This young, articulate, and inquisitive candidate came to this forum for advice and guidance. As always RetNavyHM provided the requested information in a clear, concise, and non-judgmental fashion. RetNavyHM makes this forum stand out above and alone from the others, and his contribution to the cadet candidates and their parents cannot be overstated.
Perhaps the DOBMER portion of this webboard would be best limited to RetNavyHM as his own special corner to help these extraordinary youngsters, as he seems uniquely qualified to do so. When others respond, as often as not, the waters seem to be muddied with incorrect, or worse yet, completely irrelevant and counterproductive opinion.
Soylent, I don't believe that inquisitiveness, even stubborn and sometimes infuriating inquisitiveness, in a 17 year old is a negative as far as success in the military is concerned. If that were the case the military would be run by unimaginative morons. Your own measured responses suggest you have a good head on your shoulders and I would urge you to pursue admission to the USMA. It is a place like no other and well worth all of the trials and tribulations required to secure an appointment. Good luck and keep us informed of your progress.