About to join the Army Reserve

December 12th, 2004  

Topic: About to join the Army Reserve

Hi, I'm about to join the Army Reserve, and I am going to college next fall. Now I know the reserve unit here in Alaska is highly deployable, but my recruiter told me that if I'm in the Simultaneous Membership Program with the reserve and ROTC at my school I cannot be deployed.

I eventually want to become an 18A, I was just wondering if that's at all feasible as a cadet, and how does the summer training work if I'll have reserve duties and any ROTC obligations (if any), being that I'll be in the SMP.

How does a newly commissioned 2Lt from ROTC get treated as to what job he can have? Is it at all "easy" for him to get into SFAS within, say, 5 years?

Well that's is for now, I'm sure I'll have more questions later...
December 15th, 2004  
It is true, Contract Cadets are non-deployable...BUT...

You may not join the SMP if you are a scholarship cadet, only non-scholarship contract cadets may join.

You may not join the SMP unless you are a contract cadet, which for non-scholarship cadets is usually not until their third year of ROTC. If you join the reserves as a non-schollarship cadet, and know that when you sign your contract, you will also join the SMP, remember, you ARE deployable until you join the SMP. Only CONTRACT cadets are non-deployable if they belong to the Reserve, and the only way to belong to the Reserve as a contract cadet is the SMP. (I know, that was a big cirle, but I wanted to stress that point)

If you want to go SF, you may not do it as a Cadet. To be SF you must be a 1LT and go through the recruiting process. This includes a record screening, security clearance, swim test, and then the Special Forces send you to a "course" where you are put through your paces.

If you want to do this, I have a few tips for you. Become a Scholarship Cadet and forget the SMP. SMP cadets go to Annual Training in the summers with their reserve unit. As a scholarship cadet, you will have the opportunity, depending on the Order of Merit List to go to Airborne and Air Assault Schoools in the summers. You can also go to CTLT in the summer of your Advance Camp (between Junior and Senior year) and go for a few weeks to an active unit where you will work with a platoon leader as a sort of "3rd LT" and give you some active duty experience.

Choose the hard, combat arms branches. Try to get Infantry. All (except in very rare cricumstance) 2LT's at the Infantry Officer Basic Course are given the opportunity to go the Ranger School, even if they don't go to the Ranger BN. (stay in REALLY good shape in college)

A couple more tips. Major in science or engineering. This will really help you as your carreer progresses, especially if you become a combat engineer (having been an S3 for a BN with a bridge company, it is a branch I would recommend)

Do very well in school. You would be amazed at the mid-carreer opportunities that look at your transcripts during the board screening process.

If you have an opportunity to choose a random elective, take an South/Central Asian or Middle Eastern language. This could be helpful in the SF screening process.

SOME non-combat arms branches will give you opportunity to go to Ranger School, but not many. Chemical is one that does and has a lot of really interesting mid-carreer opportunities.

Good Luck!
December 17th, 2004  
Thanks a lot Chemo, I appreciate your advise.