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ARMY STRAP detailed version

CRNA   (3,383 Views | 14 Replies)

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I wanted to put something together to help explain the STRAP program. It's hard to find anything online on this including forums. I am a SRNA and I am in the STRAP program on the reserves side. I'm not sure how the active side of STRAP works but I have heard its similar.

First what is the STRAP and requirements? STRAP is a stipend paid to you every month while in school. The current stipend is 2330/mo paid in two installments (1st and 15th of the month). After taxes it is like 1050 per paycheck. For every 6mo you take you owe a year of service. The best deal of this whole thing is the HPLR (Loan repayment). On the reserve component you are eligible for up to 60K in tuition. You get this tuition IN SCHOOL after each year of service. This was something the recruiters did not know how it worked. They told me it was after I graduated that I was eligible which is untrue. You get 20K every year in school IF you have a good year (I will explain this later). Many people I met at the SFRR did not sign up because they thought they would owe more time after school. So I took the HPLR and the STRAP and I only owe 6 years afterwards because I took 60K during my three year program which counted as service. Theres pretty much no reason at all not to take the HPLR with your STRAP. Also another amazing benefit is Tricare. For a family its like 215/mo which is super cheap. We saved money every month just switching to that. Plus the insurance is WAY better. Tricare is easy to work with and they pay.

Once you get commissioned, make sure the recruiters get you a uniform and a CAC ID card. They are supposed to do this but they do not. I found this out when I went to SFRR that they were supposed to. I had to scramble at the last minute to get a uniform for the SFRR. Another thing is to hassle your recruiters once commissioned about sending your orders to APMC. I found out the recruiters were sitting on my orders for weeks before they sent them. This affects your HPLR which your anniversary date starts when you get attached to APMC not your commissioning date.

Once you get that situated APMC will send you a welcome packet which is a bunch of stuff that feels reapplying for the Army. Big thing to remember to complete are your 1380 forms every month. This affect a few things: retirement points, drill pay (yes you get paid every month on top of your stipend!), and eligibility for your HLPR. You need 50 points a year to qualify for a good year. You will fulfill this if you fill out your 1380s. If you have a good year then HPLR will pay out every year.

When you fill out your 1380 forms make sure to include anything you do related to school (classes, workshops, etc.). This is your 'drill' while in school. 1LT drill 490 a month. So if you do the math thats 2820/mo with your stipend. Recruiters failed to mention that beautiful benefit. They told me I would not get drill pay which is untrue.

Other things to do while in the STRAP is make sure all your health requirements are completed. This includes things like a dental exam, health physical, etc every year. This is something they will help you with. You schedule all your assessments through LHI.

Last thing is to go to a Soldier Focused Readiness Review (SFRR). This is an orientation to the APMC and they help you with your documents, answer questions, etc. It's very helpful and they pay you to go there. Id recommend signing up for the next available one after you get attached to APMC. Its four days long but two are travel days. So basically its two days long with one being a ppt presentation from all the departments and the other day is sitting down one on one with each department.

If you can stay on top of your 1380s and health assessments you should be good to go while in school. Theres also a height and weight form and STRAP enrollment form that you have to send in every 6 months.

Overall its a good deal. I basically get almost 2,820/mo (drill and stipend) with 60K towards my tuition. I figured it out its basically almost 162k in total benefits for only a six year commitment afterwards. I won't have any personal or school debt after school which most people cant say. You just have to deal with headaches of getting wrong information or no information. But hopefully this helps.

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ProgressiveThinking has 7 years experience as a MSN, CRNA and specializes in Anesthesia.

445 Posts; 13,824 Profile Views

Awesome information, thank you!

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It took almost two months after commissioning for the APMC to get my orders. I just recently got my welcome packet and am running about 2 months behind when I expected to get my stipend. Recruiter also did not help me with CAC card or uniform so I have to work on that. If you have any specific tips that would be great! Unfortunately, it won't let me PM.

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1 Post; 51 Profile Views

Thank you so much for this information! A few things I’m unclear on:

1. Do you commission prior to starting school or after you’ve graduated? If before, what is required prior to commissioning?

2. Do you have to get accepted to the CRNA program prior to applying for STRAP?

3. What’s the process for applying for STRAP? Is it competitive?

Im an ICU nurse and my husband is a LTC in the Army. We’ve traveled overseas and I’ve been a civilian nurse at a US Naval Hospital and shadowed Naval CRNAs while I was there. This is when the itch to become a CRNA in the military started. The reserve route seems the best for our family situation. I’m already working with a recruiter who mentioned the STRAP program but I get the sense not all recruiters know all the information so seeing that you’ve done it I figured I would ask you!

Thanks again, great insight!

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2 Posts; 103 Profile Views

Thanks for your post its an excellent guide for STRAP. Am a current SRNA enrolled in the Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) via the Army but after reading your post, am considering switching to STRAP. HPSP is supposed to pay 100% of your tuition, books and a Monthly Stipend of approx $2300 in return for a 3 yr Active Duty (AD) obligation. The only problem is that if for any reason (online classes etc) they don't pay, you still owe a full Three Years AD....

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catamounts30 has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care.

15 Posts; 211 Profile Views

On 6/16/2019 at 9:07 AM, gasworks said:

I wanted to put something together to help explain the STRAP program. It's hard to find anything online on this including forums. I am a SRNA and I am in the STRAP program on the reserves side. I'm not sure how the active side of STRAP works but I have heard its similar.

First what is the STRAP and requirements? STRAP is a stipend paid to you every month while in school. The current stipend is 2330/mo paid in two installments (1st and 15th of the month). After taxes it is like 1050 per paycheck. For every 6mo you take you owe a year of service. The best deal of this whole thing is the HPLR (Loan repayment). On the reserve component you are eligible for up to 60K in tuition. You get this tuition IN SCHOOL after each year of service. This was something the recruiters did not know how it worked. They told me it was after I graduated that I was eligible which is untrue. You get 20K every year in school IF you have a good year (I will explain this later). Many people I met at the SFRR did not sign up because they thought they would owe more time after school. So I took the HPLR and the STRAP and I only owe 6 years afterwards because I took 60K during my three year program which counted as service. Theres pretty much no reason at all not to take the HPLR with your STRAP. Also another amazing benefit is Tricare. For a family its like 215/mo which is super cheap. We saved money every month just switching to that. Plus the insurance is WAY better. Tricare is easy to work with and they pay.

Once you get commissioned, make sure the recruiters get you a uniform and a CAC ID card. They are supposed to do this but they do not. I found this out when I went to SFRR that they were supposed to. I had to scramble at the last minute to get a uniform for the SFRR. Another thing is to hassle your recruiters once commissioned about sending your orders to APMC. I found out the recruiters were sitting on my orders for weeks before they sent them. This affects your HPLR which your anniversary date starts when you get attached to APMC not your commissioning date.

Once you get that situated APMC will send you a welcome packet which is a bunch of stuff that feels reapplying for the Army. Big thing to remember to complete are your 1380 forms every month. This affect a few things: retirement points, drill pay (yes you get paid every month on top of your stipend!), and eligibility for your HLPR. You need 50 points a year to qualify for a good year. You will fulfill this if you fill out your 1380s. If you have a good year then HPLR will pay out every year.

When you fill out your 1380 forms make sure to include anything you do related to school (classes, workshops, etc.). This is your 'drill' while in school. 1LT drill 490 a month. So if you do the math thats 2820/mo with your stipend. Recruiters failed to mention that beautiful benefit. They told me I would not get drill pay which is untrue.

Other things to do while in the STRAP is make sure all your health requirements are completed. This includes things like a dental exam, health physical, etc every year. This is something they will help you with. You schedule all your assessments through LHI.

Last thing is to go to a Soldier Focused Readiness Review (SFRR). This is an orientation to the APMC and they help you with your documents, answer questions, etc. It's very helpful and they pay you to go there. Id recommend signing up for the next available one after you get attached to APMC. Its four days long but two are travel days. So basically its two days long with one being a ppt presentation from all the departments and the other day is sitting down one on one with each department.

If you can stay on top of your 1380s and health assessments you should be good to go while in school. Theres also a height and weight form and STRAP enrollment form that you have to send in every 6 months.

Overall its a good deal. I basically get almost 2,820/mo (drill and stipend) with 60K towards my tuition. I figured it out its basically almost 162k in total benefits for only a six year commitment afterwards. I won't have any personal or school debt after school which most people cant say. You just have to deal with headaches of getting wrong information or no information. But hopefully this helps.

This is absolutely and I appreciate your detailed overview. I was wondering if there would be any downside to joining the reserves as a Critical Care Nurses, and if I was then suddenly picked up to atten CRNA school? The recruiter mentioned it was possible to like do a new contract, etc, I'm actively applying to CRNA school so just don't want to get locked into an RN situation and not able to take advantage of STRAP and transition as a CRNA for the Reserves.

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7 Posts; 133 Profile Views

Not really, you just switch to STRAP. You apply to STRAP through your unit not through a recruiter- it took awhile before my unit kinda realize it should be from them and not through a recruiter. Just hope your unit knows what they are doing, apparently not a lot knows about this transition.

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REfeg has 12 years experience and specializes in CTICU.

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Hello, does anyone know how a military disability payment is affected by taking STRAP? Active duty for years, then to the reserves. At the end of the year, they assign me a debt to waive my disability pay for the days I drill, seeing the payment is more for drill. Not sure how the stipend is looked at in terms of drill days or is that completely independent.

Thanks in advance.

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7 Posts; 133 Profile Views

On 12/5/2019 at 12:43 PM, REfeg said:

Hello, does anyone know how a military disability payment is affected by taking STRAP? Active duty for years, then to the reserves. At the end of the year, they assign me a debt to waive my disability pay for the days I drill, seeing the payment is more for drill. Not sure how the stipend is looked at in terms of drill days or is that completely independent.

Thanks in advance.

I haven’t received a debt to waive from the VA yet... is that sent automatically? I started receiving disability since june 2018...

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REfeg has 12 years experience and specializes in CTICU.

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Nono,

At the end of the year you will get a form to fill out letting the VA know if you want to waive disability or drill pay. To ensure you are making the financially sound decision, take your monthly disability dollar amount and divide that by 30. This will give you the amount you are paid daily in disability ($/day). Next, take the calculated daily disability rate and compare that to your daily reserve amount to see which one you would like to waive. In my case, (waiving disability) the amount of debt per year is my daily disability rate multiplied by the number of "drill days". I get my number of drill days at the end of the year in a letter seeing they do not line up with the physical days you report to drill. The VA messed up my first year out and did not collect the debt so this year I had twice the usual amount to repay. They can take it in lump sum or payments. Note: If you do not fill out the paperwork and send it back, the assumption is that you will waive your disability seeing this will limit the veterans debt in MOST cases. You must do the math to see which one financially benefits you to ensure that waiving the disability is right for you. This is just me and my families experience so please do the due diligence of fact checking with the VA.

Now, with the interaction between drill and disability, what does your number of days look like at the end of a STRAP year, and will your disability be affected by the STRAP stipend? My assumption so no one goes into a panic- The VA will make you waive disability for the "drill days" (I assume drill days during STRAP is a weekend covered by the fact you are in school), and the STRAP stipend will not affect ones disability. This assumption can be costly if not tracked down seeing your real income will be one of the following (holding all other household income constant):

-Option 1: STRAP stipend with a waived disability.

Net income = STRAP stipend + Drill Pay.

-Option 2: STRAP stipend plus your disability check.

Net income = STRAP stipend + Drill Pay + Disability - Waived disability for drill days.

Both options yield different results while still accruing a 1 year service commitment per 6mos of training. I ask these questions so we can calculate the cost/benefit for all of the options out there while attending CRNA school.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you find any conflicting information so we are all well informed. I had to learn this through the letter coming in the mail at the end of the first year.....less than ideal. No one has been able to provide information about the congruent payments.

Thanks,

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On 12/17/2019 at 10:21 AM, REfeg said:

Nono,

At the end of the year you will get a form to fill out letting the VA know if you want to waive disability or drill pay. To ensure you are making the financially sound decision, take your monthly disability dollar amount and divide that by 30. This will give you the amount you are paid daily in disability ($/day). Next, take the calculated daily disability rate and compare that to your daily reserve amount to see which one you would like to waive. In my case, (waiving disability) the amount of debt per year is my daily disability rate multiplied by the number of "drill days". I get my number of drill days at the end of the year in a letter seeing they do not line up with the physical days you report to drill. The VA messed up my first year out and did not collect the debt so this year I had twice the usual amount to repay. They can take it in lump sum or payments. Note: If you do not fill out the paperwork and send it back, the assumption is that you will waive your disability seeing this will limit the veterans debt in MOST cases. You must do the math to see which one financially benefits you to ensure that waiving the disability is right for you. This is just me and my families experience so please do the due diligence of fact checking with the VA.

Now, with the interaction between drill and disability, what does your number of days look like at the end of a STRAP year, and will your disability be affected by the STRAP stipend? My assumption so no one goes into a panic- The VA will make you waive disability for the "drill days" (I assume drill days during STRAP is a weekend covered by the fact you are in school), and the STRAP stipend will not affect ones disability. This assumption can be costly if not tracked down seeing your real income will be one of the following (holding all other household income constant):

-Option 1: STRAP stipend with a waived disability.

Net income = STRAP stipend + Drill Pay.

-Option 2: STRAP stipend plus your disability check.

Net income = STRAP stipend + Drill Pay + Disability - Waived disability for drill days.

Both options yield different results while still accruing a 1 year service commitment per 6mos of training. I ask these questions so we can calculate the cost/benefit for all of the options out there while attending CRNA school.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you find any conflicting information so we are all well informed. I had to learn this through the letter coming in the mail at the end of the first year.....less than ideal. No one has been able to provide information about the congruent payments.

Thanks

I was told about the basics of this. My problem is I have never received a letter from VA regarding this matter. I will probably just give them a call.

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ProgressiveThinking has 7 years experience as a MSN, CRNA and specializes in Anesthesia.

445 Posts; 13,824 Profile Views

Anybody know what the benefits and pay are for CRNAs who join after graduation as an already licensed CRNA?

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