mattcat

New Member
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!
 

BTCS/USN

Member
Thesis statement/argument, three or four supporting statements or selling points and a summary. Sometimes less is more. Grammer and punctuation are paramount. Have some of your English teachers read and edit them, rewrite and then repeat. Keep them clean, neat and just answer what was asked. If the questions were answered fully with the most direct approach then you've nailed it.
 
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Old Navy BGO

5-Year Member
If the questions were answered fully with the most direct approach then you've nailed it.
+ 1 -- Use active voice and avoid superfluous words. ... For example "My character has been tested and integrity strengthened as Cadet Deputy Commander for the Civil Air Patrol New Jersey Wing Basic Encampment. I was responsible for overseeing the development and training 22 cadre and 110 new cadets.." That's my #1 criticisms of young writers . I don't claim to be the best writer, but try to be direct and to the point,

As to importance of the Personal Statement, nobody really knows and I suspect it depends on the rest of your application. This is the subjective aspect of the application, and it probably doesn't matter too much for those with great WPS. On the other hand, a strong personal statement might get the borderline applicant over the finish line. I also suspect that it comes in play when USNA has to choose among multiple qualified candidates in a MOC slate.

Good luck.
 

seacadetmum

Member
Be careful how many times you repeat a word. In paragraph one, you say "academy" twice in one sentence. In the 2nd paragraph you start almost every sentence with "I would like". The 2nd prompt I think you have great content just fine tune it so it's more direct.
You've got a great start!
 

Norfolk63

BGO and MidDad
5-Year Member
The USNA personal statement is actually a tricky endeavor. It claims to be two prompts, but in reality it is three.

Make sure you answer all three in a concise manner that flows together in cohesive whole.

This is a good start.
 

Maplerock

Proud to be an American
5-Year Member
I know you meant well, but the lengthy shtick kind of turned me off. It seemed to be a long winded compilation of writing that you thought the committee would want to hear.
It's too long. No one wants to read that much. When I am assessing a person's writing, I like to feel that they wrote it. I didn't get that feeling with your essay. I'm probably wrong, but it felt that way to me.
I'd go much shorter, and much more about feelings and less about how much you want to serve and repay society. To me that sounds phony coming from a teen, even if it isn't.
In other words, I feel you gave stock answers. Tell them about the real you.

Keeping it teal IMHO.
 

Brawny77

Member
Here's the deal. It's your statement. Of course get the grammar proofed and listen to those who will help you make it flow well but make it personal. Don't tell them what you think they want to hear. Tell them what you really feel and think. I would venture to say that this is likely the biggest decision you have made thus far in life so speak from the heart. You seem to be sort of on track to do this and you have a good start. My son had a personal story in his essay. A proofer advised him to remove it. He thought about it and decided that it was important to him. He left it in. He got in, but in the end he was ready to own it either way.
 

nolamomma

Member
Speak from your heart. This is your chance to state what you want from the Academy and how attending will make that happen. Don't restate your resume, they have that in your application. Be honest. I would avoid over doing the long legacy of parents, grandparents. Most who apply have that. You need to set yourself apart.
 

seacadetmum

Member
The personal statement on the STEM application gave dd a character limit. She felt like she was having to answer the question as if she was posting on Twitter...LOL
Hers was something about how she felt attending STEM would help her achieve her goals within the Navy (something like that).
 

Onort44

Member
I'm not a professional writer or anything but from personal experience and the success of others, talking about a moment or a person in you life is much more successful and effective than quoting the mission statement or talking about an experience in civil air patrol. I think you had something strong talking about your family's lineage and your commitment to service. Making a personal connection with the admission board is important. Make them feel like they know you. Before this, all they see is numbers, they usually don't even know your name so you really want to focus on painting a picture of yourself for them and make it harder for them to turn you down. Hope that is some help
 
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