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Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP)


South Dakota State University has offered the Simultaneous Membership Program for about 20 years. Many officers in the National Guard and Army Reserve got their start as an officer through the Simultaneous Membership Program.

As a member of the National Guard or Army Reserve, you have an opportunity to earn a college degree and an officer’s commission through a South Dakota Army ROTC program. Every National Guard and Army Reserve unit requires new officers to replace officers who have been promoted or change units. The Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP) ensures that quality officers are available to fill these vacancies.

With at least 32 credits accumulated toward graduation as a sophomore, or 54 credits as a junior, you can compete for a slot as a sophomore, or if in your junior year, simply apply for an SMP position in your present National Guard or Army Reserve unit. After approval by the unit commander and once all administrative actions are completed, cadets contract with a South Dakota Army ROTC program.

You will then attend ROTC classes and drill with your unit as an SMP cadet. During the summer between the junior and senior years, you will attend Advanced Camp at Ft. Knox, Kentucky. 4 year Minuteman scholarships are available for incoming college freshman. Talk with your recruiter for details.


As a SMP cadet, you will work under the close supervision of a unit commissioned officer and perform duties that require leadership, management and skills learned at military schools, your unit and Army ROTC. The numerous benefits of being an SMP cadet at South Dakota State University are:

  1. Earn a commission while earning a degree.
  2. Receive monthly drill pay as an E-5.
  3. Retention of GI Bill benefits to include a $350 kicker.
  4. Receive $420 as a sophomore, $420 as a junior, and $420 as a senior per month from Army ROTC (10 months per year maximum).
  5. Keep the National Guard 50% tuition reimbursement.
  6. Receive Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA) $4,500/year.
  7. With good grades, apply for a Guaranteed Reserve Forces Duty (GRFD) scholarship, 3-yr dedicated scholarship or 3-yr Minute Man scholarship.
  8. Free ROTC tuition, books and supplies for ROTC classes and labs.
  9. Attend Airborne, Air Assault, Sapper, or Mountain Warfare schools.
  10. Stay in the National Guard or Army Reserve during your SMP tenure.
  11. Have a guaranteed Reserve Forces duty assignment after graduation

The non-scholarship ROTC SMP cadet can compete for active duty service during the accessions process, which is accomplished at the beginning of the cadet’s senior year.


The National Guard and Army Reserve need highly qualified and professional officers to lead units in the future. If you are in the National Guard or Reserve or are considering joining, then take advantage of this opportunity to earn a degree and a commission as an officer in the United States Army.

Experiences gained from Army ROTC classes, field training exercises, and ROTC clubs combined with participation in National Guard or Army Reserve drill, Annual Training, and schools prepare you to be an effective officer in the reserve component or on active duty. Your successful completion of Army ROTC will enhance your leadership, management, and other skills that employers are looking for!