Army ROTC Paid Internship (The Simultaneous Membership Program)
“Simultaneous” means students who are at the same time:
- full-time college students (sophomore, junior, senior, or grad students)
- currently serving (or willing to enlist) in the USAR or ARNG
- enrolled in Army ROTC
In addition to the monetary benefits this program is a phenomenal training opportunity. It allows you get real-time, real-word Army officer experience in USAR or ARNG unit two extra days a month.
In the SMP you participate in unit training unit one weekend a month while earning a commission through ROTC. Upon college and ROTC graduation you will commission as an officer in the Army. You will be released from the SMP and have the option of either serving full-time on Active Duty, or part-time in the Army Reserves or Army National Guard. This program DOES NOT keep you from serving on Active Duty with the regular Army. Time in this program counts towards time-in-service pay and retirement (prorated).
IF YOU ARE ALREADY SERVING IN THE USAR OR ARNG
If you’re currently enlisted, your benefits already include Federal Tuition Assistance (up to $4500 per year), 100% tuition waiver (ARNG only), GI Bill (up to $747 per month with kicker), if MOS qualified), and drill pay (approximately $200 to $350 per month). Joining ROTC adds:
- Drill pay increase to SGT (E-5).
- ROTC stipend ($420 per month)
- GI Bill Kicker ($350 per month) for being in ROTC
- Non-deployable status—your college education will not be interrupted by deployment
- Officer training in your unit
To get into the SMP, students with no prior military service will attend Basic Combat Training (BCT) and Advanced Individual Training (AIT) during the summer and will be assigned to a local National Guard or Reserve unit upon completion of training. (Prospective cadets with prior military experience may simply be assigned to a unit.)
- It is possible to join the ARNG and enroll in ROTC without going to Basic Training, but without Basic Training and AIT you are only eligible for a fraction of the tuition benefits available.
- In most cases, completing BCT and AIT will take longer than the summer break and cause you to skip a semester, or half semester of classes. However, many students see this as a good bargain for the financial aid it makes you eligible for.
SIMULTANEOUS MEMBERSHIP PROGRAM BENEFITS:
- Up to 100% tuition and fees paid
- Cash enlistment bonus, depending on MOS
- $420 monthly ROTC stipend
- $274.84 monthly drill pay
- $397/month GI Bill (requires completion of BCT and AIT)
- $350/month GI Bill Kicker (requires completion of BCT and AIT)
- Basic soldier skills (BCT) and job skills (AIT)
- Hands-on military experience by participating in your unit training
- Full list of benefits State by State as of FY 2021: ARNG Education Handbook 2021
When you enlist in the USAR or ARNG you may choose an enlistment period of up to 6 years. However, as soon as you graduate college and get commissioned through ROTC (usually on the same day as graduation), your enlistment contract is terminated—no matter how much time is left on your enlistment.
Upon commissioning, you start a brand-new career as an Army officer. That means that even though you were enlisted in the USAR or ARNG while going to school, you have the option of serving as an officer either full-time on Active Duty or staying part-time as an officer in the USAR or ARNG.
Also, the job specialty (MOS) you had while enlisted has no bearing on your career options as an officer. If you like the field you were in as an enlisted soldier, you can choose that field as an officer. If not, you can pick any of the other 16 officer branches.
SMP does not lock you into–or out of–any commissioning options. You can still go on Active Duty, or switch from having been enlisted in the USAR to an officer in the ARNG (or vice versa). You can stay in your enlisted career field, or switch to something totally different.
GUARANTEED RESERVE FORCES DUTY (GRFD)
Cadets who know that when they graduate, they only want to serve in a reserve component (USAR or ARNG) can request a GRFD contract. A GRFD contract means that you will not—either voluntarily or involuntarily—be given an Active Duty assignment after commissioning. By signing a GRFD contract, you agree to pick either a USAR or ARNG assignment upon commissioning.
It is not necessary to sign a GRFD contract in order to get a USAR or ARNG commission; you can request USAR or ARNG at the same time (the end of your junior year) as you request your career branch and other commissioning options. SMP participation is not required for GRFD contracting.
Note: all dollar amounts are approximate and based on the latest information when this website was updated. Contact ECU Army ROTC at the Contact Us form on this page for the latest information.