Is this appropriate for a congress man

Discussion in 'Nominations' started by jonafox94, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. jonafox94

    jonafox94 Parent

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    I am writing a letter to my congress man Cedric Richmond about why I would like to attend USMA. I was wondering if this would be inapropriate seeing as though he is apart of the local government.

    I would like to attend the United States Military Academy and serve on active duty as an Army officer to get one of the best educations in nuclear engineering available. It's a chance to use my God-given speed, strength, and intelligence to become a true leader and help support my country. It's also a chance to use what West Point has to offer and bring it back to my life, and I am hoping that West Point can help support me. I would like a nuclear engineering degree from West Point so I can help to recreate a nuclear energy grid in the United States in the face of a dwindling oil supply and over-reliance on foreign energy. I have also always had the dream of helping design new weapons for the military and I believe that nuclear engineering is a great way to realize that dream. I want to use my skills to help lead my country in the place of all those who can't. There are only a select few who are gifted with the ability to help lead the United States to victory no matter the circumstances; I believe I can be one of them. IF I have the opportunity to help my country, then that's exactly what I want to do. Becoming a true leader is one of my lifetime goal of returning home to New Orleans and becoming a leader in the community there as well. New Orleans is rampant with corruption and greed. You can see it in the schools, the streets, even in the people. It's a place that needs a real leader, not scandals and bribes. I'm ashamed to call New Orleans home. But with a West Point education, I believe I can become exactly the leader New Orleans needs, one that can help remediate the deep-seated problems here. It needs a certain type of strength to make it here. It's a strength that I'm only going to find in the Army.
     
  2. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    JMPO, but I would not submit this essay for multiple reasons.

    1. Religion
    ~~~ God-given speed, strength and intelligence.

    Do you know if Cong Richmond is a devout Christian or Jew?
    Never talk religion with people you do not know their personal beliefs.

    Speed, strength? What does that have to do with attending WP? WP exists to create officers, not the fastest runner or Olympian weight lifter.

    No offense, but that is what I think when I read speed and strength in the same sentence.

    Additionally, God-given intelligence, is pompous. I am a Catholic, and believe in God, but honestly if my kids said to me they had God-given intelligence, I would whap them upside their cranium for being arrogant.

    Many times when my kids act up, I say what makes you think you are God's gift to this world? That statement IMPO made me think you feel this way about yourself. Understand traditionally MOC boards are made of several members. You might have someone like me, who automatically is offended just by that one sentence.

    2. Re-read your essay.

    If I counted correctly, in that short paragraph you have 15 I or some form of I.

    It is redundant. When you start saying I, I, I; people tend to start hearing Charlie Brown's teacher in their mind...Wah, Wah, Wah.

    Also true for saying 3 times you are from New Orleans. Once is enough. OBTW, I am pretty sure your Cong. knows you are from NO. That is his district.

    ~~~ You also just said to the MOC that NO is corrupt, scandalous, and accepts bribes. The area he represents for his voters. The area he relies on for support during elections ... Mayor, unions, newspapers, etc. Do you know if Cong Richmond's drinking buddy is not the mayor of NO?

    Do you realize you slammed your own city? You are suppose to represent your area with pride at any SA. You just openly stated NO is dirty.

    3. You are applying to a military academy. Spending 1/4 of the essay about going back to NO to lead has nothing to do with WP.

    WP is training you to be an officer in the AD world, not about what you will do when you leave the military and take that training (experience) with you. You are stating at 17 you already have after AD career plans.

    However, at the same time you don't really talk about how a WP commission will impact the Army.

    Yes, you did the:
    Only a select few who are gifted? Goes back to the God-given comment. Sorry, but JMPHO, every military member be it an E1 or an O10 has the ability to help lead the US to victory.

    The sign of a true leader is to understand that the E1 helped to lead the US to victory. The sign of a true leader is to acknowledge that their success as a leader comes from team work.

    I know I am being hard on you, but honestly the military calls other members their brethren because they are a team and family. Your essay IMPO is all about you and your goals, your desires nothing about the military or the country.

    New Orleans hurt you between the oil spill and Katrina, but the fact is that is personal and has nothing to do with defending this great nation. The military is about defending the country from foreign and domestic invaders. It is not about defending a city from political corruption.

    You want to be a nuke engineer, you want to design weapons for the military. How about you take the time and investigate career fields within the military that would allow you to do this.

    I.E.

    I intend to major in nuclear engineering, with the hope of designing a system that will allow the Army to utilize a new fuel for tanks or helos. By doing so we would reduce our dependency on foreign oil, while at the same time reducing costs for the Army.

    As a resident of New Orleans, I have seen the impact of oil not only on our economy, but from the media perspective for Americans. There will always be the debate that Gulf 1 and 2 occurred for oil purposes, however there is no debate that Americans died defending this country in Gulf 1 and 2.

    As a WP grad with a nuclear engineering degree and military training, I believe that our country will benefit. My background will allow us to explore new options for oil. Our country will benefit because there will be no doubt that if Gulf 3 occurs, we will have the oil resources. There will be little doubt that the Army will risk my life for the true intention that every citizen in that country has the same right I take for granted every day.

    The right to practice any religion. The right to speak out against the leaders. The right to vote as a woman. The right to an education regardless of sex. The right to live without sexual orientation discrimination. The right to live without fear.

    That is what you are defending in the military. A classic line at the end of A Few Good Men. After getting a guilty for conduct unbecoming a Marine. LCP Dawson replies to the question what did we do wrong? We did nothing wrong!
    He replies:Yeah, we did. We were supposed to fight for the people who couldn't fight for themselves. We were supposed to fight for Willie.

    That is what being in the military really means. Notice no I, all WE!



    I suggest you take your essay to the APENG teacher at your HS. I would be surprised if they gave you an A, just based on the I's.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2011
  3. OCDomer

    OCDomer Member

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    Maybe Not

    You have some very laudable goals for your life. But I would be concerned if I was the congressman considering an appointment for you. The mission of West Point is:
    It seems that many (if not most) of your goals are focused on life after, or outside of, service as an Army officer. USMA is focused on producing the officers who will lead our nation's soldiers into battle when called upon to do so. Your goals & aspirations appear to be a little different.

    As a practical matter, I would be a little careful about any wording that might even hint that your congressman is in any way affiliated with political corruption. You could talk about about how folks have lost faith & trust in their political leaders and how you want to restore that trust. But going back to my first point, you should probably just focus on how you want to serve as an officer in the Army.
     
  4. jonafox94

    jonafox94 Parent

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    You made many very good points here, thanks a lot for the help. I do not agree with all of it but you have actually helped out a lot. I know I am not a very proficient write (yet) luckily the english section on the ACT is correcting common sense errors haha. Your sample essay was really good. Many things that you gave me advice about probably came from me trying to appeal to my audience and show that I have determination, hardwork, and other things that it would take to be sucesssful at West Point and why I would like to be there.
    Though it sounds like this was geared towards after the military, I want a military career many of the other statements were about after I retire. The essay is about why I wish to attend, and these were the reasons, if I were to write something else it would not be true. I realize that I slammed my city, but being that I have lived here my whole life I think I have the right to. If you lived here you would understand. Since the applications are reviewed by a board I dont think it will be too offensive to the reader. Thank you for your help but I belive all I really need to do is correct it gramatically and make it sound like a highschool senior wrote it. I will also correct a few things that you made clear to me that would still be my own work.
     
  5. jonafox94

    jonafox94 Parent

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    Those goals were geared toward later in my life, after my military career. I will try to make it more apprent that I wish to serve first.
     
  6. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Rep Richmond might not want to be reminded of ethics or character either, having had his own issues that led to his law license being suspended for "untruthful assertions" on a residency document.
     
  7. matt123456

    matt123456 Member

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    Like Pima said after every essay I write I write the first word of every sentence on a piece of paper. If I use the same word more than once I will change that word into something else and rephrase that sentence; I also make sure my point gets across clearly. If you have to use the same word to start the sentence make sure you space it out. You could use i in the middle of an essay and maybe in the beginning probably in the end. thanks

    oh yeah from what I heard also its not to well to use i depending on your essay. If you want to go to west point make sure its not all about you hence the i.
     
  8. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    jonafox94,

    I hope you are now getting that be it grammatical or body of the essay, nobody here would say submit that essay.

    You have grammatical errors. I stink regarding passive, but I do know you should not have I in every sentence.

    You are correct, I do not live in NO, however, if I was on the board, and read that essay you would be dinged...alot!

    Dinged for:
    ~I...I...I... I; Where is WE? All I know is everything is about YOU, because nothing in the essay reflects an opposing opinion.
    ~ God-given; So my kid is not God Given?
    ~ Bribery, corruption, scandals, etc. As if a 17/18 yo who has yet to vote can understand how to fix it!
    " New Orleans is rampant with corruption and greed. You can see it in the schools, the streets, even in the people. It's a place that needs a real leader, not scandals and bribes. I'm ashamed to call New Orleans home."
    Your opinion inferred as a member of the MOC board I was either ignorant, incompetent or corrupt. You also inferred/implied to me that when you get to WP you will talk ill of LA.

    That is what your essay is saying.

    I never saw anything in that essay about how WP would be benefit from you. How you would benefit from WP as a future officer is all over the place.

    Re-read your essay. Where in it does it say anything about how WP would enhance the Army with you regarding how to defend the nation?
    The closest was this statement:
    "It's also a chance to use what West Point has to offer and bring it back to my life, and I am hoping that West Point can help support me."

    Key word ME.

    Do you really want an Army career or do you want the ability to have a WP degree?

    If it is the 1st "I" will disappear, it is the latter, "I" will remain.
     
  9. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Remember that the goal of SAs is to produce career military officers. Obviously, not all graduates stay in for a career. However, starting out with the intent of leaving after your commitment (which is what it sounds like you intend doing) isn't going to win you any brownie points with the MOC's nominating committee.

    Also, one of the tenets of SAs and the military is that one's unit, service, and country are greater than one's self. If your true desire is to be a nuclear engineer, there are many paths to that goal other than WP. Make sure that the entire WP experience is truly for you.
     
  10. time2

    time2 Member

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    Curious what year you are applying for. The application deadlines for most MOC's for the current cycle has passed. If you are simply submitting a random letter to your MOC to be 'known' for a future year, that is really a different question.

    If your essay is part of the application process, many above have given great advice but not sure you grasped what they are saying. My view is that whole section about New Orleans "corruption" (in the US legal system people are innocent until proven guilty) and "greed".....(even more subjective and harder to prove/measure) really doesn't belong in this essay. You may also feel strongly about global warming or any number of other socially relevant topics, but that doesn't mean it is appropriate to include in this particular essay.

    During your application essay, I also wouldn't be focused on your plans after retirement.
     
  11. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    If I was your Congressman, I wouldn't give a nomination to West Point.

    This part concerns me. Navy needs nuclear engieers, but not the Army. It will make me wonder, does this kid have any idea what he might be doing as a 2LT after graduation?

    Why don't you go to MIT or something - the Army has no or very little role in creating a nuclear energy grid


    weapon designs are usually done by civilians.


    Simply there is a big disconnect - you goals are to serve our country in your own way, but if your essay spend 98% about what you can't do as an Army officer in first five years after your graduate (your service oblgiation) and something you can do after you get out the Army, makes the reader wonder what your plan for your 5 year service obligation is?
     

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