NROTC scholarship essay

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by robbykelso, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. robbykelso

    robbykelso New Member

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    Hello, I'm applying for the NROTC scholarship and am currently writing the first essay. The essay subject is discuss why you want to become a naval officer. I would appreciate greatly appreciate any comments, criticism or suggestions you have. Thank you very much in advance.
    Naval service runs in my family. My Grandfather, whom I look up to and respect immensely, dedicated thirty-eight years of his life to the navy, four of which he spent as Chief of Naval Operations. My Father has had a long inspiring career, including command of two nuclear Submarines. Most recently, my sister has even joined as an intelligence officer and recently returned from a six month deployment to the Middle East on the USS Makin Island. They are my beacons to follow, illuminating the path towards my future. Their blood, sailor blood, runs through my veins.
    I love my country, and I can think of nothing more honorable or worthwhile than giving life to the defense of her. Earlier this summer, I had the distinct pleasure of attending the United States Naval Academy Summer Seminar and found it to be one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. My Company Commander was a very inspiring man named Van Driess. His goal was to motivate the living hell out of us. His speeches were some of the most inspiring I’ve heard in my entire life. In less than five days he eliminated any feelings of self-superiority from me and turned us into a family. The most moving experience of the entire seminar came when he and our detailers took us to the Naval Academy cemetery, well beyond when we were supposed to be asleep. While there, he showed us the graves of some of the greatest heroes of our nation and read to us the citations from their medals of honor. When we were at the highest point in the cemetery and could see the vastness of the cemetery with the Naval Academy campus in front, he told us the most moving words that I wish I could have recorded for all to hear. I will try to repeat them from memory, “This is it. This is the truth no one ever talks about. The goal of the Naval Academy, Military Academies, ROTC, to make People willing to sacrifice their lives without hesitation or even the slightest thought to their own selfishness for the sake of their country and comrades. If you’re not sure whether that’s you or not, don’t even sign your application. But if you know that that’s you and that you want in, and you’re ready to lay it all on the line, then God bless. Because the world needs more people like you, more rocks to hold on to.”
    I know that that is what I want out of life. I want to be a part of the brotherhood, a part of something millions of times bigger than myself. I’m ready and willing to lay everything on the line for my team, my family and my country. I am confident that if you award me this great honor and privilege, I will not disappoint, and I will approach it with everything I have.
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt....

    You've got to be kidding, right? If Frank B Kelso is your grandfather and your Dad shepherded a couple nuke subs around various parts of the globe, why don't you pass this essay by them?

    BTW, I think your essay is a bit over the top, as I'm sure you well know. You come across like Captain Dan in "Forrest Gump".
     
  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I have to agree with kinnem, why aren't you using your resources, i.e. Dad and Grandpa?

    They know what the Navy is looking for when it comes to selections.

    Personally, I think you have a lot of name/rank/career position dropping in your essay. It is great you want to acknowledge your family members as your motivation, but I would leave it at them serving, not the Chief of Naval Ops, Commander of nuke subs, etc. legacy that IMPO I am walking away with.

    I do get that they are your motivation, but you can just say grandpa served honorably for 38 yrs...the 4 yrs as Chief, is not needed or Dad served. Now if you can tie in a personal memory of how that position impacted your life, it would be a different ball park. Sim. to how you discuss SLS. I would also drop his name from the sentence, and leave it as my CC. Again, it feels like you are name dropping hoping that will give you an edge.

    JMPO, so throw it in the circular filing cabinet when you are finished reading my post. You asked for opinions, and I am giving my opinion, sorry if it appears to be harsh.

    The SLS was a great asset to acknowledge in your essay, because that is about your achievements and why you are deserving of a scholarship.*
    ~ Honestly, since you attended SLS, the Navy already saw something in you last yr. Promote/sell yourself on what you will bring to the Navy, not what your family members brought or are bringing currently.

    Secondly, the only thing I would say is to remember you don't know your audience from a personal perspective.

    I am in no way shape or form a prude, but there is a time and place for everything.

    Just me, but I would change that sentence because I don't see it as professional in it's current form.

    Some people would feel the word hell is just not appropriate, nor needed to express your opinion. I agree with your premise, just not how you stated it.

    My 1st thoughts when I read that sentence was: Is this the best way to illustrate his point? Did he really need to do slang, in essence that is what you did. Would he submit that sentence to his APENG teacher? I doubt it, and if he wouldn't do that for his teachers, than why would he do it in an essay for me to read?

    Like I said I am not a prude. I just am illustrating you should ask yourself if you believe that one sentence can be re-worded as to not offend any one who reads your essay.

    If you don't want sis, Dad or Grandpa to read your essay, take it to your English teacher or your BGO. They see essays come across their desks yr after yr.

    Good luck. I am sure you will do fine.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
  4. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    robbykelso:

    I appreciate your essay and agree with most of the opinions offered - though not necessarily in their delivery.

    I suspect that your response would be considered a well written short essay in your English class. The issue is that it doesn't really answer the question very well for the essay's intended audience. You have been asked to describe "why you want to become a Naval Officer." Your only real response to this question is "I know that that is what I want out of life. I want to be a part of the brotherhood, a part of something millions of times bigger than myself. I’m ready and willing to lay everything on the line for my team, my family and my country. I am confident that if you award me this great honor and privilege, I will not disappoint, and I will approach it with everything I have. "

    As Pima suggests, spend more time on adding to this part of the response and less on name dropping or quoting others. Make this essay about YOU and less about others.

    And, by the way, I agree that using the word "Hell" is probably not appropriate.

    I also agree with Pima and Kinnem: make sure to run this by your family members with Naval experience. But don't hesitate to ask others for thier constructive criticism either.

    Good Luck!
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I have to agree with USMC regarding his post.

    You want to stand out...basically it is the same old same old from every applicant.

    Again, you have amazing assets that the avg applicant doesn't have in their wheel house.

    YOUR FAMILY.

    Our children were AF brats, and I am very, very, very proud of Bullet's career. Our DS feels the same. He didn't talk about his Dad's accomplishments in his essay. He talked about his life and had the AF impacted him personally.

    I think that is what posters are trying to stress to you.

    Your Dad was a sub Commander, and you are incredibly proud of his accomplishments. As a Navy brat you paid a very high toll for your Dad serving our country.

    Yet, in that essay you don't acknowledge it. Our DS did. He attended 10 schools, moved 7 times between 6 and 16, all to follow his Dad. Bullet didn't celebrate 1 Halloween at home from the time he was 4 until he was 12. He missed his 1st Holy Communion. He missed his sister's Father/Daughter GS dances, Mom did Pinewood Derby with him and coached T-Ball.

    That is what DS wrote about. He illustrated to them, that as a military brat, and the hardships he endured as a child, moving, making new friends every 18 -24 mos. it was worth it to defend this great country. Why, as a military brat he is willing to put his own children through the same pain.

    I am not saying/implying our DS had an amazing essay. I am saying if you are going to use your family as an example of why you get it, show me your heart.

    Don't tell me what everyone else writes about...I want to serve, and given the chance I will be the best. Yadda, Yadda, Yadda!

    Don't tell me about SLS.

    Tell me about something in your history. A Xmas, a holiday, a birthday, a school concert, etc. How you got the bigger picture as a child your Dad, your grandfather placed the country above their family.

    Show me that. I am sure in your memory as a Navy Brat you can pull on my heartstrings, that you can illustrate the true cost of serving.

    Show it. You don't need to say Grandpa was the Chief, or Dad was a sub Commander. Tell me something nobody else can...how when Dad left when I was 14 he told me I was in charge. How, my friends Dad's weren't military and I grew up fast. Tell me you lived on base/post and when Dad left, your friend's parents left too. Tell me that you as a Navy brat understands you serve at their pleasure.

    You aren't doing that currently.

    THINK OUTSIDE OF THE BOX!
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
  6. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    I'm not exactly sure how to phrase this, so I'll give it my best:

    The Navy Officers who will read and score your essay are first human, then officers. No human is altruistic, selfless, the ultimate servant of humanity or country. All humans, and officers, have ego, some selfish desires along with selfless desires, selfless and selfish goals in our out of the military, etc.

    The reason I say this is that you don't seem to acknowledge in your essay the TWO sides of you. There is a side to every person that wants to be rich, comfortable, have a hot date, be famous, and have the great respect of everyone. The side that if unchecked by your own moral code, or that of your church, would walk over people to get what you want. Blind ambition if you will.

    Your essay only seems to address the altruistic, selfless side of you. Any officer reading it will wonder... where is the other side of this guy? Nobody is a Saint. How will being a Navy Officer satisfy his desires for money, hot dates, fame, etc. that all people have? Every officer has these two sides within him/herself, and works to balance the serving of self, and the serving of God & Country, to find a healthy balance. Those officers who will be reading your essay will wonder if you have thought about, or are even aware of, the two sides of yourself, accept they're both OK, and work to reach a positive balance between selflessness and selfishness. What is in it for YOU?
     
  7. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Apologies

    I apologize if my delivery came across as harsh. At the time I was firmly convinced that OP was a troll which undoubtedly colored my opinion and my response. Since other people for whom I have great respect seem to take him seriously I guess I should have as well. Once again, I apologize. :redface:
     
  8. timetocarrigan

    timetocarrigan Member

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    having applied to USNA and NROTC scholarships, I know how easy it is to use a lot of the same content in both essays (aka copy and paste). it seems that this essay has a lot of focus on USNA. it would be wise to tailor it to fit NROTC.
     

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