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Joining Army Reserves for Dental HPSP

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schultzie

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Hello (I'm new here), I am a 2nd Year in undergrad who wants to get into Dental.

My main concern:
Is joining the Army reserve (as 2nd year undergrad) a good idea to be on track for HPSP Dental?

Background:
2nd year who is currently on track to finish undergrad to later apply to dental school. Found out about HPSP for dental and contacted an Army recruiter. He explained that I can apply to HPSP as I apply into dental school. He also recommended I join Army reserve (10wk training + ~31 days/yr, 6-yr contract) which will be changed into an HPSP contract should i get accepted into it.

Other Concerns/Thoughts:
What is the competitiveness of HPSP Dental (hard for AF dental according to SDN); worried that I will be stuck in 6 yr contract while trying to work through dental school.

I personally like the idea of working in the military as a dentist and have no issues with moving/traveling across bases. Please don't be shy to tell me anything regarding being in military and if its right for me or not!

(so far) I like the appeal of reserves working only 2 days/month + 1 week/yr. But again, my main goal is getting into dental HPSP and i rather only join reserves if it seems beneficial; plus as an aspiring dental student I'd like to devote all available time in working towards getting into dental school first!

Extra Notes:
This is my first post so please tell me if I posted in wrong sub, messed up text, etc. Still learning SDN! I just want to learn more so please tell me anything you can (stuff on medical HPSP, military stuff, etc.) Just want to hear whatever I can before I decide!
 

Ranger_Danger

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plus as an aspiring dental student I'd like to devote all available time in working towards getting into dental school first!

You answered your own question. Your time would be much better utilized studying and shadowing, if dental school is your goal. I've never been apart of an HPSP selection board, but I'd venture to guess that you might get a slight advantage from being affiliated with a reserve unit. However, a good GPA and a solid DAT score would be a much better way to make your application more competitive. Also, if you join the reserves now, your timeline could be interrupted if your unit mobilizes/deploys.
 
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USArmyHPSP

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While I'm sure that the recruiter you are talking to is a nice person, they are not really looking out for your best interest by telling you to join the Reserves while in undergrad. If you want to go to dental school - do not under any circumstance join the Reserves. The weekends and two weeks training time is much better spent studying/volunteering/shadowing toward being a dentist. With the world situation the way it is, the chances of your Reserve Unit being called up to go someplace away from your school is very likely. In other words, the unit can say at a moment's notice @schultzie get your duffel bag and report to the unit for deployment at 0600 next Saturday - a bit extreme but you should get the idea. They can yank you away from school and there is nothing you can do about it. It is not worth the risk.

After undergrad, you will still owe four or, maybe five of your six years. There is no guarantee that your unit will let you out of that commitment in order to join the HPSP. You cannot be a part of the active Reserve and in HPSP at the same time. So, you may be now looking at no HPSP scholarship, loans for dental school, and still may be called away at a moment's notice while in dental school.

There is a recruiter who hangs out in these forums who has displayed a very high degree of integrity and knowledge about HPSP. His screen name is ArmyHealth. I strongly suggest that you contact him via private message for the "real deal". Even if you are looking at Navy or Air Force, he has proven to be a valuable information resource over the past few years.
 
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schultzie

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You answered your own question. Your time would be much better utilized studying and shadowing, if dental school is your goal. I've never been apart of an HPSP selection board, but I'd venture to guess that you might get a slight advantage from being affiliated with a reserve unit. However, a good GPA and a solid DAT score would be a much better way to make your application more competitive. Also, if you join the reserves now, your timeline could be interrupted if your unit mobilizes/deploys.
Thanks for your input! The time dedicated toward GPA/DAT is of course very vital and reserves is a time sacrifice that I must consider heavily. Hearing pros/cons certainly helps me get a better perspective. I will definitely try to reach out to recruiter and see if i can get more information on the actual time commitment towards reserves.
 

schultzie

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While I'm sure that the recruiter you are talking to is a nice person, they are not really looking out for your best interest by telling you to join the Reserves while in undergrad. If you want to go to dental school - do not under any circumstance join the Reserves. The weekends and two weeks training time is much better spent studying/volunteering/shadowing toward being a dentist. With the world situation the way it is, the chances of your Reserve Unit being called up to go someplace away from your school is very likely. In other words, the unit can say at a moment's notice @schultzie get your duffel bag and report to the unit for deployment at 0600 next Saturday - a bit extreme but you should get the idea. They can yank you away from school and there is nothing you can do about it. It is not worth the risk.

After undergrad, you will still owe four or, maybe five of your six years. There is no guarantee that your unit will let you out of that commitment in order to join the HPSP. You cannot be a part of the active Reserve and in HPSP at the same time. So, you may be now looking at no HPSP scholarship, loans for dental school, and still may be called away at a moment's notice while in dental school.

There is a recruiter who hangs out in these forums who has displayed a very high degree of integrity and knowledge about HPSP. His screen name is ArmyHealth. I strongly suggest that you contact him via private message for the "real deal". Even if you are looking at Navy or Air Force, he has proven to be a valuable information resource over the past few years.
Thanks for your input! Yes, the time sacrifice is of course heavy and you brought up the face that I might also be called into service as well. Those are things I'm also worried about and its an overall risk that might not be worth in the end. The transition from reserve to HPSP is another factor to consider and my recruiter briefly explained that my reserve contract will be replaced with the HPSP contract (according to him, so looking into it more is still worthwhile).

Nonetheless, I will certainly try to msg ArmyHealth and see if they can help give me some further thought and information.
 

O Gaúcho

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I have met many dental students who are on the HPSP and NONE of them had previous military experience/association. If you think joining the reserves gives you a sure spot for the Army HPSP then you are dead wrong. Focus on becoming the best and most qualified predent student. Not only will that help you get into dental school, but also the HPSP.
 
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schultzie

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I have met many dental students who are on the HPSP and NONE of them had previous military experience/association. If you think joining the reserves gives you a sure spot for the Army HPSP then you are dead wrong. Focus on becoming the best and most qualified predent student. Not only will that help you get into dental school, but also the HPSP.
Thanks for your input! From your perspective and others, it appears that reserves is definitely not a necessity and its benefits of getting into HPSP is unclear and likely not worth the time/risks.
 
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Blackca3

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This is just my personal experience. I have 8 years in the reserves. I joined in 2009, my senior year of high school. I drilled and attended ECT through out my entire undergrad plus 2 years of working. It honestly had little to no impact on my studies. Tons of soldiers in my unit were also in undergrad and most would agree that drilling didn't affect their schoolwork. I gave up the occasionally weekend of partying and received pay and some tuition assistance to do so. Probability of deploying is entirely dependent on your MOS. There aren't very many deployments these days. I submitted my packet for MDSSP earlier this month and was selected. There were only 5 slots available. I know that being in the reserves significantly helped my application. The board knew that I was aware of what I was signing up for and was not likely to get out as soon as my contract was up. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.
 
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schultzie

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This is just my personal experience. I have 8 years in the reserves. I joined in 2009, my senior year of high school. I drilled and attended ECT through out my entire undergrad plus 2 years of working. It honestly had little to no impact on my studies. Tons of soldiers in my unit were also in undergrad and most would agree that drilling didn't affect their schoolwork. I gave up the occasionally weekend of partying and received pay and some tuition assistance to do so. Probability of deploying is entirely dependent on your MOS. There aren't very many deployments these days. I submitted my packet for MDSSP earlier this month and was selected. There were only 5 slots available. I know that being in the reserves significantly helped my application. The board knew that I was aware of what I was signing up for and was not likely to get out as soon as my contract was up. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.
Thanks for your input! Nice to hear that you were successful in your transition from reserve to MDSSP. One thing I forgot to bring up is that the reserves do offer me some reasonable incentives for my current undergrad tuition. Plus having reserves on your resume is not a bad thing either. With this in mind, what MOS do you recommend I try to look into should I join reserves?
 

Blackca3

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Thanks for your input! Nice to hear that you were successful in your transition from reserve to MDSSP. One thing I forgot to bring up is that the reserves do offer me some reasonable incentives for my current undergrad tuition. Plus having reserves on your resume is not a bad thing either. With this in mind, what MOS do you recommend I try to look into should I join reserves?

For the reserves, available MOS will depend on what Units are located in your area and ASVAB score. A recruiter should be able to tell you what MOS slots are open for you. I've been a 74D and I've really enjoyed it. The reserves does have some education benefits like tuition assistance which is almost like a yearly scholarship and chapter 1606 gi bill which will give you a small monthly stipend. Having the reserves on my resume was very helpful in finding jobs after I graduated.
 

schultzie

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For the reserves, available MOS will depend on what Units are located in your area and ASVAB score. A recruiter should be able to tell you what MOS slots are open for you. I've been a 74D and I've really enjoyed it. The reserves does have some education benefits like tuition assistance which is almost like a yearly scholarship and chapter 1606 gi bill which will give you a small monthly stipend. Having the reserves on my resume was very helpful in finding jobs after I graduated.
Thanks for the info on MOS and yours. I'll see what my recruiter says about it should I enter reserves. I'm hoping that I can go into an MOS that can translate over to my current degree field.
 

schultzie

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Thanks to everyone on this thread! I feel much less lost on how to move forward. Depending on what I decide, Ill post some updates when possible for those reading/interested or those that are in a similar boat and looking for reference.
 
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Armyhealth

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Someone is being dishonest here. They are trying to get a double contract out of you. I am a healthcare recruiter for the Army and I would never tell you to join the reserves if you plan on applying to HPSP. Concentrate on the task at hand and focus on getting ready for your dental school application. If you are a top notch applicant for dental school then you will be a top notch applicant for HPSP. Feel free to PM me.
 
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Blackca3

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Someone is being dishonest here. They are trying to get a double contract out of you. I am a healthcare recruiter for the Army and I would never tell you to join the reserves if you plan on applying to HPSP. Concentrate on the task at hand and focus on getting ready for your dental school application. If you are a top notch applicant for dental school then you will be a top notch applicant for HPSP. Feel free to PM me.

I'm not sure what you mean by double contract. I've never heard of that. The current contract is replaced by the new one. I just signed the paperwork confirming that yesterday. Not saying OP should or should not join. Just shared my personal experience.
 

Armyhealth

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I'm not sure what you mean by double contract. I've never heard of that. The current contract is replaced by the new one. I just signed the paperwork confirming that yesterday. Not saying OP should or should not join. Just shared my personal experience.

What I mean is the recruiter gets credit for your contract twice. They get credit as a reservist enlisted first, then you get offered the HPSP which your first contract is now void. However the recruiter gets credit for you again as a HPSP. When I say double contract I mean on the recruiters end not on person signing the contract
.
 

Blackca3

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What I mean is the recruiter gets credit for your contract twice. They get credit as a reservist enlisted first, then you get offered the HPSP which your first contract is now void. However the recruiter gets credit for you again as a HPSP. When I say double contract I mean on the recruiters end not on person signing the contract
.

Wouldn't you have to see two different recruiters? Regular recruiters for the enlistment and an AMEDD recruiter for HPSP/MDSSP? And wouldn't OP's recruiter most likely be gone by the time they applied for HPSP/MDSSP, 2 to 3 years down the road?
 
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Armyhealth

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Wouldn't you have to see two different recruiters? Regular recruiters for the enlistment and an AMEDD recruiter for HPSP/MDSSP? And wouldn't OP's recruiter most likely be gone by the time they applied for HPSP/MDSSP, 2 to 3 years down the road?

Yes you are right, the enlisted recruiter is trying to get a contract when they should be forwarding this person to the AMEDD/officer recruiter.
 
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don't get recruitered. you might be just fine if you join the reserves, you might get deployed for 9+ months. I'm national guard, we have units getting deployed fairly frequently. some of this kids are in the middle of school, doesn't matter. also realize that you'd be gone for basic and your AIT. potentially you'd miss a semester of school
 
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