Enlisted Guard and Reserve Members

Simultaneous Membership Program

If you are a current Western Michigan University freshman or sophomore you can opt to enlist in the Army Reserve or Michigan Army National Guard while you complete your degree. You can concurrently earn your commission as an officer through the Army ROTC Simultaneous Membership Program. Freshmen may serve in the Army Reserve or Army National Guard while participating in ROTC, but are not eligible for Simultaneous Membership Program benefits until they attain sophomore status with WMU. You can enlist in the Guard or Reserve and attend your required training during the summer after your freshman or sophomore year. Upon your return to campus you can elect to enter the Simultaneous Membership Program.

Currently enlisted members of the Guard and Reserve are also eligible for this program. In the Simultaneous Membership Program you participate as an ROTC Cadet on campus and drill with your Guard or Reserve unit as an officer apprentice. Rather than perform duties in your enlisted Military Occupational Specialty, you will work in concert and under the direct supervision of a commissioned officer, assisting her or him in their officer duties. While drilling and during annual training you will be paid as an E-5 unless you are already a higher pay grade. Once you have completed basic training and advanced individual training, you will be qualified in your selected MOS. Once you are MOS-qualified, you will be entitled to the Montgomery G.I. Bill (Selected Reserve), which pays $356 per month while you complete your degree as a full-time student. You may also be eligible for an "officer kicker" of $350 per month. As a member of the Army Reserve or Michigan National Guard you will be eligible for up to $4,000 per year Federal Tuition Assistance. You can begin to use tuition assistance one year after graduating from advanced individual training.

As an ROTC Simultaneous Membership Program cadet, you will receive a monthly subsistence allowance of $350 your sophomore year, $450 your junior year and $500 your senior year. All benefits are tax free. Drill pay and annual training pay are considered compensation and are taxed.

So, let's do the math. Here is a typical benefits package for an MOS-qualified Reserve or Guard cadet in the Simultaneous Membership Program.

Typical benefits package for an MOS-qualified Reserve or Guard cadet

Allowance or Compensation Type


GI Bill (SR) (Chap 1606)

$356 per month

GI Bill Kicker

$350 per month

ROTC allowance (junior year)

$450 per month

Drill pay (E-5, <2 years of service)

$290 per month

$356 + $350 + $450 + $290 = $1,446 per month cash

10 academic months at $1,446 per month = $14,460 per year cash

$4,000 Federal Tuition Assistance

$4,000 toward tuition each year, eligible one year after graduating Advanced Individual Training

Total annual value at WMU

$18,460, may vary based on your unique situation

For more information on the Simultaneous Membership Program program at WMU contact Sergeant First Class Nathan Stubli , Michigan Army National Guard, Sergeant First Class Sheldon Ivey, Army Reserve, or Brett Johnson, WMU ROTC.