I don't know how much I can relate with you, but I have gone from the military to the Actuarial field so maybe I can give you a few pieces of advice. First of all your military experience will look really good when you apply to companies. Now I don't know what rank you are, but I'm assuming you have been in for quit a while now and that you are now in a position where you have soldiers underneath you, and that show the leadership ability that the company will be looking for.
Now as far as what you should do over the next 8 years, I would highly advise you to get get a Major in Mathematics. A liberal arts degree is not going to help you as an actuary, and the writing ability that you talked about, it is not going to be valued when they are looking to hire you. If you happen to be a bad writer, I would suggest just taking one writing class, and just doing more writing yourself. A finance degree is ok, but honestly everything 'finance' that you will need to know, you will teach yourself when studying for exam FM and MFE. So to make things simpler on yourself finish your Math major because that is what actuaries do and it will really help you in your exam process.
As for your age, what companies are looking for are future credentialed actuaries, so when they are looking at you they are probably going to see you as someone who won't be credentialed until they are 50 and then they paid for all those exams and they only have an actuary for 15 years, where as the out of college kid will be done with his exams by 30 and could work for another 35 years. So you need to show them it is still more valuable to have you. My suggestion is get as many exams done as you can. Most people would say no to this, but I think at your age, if you can have 4 or 5 exams done by the time you enter the field the company will feel much better about hiring someone your age even if you don't have the experience.
I wish the best of luck to you and I hope you go through with it and make it as an actuary. It will be a lot of work, but since you are in the army, a lot of work should be just another day in the field for you.
Thanks for your response. I surely won't invest time and energy in a Humanities degree.
I am an E-7/SFC so I do have leadership experience. My career field is satellite communications - definitely far away from actuary experience but oh well.
With regards to a math major, I would have to get another bachelors degree or perhaps a masters in math somewhere? My school options would have to be online due to the dynamic nature of my job. Do you know anywhere I could go to get an online math degree? I"ve searched with no luck.
What kind of experience do you have? I've been to beanactuary.org and visited the various soa and cas sites. Where could I find some case studies on actuarial work for general information on the various kinds of projects they work on.
I found this school, but you will have to look into it, I've never heard of it before, but it looks like what you would need [URL="http://www.online.uillinois.edu/catalog/ProgramDetail.asp?ProgramID=541"]University of Illinois[/URL]. You only need a bachelor, so by doing that and exams you should be in good shape.
I don't know of any case studies that you are interested in, I would just suggest using these forums to ask more questions. I think you can get at least a good understanding of whether you are interested in the Health and Life side or the Property side from their respected websites.
Thanks!! That school looks promising! I will definitely apply there. Well it seems to be a general consensus that a graduate degree wouldn't be the best investment of my time so I will concentrate on refining my math skills and get another bachelors. I wish I had completed my math degree earlier in life but I have more life experiences now that allows me to be more focused in life.