I know there are several threads dealing with this topic, but they only deal with a single poster (from what I read) and was hoping I could receive some help for both editing and to see if I'm on the right track. Here's my statement, 497 words. From the early age of eight years old, naval war ships and the U.S. Navy always fascinated me. At that young age, I remember reading books and hearing stories of those who served. I knew that naval service was my best fit if I decided to join the military. To me, no other branch could really compare. As far back as I’ve known, I’ve had countless relatives who served in the navy. Their stories sparked my interest more after I learned about where they had served and what their service was like. By the age of twelve, I knew that naval service would be in my future. Because my ultimate goal is to serve my country, I believe that the Naval Academy is the best option to do so. Not only does the Naval Academy provide one of the best educations in the United States, but would afford me the opportunity to take what I learn and apply it directly in the navy upon graduation. The Naval Academy would also provide me the tools to achieve my long-term goals of becoming a naval special warfare officer, service to others, and would give me the skills to succeed in a post naval career. I have prepared academically for a school as rigorous as the Naval Academy and I believe earning a five on the United States Government and Politics exam demonstrates that*. One important life experience that I’ve had that has developed my character was backpacking 117 miles in the Rocky Mountains of New Mexico. The trip occurred in the summer of 2016 and took place at Philmont Scout Ranch. While there, I served as crew leader and was responsible for all people on my crew. Not only did I ensure that we made our destinations every day, but I also monitored each member’s health, their attitude, and how motivated they were to complete the trip. Over the span of twelve days, I learned many things such as my abilities to lead and motivate a group of dissimilar people, how to encourage others to face daily gauntlets, and how to be more cheerful as a leader. I encouraged others and because of that, I became a stronger person both morally and ethically. I developed a mindset of taking care of others before yourself and ensuring that those under me had what they needed. Being in that position in an unknown area can lead to dangerous mistakes and that was always a constant factor in decisions that I made. Since I was the leader, all decisions, both good and bad, fell upon me with the responsibility for the consequences. My integrity strengthened as it taught me to accept total responsibility and a sense of doing what was in the best interest of others and not my own. Throughout the entire trek, I enjoyed having the responsibility of leading and it felt natural to be able to accomplish a giant goal with a team that I helped mold and shape. *A BGO told me this definitely needed to be fit in here somewhere but I'm not sure if this is an appropriate way to do so. Thank you to those who help.