Also, since I read them before the edits...
You DO realize that "desperate for people to be interested" is the same as "desperate for people to apply", right? You basically made my point for me. Come on, you know how this works. The recruiter has a quota of names he needs to send forward. If he doesn't make that quota, he gets blasted by higher. If he misses enough quotas, he might get sent back to 29 Palms or Lejeune and have to quit railing hot undergrad girls. Here's the critical part: the recruiter doesn't care if only 1% of the people he sends forward will actually be selected. He's just responsible for moving them through the pipeline. You saying "Our recruiter is desperate for people to be interested!" and using that as evidence that JAG spots are freely available to anyone who walks in the office is completely ass backwards. Of course he's desperate for people to be interested. He's being a recruiter.
The original advice you got that you thought was so misguided was completely correct. You were dead set on Marine JAG, and people were pointing out to you that the JAG selection rate is pretty low, so you need to give yourself a lot of options/potential backups. That's all. Several people even acknowledged that South Carolina is a decent regional school provided you're fine with being geographically limited.
If you've changed your mind and now want to work small/mid-law in South Carolina, then great. Things have worked out. But don't all blustery at people for giving you the correct answer to your original question.