If I had the educational requirements and thought that I could put up with another few years of "formal" education plus the added service requirements, I would choose the academy.
However being the type of person I am with a rebellious streak just below the surface, and having no real liking for formal education (not that I can't do well if I want), I feel that my best option would be up the hawsepipe as we say in the Navy.
Times have changed a lot with this, as I know of a junior sailor who has risen to the highest rank in our Navy, in the last ten years, whereas in my day there was a glass ceiling at Lt/Cdr, Major, rank which was almost impossible to get past.
I would seriously advise you to seek information from members of the service you intend to join before making a decision such as this. Many can not hack the strict requirements of the Academy, and just as many could not stand the endless and sometimes senseless drudgery of the lower ranks. Both systems have the ability to develop a person's character dependant upon the attitude of the applicant.
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