gorcee wrote:As far as admissions are concerned, they're going to look at your history in a positive light. They're going to look and see, "hm, he got crappy grades, kicked his life in gear, served, and is now taking things pretty seriously". So, old grades won't harm you much, I'd wager. It's more the things you've done in the interim period that matter. You can always play this fiddle in your admissions essays, don't forget.
That last sentence is so important that I would upgrade the verb. My attitude is that your essay is your primary opportunity to make an argument in support of your matriculation, and you do that best by summarizing your strengths and then answering all the major concerns that will strike them after reading the rest of your application. It can go even deeper than that -- you should also choose your letters of reference from a range of people who can defend your underlying thesis. You can't put exact words in people's mouths, but you could ask your CO to highlight an anecdote that demonstrates your discipline and tell your favorite community college professor what you told us and that you'd really like it to be clear that you're more engaged than the average student is now and was an asset to the classroom environment.
I don't do admissions myself, but I'm all but certain that they'd agree that you're a stronger candidate than you were the first time around, especially if you are upfront about it. You made some iffy decisions your first time around, but if not adjusting to freshman year was a crime there wouldn't be enough jail cells to hold everyone. What you did is to identify your problem behaviors and correct them, and that's powerful. Phone interview with admissions? You're a Marine! Walk into their office wearing a smart casual outfit and give them that glare you guys all have and tell them that you are dedicated to achieve the objectives of getting a degree. Yours will be the first application they accept.
If I were in your shoes, I'd definitely want to talk to some ROTC people at the school you like, because they might well be your social circle next year and some of them have been in your shoes. The transfer stuff is all strongly influenced by your individual school. I'm at a SUNY school and our policy is that you can transfer up to three classes worth of credits if you have acceptable grades in them. On the one hand, that shortens your time and uses less money, on the other hand you could take the classes over again and ace them easily which impacts your GPA. You'll work this stuff out with your advisor once you start planning your course of study. But like I suggested before, I would not be at all concerned that it would count against you.