alh2001

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Jan 3, 2016
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Hi Everyone,

I'm a sophomore biomed and neuroscience double major at uni. I've thought about the military for a long time and only recently begun looking into my school's AROTC program. I am also on a premed track, looking to attend medical school. I've done a lot of research and talked to the ROTC recruiter at my school. I really want to do both, and I know it is possible but rather difficult. Here's my plan...

From what I've gathered from my research, my plan is to join ROTC this upcoming semester and apply for the GRFD/ARNG, which will lock me into reserve/national guard unit (right?). With only 2 years left of my college career, I will have to do LTC this summer at Fort Knox. I'll resume ROTC with the other cadets in the following academic year and do LDAC the summer after junior year. I continue senior year with more ROTC and work. Throughout this whole time I will have to drill with a unit in the reserves a weekend per month, 2 weeks a year (right?). I'll commission after I graduate and this is where I need help.

According to the GRFD/ARNG, I will have to serve 8 years in the reserves. This is not a problem because I prefer reserves over active duty (because I want to go to med school). If I attend med school, I've read that I would still drill with my unit with some flexibility (depending on my CO and unit), which means I am repaying on ROTC's commitment (Yay). To make sure I'm not deployed during med school AND residency, I would contact a medical recruiter and make sure I'm in the med student to med corps program, which will list me as non deployable (what is the likelyhood that this will happen?). This part is crucial because I definitely do not want to be interrupted during med school.

Even though I am non-deployable, I would still be drilling with my unit and repaying time back for ROTC, thus by the time I am through with the residency I should have fulfilled my obligation ROTC, or at the very least be very close.

To sum it all up...
1. Get a Guaranteed Reserve Force Duty Contract (GRFD).
2. Then contact the medical recruiter. When I'm in med school, I should be in the med student-to med corps program meaning I am non-deployable during school/residency.
3. Drill during med school/residency to fulfill commitment
4. Become a fully fledged doctor without any commitment remaining with the army

Side note, I don't want to become an army doctor. I want to do ROTC because the leadership aspect, I believe I should serve my country, and gain a once in a lifetime experience. However if it comes down to military and med school, med school wins.

I've put a ton of thought into this plan and I want to ask you guys... is this even possible? Is there something I'm missing? To me, this is the best plan because I will fulfill my dream of both becoming a doctor and officer, and at the same time enter my medical career with my military obligation completed. This is really important to me because I want to have a choice of whether I want to continue my service or not, because who knows what I want do 10+ years from now? I don't want to come out of residency having to serve if I have a family or something. Also, I really want to take a gap year between undergrad and med school to bolster my application for med school, but does that mean during that year there could be a chance I could get deployed because I'm not a med student yet? If anyone had a similar experience please share! If you made it this far reading, I want to thank you very much for taking the time. Your input in valuable to me and thank you for all your help.
 

Gastrapathy

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As best I could gather from this post, you want to play dress up. You want to be an army officer in the Reserves while always being nondeployable and never practicing medicine in the Army. Why in the world should Uncle Sam want that?
 

Perrotfish

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As best I could gather from this post, you want to play dress up. You want to be an army officer in the Reserves while always being nondeployable and never practicing medicine in the Army. Why in the world should Uncle Sam want that?
You beat me to it. He wants to be not just non-deployable, but immune to any military associated inconvenience of any kind. With this plan the OP will never get moved to Ft. Irwin, or have to spend a month in the field with 'his' men, or really do anything other than go through a memorable boot camp experience.

I really want to take a gap year between undergrad and med school to bolster my application for med school, but does that mean during that year there could be a chance I could get deployed because I'm not a med student yet? .
Yes
 
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Ziehl-Neelsen

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As best I could gather from this post, you want to play dress up. You want to be an army officer in the Reserves while always being nondeployable and never practicing medicine in the Army. Why in the world should Uncle Sam want that?
The scammer-shammer force is strong in this one. The Sith (i.e. permanently-profiled, never-deployed, clinically incompetent, spend all day doing "admin" Colonels) have sensed his power and will take him as an apprentice. He shall become the Sith Lord--Darth Defraudius.

I believe I should serve my country
As Gastrapathy alluded to above... You are not "serving your country" by taking money from the government and engineering a way to provide the government nothing of value in return.

From a practical perspective, the time commitment for ROTC is pretty significant and will certainly put you at a disadvantage for medical school admission compared to your non-ROTC peers who will be studying/volunteering/researching during undergrad while you are doing morning PT and engaging in mandatory equipment checks in preparation for next weekend's field exercise and who will be studying for the MCAT while you are doing land navigation courses at LDAC. If you do put your above plan into action and ROTC prevents you from gaining admission to medical school and you end up deployed with your reserve unit further delaying your medical school matriculation plans, please let Alanis Morissette know so she can include this vignette in her next song about irony.
 

Homunculus

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To sum it all up...
1. Get a Guaranteed Reserve Force Duty Contract (GRFD).
2. Then contact the medical recruiter. When I'm in med school, I should be in the med student-to med corps program meaning I am non-deployable during school/residency.
3. Drill during med school/residency to fulfill commitment
4. Become a fully fledged doctor without any commitment remaining with the army.
step 1: steal underpants.
step 2: ?????
step 3: profit!!!


Side note, I don't want to become an army doctor.
you should have opened your post with this statement. then stopped typing.

I don't want to come out of residency having to serve if I have a family or something.
if it helps, the military doesn't want you to have a family either.

--your friendly neighborhood thinks the trolls are becoming more sophisticated caveman
 
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notdeadyet

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Side note, I don't want to become an army doctor. I want to do ROTC because the leadership aspect, I believe I should serve my country, and gain a once in a lifetime experience.
I think this sentence sums it up, but let's dissect why:

I don't want to become an army doctor
If you don't want to be an Army doctor, don't join the Army. There's really no more to say.

I want to do ROTC because the leadership aspect
You don't learn leadership from any course you'll do, you learn it through doing. The Army Reserve and National Guard are not leadership academies. In fact, truth be told, they don't really teach leadership all that well. You learn leadership by leading and working collaboratively with those who lead well. You can pick up a book or two or flip through a slideshow, but most of leadership you'll learn by doing.

That said, some of the best officers I've worked with came up via ROTC, but ROTC was helpful to them not because of any special sauce but because they left ROTC and went to their command and were ambitious, held themselves accountable, mentored their soldiers, made themselves available whenever problems arose, and were first in/last out. This does not sound like what you are looking for.

I believe I should serve my country
Your carefully laid out plan is all about doing the least service possible. You are looking how you can get out without ever deploying and with as little impact as possible. I'm not sure I believe you are looking to serve your country.

There are many ways to serve your country, especially once you become a doctor. The military is only one route. If you're looking to do the minimum with your military service, please do yourself, your unit, your Army, and your country a favor and find another way to serve.

gain a once in a lifetime experience
Prison is a once in a lifetime experience. And given what you're trying to do and how you're trying to do it, that's exactly what your military hitch will feel like if you get pulled out of residency to do a year as a GMO in some $hitbox if a major war hits. Will that happen? Nooooo... probably not. But if it did, I have a hunch it would not be the once in a lifetime experience you're looking for.

Incidentally, service in the Army Reserve Corps, if you're doing it as military service, is not really going to be the once in a lifetime experience you're expecting. I've been in seven years now and the kind of experiences I work hardest to do feel an awful lot like civilian medicine. I can still go sleep in the woods and fly in helicopters and all that good stuff, but mostly I try to do clinical work. I come in early, I stay late, and I spend more hours each month helping out my soldiers between drill than I do each at each drill weekend. I signed up for this because I want to provide a service to my soldiers, but the work I'm doing (once you rule out the Army-specific paperwork... brrr....) is the same medicine as I do for the rest of the month. But all the hooah stuff you're probably picturing is more for you than really serving.
 

Gastrapathy

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This sort of service is reserved for congress critters.
 
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