After serving active duty in the navy for 8 years, I have decided that I not longer want to be in my community. I was prior enlisted for four years, then I went to school to get a Mechanical Engineering degree under the collegiate program--active duty while going to college, hence 8 years of active duty. I plan to apply to med school next year and become an ortho--I love the mechanics, dynamic modeling, fatigue, fracture analysis, stress/strain elements of complex systems--the skeletal system in the human body has my full interest. I know that the Navy has great scholarship programs--USUHS and HPSP, and pretty much can come out of school debt free. But... I'm from Texas and if I get accepted in one of the state schools, I don't have to pay any tuition because I would be considered a veteran and the state pays for the majority of the fees and tuition--this scholarship is called the Hazelwood program. http://www.collegefortexans.com/cfbin/tofa2.cfm?id=31 My question to you ladies & gentlemen is: Is it cost effective to leave the military after racking in 10 yrs of active duty and transfer to the civilian life and finish Med school as a civilian with no strings attached? I ran some numbers and according to BUPERS, after twenty years of service I can earn $4.0M in retirement--40 yrs. and If I go to USUHS I can earn income while going to school $240K. If I get out… I have to live with no income while going to school, I loose my retirement, and have to pay for some very minor fees in school. What are the pros and cons of getting out at this point? and how hard is to get the residency of your choice in the Navy vs. Civilian, lets say I want one of the most competitive specialties--ortho, rad, anesthesia. Thanks for your help. I have to make the big decision next year .