I'd first like to thank everyone their input to these forums. I have read many of them over the last 6 months or so as my son had been going through the process of applying to USNA and to the NROTC at Georgia Tech. He has a congressional nomination and we believe he has a very good chance of getting an appointment to the academy. He has already been accepted to Georgia Tech and has been offered the NROTC scholarship. He is gifted in math and science and plans to get an engineering degree - he may even go for Nuke program. He is also quite an athlete and wants to try to become a SEAL. If there has ever been someone who got a "call to serve" it is him. This question is assuming that he will get the appointment and then have to make the final decision to USNA route or NROTC at GT. He has visited both numerous times (stayed for a candidate visit weekend at both as well). He can see himself at both places. We are very proud of his accomplishments and we know that either path will lead him to success but they are significantly different experiences and most of the blogs from people who made one choice or the other are glad they went the way they did. Both options lead him to be a naval officer for a minimum of 5 years (longer if he chooses Nuke or SEALS). Some of the Navy contacts, however, have said that only about 20% stay on to retire in the Navy so I think it makes sense to consider the civilian path possibility as well as he is making this decision. I am very impressed with everyone who has counseled him, both from Navy and from GT. He's been advised that his chances of making it into SEAL training are significantly better from the academy than from an ROTC program. The GT people, however, (some of which are ex-Navy ROTC who choose a civilian path) are telling him that the GT engineering degree will be much more valuable if he decides on a civilian path and they are advising him that the academy wont challenge him as much academically (he's at the top of the charts on test scores). I'm not sure how much to believe that. He is choosing the ROTC/academy path to become a naval officer - a leader of men (who happens to have an engineering degree and maybe an advanced degree) but many have suggested that the GT path would give him best of both worlds instead of total immersion into Navy path from the beginning. I'd love some other advice or opinions about the two paths or things to consider in the decision process. Again, my thanks.