She's already enlisted, so let her be enlisted and get good at it for a few years. Continue to encourage completion of college while enlisted. She can commission later via either OCS or ROTC-- no big deal.
My question is, when is best timing to apply for Army National Guard ROTC, should she apply for 4 year ANG ROTC while in high school, take some ROTC courses in community college then transfer to 4 year UC, we heard that while in ROTC, she will then be SMP and undeployable.
"ANG" is Air National Guard. "ARNG" or just "XX-NG" (where "XX" is the state) is typically used for Army National Guard. I assume you meant Army National Guard above-- please clarify if this is not correct.
Depending on her state, she may qualify for free in-state tuition as a Guardsman, negating the need for an ROTC scholarship. Besides, having enlisted, I don't believe she is eligible for an AROTC scholarship.
SMP is something she will have to apply for-- it's not automatic.
Or should she focus on getting her transfer course done so she can transfer and apply for 2 year ROTC after she gets admitted into the 4 year university.
ROTC classes are pretty easy, but if she doesn't have to double-up the last two years of ROTC, that's better.
I really need someone to tell spell out the timeline so I can put into calendar to remind us those key milestones. At this moment, we researched and found some information but none of them were solid.
My proposed timeline for an enlisted Guardsman who has yet to attend BCT and wants to maximize career success:
1. Finish BCT and AIT (Year 1)
2. Begin working on college courses (Year 2) in a limited capacity, allowing for the ability to perform extra military days and potential short deployments, as they come open-- this will season her as an enlisted member, help her build rapport and a good track record with her unit, and figure out what her long-term desires in the ARNG will be (or potentially whether she wishes to separate and try to go Active Duty)
3. When she gets to ~30 hours completed towards her preferred major that can be transferred into her preferred school (Year 3 or Year 4), start looking at SMP and/or ROTC options. OCS is also a possibility, and for Army Guardsman, many states run their own OCS's and split up the coursework into several 2-4 week segments interspersed with periods back at home.
4. Between Year 3 and Year 4, she should decide:
- Whether she wishes to remain in the military at all
- Whether she wishes to remain in the Army (or try for another branch)
- Whether she wishes to remain in the National Guard (or apply for Active Duty or the Reserves)
- What MOS she wishes to branch if she wishes to remain Army (Active Duty/Reserves/ARNG)
- How she wishes to commission-- ROTC and OCS would be the two main options, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Direct Commission (commission-on-the-spot) is still used in the ARNG, but it is rare and usually only used to fill shortfalls with seasoned senior enlisted
- Also, whether she wishes to fly (this would open up the Warrant Officer route for consideration in the Army, and regular commission in the other branches)
- There's not much point in going enlisted if you have no desire to actually become proficient in your MOS
- 17 is very young to be gaming out the next 4-6 years of your life as an enlisted member
- Her mind will likely change dramatically about things over the next few years
- It's much easier to figure out what you want to do (and how to go about it) once you've tried a few things out
- Army Guardsmen (especially the junior ones) have very few opportunities to really get into their MOS outside of a deployment or two (or several long stretches of full-time status). Both of which will delay her college completion, but will also enhance her abilities as a future officer. If she doesn't have the opportunity to generate that proficiency, then see Key Takeaway 1.
In summary, let her be enlisted-- but don't let up on encouraging her to knock out college at the same time.
I hope this helps-- it's coming from a prior-enlisted, actively-serving USAF officer (with tons of joint experience with the Army-both Active and ARNG) who completed college while enlisted.