Hello from sunny California , I am 17 years old and a junior in highschool. I've always considered myself a rather intelligent person (no arrogance intended) but never put the extra "umph" into my school grades. My grades are decent though (I don't have a GPA to give you). I recently got this drive to join the military, and decided to try to be commissioned as an officer rather than enlist because college is important for my future and my parents really want it as well. I wanted to go to the Naval Academy, but I'm homeschooled (please don't stereotype. We do go outside sometimes.) so I've next to zero extra-curricular activities that would be of any importance to the Academy. SO, I joined my local Sea Cadet battalion, which really helped me zero bits since I joined at such a late age. No one there has really helped me in my planning of my future there, and it's been a rather unfortunate mediocre experience. My parents can only help me a limited bit because my dad's workaholic schedule and my mother only has the time to assist my little brother with his schoolwork. Anyways. That's my self background. Where I'm at now: I went down to Fullerton University to talk with the Army ROTC that have an officer there. After talking a few hours with a first lieutenant, he gave me a couple of options. 1. Pay for my own college and join ROTC 2. Apply for a scholarship and join ROTC 3. Do the SMP program, go to basic the summer before freshman year, and get school payed for a 6 year National Guard Reserve contract. Now, a huge selling point of the ROTC is that I would like more than anything to have them pay for my college. I don't want to crush my parents with debt, as they've done so much for me already. I don't think I have what it takes to get a scholarship for the money, but I am interested in this SMP program. From what I understand what the officer said, I could go to Army Basic Training the summer before freshman year of college, and be in the National Guard reserve while in college. This way, the military would pay for my college. Also, I should mention: I do all my classes at a junior college now, so I am receiving college credits. Will this effect anything I plan on doing with ROTC or anything? I don't want it to interfere. I've gone through the forums for a while, but I really haven't heard anyone touch on this subject. Do any of you have experience or knowledge of this program? I really need some advice on what to do. Also, about colleges, do I need the blessing/approval of ROTC to begin applying? Does anyone know when I should be applying to colleges? I really don't know. Plus, I'm not really sure what I want to in the military/ what I want to major in in college. Haven't really found something I'm passionate about. Can the National Guard/Army Reserve pull me out of school at anytime to be deployed? I would like to thank you guys for running such a great forum. Also, if there's is some sort of *post count* I need to meet prior to posting such a thread, I apologize (some forums work as such). You all have a great day. God bless, Dallas Edit: Also, if any of you have been to Army Basic, it'd be cool to hear your experience.