Sep 24, 2022
Hello everyone, I am from Mongolia.
Last Thursday I went in for the Service Academy nomination interview. All in all, I think the interview went well. I drew from my past experience as an enlisted soldier and answered all of the questions fairly well.
However, since going into the interview, I have been concerned with one of my answers. The officers asked me if I was either going to serve my mandatory 5 years and leave, or stay for 20 years as a career officer. I replied that I do not know for certain, since circumstances change and I would have to consider it at that moment and whatever I may choose to do, I believe I will be successful with the lessons that the academy and the Mongolian Army will give me.
Was this a good answer and am I just overthinking, or will this answer put a sour taste in the nomination board members?
It’s the truth. I wouldn’t worry about it.

And it is true for everybody.
Besides, honesty is the best policy for the interviews, right?
I thought that they are looking for someone eager to do 20 years, but no one can say where they will be 20 years later.
I agree with @A1Janitor. You told the truth and that is a good answer. I'm not sure how old you are but that is exactly how my ds answered that question. He is 17 and has no idea what will happen between now and when he is making that decision at 27. He said that he's open to a career and that is the primary plan today but is too young to say with any certainty.
Being your true authentic self matters. Anyone can BS their way through that question with zero conviction or well intended outcome.

No one can foresee the future and who will or won’t make the military a career.
I think most MOC NOM interviewers want to assess your general interest in the military and typically there are no right/wrong answers to what is being asked. Some questions are designed to evaluate your thought process rather than looking for a specific reply. I doubt most who are now in the application process could honestly say how the next 15-20 yrs might play out, many things can change going forward and somewhat hard to predict. Clearly, if you said your only interest in attending an SA is to pad your resume for what you plan to do after that, would probably reflect poorly on the applicant. You can't change what you said, so I wouldn't worry about it and just move on.
Most MOC nom panelists are active-duty personnel or veterans. They surely know that many mids/cadets who declare “five and five” are still around 20 years later, and many who say “20 or bust” are the first ones out the door. Too many circumstances at play here, and words are fairly empty until one is in the thick of it all.