This post is for current HPSP students preparing to go to Active Duty Training based on things that helped me during my ADT.
Plan to spend up thousands up front, which will be reimbursed later on. For my 4-week ADT in Oahu, I had to front around $6,000 for the hotel + rental car. However, other locations likely have cheaper rates than Oahu. Either save up several thousands, or pick a credit card that has enough of a limit and minimal interest so you can pay for these things up front.
Submit a request for travel advance (DFAS Form 9213)- You can ask your POC at the site for assistance with this. Filling out this form can result in early pay of about 75% of the expected cost of your hotel/rental car so that you don't have to carry a huge balance on your card. This option is especially helpful for those who don't have the cash on hand to pay off the fronted cost of the hotel/rental car right away, because waiting for the reimbursement deposit can take weeks to months after the completion of your ADT. Submit the travel advance request before traveling to your ADT site, or within the first few days of arrival.
Save all receipts for reimbursable items- gas, hotel, and rental car. You will need to submit a copy of ORIGINAL RECEIPTS in .pdf form. This is a good time to download an app that converts photos to .pdf! Unfortunately, the student management office does not accept credit card statements in reimbursement requests, you must have an original receipt. You probably will get a per-diem to cover meals, meaning they will direct deposit a flat daily rate for food expenses into your bank account and you will not be reimbursed later, so you don't need to save receipts from food.
Review the big things from DCC/BOLC- Officer and Enlisted rank symbols for Army and other branches you may be working around, how and when to render salutes, PT stretching routine (e.g. "By the numbers!..."), when to wear/not wear your cover, when to call someone "sir" and "ma'am", etc. This will reduce the chance of you looking like a fool when walking around the installation.
Participate in branch PT- This is a great way to get to know soldiers in your VTF and unit. It may or may not be required, but it reflects well on you to attend. When you are a CPT, going to PT with your soldiers can help foster camaraderie that trickles down into the clinic. The VTF (veterinary treatment facility) soldiers may hold PT, and there may be unit PT too (the whole Public Health Activity).
Ask questions- The NCOIC, OIC, VCOs, 68Ts, NAF veterinaians and NAF veterinary technicians all have knowledge and experience to share with about medicine, military, medicine in the military, and life in the military (for example, I got great perspectives about how to maintain a relationship with a spouse who is civilian while you are in the military). Acronym Key- NCOIC=noncommissioned officer in charge; OIC=officer in charge; VCO=veterinary corps officers, 68T= Army veterinary technician, NAF=nonappropriated funds i.e. civilian hires.
Share your interests- For example, I talked to multiple people about my interest in lab animal medicine before someone happened to know someone who was on a nearby installation. I followed up and was able to meet this person, an Army lab animal veterinarian, who gave me a tour her lab and animal housing facility, let me scrub in for procedures, and happily talked with me about the MO and LTHET. Without being forthcoming about my career goals and interests, I may not have been able to meet this LTC who's veterinary career has pretty much lined up with my goals.