Frequently Asked Questions
1. Q: If I join the military do I have to live on post?
A: You will be given what is known as BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing) which will vary depending on duty station location and whether the service member has dependents. This is a sum of money (tax free) that you will receive each month toward housing. Depending on availability, on-post housing may be an option for those who desire it; however, if you choose to live on post you will not directly receive BAH as it instead covers the cost of on-post housing.
2. Q: I've never been in the military before. How hard will I find it to fit in?
A: If selected for an Army psychology internship, interns attend a four-week Pre-Commissioning Course followed by a ten-week Basic Officer Leadership Course (BOLC) in San Antonio, Texas before you begin your internship training. These trainings are designed to provide a strong introduction to the U.S. Army in a supportive learning environment, emphasizing military customs and courtesies. Most Interns leave the training with increased self-confidence and skills to successfully navigate an Active Duty training setting.
3. Q: Will I be deployed (sent into a combat theater) if I join the military?
A: Our Nation is currently at war. As a member of the U. S. Army, there is a strong likelihood of being deployed in support of current military operations. You will not be deployed during your internship year, however, at some point during the three years of active duty following your internship year, it is expected you will deploy as a military psychologist (e.g., as part of a combat stress detachment, as a brigade psychologist, etc).
4. Q: You say I can get deployed, where are psychologists likely to get deployed?
A: As noted above, psychologists deploy with Brigade Combat Teams or as part of a Combat Stress Control Team. They may also deploy in support of strategic/tactical missions (usually reserved for more experienced military psychologists). Many find this type of direct support to Soldiers to be the most rewarding experiences in their professional careers
5. Q: What financial and administrative support is available to Interns?
A: Interns are active duty Army officers who receive pay equivalent to their rank. Most Interns will enter active duty service in the rank of Captain (Grade 03). Current salary rates are available at http://www.dfas.mil/militarymembers/payentitlements/military-pay-charts.html. WAMC has full-time clerical and administrative staff who aid Interns with scheduling and administrative support of patient services. A full-time Training Program Coordinator manages daily administrative tasks of the internship including coordinating travel for Interns and guest speakers and purchasing program supplies. Interns have access to full-time technological and electronic support personnel. Interns are granted a minimum of 40 hours to be used towards dissertation completion during internship training. The WAMC CPIP also provides high-quality EPPP prepararion materials to each intern.
6. Q: Does the military pay for uniforms?
A: Yes and no. When you first enter active duty service you receive an initial uniform allowance of $600.00. After the initial allowance, all other uniform purchases come out-of-pocket.
7. Q: Does the Army internship have a basic theoretical focus?
A: During your internship, you will be exposed to a variety of clinical and theoretical approaches in your conceptualization of cases and delivery of treatment services. The Army does not endorse any one particular approach, although short-term treatment models do lend themselves better to the transient nature of our patient and provider population.