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University of Michigan supplement - My role in the army


Hawaiiiiii 4 / 7 1  
Jan 29, 2019   #1
Everyone belongs to many different communities and/or groups defined by (among other things) shared geography, religion, ethnicity, income, cuisine, interest, race, ideology, or intellectual heritage. Choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it. [300 Words]

Every Singaporean male is required to serve two years in service to the country essentially delaying our education and subsequent entrance into the workforce. Most people see this as a nuisance, but for me, I saw this as an opportunity to better myself as a brother and leader.

I have gone through thick and thin with my bunkmates, which has helped mature our relationship into a brotherhood. I see myself as the jokester of the group. The one who would smuggle biscuits to share during jungle exercises, smile and say the training was "too easy" even though my whole body was aching, and crack a joke to boost morale. I've learned to truly be a part of a team and would do whatever it takes to watch them succeed.

Being a commander, I realized that a great leader is willing to listen and lead by example. Being a commander has helped me become more empathetic to my men and understand matters from their perspective, and only when I connected with my men did I realize the significance of my role in their lives. Some of my men come from harsh backgrounds- almost to the point where I was the closest parental figure in their lives. For an eighteen-year-old, it was a daunting task. But it is because of them that I strive to be a better role model. So I acknowledge the responsibilities of my rank: to place other's safety above my own, to let no one feel left behind, and to treat their every small problem like my life depended on it.

Finding your place in a large organization is never easy. But if there's anything that I've learned from my army days, it's that this journey will help you recognize your significance and guide you towards who you want to become.

mominanaveed 2 / 2  
Jan 29, 2019   #2
Change the "but for me, I saw this is as" to simply "I saw this as" by deleting the "but for me part" cause that's wrong grammar. Hope this helps! :))
Holt - / 7,593 2001  
Jan 30, 2019   #3
Jordan, while this is an impressive response, the problem I have with it is that the prompt is asking you to discuss your position in a community. As a community member, you are expected to have a continuing contribution to its development and a continuing development of your personal character and abilities because of your evolving participation / place in the community. As a member of the drafted Singaporean military, you were a member of a temporary community and your development within that area ended when you completed your 2 years service to the country. Therefore, the military service is not part of an ongoing community where you help to shape its future, learn from helping others, and develop yourself in terms of becoming a more mature individual or leader of the community. Personally, I would advise you to change the slant of the essay to something that shows your membership in a community organization, volunteer service, or even as a family member, all of which would fall under a continuing community membership.

However, if you opt to still use the military service essay, then you don't have to change anything. You can use that as is. Just remember, you are using the wrong time presentation for the essay. You already completed your service, so this should be using a past reference / tense. Upon changing the time reference, it will become highly obvious to the reviewer that even though the essay is strong, it is not appropriate for the prompt requirement which is a "current community membership" that shows a continuing development of your maturity as an individual and potential college freshman.
OP Hawaiiiiii 4 / 7 1  
Jan 30, 2019   #4
@mominanaveed thanks so much for the advice ! I've made the correction already

@Holt Thank you so much for your advice. Actually, I'm currently still serving in the army. I've just written in past tense because the lessons I've learnt have all been realisations in the past. Perhaps if I write in present tense,do you think this essay would be appropriate?
Holt - / 7,593 2001  
Jan 30, 2019   #5
Yes. If you are still actively serving in the military, then use the present tense for your presentation. Include your current contributions to the team / community and make sure that the flow is always towards showing how your military exposure, discipline practices, and mission objectives have helped you become a responsible adult. Indicate how this community has better prepared you to attend college as a truly independent, mature, and objective focused individual who can meet the challenges of the future because your community has helped you develop that aspect of your personality. The timeline is important because, like my previous post showed you, the relevance of your experience within the community setting must be ongoing. If it appears as something of the past, then it will cease to apply as a response to the prompt.


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