Service Academy - The Good and The Bad
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I want to be apart of something bigger than myself, my school, or community. Something that can and does make a difference, a Global Force for Good. The US Navy has been that force. My family has many veterans, most notable my great grandfather served in the Air Force for 27 years as a pilot (C-130 mostly) and my grandfather served as an Army pilot (Cobra) in Vietnam both men were awarded DFC's. I believe that I will be able to earn the opportunity to become a naval aviator, but will eagerly serve in whatever capacity is determined to best suit my skill set. While a military service is a major part of why I want to attend Annapolis, the school's focus on excellence and honor impresses me most. The camaraderie among the midshipman, the education, the life skills I would learn from Annapolis are huge parts in my decisions to attend. Perhaps the best recommendation came from
The six days at the Naval academy Summer Seminar truly cement my choice. Being among so many people from different backgrounds that shared the same values, integrity and sense of purpose as I do, gave me a glimpse into the life I would lead at Annapolis, both the good, the bad and the ugly.
The Good, while at the academy, I was able to sit in on classes ranging from Foreign language studies to political science all of which I had a great interest in. Our Political Science instructor even presented us with a mock scenario in which we were broken up into countries. We could either turn on others or ally with them, it was interesting to see how quickly the countries turned on one another all in an attempt to come out on top. When we did our own version of sea trials, I saw just how quickly a group of people will come together and bond when they are under duress. It was one of the first times I've ever experienced a true "all for one and one for all" mentality.
The Bad, the midshipman run the Summer session and it is to practice their leadership skills. At times they seemed disorganized as they did not follow a rigid plan, the type of plan a civilian would expect from a military environment. This turned out to be very positive as I was learning how best to lead and how best not to lead.
The Ugly, My goal going into the NASS was to get noticed at Annapolis, that goal was a success, just not in the way I imagined. I am Rifle Girl. During our mock sea trials, I had the misfortune to be standing a little too close to a few of my squad members when they were passing a heavy rifle (fake) to each other. I got whacked square in the middle of my forehead with the tip of the rifle. Now, as you may know head injuries have a tendency to bleed, A LOT hence the "Ugly". Seeing as how my company was the first one to go through the rifle station every other group that followed was warned to be extra vigilante when handing rifles to one another. No one wanted to end up like Rifle Girl. Even this experience had a way of making me want to go to the Naval Academy even more than before, the way my squad rallied around me when I was injured and dropped everything they were doing to get me to the med station. It was while I was sidelined that I realized how much I wanted to help my squad through the trials, I felt like I was letting my team down. Seeing them struggle through the obstacles one man down was hard for me.
I am not sure that anything truly can prepare me for cadet life but to that end I am currently attending Northwestern Preparatory School, which specialize in preparing service academy cadets academically, physically, and to some existent emotionally. The daily schedule begins before 7am and most every moment of day is filled with schooling and PT and ends with lights out at 11pm. Nearly every application that you receive from a candidate similar to me in SAT's, GPA, and other criteria and your biggest question may be "Will this candidate be successful at the academy and as an officer ?". There are few certainties in life but the one thing I am certain of is my commitment doing my best and it has been my experience that determination and heart are the most important traits for success.