While the Washington, DC, area can be overwhelming at first, it won't be long until you are getting around like a native. An important first step is getting a good area map. Detailed county and city maps are available at local bookstores, convenience stores, and newsstands; often Realtors have up-to-date map books they can provide.
Students and staff live all over the Washington area: most in Montgomery County, but many others in surrounding counties of Maryland and Virginia. Areas immediately surrounding the University--Bethesda, Chevy Chase, and Kensington--are older, well established, and relatively safe areas, but they can be quite expensive; there are few apartments in these areas. More reasonably priced areas that offer a good mix of houses, townhouses, and apartments include Rockville and Silver Spring. The Gaithersburg, Germantown, and Olney areas offer newer houses and townhouses, but drive times are typically 30 to 60 minutes. A very important consideration in your housing decision should be proximity to a metro or commuter rail/bus station.
Housing is not provided, but medical school students receive the Basic Allowance for Housing for Naval District Washington. Below is some information Student Services has compiled to aid you in your move and housing search. We encourage you to contact the housing offices listed below or call someone in the Military Personnel Office (MilPO), the Office for Student Affairs (OSA), or your Company Commander. The goal is to make your move and transition as uncomplicated and enjoyable as possible.
Your matriculation at USU and the School of Medicine will begin in Early August, following your service-specific orientations.
The Military Personnel Office, located in Room C1016, will in-process students according to the established schedule provided on this website. HAND CARRY YOUR SERVICE RECORDS FROM YOUR PREVIOUS BASE OR SERVICE-SPECIFIC ORIENTATION; MILPO will collect these records on your first in-processing date. Use the other days during this period to get settled into the area. Once orientation begins, the tempo of activities greatly increases.
Several days for military in-processing are scheduled for the weeks of 2 & 9 August. Academic orientation occurs the week of 16 August. A schedule of orientation events is available on this web site. Briefly, orientation serves as an excellent opportunity for USU and the School of Medicine to introduce you to the people who will assist you through medical school. Specifically, it is a time to meet senior members of the administration, learn about your schedule, hear of the support and extracurricular activities available to you, receive your textbooks, and be welcomed formally into the university family. We invite spouses to attend some sessions.
USU, while operating as the medical school for the Department of Defense, is a unique institution and you will be afforded some unique opportunities while here. Within this "joint military" environment, you will quickly learn how to balance the traditional requirements of medical school with the requirements of officership. You will also enjoy an interesting combination of military and civilian faculty and staff. This chapter provides an overview of service life at USU; the Office of the Commandant will assist you as you become more familiar with this environment once you arrive.
All new officers attend an orientation course for their respective services. While these courses vary in length and specific content, they are all designed to introduce you to policies and life within your own service. The courses include topics such as proper wear of the uniform; service history; general officership issues, customs, and courtesies; and a physical fitness program. Additionally, all of the usual personnel activities associated with starting a new job are handled during this time. The courses and their locations are listed below; you will hear more about your specific orientation program at a later date.
Officer Basic Course (Army), Ft Sam Houston (San Antonio) TX
For more information, refer to: http://www.cs.amedd.army.mil/obc/
Officer Development School (Navy), Naval Training Center (Newport) RI
Commissioned Officer Training Course (Air Force), Maxwell AFB
For more information refer to: http://www.afoats.af.mil/OTS/COT-RCOT/index.asp
Be financially prepared for several major initial expenses during your orientation program. Some of the expenses (i.e., lodging, a set amount for food, and an initial uniform allowance) will be reimbursed at a later date. Unfortunately, the reimbursement will probably not cover the amount you spend (uniforms, for example, will cost approximately $800-$900); so a conservative estimate of required funds is approximately $2000. If you have been issued a DD Form 214 please bring it with you to avoid pay problems. Some problems can be averted if you arrive at both the orientation courses and USU with this document in hand.
You will receive your military identification (ID) card at the site of your initial military training. This card provides access to military facilities including exchanges, commissaries, and medical/dental treatment facilities. Your spouse and children over the age of 10 may also obtain ID cards at any military installation once you have obtained yours; your spouse will need a marriage certificate and children will need their birth certificate for official verification. You will also be issued a University ID as part of your initial inprocessing at the University. You should always carry your military ID and your University ID with you when on University grounds, particularly after duty hours or when you are not in uniform.