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Hello, I just wanted to have some extra eyes look over my essay for the vice-presidential nomination for USMA. The character limit is 3500. I welcome both constructive criticism and grammatical fixes/suggestions. Thank you!

WHY DO YOU WANT TO ATTEND ONE OF THE MILITARY ACADEMIES?

I believe, like Albert Einstein, that "once you stop learning you start dying." While this quote may be figurative for civilians, it is quite literal in the military. Attention to detail is one of the traits most deeply instilled in a soldier, and even more so in an infantryman, where the lack of such leads to casualties. While attention to detail is important to an enlisted soldier at any level of responsibility, as an officer it is of an even higher significance. The Creed of the Non-Commissioned Officer teaches enlisted soldiers that all soldiers deserve outstanding leadership, and I want to want to provide that leadership knowing that my knowledge and training was provided by the premier leadership, academic, and military training institution in the world.
My current platoon leader came to my unit from West Point and he only further inspired me to truly dedicate myself to earning an appointment. Seeing his performance in both garrison and field operations, his tactical knowledge and leadership ability are reflective of his time at USMA. It is the great officers, like my platoon leader, as well as the other renowned leaders who have come from West Point such as President Eisenhower or General MacArthur, who inspire me to put forth my greatest efforts to earn an appointment at the U.S. Military Academy to be able to lead as well as them.
Should the situation arise that I do not attain my appointment for the class of 2024, I will apply for the next class of 2025, and the one which follows it should I again not receive an appointment. I will repeat this process until I can no longer do so because of the age restriction of 23. However, I would not submit the same motivation letters and test scores, I would reflect upon my entire application and strive to increase my test scores, re-write my essays, and continue to train to improve my fitness scores. I see this ability to learn from failure as a trait which all leaders must possess. It is something I learned before the Army at the Devil Pups program, which is a leadership camp for teenagers led by United States Marines at Camp Pendleton, California. Their motto is "Growth through Challenge" and I see the rigorous application process, academic curriculum, and military training program provided by West Point as an environment which fosters immense growth, which is yet another reason I want to attend the U.S. Military Academy. In fact, I so deeply care about serving the nation and receiving the highest quality education, and military training to support my military career, which West Point can provide, that I would choose the four years of West Point attendance over using my G.I. Bill to attend a traditional college and finish my final two years of my baccalaureate for free.
It is the inner drive to challenge myself to serve my nation, physically perform at the highest levels, and to learn from the highest quality sources of instruction to better both myself and the country, that lead me to choose the experience I know West Point will provide. Using West Point's motto, I want to attend the Army's service academy because I have a deep feeling of having a duty to serve America and I want the honor of knowing that I have the best education and training to support the country in both my military career and in the civilian life which follows.

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asked by Nathan
  1. Nicely written! One suggestion that I have for you is instead of saying, "by the premier leadership, academic, and military training institution in the world" (paragraph 1), why don't you try saying "I want to provide that leadership knowing that my extensive knowledge and training was provided by premier leadership experiences, and academic/military training institutions". I hope you get accepted!

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  2. "It is the great officers, like my platoon leader, as well as the other renowned leaders who have come from West Point such as President Eisenhower or General MacArthur, who inspire me to put forth my greatest efforts to earn an appointment at the U.S. Military Academy to be able to lead as well as them." That's a pretty lengthy sentence! Why don't you try something like "It is the great officers, like my platoon leader, as well as other prominent leaders throughout history from West Point, who inspire me to put forth my greatest efforts to earn an appointment at the U.S. Military Academy with the hopes of leading as well as they do.

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  3. "Their motto is "Growth through Challenge" and I see the rigorous application process, academic curriculum, and military training program provided by West Point as an environment which fosters immense growth, which is yet another reason I want to attend the U.S. Military Academy." Maybe write, "Their motto is "Growth through Challenge" and I see the rigorous application process, academic curriculum, and military training programs provided by West Point as an environment which fosters immense growth- yet another reason I want to attend the U.S. Military Academy." In general, I would say try not to use so many commas, and shorten things up while still getting your point across!

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  4. Nice re-write!

    I do agree with "anonymous" (whoever s/he is) about punctuation and phrasing sentences more concisely, even though some of his/her revisions aren't more concise! Here are a couple of links that will help you decide when/if to use commas and how to be more concise, less wordy.

    http://guidetogrammar.org/grammar/commas.htm

    http://guidetogrammar.org/grammar/concise.htm

    from http://guidetogrammar.org/grammar/index2.htm

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