My Reason Why

MichaelT2022

2026 Applicant
Joined
Oct 29, 2020
Messages
560
[Sorry for the Long Post]
It all started back in 2018, in my Freshman Year of High-School, when my interest peaked in joining the military, and after simply doing some research and speaking to some personelle throughout a majority of my Freshman Year, I knew this is what I wanted to commit my life to.
I knew I wanted to pursue a future appointment to a Service Academy, after a Senior from my school was appointed to The Naval Academy; currently a junior, I still talk to him occasionally. He plans to commission into The Marine Corps.
Anyway, after continuously doing my research, and as time went on, my motivation slowly began dropping, as I wasn’t receiving the grades that I desired. I thought that even though I put the time, and effort into each night of studying, something simply wasn’t connecting between my study methods and the material I was learning. This simply continued till the 2nd Semester of my Sophomore Year, and at that point, something connected with me, and I was finally able to pull through with my Semester Grades coming out with only As and Bs. Maybe it was COVID that helped me partially, but maybe it is also what made my motivation drop, who knows… to this day I still must look deep within myself to try and find that answer.
Then, it happened again… in my Junior Year, my grades started to drop again, not as bad as the first time, but I managed to finish my 1st Semester of my Junior Year, with Bs and Cs; this obviously is not what a Service Academy nor an ROTC Scholarship board looks for, my motivation continued to drop.



I knew I was not in a good position to get a future appointment to a Service Academy.

When the 2nd Semester of my Junior Year began, and a few mere 2 months ahead of me when it was my time to open up the preliminary application for each of the Service Academies, in some ways my motivation rose a bit, finally knowing that my time had come to open an application, as I was looking forward to starting the long process. As time passed on, I finished my Junior Year with mediocre grades, and at that time I had opened my preliminary applications and had started merely filling out basic information.
At the end of my Junior Year, I was in the full swing of these applications, and I was determined to complete my applications ASAP, then came the faithful day in the middle of June, I had received Correspondence to my West Point Portal, and at first, I was confused to what it would’ve been because who knew, I wasn’t expecting anything from them at the time. When I opened it, my heart dropped, my West Point application had been shut-down, due to insufficient SAT/ACT scores, and very minor leadership being shown in my application. I was devastated, and initially confused, as to why West Point had cut me off this early in the C / O 2026 Application Process, as time went on, the same thing happened with USAFA - which I did get opened up later, after submitting better SAT scores. After this point in time, let us say after these were all done, this was around August of my Senior Year.
Around this time, I had begun looking at each of the Service Branches, and seeing what my options were when it came to potentially enlisting, I had just turned 17 at the time, and I was excited to see what options I had available to me. I knew that I still wanted to pursue the military, even if I didn’t do ROTC or a Service Academy. I spoke to Recruiters from The Air Force, Army, Navy, and finally The Few The Proud - The Marine Corps. At the time, I say this respectfully, I knew I wanted to challenge myself to a high level, and after subsequently speaking to each of the Recruiters, The Marines stood out to me, because I knew they would indefinitely give me the challenge that I seek to find in life. I personally didn’t find this challenge at the other branches, or simply the recruiters didn’t convince me enough to where
I felt I would belong there. The words of Courage, Commitment, and Honor stood out to me, and the idea of standing on the iconic yellow footprints, where generations of Marines stood connected with me. Note, meeting with all these different recruiters went from around August to November, as I did my research on each branch so I could make an informed decision of what branch I wanted to go with. Then in November, I did it… I told my Marine Corp Recruiter, this is the path I wanted to go with, then the process/paperwork began. I was sent to MEPs the next day, and thankfully it went surprisingly fast and simple. I got medically qualified, and I took my Oath of Enlistment. I took my ASVAB, got a 68 on it opening a lot of jobs, but I plan to retake hopefully soon and improve in that realm. I picked my MOS as Logistics Headquarters, but if I am able to improve my ASVAB score enough, I would love to aim for Intelligence.
At that time, I knew I had to change what my current lifestyle was… I was lucky enough to meet a PT trainer/fitness coach, a not-currently-enlisted-Marine, but as everyone knows “Once a Marine, always a Marine.” Therefore I cannot call him an ex-Marine, that’d be extremely disrespectful, and I have the utmost respect for those who have gone through and earned the title to be called a US Marine. Ever since I’ve been in the DEP as a Poolie since November, I’ve improved in my way of PT, but in some way, I’ve still had my doubts as I’ve expressed in my time on SAF.
I am aware I’ve been very indecisive about my future, in which my plans tend to change about my future, but now I’m done, I’ve solidified my intentions…

Semper Fidelis, Oorah Devil Dogs.
 

Devil Doc

I often give inaccurate and misleading advice.
Joined
Apr 25, 2018
Messages
5,081
The entrance to MCRD Parris Island. You won’t become one but will be made into one. They won’t let you quit. Cadets and midshipmen can quit. Walk away and not owe a dime. You can even quit OCS just down the road at Quantico. Students at BUDS can quit. Just ring the bell and walk off.

Recruits at PI can’t just walk off. You’ll march off. Rendering my son his first salute at his commissioning was my proudest moment. He bounced around with every kockamamy idea until he finally graduated after attending five colleges. Not every kid has a straight path. Some of my students have every advantage. They can write their ticket to the finest schools. Most of my students will struggle and bounce around and get knocked down. Those are the ones I work best with. I’d hire them in a heartbeat. They have and will have built more character than can be measured. A7626D94-050F-404F-875E-F7FA72A681A1.jpeg
 

Gobsmacked

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2021
Messages
28
Michael,

I've watched your struggle since you first joined SAF and I feel for you. When I was growing up it was kind of expected that you pick a career path in high school, stick to it and then in 40 or 50 years, retire. It's often what previous generations did, back when they had these things called "pensions". That plan did not work well for me and actually caused me similar anxiety as you seem to experience. "How the heck can I be expected to know at 17 what I want to be when I am 35 or 50?" I went back and forth over and over, failing to launch for way too long.

I have always been envious of the rare FEW who knew from an early age EXACTLY how they want their life to go. I've only known a few of those in my entire life. The rest of us kind of figure it out as we go.

The advice I give young people preparing to write their story today is this, figure out the FIRST thing you want to try, it may fit or it may not but believe it or not, either way you win. You will either know what you want to do or what you don't want to do next.

A 4 year commitment seems like a lot right now, heck its 20% of your life so far, that is a big number. However the older you get the less daunting it seems. Some of us say "4 years? I can stand on my head for 4 years." Right now you need to be focusing on today, great job working on fitness! Every day you should be doing something to better prepare yourself for your next adventure. Small steps every single day add up to big progress. Let future Michael worry about the future.

You can be assured if you continue on the path you are on, even if you only do one enlistment, you will have performed an invaluable service to this country and you will be able to carry that with pride on to the next chapter of your story.
 

MichaelT2022

2026 Applicant
Joined
Oct 29, 2020
Messages
560
Michael,

I've watched your struggle since you first joined SAF and I feel for you. When I was growing up it was kind of expected that you pick a career path in high school, stick to it and then in 40 or 50 years, retire. It's often what previous generations did, back when they had these things called "pensions". That plan did not work well for me and actually caused me similar anxiety as you seem to experience. "How the heck can I be expected to know at 17 what I want to be when I am 35 or 50?" I went back and forth over and over, failing to launch for way too long.

I have always been envious of the rare FEW who knew from an early age EXACTLY how they want their life to go. I've only known a few of those in my entire life. The rest of us kind of figure it out as we go.

The advice I give young people preparing to write their story today is this, figure out the FIRST thing you want to try, it may fit or it may not but believe it or not, either way you win. You will either know what you want to do or what you don't want to do next.

A 4 year commitment seems like a lot right now, heck its 20% of your life so far, that is a big number. However the older you get the less daunting it seems. Some of us say "4 years? I can stand on my head for 4 years." Right now you need to be focusing on today, great job working on fitness! Every day you should be doing something to better prepare yourself for your next adventure. Small steps every single day add up to big progress. Let future Michael worry about the future.

You can be assured if you continue on the path you are on, even if you only do one enlistment, you will have performed an invaluable service to this country and you will be able to carry that with pride on to the next chapter of your story.
Thank you... I appreciate it. One question that some people ask me and I always cannot come up with an exact answer; "Where do you see yourself in 10 years?" No matter how much I think, for some reason I cannot answer it.
 

Gobsmacked

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2021
Messages
28
Thank you... I appreciate it. One question that some people ask me and I always cannot come up with an exact answer; "Where do you see yourself in 10 years?" No matter how much I think, for some reason I cannot answer it.
:) That is a default question that can be useful to some. For others, it has the opposite effect. For me, I usually thought "probably in jail for punching the next person that asks me that question." I didn't have a good answer to that until I ended up somewhere that"fit".

Until you figure it out you could consider answering "working hard every day to better myself."
 

Pluto

Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2021
Messages
108
Thank you... I appreciate it. One question that some people ask me and I always cannot come up with an exact answer; "Where do you see yourself in 10 years?" No matter how much I think, for some reason I cannot answer it.
You shouldn't have an answer to that, not unless you have the power to time travel. What you should have, is a plan. But hey, that's just my stance.

Anyone with power asks this question. However, with so many people asking the same question, is there a type of answer they are looking for? Surely there has to be, but that is the clause. There is no one answer that fits the bill--people are looking for potential.

Let me pose a different question to you.

If your life depended on it, who would you trust more: The guy that says he wants to climb a mountain or the guy that sits at the bottom because he is afraid and enjoys the safety at the bottom?

In my mind, it's easy. I'm picking the guy that climbs the mountain. Why? Because his ambition, although daring and potentially dangerous, allows him to see the world when he reaches the top.

MichaelT2022, dont get stuck at the bottom-have the desire to see the world.
 

StPaulDad

Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2017
Messages
633
It's a huge blessing to know what you want from life because it lets you chart a course and get to work. My three oldest kids all knew what they wanted and have gotten after it aggressively. Of course knowing at 17 and knowing at 23 aren't the same, and my oldest has changed her mind from med school to campus ministry. At some point she might return to it, but from here it sounds like it'll be something closer to counseling than medicine.

My point is that even knowing what you want requires that you stay aware of how things are going, if you're still on the right path and if it's time to review those goals. It's a constant duty to yourself to periodically validate that you're living the life you want. Am I climbing those mountains, or have I turned from that for some other reason? Was it a good reason or am I letting myself down? Are my goals realistic, or should I trim my sails a bit and achieve the possible now? You're never done, and you should try to get comfortable with the idea that satisfaction comes and goes as you enter different phases of life.

Right now you need a post-HS path and you seem to have found one. But as you proceed down the Marine road you may discover you love it or hate it or suffered a career-changing injury and have to take a fresh look in four years. Don't be bummed out by this, but treat it like a chance to celebrate what's going well or get back on a better path where it isn't. The process you just went through isn't a one and done, it's a life skill that you'll be dusting off and re-running every few years. Have a good time in the Marines and keep us posted how the next few years turn out for you.
 
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