What do you think of my NROTC scholarship essay?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by HannaK, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. HannaK

    HannaK New Member

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    “Discuss your reasons for wanting to become a Naval Officer.”

    What does the word Officer mean? Dictionary.com describes an Officer as a person who holds a position of rank or authority in the army, navy, air force, or any similar organization, especially one who holds a commission. However, being an officer is much more than a position you hold, it is an emotion, a feeling. Being an Officer means pride, bravery, integrity, patriotism and an absolute sense of allegiance. Being an Officer is an obligation to behave as if the world is watching, because it is. America is at the center of the global stage and our actions as individuals and as a country can affect the entire world. This leaves us with a sense of responsibility to stand against the tides of injustice and oppression and to behave with the highest moral character.
    I recently visited Pearl Harbor and while I was there a group of Navy Officers were also touring the Harbor. When I looked at those Officers I knew, for sure, that was what I wanted to do with my life. I have always looked up to those who serve in the military. My family raised me to respect and be thankful to them for their sacrifices. Being a Naval Officer would be one of my greatest accomplishments. I strongly believe that everyone deserves the freedom we so often take for granted here. As a Naval Officer I would have the opportunity to be part of a team that fights for not only our freedom but for the freedoms of others. It is a position of high honor to be chosen to guard the American way from those who wish it harm.
    The position of Naval Officer is a position you work towards, it is something you earn. I have been working towards this my entire life. While kids around me began to drink and do drugs I was never even tempted. I knew that my life was going to mean more than that. I always reminded myself that to get where I want to go I have to work harder. My dreams are worth more to me than the temporary highs you get from the drugs and alcohol. My dreams are lifelong. I have never taken the easy road through life and I rarely go with the flow. I love a challenge and set high goals for myself. Being a Naval Officer is a job that would provide me with one challenge after another. You work hard to get there and you never stop working. A Naval Officer is never off-duty because, in and out of the uniform, he or she is always representing America’s finest. I want a job where I will be able to inspire people, learn new things, and get new experiences every day. I want a job that will make me proud. I want to be an Officer in the United States Navy.
     
  2. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    Really? You are going to lecture Officers on the Scholarship Board reading your essay about what it means to be them (an Officer)? Exactly how long have you been an Officer that you know these things? Wouldn't that be like my writing an essay about the exact nature of singularities that is to be read by Stephen Hawking?

    We pretty much say this every time, but the Board is not looking to be taught or lectured about what an officer means, or how important the Armed Services are, or anything else that seems like a lecture.

    What they want is why YOU, YOU, YOU want to be an officer. YOu don't have to give a school lesson to answer that question. Just keep it simple... list all the reasons you think it would be cool to be an Officer. YOu could be right, you could be wrong, factually, but that doesn't matter. Your feelings are your feelings, and they are as valid as anyone else's.

    PLEASE don't lecture. If, when you THINK of being an officer in the FUTURE, the feelings from the first paragraph fill your head, then write that. Write that that is how you feel. Don't write like it's a fact. Parts of your essay answer the question about why YOU want to be an officer. Keep those parts. Ditch the parts that seem like a lesson in dictionary meaning, a history lesson, or a political science lecture.

    When I think of being an officer, I think of....
    The thought of being an Officer makes me feel ...

    See, it's all about your feeling, your impressions, your expectation of what an Officer means, since you haven't been one before. You can only describe what you think it will be like. If you have any correlaries to leading sailors from your actual life, about leadership, about sacrifice, about teamwork, about solving problems, about integriry, then those correlaries might be good to mention as a way to substantiate why you feel and expect the things you do about being an Officer in the future.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2013
  3. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    +1 to dunninla. You might also include any qualities that YOU have that you think would make you a good officer. Be humble but forthright (if that even makes any sense). Just my 2 cents. YMMV.
     
  4. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American

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    No +1 here...

    While given some good advice, an enthusiastic young person making their first post now probably feels about an inch tall.

    Hannah did not know what we know. She was asking for help. I feel she could have been helped in a nicer way. We have an adult point of view, and being familiar with applications, scholarship procedures, we're aware who make up the boards that evaluate scholarship applicants, realizing many things that she does not.

    Hannah, your question was an honest albeit somewhat naive question. Your essay was well written and would be good for submission to your English teacher. The audience you will be reaching will be professionals familiar with what it's like to be an officer.

    You can ask anything you want. Most here are glad to help. One thing to be aware of though, is that some people on this site are in competition with you. It would be better to have someone in your area go over it with you, or at least ask for help here but don't post your essays. If you find a willing helper you could e-mail it to them.

    Good luck to you.
     
  5. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Wow. I didn't notice anything but constructive criticism and certainly nothing aimed at HannaK. I suppose we're kind of terse sometime but I know I, and knowing dunninla, she, certainly did not intend to make HannaK feel small. It was a well written essay as far as it went HannaK and I enjoyed reading it, but I think you would be well served by following dunninla's advice. Mine maybe not so much! You do need to toot your own horn to some degree. Good luck! :thumb: :smile:

    EDIT: If you were to PM me with another draft, if you're going to go that route, I would be happy to go through it and give you my thoughts. It would still be a good idea to have someone else look at it for grammar etc.
     
  6. payitforward

    payitforward Member

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    Certainly, I agree that a first-time poster might die a little inside at the first critique, but she asked for an opinion on her essay, and as a high school junior (probably a junior, right?) -- she better be able to take the heat by now. If she were in 6th or 7th grade, she'd need a little hand-holding, but not now. She's applying for the Naval Academy. There will be heat.

    I am a trained volunteer writing coach in my school district -- I've been coaching middle school and high school writers for 10 years. I do not believe that posting a college essay on a forum and asking for critique is the right thing to do -- it's a little bit dishonest, and should the final essay raise any red flags with the admissions board, you can bet they will google key phrases, and this is exactly where they will land -- in this forum -- reading your first draft that was edited and critiqued by others. Trust me when I say that you do not want anybody googling your first draft. But this is a rough first draft. So take the advice given here, rewrite, and then give the second draft to your English teacher. The second draft will look NOTHING like this one because you will scrap this one and start over.

    Incidentally, I would suggest to my students that they not mention drugs and alcohol in a college essay unless there was a deep story to tell about overcoming or rising above an epic personal issue. You have not told such a story. You have repeated the same eye-rolling cliche -- Other kids drink and do drugs, but not me -- that they would have read 15,000 times. What is YOUR story? Don't tell me who you are not. SHOW me who you WANT TO BE.

    Also -- don't put too much time into this essay. I'm betting the board cares far more about grades, math and science honors classes, class rank, scores, leadership and fitness.
     
  7. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    My DS's essay response to the same prompt.

    It is far from perfect, but he did receive an NROTC 4yr scholarship to U Mich. Unfortunately, he got a medical DQ and had to plan B it.

    My advice to him was to let his recommendations, transcripts, test scores, and extra-curriculars describe him. DS has difficult time talking about himself. I told him to let it all hang out and tell the Board what you want to do and why. Then let the chips fall where they may.

    "Society often measures success by the size of one’s bank account or by the “prestige” of one’s job. At school, we are advised to do well in order to secure a “good” career. This is superficial at best. Success should be measured by the good we do, which is my motivation to become a US Naval Officer. In that role, I would feel immense pride as I serve myself, my fellow sailors and my country.

    I believe every American should serve his/her country in some way. Regardless of one's feelings toward the US, one cannot deny the opportunities it affords its citizens for a rich and fulfilling life. I feel that my education will prove to be my greatest asset. It is among the many benefits I have received which will allow me to achieve my goals. For that I feel a debt of gratitude, which I am happy to repay. I see no better way to do this than through military service.

    I want my service to have an impact. As an officer, I would have the responsibility to lead others. I would not only carry the burden of my responsibilities, but also help shoulder the burden of my team/unit. My actions would be directly reflected by the successes and failures of my unit. It is one of the few jobs in which my actions would impact those that I lead, the institution of which I am a part, and the nation I represent.

    With my education and a Naval Commission, I am certain that my job after college would be purposeful. The US military has the role of protecting and advancing US interests. The Navy has the unique mission of projecting US power most quickly, requiring a global presence. As an officer, I would have a leadership role in missions as diverse as helping a nation recover from a natural disaster or providing a stabilizing influence in the South China Sea. My job would be interesting. For a Mechanical Engineer there is nothing like a massive, complex naval vessel containing every possible engineering challenge.

    As I look toward the future, the opportunity to become an officer excites me. I see myself in a position where my work will be meaningful. I want to feel pride in my work and the work of those that I command. Most important, I want to serve and protect my country. We do that not only by protecting our shores, but by helping those around the world who aspire to live free and peacefully with their neighbors--no matter where they are. There is only one career choice that I believe can give me such opportunities and that is the career of a United States Naval Officer."


    I am sure posters can offer criticisms of this essay to give OP a broader perspective. DS also asked his English Comp teacher for help.

    Best of luck and take seriously the advice your are given on this forum.
     
  8. HannaK

    HannaK New Member

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    Thank you all for taking the time to read my essay and provide me with your advice. I appreciate your insight and realize that I still have some work to do.
     
  9. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    There are quite a few portions of this essay that illustrate the point I was making in my above post. I have highlighted a few. This essay is about desire, motivation, wants, projections of the future, satisfactions, etc. That answers the question. They didn't ask : Describe the importance of the military in our society, and the importance of officers in the military.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2013
  10. payitforward

    payitforward Member

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    Now this is good stuff. Congratulations to you and your son. I wish him and the OP much success in their quest for meaningful careers that keep the rest of us safe.
     

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