Seeking revisions for nomination application essay


New Member
Hello, all! I'm currently working on nomination application and hoped you all may have some tips for my essay. I have numerous others looking over it, but you all have a great understanding and experience. This is just the first draft, so please feel free to tear it apart. :)

Essay prompt: Why do you want to attend a service academy? (500 words or less)

I’ve always been invested in opportunities that are bigger than myself. Taking on duties, responsibilities, and leadership positions that initially seem larger than my capabilities is what I strive for. I accept these roles as challenges, completely turn them on their head, and apply my skills to excel in any position I’m placed into.

With my desire to assist, I'm always looking to help the people who surround me. Providing services to my community, my state, and upon the future, my country. With the intention of helping others on a national level, I plan to serve my country in the most honorable fashion, in the United States Military.

I recognize that upon investing my life in the armed forces, I'm expected to provide exceptional leadership, character, and intellect.

In any situation, I possess excellent leadership skills. With each challenge faced, I'm capable of quickly recognizing potential solutions, organizing the group to best fit our needs, all while taking into account the safety of my group. I've provided leadership on the several swim teams that I've coached. Leading a team of several hundred swimmers requires attention and direction to the athletes, the parents, and my own staff. I'm capable of presenting myself professionally, with confident and clear speaking ability, and work with a diverse range of ages. I've been able to provide a fun and successful season for numerous teams, with water safety as a top priority.

Talented leaders create massive influence through the phenomenal character they attain. On a daily basis, my character is represented by my loyalty, integrity, and respect for others. The character in which I possess has been demonstrated through multiple opportunities. By working at my parent's neighborhood bakery, I'm able to execute all 3 of these character traits. I'm loyal to the business by providing the best support I'm capable of and maintaining allegiance to my parents and co-workers. I provide the strongest form of integrity by using my best moral judgment to asses and handle difficult situations. I also take into account what will provide the best circumstances for my co-workers. Finally, respect for others may prove most salient in the bakery setting. The care, service, and respect that is presented to customers must go beyond exquisite in order to acquire their trust and support.

Proper judgment and development of a superb leader are inadequate without prodigious intellect. I've provided multiple instances of assistance to my school and community due to my ability to develop solutions quickly, creatively, and intellectually. My intellectual assistance and creativity have been proven through several school events. The alumni event I assisted in leading may best demonstrate my intellect. My knowledge of design, planning, and management skills proved worthy when the 1,500+ attendee event was a massive accomplishment. The challenge initially seemed substantial and larger than my capabilities, but was conclusively successful.

I look forward to continuing to develop my leadership, character, and intellect alongside the other honorable men and women in the United States Military.



I rarely read essays that are posted here, but it’s a slow night and I can’t sleep.

With respect and kindness to @SA.applicant98, I still don’t know why you want to attend a service academy. Seriously. I see no definitive statement (sentence or paragraph) that explains why a particular SA is the best place for you to continue your education, why it’s a distinctly great fit, why there’s specific alignment between its offerings and your goals.

Also, “prodigious intellect”? That’s bold. I trust you can back that up with the requisite class rank, rigorous transcript and test scores on your application?


@SA.applicant98, you seem like someone who desires constructive feedback and not just a pat on the back. So think of the essay prompt in this way: Of all the colleges you could possibly attend, why is this particular SA the best place for you? And given the various ways to secure an officer’s commission, why is the SA route the best option for you? Best wishes.


New Member
Yes! I certainly appreciate the feedback! If you're interested, I'd be happy to send updated copies for you to take a look at. Thank you for your help!

Is it then necessary to provide personal examples of the traits I possess? I feel as though I need to provide some sort of credibility when I list leadership, character, and intellect. I should mention that these are traits I seek to improve and the challenges SA's provide would be the most ideal circumstance?

Capt MJ

10-Year Member
My standard advice:
- Avoid hyperbole in any nomination or admissions essay (the “always” and “all my life” and extreme adjectives).
- Count up I/my usage and see if they can be edited down.
- Don’t preach to the choir on stuff the SAs or other experienced evaluators already know about.
- Write clearly, succinctly and flawlessly. Ask an English teacher for editorial help with composition, flow, syntax, grammar, punctuation.

And, read it out loud to siblings or a good friend. If they start laughing or rolling their eyes or saying “ummmm,” it’s time to edit the tone and limit forays into the thesaurus.

I’ve known many great leaders, including senior ones, without prodigious intellects. They knew their mission, had the intelligence and will to carry it out and adapt as needed, and cared for and respected their troops. I’d take one of those who had good common sense, compassion blended with steely resolve, a moral compass and a will to succeed and survive, over anyone who was solely book smart.

You have a lot to be proud of, but I suggest continuing to polish your narrative so your unique traits and skills are illustrated.