Cadet Statement

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by BSCAR, Aug 4, 2016.

  1. BSCAR

    BSCAR Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2015
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    1
    The third prompt for the cadet statement on the USMA class of 2021 application is as follows: "West Point and the Army are committed to the idea that respect for others and an understanding of diversity are important leadership traits. Why will you be successful in working with leaders, peers, and subordinates of a gender, color, ethnicity, and/or religion different from your own?"

    Now, I truly feel that in today's society we place far too much stock into diversity--often at the expense of meritocracy. Moreover, an army fights as a unit, not a conglomerate of individuals. Such focus on the differences between soldiers is destructive to unit cohesion and the esprit de corps of the army as a whole.

    Do I speak my mind in the cadet statement and challenge the political orthodoxy or do I bite the bullet and make up some bs that conforms to what they want to hear? Normally there wouldn't be any question as to what I'd do; I'd speak my mind. But, I don't want to run the risk of not being admitted because I can't keep my mouth shut.
     
  2. ~2020mom

    ~2020mom New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    17
    I like your statement "Moreover, an army fights as a unit, not a conglomerate of individuals. Such focus on the differences between soldiers is destructive to unit cohesion and the esprit de corps of the army as a whole." The Army is diverse, and your ability to mesh well, respect all and appreciate others is important and should be apparent in your statement. Best advice I have heard is to be genuine. Reflect on specific examples where you see success in diversity such as in your workplace, on your sports teams, and in your family.
     
  3. brovol

    brovol Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2015
    Messages:
    836
    Likes Received:
    555
    It likely depends on who is reading the statement, but I might frame it as
    Presentation of the differing views, and an appreciation for policies which combat descrimination without compromising the principal that position should be gained by achievement. Emphasize that you would love to fight besides any soldier who shares the same commitment towards his or her country an corps, and has the same discipline bravery and commitment that you do. At the same time, be honest about disfavor in policies which put numbers before the quality and character of the person. The army would be better served if it had blinders in terms of race, gender, religion, etc.

    You obviously write well, and are smart. You will do well.
     
    cajunrouge2021 and nofodad like this.
  4. JWP

    JWP Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2012
    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    24
    Bite the bullet and make up some BS? Really? You should not even have had to ask this question if you are truly committed to attending the academy. Work on your maturity, speak from the heart and drop the victim mentality. Please know I wish you all the best and hope you are able to achieve your goals. Just giving some straight forward feedback. Best of luck!
     
    cajunrouge2021 likes this.
  5. BSCAR

    BSCAR Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2015
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    1
    Victim mentality? I curious as to what gave you that idea. I think it shows a degree of maturity that I'm willing to put my own views aside, swallow my pride, and step up to do what's required
     
  6. cajunrouge2021

    cajunrouge2021 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2016
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    7
    I applaud you for wanting to think outside the box and show your true self and opinion. What is concerning here is that you are making it sound like in order for you to write that you could work well with people of diverse backgrounds and that you realize the importance of diversity it would require you to "bite the bullet." It should not be in any way difficult to write that you can work with diverse people or that you see value in adversity in response to the prompt. I do not think you are actually saying that it is difficult for you to work with people of diverse backgrounds, of course. But this thread has proven that it's possible for people to misinterpret what you are trying to say. That is why everyone is encouraging you to be cautious.

    The prompt isn't asking you what you think about "PC culture" or if diversity is over stressed in today's society. It's asking you straightforward: "are you capable of working with these people and do you see the importance of diversity?" Even if you think that diversity is too over stressed today, I believe you realize that diversity can be a helpful thing in all kinds of situations (and I sincerely hope you don't have any problems working with people of different sexes, genders, races, ethnicities, or religions.) That is what they want you to write about. That is what they are checking.
     
  7. BSCAR

    BSCAR Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2015
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    1
    People are people regardless of race, religion, creed, etc. I don't care, so long as you preform. My point is that the prompt wants me to talk about why I'll do well working with diverse groups of people in particular. I won't preform any better or worse than with a homogenous group of people. It seems that they want me to laud diversity for the sake of diversity. And I believe that an undue focus on what makes people different and categorizing people isn't necessarily a good thing. We're all just people.
     
  8. cajunrouge2021

    cajunrouge2021 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2016
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    7
    Focusing on what makes people different and how that is bad is what causes racism and segregation.

    Focusing on what makes people different and how that can be beneficial is what causes valuable diversity. (This is what USMA and Army are doing.)

    It is the same reason why the academy doesn't just auto-accept or only accept every application with a 36 ACT score or any other single parameter. They actually want diversity because it is beneficial (among other reasons.)

    You say that you personally wouldn't perform better or worse or treat anyone differently in a homogenous group versus a diverse group and that is great. They would love to hear that you attest that you would treat people as people to the same standard no matter what. They also want to know, though, do you realize that diversity can be beneficial in their environment?
     
  9. brovol

    brovol Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2015
    Messages:
    836
    Likes Received:
    555
    I don't think the OP is antagonistic to working with people of different race, sex, religion, etc. It sounds more like he/she feels like putting people in certain positions BECAUSE they are a certain race, sex, religion, sexual preference, etc leads to an indifference to a preferred policy of putting someone in a spot because he/she is best for that spot, or has earned the spot, regardless of race, sex, religion, etc.

    There has been a movement, particularly over the past decade or less, which is based on the idea that forced diversity is best for some intangible reasons, likely motivated by politics, with an foundation from social political correctness. While I like equality in the military, and everywhere else, promotion based on diversity alone generates resentment amongst the Corps, on top of compromising the integrity of a merit based system. One can be in favor of diversity and fairness. They are not mutually exclusive.

    I appreciate the OPs position, I think, but suspect he or she should not "fall on the sword" in the spirit of principal. Be more diplomatic than that.
     
    bookreader likes this.
  10. BSCAR

    BSCAR Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2015
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thank you! Precisely it. And that actually answered my question too. I will curb my tongue.
     
  11. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    Messages:
    2,339
    Likes Received:
    1,803
    Go back to the original question: "Why will you be successful...?" It's a very simple question. No one is asking if you believe diversity without accompanying merit is a bad thing, or asking for any BS.

    For exactly the same reasons you would be successful in a non-diverse group, you would write about WHY:

    - You value what people bring to the table.
    - You believe performance, both individual and group, has nothing to do with physical attributes.
    - You focus on performance.
    - You have gone to school, worked with, played with, a widely diverse group, so this is nothing new.
    - You are open to other points of view and perspective.
    - You don't make assumptions about people and what their abilities, skills, thoughts and opinions are, based on any outward factors.
    - You strive to be aware of your own biases and overcome them.
    - You believe ....whatever
    - You were raised to embrace tolerance and acceptance. And so on.

    I had a military prof who would routinely write on essay exams: "ATFQ." (I apologize for saltiness.) A great corrective for those unable to focus on what was being asked, and respond concisely. Answer what is asked without adding layers. Why you would be successful should be the same with any group of people. I am NOT directing the "AT..." at anyone, just quoting former prof for effect. He made me think that way the rest of my life.

    You are an articulate writer. Looking at the question and focusing on why/success, and responding to that, tailored to reasons rooted in valuing talent that comes dressed in diverse ways, you should be fine.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2016
    clobelle2017 and cajunrouge2021 like this.
  12. brovol

    brovol Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2015
    Messages:
    836
    Likes Received:
    555
    Good response Capt. And don't appologize for being salty. You are a sailor. Lol. And besides, I like salty chicks.

    Great points, and of course you are correct.
     

Share This Page