smoking weed in college or if Bush wasn't President because he did lines of coke at Yale (depending on how you look at things).
Good examples. But few got pi$$ed at Clinton for smoking dope; they got pi$$ed when he lied to congress. Few got pi$$ed at Bush for coke at Yale; they got pi$$ed when he lied about Iraq.
Grow up and stop being so judgmental. It's an internet forum not judgment day.
Oh, I'm too grown up at this point. I have concert tees older that are older than lots of folks on SDN...

Folks are giving the OP advice about starting off his career as an Army officer with lying on his application. I'm not judging anybody, just saying that I think it's a very bad idea for all sorts of reasons. We just have different values. If the OP didn't want the advice on filling out his app, he probably wouldn't have opened a thread called HPSP Application Q's - Please Help!
 
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