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United States Air Force Academy Writing Samples - Interest/Challenge/Dillema

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Dec 27, 2009   #1
Hello, I just revisited a file containing the three parts of the writing portion of the United States Air Force Academy's admission process. Due to insomnia, I decided to tweak them at one in the morning, and am looking to send them in right away, due to an approaching deadline (January 31st for everything! goodness!) I started the process back in June, but it has been a long way to even this point. Any advice, tips, critiques, etc, would be much appreciated, as it is very difficult for me to share my writing with people I know.

1. When did you first become interested in the Air Force Academy and serving in the Air Force? What started your interest? What Air Force career field do you hope to enter? What do you expect to gain from the Air Force Academy experience and how will it help you in your Air Force career? (250 to 300 words, 3000 characters max)

My initial interest in the Air Force Academy was sparked when I accompanied my parents to a Military Child Education Coalition conference in the summer of 2004. My father and I, not involved in the conference, decided to spend the week exploring the Colorado Springs area, and after touring for several days, decided to go to what my father called "Zoomie U". We took the typical summer tourist tour, but I was enthralled. The chapel, the mountains, and the campus excited me, despite my youth. I spent the rest of the vacation asking questions on how to go to the Academy, what I could do in the Air Force, and a slew of other inquiries. Years later, as a high school junior, I visited again, and made firm my earlier decision: I must apply. Since I first entertained the idea of going to the Air Force Academy, I have considered several fields, namely; pilot, navigator, air battle manager, intelligence, and even technical fields such as meteorology and engineering. There honestly is no particular field which calls me; any career in the Air Force is worth having. The education received from a top-rate school such as the Air Force Academy would assist in all of the above aspirations, from the social networking achieved from the Academy cadets to the loyalty forged in enduring the same system. Also, from what I have learned from Academy alumni, I will value most the combination of education, military training, sports, and sleep. The lesson of time management is taught to ensure that all Air Force officers know its importance in the military, and there is no better classroom for that lesson than a military academy.

2. Which aspect of the Air Force Academy experience (academic, military training, athletic, social/spiritual) do you anticipate will be most challenging for you? Discuss why and how you expect to succeed in that area. (250 to 300 words, 3000 characters max)

To explain, the first part of this is an essay that I began to write, but instead scrapped for the second. Included only if you think it would be better if I stuck to academics instead of athletic performance for USAFA. Also, with the second essay, I have not met length requirements. I have had writer's block on how to bridge the fifty word difference I have to make up, which is why I haven't sent in the writing sample yet.

From the experiences of others, the most trying part of the Air Force Academy is the curriculum. Oft forgotten is the very narrow acceptance rate, comparable to the Ivy Leagues' rates. Unlike traditional civilian institutions, the coursework is mandatorily heavy in order to acclimate future Air Force officers to the strain of active duty. Many current cadets return home complaining of how they wish that they were not on holiday leave so they could be studying instead of enjoying their respite. However, it is a demon

Of the many graces I have received from my mother, the least welcome is her extensive cooking. Do not misunderstand me; my mom is an excellent cook. However, she cooks in excess. This is quite apparent when you weigh any family member on a scale: for the most part, all of us could lose a few pounds. Towards the end of my junior year, I realized that it would be essential to the hope of a future military career to lose weight and become what the Air Force calls "fit to fight". Over summer vacation, I went to the gym every day for hours. I dieted, ran, and made every attempt to be healthy. While other friends enjoyed their vacations, I was dragging myself to the gym. The carrot-on-a-stick dangling in front of me, the chance at an appointment to the Air Force Academy, however, carried me through. After the course of a few months, progress was visible, and hope was rewarded: I had made the weight standard. I understand that my journey does not stop now - my newfound joy in working out, an activity formerly met with dread, will fit perfectly amongst the Air Force Fighting Falcons.

3. Describe a setback or ethical dilemma that you have faced. How did you resolve it? How did the outcome affect you? If something similar happens in the future, how would you react? (400 to 500 words, 3000 characters max)

As a high school student, I am involved in the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC). Due to high involvement and leadership potential, I was promoted to the Inspector General position, which pertains to Corps discipline and standards. When I initially accepted the position, I did not fully appreciate the effort or candor required, and it was not until several months into the assignment that I began to. In the AFJROTC chain of command, the Corps Commander has five people directly underneath him, namely; the Deputy Corps Commander, the Inspector General, two squadron commanders, and the Command Chief Master Sergeant. Typically, the Inspector General's concern is outside of these four, as they should be well behaved due to their high status. However, one morning, one of the top five publically berated another top five member due to her sexual orientation in the school hallway before class. The current military policy is "don't ask, don't tell"; however, the concern was not her sexual orientation, but the fact that a high ranking cadet had shown a lack of awareness and political correctness in the situation. As the offense was public, if I did nothing, it would be an obvious dereliction of duty. If I did do something, it could be seen as selfishness or envy towards the higher ranking (and well connected) cadet officer, making either choice a possible disaster. Despite the public offense, the nature of the event was private, so I was unable to seek counsel with others, making the decision fully mine. To report or act on it seemed to be the right choice, despite the possible political consequences. I sent an email with the full transcript of events with witnesses, suggestions, and concerns to the SASI, and the event was dealt with seriously. The desired effect was achieved - I was not criticized, the offending cadet was punished but rehabilitated, and everyone understood the importance of understanding. If faced with the same situation, I would not act differently. In retrospect, my concerns of how people perceived my actions were erroneous, as they do not always coincide with the truthful course of action. Mark Twain once wrote that one should "always tell the truth, that way you don't have to remember what you said", and this sums what should have been the focal point of my decision. The only variable in it should have been "Is it the truth?".

Once again, thank you for any assistance rendered. Anything helps.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Dec 28, 2009   #2
A colon is better here:
...fields, namely: pilot, navigator...

There honestly is no particular field which calls me; any career in the Air Force is worth having. ----> I think this sentence could be written in a way that expresses something affirmative rather than something nullifying. Instead of "there is no..." you can write, "there are many..."

extensive cooking. I don't think extensive if a good word to use for it.

...and everyone understood the importance of tolerance .

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