Application Essay: Unlocking the Gate
It began with a trip to the USS Midway when I was seven. The moment I stepped onto the flight deck of the carrier and set eyes on the rows of shining aircraft, I knew that I wanted to serve in the military. It was the first step on a meticulously planned path that led me to where I am today, on my way to becoming an officer in the military, and more importantly a person who is motivated by the idea of service to others.
Of the three core values of the Air Force Academy -integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do- "service before self" speaks to me most. Throughout my seventeen years of existence, the people around me and the freedom of this country have given me many opportunities to discover my identity, to develop myself as a citizen, and to grow as a human being. Because of those opportunities, I know that I am a strong, determined young woman with a passion for aviation who has the ability and the drive to do something worthwhile with her life. The people who offered me these opportunities -my parents, mentors, and friends- have inspired me to utilize that passion and drive in service to others. Without identity, I would suffer the worst fate, being lost and purposeless. To me, the most meaningful way to express my tremendous gratitude is through service to my country. I strive to ensure there will be a safe place for future generations to have the opportunities to grow and thrive, as I did. Of the many ways I could contribute to the society that has molded me into the person I am today, it has been clear that military service will be mine since that fateful day on the USS Midway.
During my journey, I have acquired knowledge, skills, and characteristics that will serve me well as an officer in the military. From my leadership experiences in Civil Air Patrol and in various school organizations, I have not only learned about the basic theories and characteristics of leadership but also qualities of compassion, humility, integrity, and excellence. I have had the chance to embody develop those ideas and qualities by participating in a number of volunteer events, ranging from being an instructor in a leadership school to teaching local elementary-schoolers about astronomy. The rigorous education offered by the service academies will allow me to refine what I already have and will guide me to be the most excellent version of myself to become a leader in the U.S military.
I hope to combine my passion for aviation, love for this country, and the skills I have acquired throughout my youth and deploy them in the service of this country. I stand now, in front of a gate, which if I can unlock with your help, will let me continue on my journey to becoming a military officer serving this country.
Holt Educational Consultant - / 11,224 3651
Celina, I strongly suggest that you remove the reference to your experience as a 7 year old stepping onto the flight deck of the carrier. Reviewers consider these sorts of depictions as exaggerations on the part of the applicant. I am not saying that you are exaggerating as you may very well be telling the truth about what inspired you to apply for the academy, but the reviewer may have a different take on that presentation. You know what? Even if you remove that paragraph, the overall essay will not be affected because the second paragraph is a tremendously strong representation of the reasons why you want to attend the academy. It shows a love for country and others in a manner that strengthens the desire you have to serve. That is something that will impress the reviewer. The 7 year old story won't be able to accomplish that. It is not as effective a hook as the second paragraph. Basically what I am trying to say is that the essay is actually good and ready for use. You just need to remove the part I mentioned because it will not help your application move forward.