Hello everyone! This is my first post here and I am looking for some help. I am currently in the process of completing my application for the class of 2022 and I am looking for some help on the personal statement portion. Can someone tell me how important this portion is as well? Below is the prompt (I believe it is the same as previous years) and then afterward is my response. Thanks! (1) Describe what led to your initial interest in the naval service and how the Naval Academy will help you achieve your long-range goals, and (2) Describe a personal experience you have had which you feel has contributed to your own character development and integrity. The journey that led to my interest in the naval service started at a young age. With a family history of service in the Second World War, Korea, and the Cold War I have always sought to continue the line of service of my predecessors. As a young man, I have desired to earn a commission in one of the branches of the armed forces. I finally set my sights for the Navy after eighth grade. My industrial arts teacher, having been an officer in the Marine Corps, spoke about potential routes to commission. He spoke about the Naval Academy and gave high regard towards this institution, so I went home and looked into the academy. I was immediately fascinated with the thought of becoming a Naval officer and began to investigate the academy commission route. After reading various books, attending summer camps, and researching online sources, I became determined to pursue a commission through the Academy. Looking towards the future, I would like to lead a career of public to service to show my gratitude towards the nation that has afforded me with opportunity. Primarily, I would like to be a leader of Sailors or Marines. Beyond this, I would like to serve as a pilot and ultimately attend the Naval Test Pilot School. After accumulating leadership and flight experience, I would like to become an astronaut for our great country. In my years after all of this, I would like to become a public servant. The mission statement of the academy provides that midshipmen will “have the potential for future development in mind and character to assume the highest responsibilities of command, citizenship, and government.” With a curriculum committed to such ideals, the academy will aid in my pursuit towards these ambitious goals. The strengthened leadership that results from the academy will benefit me in all steps of my life well beyond the Navy. As the Cadet Deputy Commander for the Civil Air Patrol New Jersey Wing Basic Encampment, responsible for overseeing the development and training 22 cadre and 110 new cadets, my character has been tested and my integrity strengthened. The process of selecting an exceptional staff was the first challenge to my character in such a position. Selection consisted of choosing 22 cadre from 68 applicants. During my years in Civil Air Patrol, I have made numerous friends, many of which applied for the encampment. My character was challenged with choosing qualified applicants over friends. Despite personal losses, I chose the hard right over the easy wrong. A core value of Civil Air Patrol is integrity, which I adhere to when making such crucial decisions. Do what is right when nobody is watching. Not only has my character developed from staff selection but the next generation of cadets will be trained by the best possible staff, benefitting the New Jersey Wing as a whole. This event has truly aided in my character development and stressed the importance of integrity, a value so cherished at the academy. Any help is greatly appreciated! I am trying to finish up early so I can maybe get an LOA. Thanks again!