As I said, I'm now about to graduate from high school. When applying to colleges I wasn't looking for ROTC programs, and have taken a near full ride offer from a state college. This college does not have any ROTC/military training courses. Because my attendance is now about set in stone, I was planning to just go to this school for a year and think hard about Army life and spend time getting in shape.
Afterwards I will hopefully transfer to a new school in my Sophomore year. I'm still trying to determine which would be most useful - continuing with my intended major (Spanish), changing my major to Political Science, or go into an engineering school. Each has perks and drawbacks, and all influence what school I would transfer to. While I am proficient with Spanish, I hate it as a language. PoliSci major would require me to transfer to another four year school which may not offer classes that will pertain to my future. To go to Missouri's premier engineering school means not being able to major in PoliSci or Spanish at all.
First of all, if I don't start ROTC until my Sophomore year, will I still be able to graduate one time and finish the program? Second, I want to go into aviation, particularly interesting in being a helo pilot. How vital is it that I have knowledge of mechanics before I start the Army training? I'm just wondering if I should look into ROTC equipped, four year colleges with aviation programs or if flight school would be a waste of time.
For the sake of weighing in the possibilities of my future, how lilkely am I as a woman to become a helo pilot? I understand that we are at war, but about how secure in my profession would I be? I have no idea how many pilots there are in the Army. Are there too many? Not enough? I just want to get a grasp on the supply/demand ratio here, because if I recall correctly a person who used the benefits of ROTC are active military for eight years. I'd like to know if I would have a place doing what I wished or would end up being shovelled somewhere else. And if there are any women here whom wouldn't mind giving me some advice over email or MSN, I'd love to talk with you.
Next question is about time. I understand that ROTC graduates enter the service as Second Lieutenents. How long will it take me to get through flight training as apposed to just enlisting and working my way up? My ultimate goal s to someday move up in rank to Chief Warrant Officer. Is it a difference of several years? The idea of being an officer early on is nice, but at the same time I wonder if I should focus on my education first, then work my way through the Army.
Lastly, and this may be difficult to answer, but my vision without corrective lenses is terrible. My eyes have not yet stabilized enough for lasik surgery. Does this surgery have to be done before I enter ROTC, or can I enroll and get the correction done before graduation? And do I have to get rid of my ear piercings/ tatoos (that are not visible even with a tank top)?
Thank you all for any answers you can provide. :)