Salutations, I am a re-applicant to USNA and currently in the process of completing my MOC Nomination application. I have made it through the bulk of the application, but have run ashore on the essay topic. My ultimate goal with my essay is to leave a lasting impression with the MOC board and answer the question. The quarrel I have with my current draft is that I might have made it a bit too complex for the prompt. Being a second timer, what is it that a MOC review board is looking for in an essay? The general assumption I have would be improvements upon my first attempt, but what else can I focus on to really raise an eyebrow with the board? Below is my current draft of the essay. It is limited to 500 words and the prompt is as follows: "Please state why you want to attend one of the U.S. Service Academies." Mount Olympus is described by many as the most beautiful place on Earth, so much so in fact that the ancient Greeks believed it housed the most powerful of the ancient Gods atop its marvelous peak. In many ways, Mount Olympus is much more than just a tangible rock; Mount Olympus is a symbol of hope and aspirations, duty and commitment, honor and loyalty. Yes, the people of ancient Greece held Mount Olympus in the highest of regards and for valid reason, but for me, there’s another Mount Olympus right here in our home, laying on the edge of the Severn River. The United States Naval Academy and Mount Olympus may be on opposite sides of the world, but they each convey many similarities to each other. For a start, they are both comprised heavily of stone, but aside from the tangible features they both house the best of the best, reside upon mountains of ideals, and the journey to each is a long and arduous one; one which takes years of hard work and dedication. The journey to the Naval Academy for me began eleven years ago when my grandfather took my family and I there. That trip was my first college visit ever and it engrained a feeling of home at the Academy for me, as it once did for my grandfather. Graduating fourth in the class of 1956, my grandfather held the Naval Academy in a very special regard for it gave him the skills, traits, and character to change his life for the better. Having been raised during the Great Depression, my grandfather came from humble beginnings and sought nothing more than to live a life of purpose outside of the poverty the depression spread throughout the country. He did this through education and service to our nation. My grandfather wished to attend the Naval Academy, but failed to gain admission twice. During this time, he attended Rutgers and finally gained admission to the college of his dreams on the third try. Now more than sixty years later, I find myself stepping in the same footprints my grandfather once did, although it wasn’t until April of this past year that I made the realization about education he once did. For the past ten years, I had reigned as a lackadaisical, average student. It took the weight of denial to quash that old way of acting and give rise to a new one. I have since learned to seek out help when I need it, attend office hours with my professors, and study better. I have also gone on to join NROTC and enjoy it greatly, but wish to live that lifestyle more than I already do. After I failed, I made it my mission to correct the mistakes I made in my first attempt and never repeat them. I wish to live a life of service, but seek for it to begin at the end of this journey and atop the same mountain as it once did for my grandfather.