10 U.S. Code § 2192a - Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (SMART) Defense Education Program
(a) Requirement for Program.— The Secretary of Defense shall carry out a program to provide financial assistance for education in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology skills and disciplines that, as determined by the Secretary, are critical to the national security functions of the Department of Defense and are needed in the Department of Defense workforce.
(b) Financial Assistance.—
(1) Under the program under this section, the Secretary of Defense may award a scholarship or fellowship in accordance with this section to a person who—
(B) is pursuing an associates degree, undergraduate degree, or advanced degree in a critical skill or discipline described in subsection (a) at an accredited institution of higher education; and
(2) The amount of the financial assistance provided under a scholarship or fellowship awarded to a person under this subsection shall be an amount determined by the Secretary of Defense.
(c) Service Agreement for Recipients of Financial Assistance.—
(1) To receive financial assistance under this section—
(A) in the case of an employee of the Department of Defense, the employee shall enter into a written agreement to continue in the employment of the department for the period of obligated service determined under paragraph (2); and
(2) For the purposes of this subsection, the period of obligated service for a recipient of financial assistance under this section shall be the period determined by the Secretary of Defense as being appropriate to obtain adequate service in exchange for such financial assistance. The period of service required of a recipient may not be less than the total period of pursuit of a degree that is covered by such financial assistance. The period of obligated service is in addition to any other period for which the recipient is obligated to serve in the civil service of the United States.
(d) Employment of Program Participants.— The Secretary of Defense—
(1) may, without regard to any provision of title 5 governing appointment of employees to competitive service positions within the Department of Defense, appoint to a position in the Department of Defense in the excepted service an individual who has successfully completed an academic program for which a scholarship or fellowship under this section was awarded and who, under the terms of the agreement for such scholarship or fellowship, at the time of such appointment, owes a service commitment to the Department; and
(2) may, upon satisfactory completion of 2 years of substantially continuous service by an incumbent who was appointed to an excepted service position under the authority of paragraph (1), convert the appointment of such individual, without competition, to a career or career conditional appointment.
(e) Refund for Period of Unserved Obligated Service.—
(A) A participant in the program under this section who is not an employee of the Department of Defense and who voluntarily fails to complete the educational program for which financial assistance has been provided under this section, or fails to maintain satisfactory academic progress as determined in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense, shall refund to the United States an appropriate amount, as determined by the Secretary.
(B) A participant in the program under this section who is an employee of the Department of Defense and who—
(i) voluntarily fails to complete the educational program for which financial assistance has been provided, or fails to maintain satisfactory academic progress as determined in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary; or
(ii) before completion of the period of obligated service required of such participant—
shall refund the United States an appropriate amount, as determined by the Secretary.
(2) An obligation to reimburse the United States imposed under paragraph (1) is for all purposes a debt owed to the United States.
(3) The Secretary of Defense may waive, in whole or in part, a refund required under paragraph (1) if the Secretary determines that recovery would be against equity and good conscience or would be contrary to the best interests of the United States.
(f) Relationship to Other Programs.— The Secretary of Defense shall coordinate the provision of financial assistance under the authority of this section with the provision of financial assistance under the other authorities provided in this chapter in order to maximize the benefits derived by the Department of Defense from the exercise of all such authorities.
Source(Added Pub. L. 109–163, div. A, title XI, § 1104(d)(1),Jan. 6, 2006, 119 Stat. 3449; amended Pub. L. 110–417, [div. A], title X, § 1061(a)(5),Oct. 14, 2008, 122 Stat. 4612; Pub. L. 111–84, div. A, title XI, § 1102(a)–(d)(1), Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2484, 2485; Pub. L. 113–66, div. A, title XI, § 1105(a)(1),Dec. 26, 2013, 127 Stat. 886.)
Section, as added by Pub. L. 109–163, consists of text of Pub. L. 108–375, div. A, title XI, § 1105,Oct. 28, 2004, 118 Stat. 2074; Pub. L. 109–163, div. A, title X, § 1056(d), title XI, § 1104(a)–(c), Jan. 6, 2006, 119 Stat. 3440, 3448, 3449; Pub. L. 111–383, div. A, title X, § 1075(h)(5),Jan. 7, 2011, 124 Stat. 4377, which was formerly set out as a note under section 2192 of this title, and was repealed by Pub. L. 109–163, div. A, title XI, § 1104(e)(1),Jan. 6, 2006, 119 Stat. 3450.
2013—Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 113–66substituted “an amount determined by the Secretary of Defense” for “the amount determined by the Secretary of Defense as being necessary to pay all educational expenses incurred by that person, including tuition, fees, cost of books, laboratory expenses, equipment expenses, and expenses of room and board”.
2009—Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 111–84, § 1102(b), substituted “The” for “Except as provided in subsection (d), the” in second sentence.
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 111–84, § 1102(a), amended subsec. (d) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (d) provided that, under certain circumstances, the Secretary of Defense could appoint or retain a SMART program participant as an interim employee and separate such participant from employment if no appropriate permanent position was available at the end of the interim period and that the period of interim service would count towards the participant’s obligated service requirements.
Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 111–84, § 1102(c), struck out “The program under this section is in addition to the authorities provided in chapter 111 of this title.” before “The Secretary” and substituted “the other authorities provided in this chapter” for “the authorities provided in such chapter”.
Subsecs. (g), (h). Pub. L. 111–84, § 1102(d)(1), redesignatedsubsec. (h) as (g) and struck out former subsec. (g). Prior to amendment, text read as follows: “Not later than February 1, 2007, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the Committees on Armed Services of the Senate and the House of Representatives, the Committee on Governmental Affairs of the Senate, and the Committee on Government Reform of the House of Representatives a plan for expanding and improving the national defense science and engineering workforce educational assistance program carried out under this section as appropriate to improve recruitment and retention to meet the requirements of the Department of Defense for its science and engineering workforce on a short-term basis and on a long-term basis.”
2008—Subsec. (e)(4). Pub. L. 110–417, § 1061(a)(5)(A), substituted “title 11” for “title 11, United States Code,”.
Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 110–417, § 1061(a)(5)(B), substituted “this title” for “title 10, United States Code”.
Effect on Current Participants in SMART Pilot Program
Pub. L. 109–163, div. A, title XI, § 1104(f),Jan. 6, 2006, 119 Stat. 3450, provided that: “Participation in the Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (SMART) Defense Scholarship Pilot Program under section 1105 ofPublic Law 108–375 [see Codification note above] by an individual who has entered into an agreement under that pilot program before the date of the enactment of this Act [Jan. 6, 2006] shall be governed by the terms of such agreement without regard to the amendments made by this section [enacting this section, amending section 3304 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees, and amending and repealing provisions set out as a note under section 2192 of this title].”
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