The Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP)
The Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) offer the SMP to qualified full time college students who are members of the Army National Guard or willing to join. SMP is a two-year program whereby cadets serve in the Army National Guard and attend ROTC classes “simultaneously”. SMP begins in the fall semester of a full time student’s Sophomore or Junior year in college or the first year of graduate school or a combination of both undergraduate and graduate level programs. Cadets receive a commission as a 2nd lieutenant in the United States Army after completion of a bachelor’s degree or graduate degree and the ROTC advanced course. Newly commissioned officers then serve in the Army National Guard or on active duty.
Because cadets participate in both Guard training and ROTC at the same time, the benefits of the SMP are twofold. First, SMP cadets receive the excellent management and leadership training that ROTC offers. Then, during the monthly training weekends, SMP cadets apply their classroom training in a “real world” military unit in the Army National Guard – an opportunity unavailable to traditional ROTC scholarship cadets. Second, SMP cadets qualify for tuition assistance programs offered by both organizations “simultaneously.”
Qualified Texas Army National Guard SMP cadets can receive the following financial benefits:
- The Texas Army National Guard 100% Tuition Assistance (TA) and Federal TA
- The Montgomery G.I. Bill ($300 per month National Guard or Active Duty G.I. Bill over 1000.00 per month if eligible) • The Montgomery G.I.Bill Kicker ($350 per month)
- Drill pay at the E-5 level prior to commissioning (about $309 per month) Drill pay will be commensurate to active duty rank if higher than E-5 for prior active duty soldiers.
- ROTC stipend (Tax Free subsistence allowance):
- College Sophomores - $350 per month (10months)
- College Juniors - $450 per month (10 months)
- College Seniors - $500 per month (for 9-10 months)
During the school week, SMP cadets participate in all ROTC classes, labs and field training exercises.One weekend a month, they work with their assigned National Guard or Reserve units. During these weekends, SMP cadets function as assistant lieutenants. SMP cadets wear their ROTC ranks and carry out all the duties of a new second lieutenant in a supervised, on-the-job-training environment.
How the Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP) Works
- First and foremost, to qualify for the SMP you must be a member of the Army National Guard or Reserve and have attended at least Army Basic Training (BCT).
- Be a prior service active duty soldier who completed basic training and Advanced Individual Training (AIT) who is eligible to enlist in the Guard or Reserve
Ideally, you will have attended both BCT and Advanced Individual Training (AIT) before signing an SMP Contract. AIT is the phase of active duty training all Guard soldiers must go through to learn their Military Occupational Specialty (MOS). Completing AIT is important as it qualifies you for the Montgomery G.I. Bill benefits. Active duty soldiers who have completed BCT and AIT do not have to attend these training events with the National Guard or Reserve. They are eligible to enlist in the Guard or Reserve and begin the SMP immediately due to the fact that their BCT and AIT were completed on Active Duty.
The next step is to be accepted to, and attend a college or university offering ROTC courses. Before you begin your junior year of college, you must complete an SMP Agreement contact (NGB Form 594-1) with the commander of your unit. Take your SMP contract to your school’s Army ROTC Enrollment Officer and ensure you begin processing with the ROTC department. Once contracting is complete, you begin attending ROTC classes. The course takes about seven hours per week (a two-hour class, a two-hour lab and three hours of physical fitness). You can contract with the University ROTC program as early as your sophomore year in College.
After the completion of Military Science (MS) III (junior year), you will attend the six week ROTC Leadership Development Assessment Course (LDAC) at Fort Lewis, WA instead of your regular Guard or Reserve Annual Training. After LDAC, you return for your senior year, and enroll in MSIV. After graduation, you will receive your commission as a second lieutenant and still have the option of serving on Active Duty or in the Guard or Reserve as an officer.
Guaranteed Reserve Forces Duty
Prior to contracting with ROTC and SMP status, a soldier can apply for a Guaranteed Reserve Forces Duty (GRFD) contract through the ROTC department. GRFD status is mandatory for cadet with an Army National Guard scholarship. These cadets are required to serve in the National Guard or Reserve after graduation and commissioning.
The $350 G.I. Bill Kicker
The National Guard needs young officers. Therefore, as an incentive, the Army National Guard offers a special Montgomery G.I. Bill Kicker of $350 a month. Only cadets eligible to receive the Montgomery G.I. Bill can apply for this special kicker. The GRFD Kicker pays $350 a month in addition to the Montgomery G.I. Bill benefits, worth 300.00 (National Guard G.I. Bill) a month or over $1000.00 (Active Duty G.I.Bill) a month.
ROTC Basic Course
Traditionally, ROTC is a four-year program consisting of two phases: Basic Course and Advanced Course. Basic Course refers to the freshman and sophomore level ROTC classes, MSI and MSII. These classes cover subjects like military history, traditions and organizations, and national defense. There is a strong emphasis on leadership development during these first two years. This offers a unique opportunity for students to gain hands-on leadership skills while in college.
The Advanced Course is the final two years of the ROTC program, MSIII and MSIV. The curriculum is more intense and prepares you for the challenges of military leadership. During MSIII, you will trained in small unit tactics and learn the duties and responsibilities of a squad and platoon leader. This phase of training is combined with classroom instruction on land navigation, military tactics, and how to prepare and present operation orders. During MSIV, you will be in various cadet leadership positions that will challenge your leadership abilities and prepare you to become a second lieutenant. You will also be responsible for the training and evaluation of cadets in the MSI – MSIII classes.
How do I enroll?
Contact one of the following:
SSG Diane Wagoner
National Guard Recruiter
UTSA Army ROTC Roadrunner Battalion