- Jan 10, 2017
Do the academies see a difference in leadership type between let's say an Eagle Scout and a team captain? Or is it all pretty much the same?
Flieger; as always, is correct.
Similar questions are asked all the time. Concerning the application, Is JrROTC better band; is Scouts better than Spanish Club; is Football better than track; etc. Anyone who tries to "COMPARE" one activity, sport, volunteering, leadership, etc. against another, doesn't know the FIRST THING about the academies or the application process.
The academy doesn't care one bit WHICH sport you are involved in. They don't care WHICH activities you are in. They aren't trying to recruit 1200 football players; or 1200 eagle scouts; etc. They don't care one bit WHAT you are involved with.
What they DO CARE ABOUT, is what you DO with your time IN that activity. Did you seek and achieve leadership positions in the activity? Did you GROW and help the others in that activity GROW in their/your personal growth and development? Did you become a more diverse and active member of the team?
The bottom line is; if you COMPARE any two or more activities, clubs, sports, etc. in an attempt to "Improve" your chances in the application process...... they you have no idea what the academy is looking for. As such, you'll probably wind up involved in activities/sports/clubs/ec that you aren't happy with; and you won't advance or succeed in such activities. THAT WILL negatively affect your application.
Fortunately, some activities like scouts, show YEARS of commitment and dedication. An eagle scout is impressive, because it means you've most likely been a boy scout for 7-8 years. Now; if you're applying to the academy and you're only a 2nd class scout, and have only been involved for about 1-2 years, that isn't very impressive. But whether you're an eagle scout or Life Scout, both show the YEARS of dedication.
Same applies to JrROTC, CAP, Sports teams, etc. If you're on the football team, and are only on the varsity team because you're senior and it's the school's rules; and you never played a real game because this is your first year.......... then that doesn't look good at all on the application. Matter of fact, the academy can tell that you probably only joined the team to "PAD YOUR APPLICATION". Trust me; I've seen a LOT of people try and PAD their academy and college applications by getting involved with things their senior year. Things that they THOUGHT would look good on their application. They forget that admissions folks; at both the academies and universities, are not idiots. They can see right through your intent.
Do the clubs, activities, sports, EC, etc. that you WANT TO DO. Do your BEST in those activities. Rise to the challenge of accepting leadership positions in those activities. Do it BECAUSE YOU ENJOY IT; NOT because it's improving your college application. If that's the reason, you're sure to not succeed in it. And remember...... SPORTS is NOT about being physically fit. Sports are important for many other reasons. Read the sticky on this subject.
Best of luck. Mike
On a SIDE-NOTE:
Not trying to be a jerk. But what is the "motivation" for asking the question? If you are 10-12 years old, then the motivation might be: "I am interested in the academies; I need to decide between doing scouts and striving for Eagle, or pursuing sports and striving to be the team captain".
On the other hand, if you're 15-18, then it's too late to "Change your Course". If someone answered SPECIFICALLY; "Sports Team Captain is the highest form of leadership in the Academy's Eye";......... would you STOP being a boy scout and try to become a "Team Captain" all of a sudden. Probably too late to make such a decision.
I've said way too many times. "Concentrate and work on the things you CAN CHANGE and INFLUENCE; and don't worry at all about the things you have NO CONTROL OVER". This is one of those things. No matter what the answer to your question is; the followup question is: "WHAT DOES IT MATTER". You can't change your activities to that degree this late in the process. If you're the 10-12 year old reading this post, then you're trying to be involved in activities that "LOOK BETTER" on your resume/application. That is BAD NEWS. Because, unless you're passionate about the activity, you're not going to succeed at that high of a level like Eagle Scout or Team captain; and the activity will have been a complete waste of time.
The only reason I even answered the question, was so those "WHO AREN'T Eagle Scouts or Team Captains" don't get discouraged in their application process and think they don't have a change. Simply because their leadership experience happens to be the President of the Spanish Club; or they're the shift manager at the Local Pizza Restaurant. Leadership comes in many flavors, but they ALL SHARE THE SAME TRAITS. Asking about different leadership activities, without any chance or opportunity of changing your path; depending on the answer to the question; is simply as waste of time on something you have absolutely no control over.