I am a usual reader, but inactive poster on here. I feel I should give back to this forum since it has educated me beyond anything else thus far on my decision to apply. I hope you all enjoy the read almost as much as I enjoyed living it today. I am a current Active Duty Sailor out of San Diego on a Destroyer. I enlisted 3 years ago as my high school grades/SAT were not even competitive enough for any local college in South Florida. I took the ASVAB to get out of class one day and thought nothing of it. One thing led to another and I enlisted as an E1; really only caring about leaving my household in the closing months of high school. Finding my passion and career in the same place was quite a shock. After 2 years of duty, 6 graduation certificates with honors from intel school, 3 promotions, living in 6 different states, visiting 5 different Countries and a swift kick in the butt, I was applying to a military institution that I could have never dreamed of in 2009. With the strong support of my chain of command, Captain, Executive Officer and numerous members of my ships wardroom/chief mess, I can say as of last night I completed my United States Naval Academy application. During one of my military recommendation interviews with a respected Academy graduate, I was asked to recite Theodore Roosevelt's "Man In The Arena quote". I managed to remember the first 6 words and stumbled. Determined to redeem myself, I studied the quote on watch the past 2 nights. With my head held up high, I recited the famous and powerful quote to the said Officer this morning. Not 15 minutes later, I receive an email from the Admission Board telling me I was nominated by the SECNAV. A great smile came to my face as I was one step closer. I went topside to get some fresh air and my phone rang. My DESRON Commander calls me to congratulate me on my completion of the application. After the brief, but motivational phone call from my Captains boss, I was met by the Captain himself in the pway. Following his congratulating handshake, I asked him, "sir, why is everyone giving me praise, I have not been accepted yet!". He replied, "yes getting accepted would be even a greater cause for celebration." “It is however, more important that you chose to ignore the individuals that said you should not, or could not apply to this Officer program.” “I think you will make a fantastic Officer, and I will welcome you with open arms to my wardroom upon your commissioning." Whatever the next few months bring for myself and everyone else applying for an appointment; keep in mind the perseverance and dedication necessary to reach this point. Never let that falter; whatever the outcome is of this application. Great things really do happen to those who work hard at there goals. I challenge everyone to envision there dream and strive for it every day of there lives. Let it drive you, motivate you, and push you to greater heights then you could have ever imagined. There will be times of hardship, pain, and that moment where you will want to throw your hands up in despair and give in to the easy route. NEVER let yourself be overcome by negative thoughts and strive on to what lies in your heart. Just a little motivational speech from someone who really was touched today by the simple words said by just a few individuals. Best of luck to EVERY applicant this year and for years to come!