NROTC Marine Option First Essay

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by johnny1530, Aug 11, 2016.

  1. johnny1530

    johnny1530 Member

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    I just finished my first draft of the first essay response on the NROTC Marine option application. Looking for any improvements for the essay. Be honest with this, don't beat around the bush, I'd appreciate it a lot.

    1. Discuss your reasons for wanting to become a Marine Officer. Specifically comment on leadership positions you've held, the challenges you have faced and the lessons you have learned. (Limit 2500 characters)

    I want to be a Marine officer because I want to serve my country the best way I can, sharpen the quality of my character, and be a part of the fiercest military organization in the world.

    It has always been my dream to serve my country and the joining the Marines as an officer is the best way I can achieve this. The Marines are typically the quickest responders to any global crisis being that the Marines are always ready to deploy within 18 hours. If America is ever threatened I want to be one of the first to respond. The Marines have historically been the first to go while the rest of the nation is still mobilizing. In World War II, it was the First Marine Division launched the first offensive campaign of the war on Guadalcanal. In Operation Iraqi Freedom, it was the Marines that led the charge to Bagdhad. I cannot tell where the Marines will be needed next but I can tell you that I would be honored to take the fight to the enemy as many brave Americans have done before me. I was raised under the watch of the veterans of the war on terror as they were raised under the watch of the veterans of Vietnam and the Gulf War. It is now my time to step up and stand ready to defend Americans from any threat, foreign or domestic.

    In addition to the opportunity to serve on the front lines, the Marines, along with the training I recieve in the NROTC program, will sharpen the quality of my character. The Marine Corps values honor, courage and committment above all else. The emphasis on these characteristics shapes boys to men. When my grandfather went into the Corps, he was an unmotivated college graduate who had coasted through life. When he left the Marines, he was a new man with a work ethic like no other. He took what the Marines gave him and let it shape him into the very successful man he is today. It is my goal to be like my grandfather, he is a good man who is loyal and very hard working, and the Corps helped him become that man. I believe the Marines can fine tune the quality of my character like they did to my grandfather so that I can better lead my Marines and so that I can be successful later in my life outside of the Corps.

    Lastly, I want to be a Marine because of the espirit du corps, the warrior mentality that separates the Marine Corps from the other branches of service. The Marine Corps does not offer the same benefits as the Army, nor does it offer the same practical life skills that the Air Force and Navy do, but what it does offer is a warrior ethos unlike the other branches. Everything the Marines do goes above and beyond what the rest of the military does to ensure that every man and woman in the Marines possesses the type of mentality necessary. For instance, while other branches commission their officers without going through Officer Candidates School, the Marines ensure that every cadet is tested at OCS. Although this makes life more difficult for cadets, it ensures that there are no weak links, that every Marine is a true warrior. The warrior mentality of the Corps is unmatched by any of the other branches and for this reason I want to be a Marine officer above all else.
     
  2. AggieWill

    AggieWill Member

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    I've been proof reading my son AROTC essays, so I'm in the groove on criticism ;)

    First (and right now the only) observation: you didn't get close to executing #1. It directed you to specifically comment on 1) leadership positions you've held; 2) challenges you've faced; 3) lessons learned from 1) and 2). I don't see any of that in your 3 paragraphs, and I think those items should really be the heart of the essay.

    A Lot of what you wrote summarizes what the Marines are, you're family connection and how you identify yourself with your perception of the Marines. All good stuff, but not part of the mission of this essay.
     
  3. 4for40

    4for40 Member

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    I went through a similar process with my essay – I’ll share some advice I received in case it’s useful. It challenged me to rethink my approach.

    After you’ve completed your draft, identify each sentence that is unique only to you. This is the content that’s your story. These are the keepers.

    For whatever is left, there is a strong likelihood that it is a repeat of what many others write. I can imagine the selection board reading hundreds of these and I’d guess just about everyone has the “I want to be a Marine officer because I want to serve my country” text. I did it too. It’s the clearest way most of us can express our basic motivation.

    But then I worked to make it mine … I reviewed each of officer career opportunities and I identified my goals to the specifics. E.g. for me it was a shift from I want to be a Naval Officer to I want to be a Submarine Officer … Overall, I personalized the essay as much as I could, especially considering that it was many many years in the making.

    Lastly, I fully agree with AggieWill – you need significant content inserts for your leadership experience. My entire second paragraph is dedicated to this purpose.

    I’m not suggested I wrote a great essay or criticizing yours ;-) Just sharing some tips I used…

    Best of luck!
     
  4. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    What sets you apart from all the other applicants? Almost all applicants know someone exemplary who served and got the "benefits" of serving. Why are you different from all of them?
     
  5. johnny1530

    johnny1530 Member

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    I made some changes based on all of your advice. From what I gather, the biggest flaw in my essay is that I didn't address any examples of leadership positions I have held that qualify me to lead Marines. Anyways, I think this essay addresses the prompt more but if you see anything please offer corrections, thanks a lot.

    Prompt: Discuss your reasons for wanting to become a Marine Officer. Specifically comment on leadership positions you've held, the challenges you have faced and the lessons you have learned. (Limit 2500 characters)

    I want to be a Marine officer because I want to sharpen my leadership skills, serve my country the best way I can, and be a part of the fiercest military organization in the world.
    First and foremost, I want to be a Marine so that I can sharpen my leadership skills and positively influence the lives of people around me. Throughout my childhood and high school years I have distinguished myself as a leader and a mentor. I have a "follow me" attitude in hockey where I lead my teammates by example. I go into corners and take hits to make plays and I hustle over to opposing defenseman to block slap shots with my body. Through my actions on the ice, I inspire my teammates to play with the tenacity I play with. In work, I am a productive employee and know the tricks of the trade that I pass on to new workers. For example, as an experienced hockey referee, I volunteer to help new referees learn to do their job. I teach them how to project confidence, how to be aware of surroundings and how to deal with mad parents, coaches and players. This type of work ethic and leadership will provide an example for my subordinates to follow. I will be able to pave the way for my enlisted Marines so that together we can overcome any challenge. Being a leader and a mentor is something that I enjoy and becoming a Marine Officer will give me the opportunity to lead the best way I can, by example.
    Additionally, It has always been my dream to serve my country and the joining the Marines as an officer is the best way I can achieve this. The Marines are typically the quickest responders to any global crisis being that the Marines are always ready to deploy within 18 hours. If America is ever threatened I want to be one of the first to respond. The Marines have historically been the first to go while the rest of the nation is still mobilizing. In World War II, it was the First Marine Division launched the first offensive campaign of the war on Guadalcanal. In Operation Iraqi Freedom, it was the Marines that led the charge to Bagdhad. I cannot tell where the Marines will be needed next but I can tell you that I would be honored to take the fight to the enemy as many brave Americans have done before me. I was raised under the watch of the veterans of the war on terror as they were raised under the watch of the veterans of Vietnam and the Gulf War. It is now my time to step up and stand ready to defend Americans from any threat, foreign or domestic.
    Lastly, I want to be a Marine because of the espirit du corps, the warrior mentality that separates the Marine Corps from the other branches of service. The Marine Corps does not offer the same benefits as the Army, nor does it offer the same practical life skills that the Air Force and Navy do, but what it does offer is a warrior ethos unlike the other branches. Everything the Marines do goes above and beyond what the rest of the military does to ensure that every man and woman in the Marines possesses the type of mentality necessary. For instance, while other branches commission their officers without going through Officer Candidates School, the Marines ensure that every cadet is tested at OCS. Although this makes life more difficult for cadets, it ensures that there are no weak links, that every Marine is a true warrior. The warrior mentality of the Corps is unmatched by any of the other branches and for this reason I want to be a Marine officer above all else.
     
  6. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    No... No.... No...

    I don't normally provide feedback on a public forum on essays but I had to reach out and try to stop you in your tracks. Whatever you think you know, don't spend valuable essay characters telling the essay reader what the Marine Corps is, how it operates or how it compares to the other branches. This quote is full of inaccuracies and includes a significant spelling error. It is, frankly, weak in construction and doesn't do you any favor.
     
    NavyHoops likes this.
  7. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Agree with USMCGrunt. The reader already knows what the Marine Corps offers and some of your comparisons are inaccurate. Also, NROTC Marine Options are Midshipmen not cadets. And while they are at OCS I believe they are referred to as candidates.
     
    NavyHoops likes this.
  8. rocatlin

    rocatlin Member

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    Address the prompt. When you go in for your officer interviews, you'll be measured on how well you represent the person in your essay.

    As kinnem and Grunt alluded to, those evaluating don't want a "moto recap" -- they've been there, done that, and do probably have tshirts.

    Leadership you've held and challenges too, lessons learned is what the prompt was asking for.
     
  9. DTrain1986

    DTrain1986 Member

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    In addition to the feedback already provided....

    My son went through this last year.

    As you complete your online application, the Marine officer who is your POC (and who will brief your package at the board) is watching you complete it as you go. There is language in your application that says to contact your POC if you have questions...or if you would like feedback/guidance. Do it! You are building a relationship. And remember, every contact you have with Marines who are involved in the selection process, is part of the interview process. Email, text, phone call. You are constantly being evaluated....from this point forward.

    My son's POC didn't care too much about the essays. It's all about the interview. And the PFT. (Test scores, classes, GPA, teacher evals aside.)

    Turns out the captain working with my son was a wrestler at USNA. My son is a wrestler. That made the interview go a little easier.

    After the interview, it was PFT time. My son cranked out 20 dead-hangs and 100 crunches. There wasn't a 3 mile course mapped out, so the capt put my son in his car and found something close...about 3.25 miles which the capt thought was close enough! True story. Those of us who have been around know that at that point the run was just a formality. Your mileage may vary. No pun intended.

    Back to the essays.

    Brevity helps. Get your main points across and be prepared to provide details in the interview.

    Get your application done as soon as possible to the point where your teachers are contacted to provide their inputs. Teacher evals can be the "long pole in the tent" since you have little control over how quickly they provide them. Give your teachers a "heads-up" that they are coming...and plenty of time to complete and submit.

    Semper Fi,

    DTrain
     
  10. SpartanDM

    SpartanDM Member

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    At the end of the day, the Marine Corps wants good officers. They couldn't care less how how much you're going to benefit from the experience so tell them how they'll benefit from choosing you. Your desire to lead Marines is very important.
     
    Dckc88 likes this.
  11. rocatlin

    rocatlin Member

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  12. johnny1530

    johnny1530 Member

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    I finished editing my first essay based on your advice and just finished my first draft of the second essay. If you have any advice on how to further improve my NROTC Marine Option Scholarship essays please let me know. Focus less on grammar and phrasing and instead more on the clarity and ideas of my essays, thanks. Also, both of these essays are a little long, the first is 3000 characters and the second is 2800 characters so tell me some places where I could cut out some sentences.

    1. Discuss your reasons for wanting to become a Marine Officer. Specifically comment on leadership positions you've held, the challenges you have faced and the lessons you have learned. (Limit 2500 characters)


    I want to be a Marine officer because I want to sharpen my leadership skills and serve my country as an officer in the finest military organization in the world.
    First and foremost, I want to be a Marine so that I can sharpen my leadership skills and positively influence the lives of people around me. Throughout my childhood and high school years I have distinguished myself as a leader and a mentor. I have a follow me attitude in hockey where I lead my teammates by example. I go into corners and take hits to make plays and I hustle over to opposing defenseman to block slap shots with my body. Through my actions on the ice, I inspire my teammates to play with the tenacity I play with. In work, I am a productive employee and have learned many lessons that I pass on to new workers. When I was first starting out as a hockey referee, I was timid. It was difficult for me to sum up the courage to even show up for the job at times. I eventually realized that I had to learn to project myself as someone who commanded respect if I wanted to succeed in my job. Over the years I sharpened my leadership skills and became a respected, high ranking hockey referee. Because I knew how hard it was to start at this job, I took it upon myself to go out and volunteer to mentor new referees. I taught them how to project confidence, how to be aware of surroundings and how to deal with emotional parents, coaches and players. This type of work ethic and leadership will provide an example for my subordinates to follow. I will be able to pave the way for my enlisted Marines so that together we can overcome any challenge. Being a leader and helping others become better people are things I enjoy and becoming a Marine Officer will give me the opportunity to lead others by example as I have done in athletics and in my job.
    Additionally, It has always been my dream to serve my country and the joining the Marines as an officer is the best way I can achieve this. The Marines are typically the quickest responders to any global crisis being that the Marines are always ready to deploy within 18 hours. If America is ever threatened I want to be one of the first to respond. The Marines have historically been the first to go while the rest of the nation is still mobilizing. In World War II, it was the First Marine Division that launched the first offensive campaign of the war on Guadalcanal. In Operation Iraqi Freedom, it was the Marines that led the march to Bagdhad. I cannot tell where the Marines will be needed next but I can tell you that I would be honored to take the fight to the enemy as many brave Americans have done before me. I was raised under the watch of the veterans of the War on Terror as they were raised under the watch of the veterans of Vietnam and the Gulf War. It is now my time to step up and stand ready to defend Americans from any threat, foreign or domestic. There is no greater honor than to serve in the Marines. I am privileged to have lived under the protection of so many brave men and women and now it is time for me to defend those who cannot defend themselves.


    2. How might your background and experiences enhance the U.S. Marine Corps? (Limit 2500 characters)

    Being the son of a hard working entrepreneur has taught me that nothing comes without sacrafice. My father had a dream, to be a film maker. He had never gone to film school nor had he relatives or friends in the industry to help him out. Despite all this, he worked as hard as he could to take his dream and make it a reality. Throughout my life, my father has instilled into me his idea of sacrafice and work ethic. He has taught me that nothing in life is handed to me, that I must work hard for everything. In school I challenge myself to take the highest classes possible. It may mean I have less time to hang out with friends or play video games but in the end my hard work and sacrafice is rewarded with higher grades. In athletics, I am not the most skilled player, but I have heart and intensity. My hockey coach this past year respected my devotion to the team and because of this I was placed on the starting line of our varsity team over others who were more talented. My devotion towards any challenge in life will serve me well as a Marine officer. Marine officers are expected to go above and beyond the requirements and I am up to any task and approach all challenges with a work ethic resembling my father's.
    In addition to my hard work and resilience, I have become someone who always does the right thing. There have been many occasions where my character has been tested. For instance, last year I was pressured to drink and participate in other illegal activities by many of my hockey teammates. After one of our big wins, our team celebrated by drinking in the locker room. Having no expectation that our team would get caught, the only thing preventing me from giving into the pressure of my peers was my integrity. Many of my teammates went against their morals to participate but I stood my ground. Out of the 19 people in the locker room at the time I was one of 4 that did not get involved in the incident. After my coach found out about the incident he knew he could trust me. He relied on me to get the team back in line despite the fact that much of our team would be suspended. I took this opportunity to test my leadership skills. I presented myself as someone my teammates could look up. I began really talking to my line mates at practices, informing them what they were doing well or not. After our losses I would be one of the first to speak up in the locker room and talk to our team about what we needed to improve upon so that we could succeed together. Under the leadership myself and a few others, our team rose from the incident and finished first place in our league. This type integrity and willingness to always do the right thing will enhance the lives of the Marines that I lead. I will be able to set an example for them so that they follow the right path. All Marines, especially officers, must be trustworthy. Subordinates and Superiors must be able to rely on you to get the job done. I have exemplified throughout my life that I am always someone who is trustworthy and reliable and this will enhance the lives of everyone I work with in the Marines.
     
  13. Dckc88

    Dckc88 Member

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    This is super valuable. My daughter got the same feedback, not the Marines, for the Army, however, I think the advice works well no matter what ROTC/Academy application it is for. A ROO told her that she did a great job of how she would benefit from being a nurse in the Army, what she left out is what she would bring to benefit the Army. This was hard, but when she had it reviewed it again she was told she had done a really good job, brief and simply, but addressed it. Since this seems to be a common thing that is left out, I have to think that this will help set you apart. You write well, just make sure the content is relevant, and yes be brief! I am horrible at being brief, but my daughter rocked it! For the Army, I think she had only 2000 characters for her essay, so that helped to keep it brief too.
     
  14. johnny1530

    johnny1530 Member

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    Just made my final changes to my NROTC Marine Option scholarship essays. I'm about to submit my application so if you have any last minute advice on how to improve my essays, please let me know, thanks.

    1. Discuss your reasons for wanting to become a Marine Officer. Specifically comment on leadership positions you've held, the challenges you have faced and the lessons you have learned. (Limit 2500 characters)

    I want to be a Marine officer because I want to sharpen my leadership skills and serve my country as an officer in the finest military organization in the world.
    First and foremost, I want to be a Marine so that I can sharpen my leadership skills and positively influence the lives of people around me. Throughout my childhood and high school years I have distinguished myself as a leader and a mentor. I have a follow me attitude in hockey where I lead my teammates by example. Through my actions on the ice, I inspire my teammates to play with the tenacity I play with. In work, I am a productive employee and have learned many lessons that I pass on to new workers. When I was first starting out as a hockey referee, I was timid. It was difficult for me to sum up the courage to show up for the job at times. I eventually realized that I had to learn to project myself as a leader if I wanted to succeed in my job. Over the years I sharpened my leadership skills and became respected. Because I knew how hard it was to start at my job, I took it upon myself to volunteer to mentor new referees. I taught them how to project confidence, how to be aware of surroundings and how to deal with emotional parents, coaches and players. As a Marine, my work ethic and leadership will provide an example for my subordinates to follow. I will be able to pave the way for my enlisted Marines so that together we can overcome challenges. Being a leader and helping others better themselves are things I enjoy and becoming a Marine Officer will give me the opportunity to lead others while sharpening my leadership skills.
    Additionally, It has always been my dream to serve my country and the joining the Marines as an officer is the best way I can achieve this. The Marines are typically the quickest responders to any global crisis. If America is ever threatened I want to be one of the first to respond. In World War II, it was the First Marine Division launched the first offensive campaign of the war on Guadalcanal. In Operation Iraqi Freedom, it was the Marines that led the march to Bagdhad. I cannot tell where the Marines will be needed next but I can tell you that I would be honored to take the fight to the enemy as many brave Americans have done before me. I was raised under the watch of the veterans of the War on Terror as they were raised under the watch of the veterans of Vietnam and the Gulf War. It is now my time to stand ready to defend Americans from any threat, foreign or domestic.


    2. How might your background and experiences enhance the U.S. Marine Corps? (Limit 2500 characters)

    Being the son of a hard working entrepreneur has taught me that nothing comes without sacrafice. My father had a dream, to be a film maker. He had never gone to film school nor had he friends in the industry to help him out. Despite this, he worked very hard to make his dream a reality. Throughout my life, my father has instilled into me his idea of sacrafice. He has taught me that nothing in life is handed to me, that I must work hard for everything. In school I challenge myself to take the highest classes possible. It may mean I have less time to socialize but in the end my sacrafices are met with higher grades. In athletics, I am not the most skilled player, but I have heart. My hockey coach this past year respected my devotion to the team and because of this I was placed on the starting line of our varsity team over others who were more talented. My devotion towards any challenge will serve me well as a Marine officer. Marine officers are expected to go above and beyond the requirements and I have exemplified that I do this.
    In addition to my work ethic, I have become someone who always does the right thing. Last year I was pressured to drink by many of my hockey teammates. After one of our big wins, our team celebrated by drinking in the locker room. Having no expectation that we would be caught, the only thing preventing me from giving into the pressure was my integrity. Many of my teammates went against their morals to participate but I stood my ground. Out of the 19 people in the locker room I was one of 4 that did not get involved. When my coach found out about the incident he knew he could trust me. He relied on me to get the team back in line despite the fact that much of our team would be suspended. I took this opportunity to test my leadership skills. I began to talk to my line mates at practices, informing them what they were doing well or not. After our losses I would be one of the first to speak up in the locker room and talk to our team about what we needed to improve upon. Under the leadership myself and a few others, our team rose above the incident and finished first place in our league. My integrity will enhance the lives of the Marines that I lead. I will be able to set an example for them so that they follow in the right path. All Marines, especially officers, must be trustworthy. Subordinates and superiors must be able to rely on them to get the job done and I have proven that I am reliable and stop at nothing to do my best.
     
  15. DTrain1986

    DTrain1986 Member

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    These are sufficient.

    Get with the Marine officer who is your POC and get feedback; that's what counts.

    Then go work on maxing your PFT. That will turn heads; essays won't.

    Semper Fi,
    DTrain
     

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