I am looking to do pretty much the same thing, although I am Air Force and haven't finished my undergrad yet. Switched from Physics to Criminal Justice due to ops tempo making it impossible to attend class. Sadly I am not smart enough for hard science online. :-p
I understand the OPTEMPO and that will probably be my reason for retiring as soon as I am eligible. 3 x Iraq and 2 x Afghanistan with a family and four young children at home is getting to be a little difficult to justify. I took a Warrant Officer appointment and a subsequent commission which allowed me to finish undergrad, but I owe time on the back end of that deal. It was worth it to me, since I had been trying to do a class here and a class there since 1996.
I am definitely curious about why you want to retire in December. In the Air Force if I retire in Decemeber, I would have to start terminal and outprocessing as much as 8 months prior to that. Short of an active duty service commitment, wouldn't it be better to start the process in January? By then if you applied early, you should have the information on what school you are actually going to attend.
I am counting on having the military move my family and I to wherever I end up going to school and I am going to try to time it so that I have a full paycheck for as long as possible. There is very little chance of finding work for 6 to 8 months with benefits that comes close to a military paycheck.
You make a very good point here. My only issue will be what deployments I'll be looking at around that time. If I am looking at another 1 yr stint in AFG, I'm punching out as soon as I can. Otherwise, I would consider the same plan. Thanks for the advice.
Do you still have you GI Bill benefits. With the yellow ribbon program it might be worth looking at schools outside of Illinois. Some of them end up being a full ride. I am hopeful that those programs plus retirement will be enough to get me through law school with little or no debt and none of the scholarship worries that a lot of other students face.
I plan to supplement my retirement and IVG with the full time GI Bill rate. Under the Montgomery (Not Post 9-11) plan, I'll get the full rate plus the buy-up. I hadn't really considered schools outside Illinois, primarily based upon the IVG. I'll have to look into the yellow ribbon program, but I'd have to see if converting my remaining benefit (22 Months) to Post 9-11 will be beneficial.