NROTC Application Essay

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by TheSaboteur, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. TheSaboteur

    TheSaboteur New Member

    Jun 16, 2013
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    Hi! I'm applying for the NROTC scholarship and I would like some feedback on my essay for the application. I'd like to know if my writing is to vague, self-centered, repetitive, etc... Any constructive criticism is appreciated!

    Prompt: Discuss your wanting to become a Naval Officer.

    In all honesty becoming a Naval Officer was never the dream I had as a child. But I did dream of a military career in which my skills could reach their fullest potential in the service of others. As an United States Naval Officer I will be best able to carry out that service.

    The standards of an officer in the Navy are of the highest in the world. The challenges I will face in its service are daunting both mentally and physically but are not impossible because as the task’s difficulty increases so does my drive to accomplish them in a proficient and timely manner. I realized this during my junior year of high school, four AP classes with participation in two sports: Track and Cross Country. For the majority of the year it was a constant struggle to juggle school work, athletics, and a social life, but I enjoyed the challenge immensely and I was satisfied with my performance. I want a career like that. A career in which everyday presents a new challenge, everyday my abilities are stained, everyday I wake up knowing it won't be easy. With the Navy I believe I have found that career.

    More important than my own self improvement is the improvement of those around me and of my country. The premier position to fulfill this goal is as a Naval Officer, not only are they a leader but a mentor to those around them. The idea of assisting those in need is certainly appealing to me, especially in an academic setting. This applied most during my Pre-Calculus class the previous year; I discovered a deep fulfillment in walking fellow classmates through a confusing problem in a way they could understand and do independently without assistance. Transferring this to the service of the Navy only seems natural.

    An opportunity to commit to a career in the Navy and utilize my skills to serve like minded individuals would produce rewards greater than any other branch or civilian career by ten fold. Serving my country wearing a Naval Officer's uniform might not have been my dream as a child, but it is now.
  2. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Nov 28, 2007
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    I just wanted to say a reason posters may not be responding is many of the more experienced posters tend to stay away from posts like this for various reasons.

    1. Too many cooks spoil the broth
    2. This is an anonymous forum, for all you know the person critiquing your essay is a freshman in HS. or they may now decide to copy parts of your essay.
    3. The advice is usually the same.

    ~~~~ Take it to your AP English teacher and your BGO.
    Most of us will follow the same rules as your English teacher.
    ~~~~ Watch the number of I's, myself's you write in the essay.
    ~~~~ Watch your grammar, such as things like starting a sentence with BUT, or missing commas in the appropriate places.
    ~~~~ Do not rely on spellcheck only because you may type a word without being cognizant that you meant another word, i.e. an instead of and, to instead of too.
    ~~~~ Follow the rule: Opening sentence, defense, closing.

    The best advice I can give is make yourself stand out.

    They are going to read thousands of essays, for them they will read over and over again "I always wanted to join since I was a small child" or "The Navy will do this or that for me". It doesn't separate them from the pile.

    You want to make them say I need to find more out about this candidate.

    Don't read into that too much regarding what I think of your essay, just saying how you want to look at the writing process for the essay.
  3. dunninla

    dunninla Member

    Jan 26, 2010
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    my following comments apply not particularly to you, but to anyone who writes an essay that starts with "tell us why ..."

    Keep your responses to the point. Don't lecture about how important the Navy is (what does that have to do with why YOU want it?), or a treatise on why challenges are important (and not say why they are important to YOU), etc.

    Keep it simple, then build it up after with examples from your life. Make a simple list:

    1. I like being important
    2. I'm sure I would like making a difference for our country
    3. I think I want a career that keeps me sharp mentally and physically.
    4. I like to clean toilets in Bayone, NJ (that's a joke)
    5. I like helping and working with others to reach their goals... it makes me feel good.
    6. When I saw the Blue Angels fly overhead when I was 12 I got all goosebumpy.
    7. People have told me that whenever I decide to leave the Navy, there will be lots of great jobs waiting for me
    8. I really enjoy working in a group of high achieving people to reach an important goal.


    With your list, figure out the 3 or maybe four that are the most interesting, and then expand with examples from your life.

    This is not a research paper on why the Navy is important, why Officers are important, why serving your country is important. It's not a reseach paper! Just say why YOU want it. Don't lecture, you're not a Professor.

    Notice -- if you haven't actually DONE IT, you don't really know for sure you'd like it, right? So you have to qualify it by saying you "think", or you "expect", or you're "pretty sure", etc. that you would like whatever it is.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2013
  4. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

    Dec 13, 2010
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    Agree with the other posters. I don't usually comment on essays for the reasons Pima posted. Duninla posts some good essay advice.

    Breaking my own rules, I would offer the following... not sure you meant to write "everyday my abilities are stained" in your essay.
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Nov 28, 2007
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    I saw that too, it is why I stated don't rely on spellcheck only. I just wanted to make it blatantly obvious that I found it.

    Hint to the OP.
    All of my comments were tied to your essay in some manner.


    Could you imagine someone being able to tie cleaning toilets in Bayonne to why they want it? I have to say, I bet the boards would remember that candidate. If done correctly, I could see them saying, we need to meet this candidate in person!

    For candidates that are also applying for SAs, you will also have essays for them and your MOC's too, plus your college applications. Traditionally they are going to have the same vague type question.

    I remember 1 question for our DS. If you could meet 1 person and ask them only 1 question who would it be?
    ~~~ Most kids will say an iconic figure...Washington, .FDR, JFK, Lincoln are great examples of the answer.
    As stated, try to stay away from the avg. answer, because it is again thinking inside the box. Take that thread and go a little deeper.

    For our DS he was always a WWII military history buff. He could have done FDR and entering the war. He didn't. He decided the person would be Truman. The question was knowing the devastation after he ordered the 1st A bomb dropped how did he rectify with himself morally the decision to drop the 2nd?

    IMPO, it was outside the box, and left the reader thinking/wondering what was Truman emotionally feeling giving that order. It illustrated he understood difficult decisions would occur as a military leader from a personal standpoint. It told them he already knows this is something he may have to endure.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2013

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