Missionary Experience Vs. SLE

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Westpoint2019, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. Westpoint2019

    Westpoint2019 New Member

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    I have the chance to either go on a mission trip to Africa for 2 months or attend SLE (hoping to get in). The missionary experience would go on the entire summer so I need to choose one over the other.

    Which would look better on my resume for West Point?

    WestPoint2019
     
  2. GoArmyBeatNavy

    GoArmyBeatNavy Member

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    SLE doesn't factor into West Point's evaluation of candidates. It's more for the candidate to get a good view of West Point.

    Boy/Girls State trumps both though.
     
  3. BDHuff09

    BDHuff09 Member

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    I agree with GoArmyBeatNavy.

    I went to SLE, and I remember a conversation between a Major in the admissions office and one of the other candidates about this. The individual had decided to attend SLE instead of her respective Girls State program because the two coincided on the same week. Upon hearing this, the Major said "You should have gone to Girls State. This week is just for you guys to get a feel of the place, it doesn't help you any on your application."

    So If you miss SLE because your off in Africa doing stuff that will boost your admissions profile in the long run, I think USMA would be understanding.

    If your lucky enough to be given an overnight visit during your senior year, I think that would be more indicative of the day-to-day life at WP than SLE is.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2013
  4. Westpoint2019

    Westpoint2019 New Member

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    Thank you both for your input, I will take it into consideration when deciding what I want to do next summer. :)

    WestPoint2019
     
  5. time2

    time2 Member

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    The original question was about attending a mission's trip vs. SLE, not sure what Boys/girls state has to do with that. The decision to join the military/attend a service academy is a BIG deal and life changing event. It would be best to take every opportunity to learn what this is about before accepting an appointment. Even those who are 110% convinced this is what they want, sometimes find the reality to be other then what they expected.

    On that other subject, getting selected for boys/girls state is what counts on your application since everyone who applies doesn't get chosen. I would imagine some who get chosen can't attend for a variety of different reasons.
     
  6. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Very good points. To an old fart like me, the purpose of the military is to fight our nation's war and win, not to help people (indirectly we do).

    So when I read or hear from candidates they want to attend SA to help people, I wonder.
     
  7. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    I think it is an opinion question with no right or wrong answer so I will give you an opinion. Which do you think says more about you as a person when you are interviewing with someone- spending 2 months helping people in a foreign nation and who truly need the help that you can provide, or going to suburban New York to see what your college experience might be like.

    You need to make your own decisions but consider that West Point isn't going to give you more points for going to SLE, and lots of your peers (should you wind up at USMA) won't have gone and they will do just fine. So forget the admissions point of view and think about the longer viewoint: what would you give yourself extra points for in your life? The opportunity focused on yourself, or the opportunity focused on other people, an opportunity which coincidently will also give you some really valuable exposure to the conditions that exist in the rest of the world- the world with which the US Army will be dealing. And consider- leadership is in large part about convincing those you are attempting to lead that you think more about them and their well being than you do about yourself. Which opportunity do you think will develop that attribute more in you?

    There are lots of ways to learn about what it is like at West Point, and you have a couple of years to do so. An airline ticket to NY to go visit on your own is pretty inexpensive and the internet is free to further investigate, but how many more chances in life do you think that you will have to spend 2 months living and working in Africa helping people? Do what you think is the right thing to do.

    It's the start of your Junior year- what will really look good for your cv will be to blow away this year in academics, athletics, in your extracurriculars in your SATs. It's an opinion- which is all anyone will give you on this question. Good luck in making your decision.
     
  8. RogerThat

    RogerThat New Member

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    Very good points, all. Spending two months in service in a foreign land, developing cultural awareness, in an effort to promote peace and help others sounds a lot like what the Army does. Even Special Forces is really just the Peace Corps with guns. The Army has only two capstone Field Manuals. FM-1 is the first. Here's what it has to say about things like this:

    Section 1-70. In the new security environment, cultural awareness has become one of the most important knowledge areas for Army leaders. Army leaders develop their knowledge of major world cultures and learn how those cultures affect military operations.

    Section 1-72. 1-72. Today's security environment demands more from Army leaders than ever before. Army leaders must not only be able to lead Soldiers but also influence other people. They must be able to work with members of other Services and governmental agencies. They must win the willing cooperation of multinational partners, both military and civilian.

    Africa is a growth area, is all I'll say. This would be a plus in my eyes.
    You're not going on vacation.

    The choice is yours, and consider the above posters wisdom, all of which were very valid.
     
  9. Westpoint2019

    Westpoint2019 New Member

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    Thank you all very much! I'm leaning towards going on the missionary trip because I may never have the chance to do so again, yet I have many other chances to go visit USMA.

    However, I am worried that I may miss the chance to attend Girl's State. So I will have to look into the dates for the trip and the dates for Girl's State. Hopefully I will get to do both!

    Thank you!
    WestPoint2019
     
  10. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    I realize I'm an Air Force guy however I believe USMA and USAFA (along with the other SA's) share similar visions for their candidates.

    I would counsel you to go on the mission trip IF this is something that is important to you. And here's why I say this.

    It may well be that "once in a lifetime opportunity" although truthfully, you will probably have other opportunities later in life. However taking this trip, overseas, and having to deal with all the unknowns, working with others that are very different from yourself, gaining experiences in the areas you will, would be highly valuable to your personal development and probably to you in helping shape your leadership model.

    Girls State is HUGE...it's a high honor, looks great on the resume, etc...etc..

    So does, IMHO, this: "Selected to attend Girls State 2014" and then the statement "Volunteered to serve a Church Mission in "NAME OF COUNTRY" to both aid the less fortunate, and to enhance my knowledge and personal development..."

    Or words to that effect. I sit on my Senator's selection board and when I see things like this...I'm impressed because it shows a lot decision making and maturity.

    Just my opnion; you have some great choices and opportunities ahead!

    Best wishes!

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  11. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    Missionary work!

    This year due to budget issues, SLE was cut in half. This made the competition very difficult. Is it necessary for you WP application? No. Is it nice to visit WP? Yes, you can schedule a visit anytime. SLE really doesn’t reflect the daily life of a cadet anyhow.

    Girls State is good. There is a check box on your portal and application.
    One of the hot spots of attention is Africa, especially the northern regions. Even if you travel to the opposite end, it can speak volumes on your resume. If you can gain an understanding of the languages, culture and customs in that short amount of time it will show you have interest in that part of the world.

    A little dirty secret, US military conducts a lot of humanitarian missions around the globe.


    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
  12. GoArmyBeatNavy

    GoArmyBeatNavy Member

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    The OP was interested in competitiveness which is why I mentioned it. Someone asking about SLE should be considering Boy's/Girl's state program as they often conflict (as was mentioned). While I enjoy posting here to answer individual questions, i try to phrase my answers in a way that other candidates can get some value. It fits with my role as a field force member.
     
  13. time2

    time2 Member

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    I still don't think it is an either/or choice. You can get SELECTED to attend girls/boys state (which is what you indicate on your application) and not be able to attend for any number of other reasons (such as the trip to Africa in this case).

    Which one counts as more of a 'leadership' experience on your application is more in the opinion category vs. something that can be factually answered.
     
  14. Packer

    Packer Member

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    I agree. I think being selected is as big if not bigger deal than actually attending. Boys/girls state is one week long but you were selected by people in a position of authority based upon years of work and potential they see in you.
     
  15. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    That last part is probably a significant over-simplification of what SF and the broader Army does (more-so on the SF part).

    Remember, candidates, when all else fails and the large muscle movements in your schedules conflict, there are always great opportunities for service in your local community. I am always more impressed when a candidate has volunteered for X months at a VA hospital or otherwise locally than "went to X tropical country for two weeks to talk about religion/build a church/etc." Pointed examples, I admit, but don't forget those nearby options.
     
  16. GoArmyBeatNavy

    GoArmyBeatNavy Member

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    You are incorrect. You have to have attended and graduated from Boys/Girls state to receive credit on the West Point admissions whole candidate score.
     
  17. GoArmyBeatNavy

    GoArmyBeatNavy Member

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    West Point assigns points to high school leadership experiences.

    Boys/Girls state attendance and graduation gives a candidate *edit* points.
    The amount of points a candidate will get from overseas educational trips greater than one month is 500 points (if I remember correctly).

    This isn't opinion. Boys/Girls State counts more than overseas study. These points count 30% of the Whole Candidate Score algorithm.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 10, 2013
  18. 18'er

    18'er Member

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    GoArmyBeatNavy,

    What does Eagle Scout count?

    Team Captain in Football?
     
  19. GoArmyBeatNavy

    GoArmyBeatNavy Member

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    i shouldn't have released the points info I did. Just focus on the recomendations given on other posts on the forum and you will be fine. Also, know that it is primarily an objective assesment of candidates using a Whole Candidate Score, so if a field force member recommends you do something, they probably know that West Point values it.
     
  20. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Recommend using the edit function. Some things will stay on the forum forever and some won't. My guess is it will be soon forgotten or becomes "I remember reading a post" which will have less creditability than your posting.
     

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