It depends on whether or not you want to be enlisted or an officer. If you want to go the enlisted route there are many online schools that offer a great education to military personal or you can also join the national guard if you would rather go to school in your state and still serve your country. On the other hand, you if you want to be an officer I would advise you to follow one of the suggestions that Jenn pointed out because they are both very good options for someone who wants to become an officer.
Great question Brayden. I am glad to hear you would like to serve your country. You do not necessarily have to go to college to join the military. If you want to be an enlisted man such as I was, you do not need college education. To become an officer you will have to attend college and obtain at least a Bachelor's degree. The role of an officer is pretty much to lead the enlisted men. Enlisted men are the men who take the order's from the officer. Brayden you seem like a smart young man just based off of your question so I would advise you to go to school and obtain your degree first and become an officer. Then maybe one day you can lead guy's like me :)
Take Care buddy.
For success in the military, as well as success in life, I recommend a good liberal arts college for the Bachelors Degree. If you can afford it, a small private one will give you the best education for succeeding. Once you enter the military you will be assigned a school or college to attend for specific training. Knowing how to think and solve problems in a cogent and logical manner will be very helpful to succeeding. The military needs people who can think critically and act quickly. Most of the warriors I have known were very well educated. Many of the challenges on the armed forces are more mental than physical.
There are a few different paths for you to consider: (1) going to a military school (like the U.S. Naval Academy or West Point) or (2) going to a college that has an ROTC program. I would try Googling for colleges and universities with an ROTC program to narrow your search.
I think there is a lot of great advice here. I would just add one thing for you: think about what you want to do after the military, then choose your school.
Once you complete basic training and what's called School of Infantry (at least in the USMC) where they teach you some basics about combat you'll go on to whatever specialty school is needed for your job. (i.e., airplane tech, water filtration, etc.) You will learn quite a bit just being in the service. Someone suggested a Liberal Arts degree, which I think is fantastic advice. Because you will gain so much experience and skill during your hitch you'll walk away with a lot of options. But a Liberal Arts degree can train you to think critically, give you a deeper understanding of history and the world and open your mind.
Whatever you choose to do, good luck and I commend you on being a thoughtful selfless young man.
I went into the Navy right out of high school and was only going to complete 4 years, well 23 years later I retired as a Senior Chief Petty Officer (E-8)!
I went to places I would've never been, met people I would have possibly never met, served my country and finished Bachelors Degree and shortly thereafter my Masters Degree.
I'm glad to see a young adult, like yourself, with great goals and wanting to give back to the country! You're a natural leader, you will accomplish great things in life with your positive attitude and sense of purpose and benevolence.
Always dream, live your dreams, follow your heart but listen to your head! Research and write down the positives and negatives of both paths, this way you will be able to make a well informed decision, you already appear to be an intelligent person, so keep moving forward and hope you live your dreams.
I will try my best to answer any questions about the Navy or anything else you may have.