First off, this is my first post but I am frequenter lurker of the forums. I try to absorb as much knowledge as I can from these forums as possible but I have come to a crossroads and would greatly appreciate some advice from folks within the military. I am a civilian pilot with a little over 300 hours, I'm a CFI and CFII with my commercial-multi who works out of the Bend, OR airport. I am about a year out from finishing my Bachelor's of Applied Science in Technology and Management (I understand this is a somewhat useless degree) and have an Associate's Degree in Aviation. I've maintained a fairly consistent 3.7 GPA throughout my studies while working two jobs to pay for school and flying. While I was doing my flight training I was working line for an FBO out of Bend and working as an EMT for a medical transport company based out of Redmond. My previous career was in wildland fire working for the Prineville Hotshots but I made a switch because I love flying more than I like setting stuff on fire (Which is a big love of mine). Healthwise I just turned 23, I have no health issues to my knowledge, I do wear glasses (20/30 left eye and 20/40 right eye) but am currently looking into a LASIK consultation. I admitted to smoking weed once when i Was 18 on a pre-approval form because honesty is a big deal to me. I don't have a criminal background, I don't even have a speeding ticket. Other than the vision and the pot I can't see a big reason for an immediate dequal.
While working at the Bend airport as line service and now as a flight instructor I've had the chance to meet a lot of really awesome pilots/people associated with aviation. Some of these guys were from the Klamath Falls ANG. I got asked why the hell I hadn't applied for the military and I didn't really have a great answer. I've always wanted to serve my country, I've always wanted to fly for the military, and I've always been draw by the challenge of military aviation. So, I went and visited the base and got the chance to meet the squadron. Everyone was extremely friendly and helpful. I've now been talking to two recruiters: an enlisted recruiter and an officer recruiter for the guard. I got into contact with the guy in charge of creating the packages to be sent over for UPT. It seems to be the consensus from them is that I should enlist to become acquainted with the squadron and then see if I can get a slot. While I would be more than happy with enlisting if it betters my chances at getting a seat in an F-15 I just want to understand the whole picture. Is there any harm in submitting a package directly to the hiring board and trying to see if I can get a slot that way? I have plans to contact the Lt. Col. who was in charge of the hiring board in 2016 and to make continual visit to the squadron down in Klamath. I guess my question is what should my next step be? Would it be okay to continue my visits, submit a package, see how it goes and if it doesn't work out then try enlistment? In your opinions what are my chances of even getting an interview? I'm not opposed to other guard bases but I really like Klamath's mission. I thoroughly enjoy being a flight instructor and I think being an instructor pilot for the military would be an even more enjoyable opportunity.
Anyway, I appreciate anyone who reads this and I'll take any and all advice you guys have to offer.