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ARMY STRAP detailed version

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by gasworks gasworks (Member)

2,535 Visitors; 49 Posts

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I wanted to put something together to help explain the STRAP program. Its hard to find anything online on this including forums. I am a SRNA and I am in the STRAP program on the reserves side. Im 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. Its 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 and specializes in mostly critical care.

12,657 Visitors; 359 Posts

Awesome information, thank you!

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40 Visitors; 1 Post

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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