Naval Academy Summer Seminar Essay Writer
The Resume and Essay
In the first two parts of this blog series, we talked about the steps you need to take to help your student maximize their opportunity to get into a service academy. In the third and final part of this blog series, as promised, we are sharing some additional examples of a resume and an essay that helped to successfully secure multiple nominations to multiple academies.
Once in high school, the resume fodder begins. Keep in mind that these schools are looking for the “whole person” approach and the resume will need to show accomplishments in academics, athletics, community involvement and leadership. Here is a sample of a winning resume that garnered one million dollars in college scholarships from USNA ($450,000), USAFA($450,000) and UCLA ROTC ($180,000).
Sample Resume for A 2015 USAFA Graduate:
Presidential Appointment to the United States Air Force Academy
Presidential Appointment to the United States Naval Academy
United States Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps at the University of California at Los Angeles
Lancaster City Youth Commission Chairman (this is legitimate, sworn-in commissioners for Lancaster City. It was after and application process, an interview, and a popular vote to get to chairman out of at least 50 top youth in the region)
Assistant Manager and tutor for Math Magicians in Quartz Hill (July 2010-present)
Blockbuster Video (August 2009- August 2010)
Intern at the Honorable Buck McKeon’s office in Palmdale, (Summer of 2009)
Captain for DCHS Varsity Volleyball team for 2 years
Captain for DCHS Varsity Mathletes
Current Class Rank: 2 of 107
Cumulative, Unweighted GPA: 3.97, Weighted: 4.2
Over 1250 hours of volunteering since 9th grade
Summer of 2010
– Attended the United States Air Force Academy Summer Seminar
– Attended the United States Naval Academy Summer Seminar
2009-2010: Junior, Desert Christian High School
– ASB, Activities Representative (Coordinator)
– Vice President of CSF (California Scholarship Federation)(VP of 80+ members)(Is a position for a 12th grader, achieved in 11th grade)
– Member of NHS (National Honor Society)
– Varsity Cross Country (Runner, and Manager)
– Varsity Soccer
– Varsity Volleyball (Team Captain as Junior)
– Varsity Mathletes (Starter)(year round)
– Worship Team, Leader (In charge of 13 musicians), at Desert Christian High School, at The Highlands Christian Fellowship, and at Central Christian Church (playing Guitar, and Bass Guitar)
– Approved Tutor: Chemistry, Biology, Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Physical Science, Math A, English 9, English 10, English 11, Spanish I, Spanish II, Spanish III
– Attended RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards)(Recommendation from School Administration, then accepted through application process)
Awards for Junior Year:
– United States Achievement Academy: National History and Government Award in AP United States History
– United States Achievement Academy: National Leadership Merit Award in Leadership
– United States Achievement Academy: National Leadership and Service Award for being an All American Scholar
– ACSI Distinguished High School Student for outstanding Achievement in both Academics and for Leadership
(Note: All of these awards are based of raw data [grades, service hours, activities, demonstrated leadership] as well as multiple teacher recommendations. During this awards night, I was one of 3 people, of 400, to receive the last two awards)
2008-2009:, Sophomore, Desert Christian High School
– Varsity Volleyball
– Junior Varsity Mathletes, (Team Captain)
– Worship Team
– Honors English 10, Algebra II, Chemistry (All advanced courses, the only ones offered)
– World History, Spanish II
– California Scholarship Federation, Cabinet, Sophomore Class Representative (3.5 GPA and above)
– National Honor Society (3.2 GPA and above)
– National Honor Roll Award
– Chemistry, Biology, Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Physical Science, Math A, English 9, English 10, English 11, Spanish I, Spanish II
2007-2008:, Freshman, Desert Christian High School
– JV Volleyball
– JV Mathletes
– National Honor Roll Award: Academics, Honor Roll
– Honors English 9, Geometry, Biology, Advanced String Ensemble-Cello (All advanced courses, the only ones offered)
– Spanish I, Freshman Studies (Speech and Health)
– California Scholarship Federation
– Worship Team Member
– Graduate, Desert Christian Middle School, 4.0 GPA (All A’s, no weighted classes offered)
-Student, Desert Christian High School. Expected graduation: June 2011
– National Honor Roll Award: Academics, Honor Roll
– International Foreign Language Award: Spanish
– Presidential Award for Academic Excellence
– Mathletes, Team Captain, 2007-2008, 2008-2009
– Student of the Month: Leadership (Freshman and Sophomore Year)
– Student of the Month: Genuineness (Junior Year)
– Desert Christian High School Letters:
-Varsity Cross Country, Soccer, Volleyball (2 years)
-Fine Arts (Advanced Strings Ensemble)
-Academics (3.5 or higher) (6 of 6 possible Semesters)
-Principle’s List: Freshman, Sophomore, and Junior years
It’s never too early to begin to think about what you would like to write in your admissions application essay. These are very important and should bewell thought out before submitting. Be sure to have you liaison officer review it before you submit it or ask an academy graduate to help. It also wouldn’t hurt to have a faculty member from your school review it as well. More eyes on the project can mean a broader perspective, but it still needs to be your own voice, so you will have the final word on the essay.
The following is an essay that garnered our son, Philip, nominations to both USNA ($450,000) and USMA ($450,000) .
The Essay – Following in a Father’s Footsteps
In the military lifestyle, heroes beget heroes. There are so many families that have a history of military service, and oftentimes, military “brats” will grow into adults who have the desire to serve, as well. Here’s is Philip’s essay:
Growing up in a military home, I saw very little of my father at times. As an officer, he was often gone taking care of his troops, performing his duties, and faithfully serving his country. I never truly understood why he did what he did until his dream became mine. When I walked on the campus of the Naval Academy this past summer during the Summer Leadership Seminar, I saw greatness. I saw an institution that taught men and women to be leaders, thinkers, and people of character. But most important, I saw my cadet commanders as men of high leadership with a servant’s heart. They put our comfort ahead of their own, as my father did with his men.
All my life I have dreamed of one day leading hundreds or possibly thousands of men and women. I have sacrificed much in the process of becoming a competitive candidate for the academy. It was not Summer Leadership School that made me want to be in the military, it was my father’s integrity and service. However, it was the midshipmen that I met that made me determined to attend Annapolis. It was my goal to become an officer; now it is my goal to become a warrior and a gentleman, in the finest sense of the word. To learn “Integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do.” I desire to carry on the legacy of the service academies and to achieve a sense of accomplishment that no other college or career can offer.
Many nights I would stay up late, wondering if my father would come home or be deployed. I wondered if he was okay, or if it was his life that had been taken in one of the plane accidents that occurred in his various Air Force squadrons. However, these experiences did not make me turn against the military—it was quite the opposite. I began to see my father as someone very different from my friends’ fathers. I saw him as a warrior and a true hero. So many times I read about or see the actions of evil men. These are men who would not hesitate to strike down those whom I have come to love and cherish. I knew there was only one thing standing between me and those men—it was my dad. It was men like my father and those with whom he served that rose to stand up to people who seek to destroy everything we hold dear. I knew that I was called to be one of those men who took a stand, and I know it is the service academies that will teach me to stand, and to stand strong and proud.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”—Martin Luther King Jr.
Only the few and the proud can be admitted into a United States Service Academy, and rightly so. It’s tough to get in and tough to make it through, but since the job after graduation requires people of great courage and determination, then the application process is a fitting place for you to start showing your mettle.
So, you think you want to be an officer in the Military? To do that, you can go to one of the 5 Federal US Service Academies, you can go to a military college or university, or you can go to a university that offers a ROTC Program. Begin to research these programs as soon as possible, because there are many things you need to do to become an Officer.
The Federal Service Academies include: United States Military Academy (often referred to as West Point), United States Naval Academy, United States Merchant Marine Academy, United States Air Force Academy, and United States Coast Guard Academy. The five Service Academies offer a free, top-notch college education to these men and women who dedicate their careers to serving our country, many of whom choose to major in some field of Engineering (yay Engineering!).This is a breakdown of what you need to do to get into one of the Academies.
1. Focus on your grades.
Just as an example, 90% of Cadets at West Point were in the top 20% of their class.Your GPA is really, really going to matter in this game, so do your very best starting freshman year of high school.
2. Open your (pre) Candidate Profile on each academy’s/school’s website.
This starts the process and is not optional, and it should simultaneously register you for the mailing lists so that you can stay informed about events near you.
3. Visit the campuses
Try to do an official, registered campus visit when at all possible so it goes on record that you were there. Some campuses may allow you to stay overnight and sit in on classes, or even meet someone in admissions. While you are there, be sure to take the tour and be on your absolute best behavior. Every interaction counts in admissions, and doubly so in the military.
4. Meet the Academy liaison in your area
Each geographic area of the US is assigned to a representative or liaison for each Academy, and you will need to meet and likely interview with this person. Prepare for and ace your interview with the liaison. Read current events before you go and practice what you might say. Be sure to show your desire to be in the military; have a ready, polished answer for why you want to join the Service. You should also attend the Academy events in your area (which are usually held in October and March).
5. Begin networking to get a nomination from a Senator, Congressman, or the Vice President of the USA
You will want to reach out to everyone you know to see if anyone can introduce you to one of these government officials, or even put in a good word for you. Every little bit helps, and be diligent about asking people. Start early. Network with both Senators and Congressmen because they can only offer 10 nominations each. Call their office and ask if they offer any events that you can attend, or if you can intern or volunteer there, or if you can just come and meet them sometime–anything. Always be amazingly polite. In the military, “Yes, Ma’am” and “Yes, Sir” go a long way.
In the Spring of your Junior year you will need to start the formal application process to receive the nomination. Contact the offices of these government officials to ask about the procedure–or better yet, check on the website first and then follow up with any questions via a call or scheduled visit. You do not need a nomination for the Coast Guard Academy. You should also see if you can claim residency in multiple districts (state and county, perhaps) as this would increase your chances of securing the nomination because you could ask multiple officials. You can apply for a nomination from these four sources: 2 Senators, 1 Congressman, or VP of US. Many of these officials make their decisions in the Fall as to whom they will write letters for, but you should start MUCH EARLIER with familiarizing yourself with the process and networking (networking means getting to know people who might someday be able to help you). The nominator will notify the Academy if you are selected, so there is nothing you need to do there. (Note: Each member of Congress can have only 5 people attending the Naval Academy at any time. Members can nominate 10 candidates for each vacancy so the Naval Academy can choose–OR they can nominate one principle nominee and 9 others as alternates).
6. Apply for summer leader seminars at the Academies in January of Junior year
These seminars, where offered, are solid introductions into what your life would be like at a Service Academy. The camps, like the Academies, are intense.
7. Line up 3 recommendations for your nomination during Junior year
Many Academies like one rec to be from your guidance counselor. Some Academies want a rec from your English, Math, Physics or Chemistry teacher. Check requirements and do your absolute best for all of your teachers.
8. Apply for your nomination (April)
A Senator or Congressman will typically request that you submit: an application, 3 rec letters, official transcript, SAT/ACT scores, resume, 250-500 word essay (usually on why you want to be in the military or what it means to you to serve), optional photo. They often request that you mail these in one envelope.
9. DoDMERB exams — Dept of Defense Medical Examination Review Board (pronounced: DAHD-merb)
You will need to pass a medical examination to demonstrate that you can physically handle the regimen of an Academy. The physician will often ask for previous medical records. You can do this in the Summer after Junior year.
10. APPLY EARLY even though admission is rolling
Some military applications open in April so you want to apply as early as you can; applications are date and time stamped when they arrive. (In the event that you may not be accepted, let them know you are interested in their prep school programs, where they may offer you a spot.)
What you need to apply:
Transcripts for all 6 semesters
Super-scored SAT/ACT tests (Average ACT: 26, Average SAT: 1260)
English, Math, Chem, and Physics teachers to do a School Official Evaluation in the summer
Candidate Personal Data Record
Candidate Statements (Essays).
You will receive one of the following responses:
An offered spot in the Academy
An offered spot in their prep school (for kids who fit what they are looking for, but need to improve their GPA)
If you don’t get in, RE-APPLY. Go to a civilian university and join ROTC, go to a military school, or go to a Post Graduate year to improve your GPA. DO NOT GIVE UP. Military personnel exhibit determination at all times. This is the first of many tests. Do NOT give up.
Use the CollegeMapper Military Timeline to stay on track with all your tasks.
There are many things that you can be doing to prepare yourself for the military and your application, as early as freshman year of high school:
- Volunteer: Start volunteering in your community or school as soon as possible and regularly.
- Be a leader: Join clubs and activities through your school or community to show your leadership skills, likely when you are an upperclassman.
- Be athletic: Earning a Varsity letter looks good for your commitment, and being in shape will help you pass the Fitness Assessment.
- Be prepared: Always know your high school rank, GPA and test scores so that you can set goals for yourself to improve.
- Do something leadership-related in the summertime: Try mentoring, coaching, tutoring, being a camp counselor, working, etc.
- Consider going to a military summer school prep program: These really help you understand what the military will be like.
Some summer camp options include:
Whatever grade you are in, there is something you can be doing now to prepare if attending a military school is your objective. You will need to be focused and set clear goals for yourself. Grades need to be a top priority, and you should take advantage of every opportunity to talk to Academy graduates and current members of the military. These schools are prestigious places to be, and if you gain admittance, you have every right to be very, very proud.
For more information login to CollegeMapper and take a look at our timeline for applying to military programs.Google+