1st Draft PS - Please rip it apart, be ruthless.

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
wwUSMC84
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2012 8:56 pm

1st Draft PS - Please rip it apart, be ruthless.

Postby wwUSMC84 » Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:00 pm

I am a Marine. To be more specific, I am a Marine Officer. I never would have imagined that I would actually end up here. I owe my life to my decision to join the Marine Corps. After all, obese young men don’t become Marine Officers.

In 2005, I was 21 year old college junior at the University of XXXX studying for an anticipated career in the film industry. The combination of long hours studying, tendencies to stress eat, and a lack of exercise compounded quickly. I gained 150 pounds in my first two years of college. A yearly physical with my family doctor had reveled the warning signs of diabetes and I knew that I had to change my life. I knew that a simple desire to lose weight would fail, as it often had before. I needed to take a radical step.

Raised in a family where all but one male in three generations on my father’s side of the family has served in the military, I had been regaled with stories of military life since birth. I had always admired the way that service to others was more important than personal gain in the military. I knew that if I were in the military I would be responsible for remaining physically fit, not only to myself, but also to my comrades. Additionally, the reasons that I had chosen film were clashing with what I truly valued. I had been ensnared by the prospect of making a lot of money, no matter how remote the possibilities of it actually coming to fruition. I had lost sight of what I believed in, and although monetary stability would be nice; the feeling of affecting the world is what I truly wanted. I decided, like many other young Americans, to seek a new direction for my life at the recruiting office.

In my first meeting with my Officer Selection Officer he laughed in my longhaired, rotund film student face, literally. “Son you’re in the wrong place, you’ll never be a Marine Officer,” he told me as I sat my 6 foot 2, 350-pound frame in his office. I had chosen the Marines because they were everything I wanted to be, but was not. They were confident, physically hard, mentally tough, and disciplined. Most importantly they, as President Regan once said, did not have to wonder if they had made a difference in life. The OSO’s statement confirmed that I was exactly where I needed to be; despite his efforts to the contrary, he had me hooked. Some might consider his statements to be inconsiderate and crass, however in the business of war fighting there is no room for procedural niceties when it comes to those who might potentially be responsible for the lives of others. I decided right then and there that I would do what ever it took earn a place amongst them. I would pay any price; suffer any inconvenience, in order to achieve my new goal.

I attacked my new goal with a vigor I had never demonstrated before. A year and a half later, I had lost 150 pounds. It was, at the time, the hardest thing I had ever done. It required me to develop meticulous attention to detail, discipline, and determination. I applied to and was selected for Officer Candidate School (OCS) and the same man who had dismissed me 18 months earlier shook my hand as I signed my contract. As Marines we pride ourselves as modern day Spartans; For officers OCS is our version of the Agoge. Not surprisingly, OCS presented me with challenges beyond anything I had ever comprehended, physically and mentally. Having held management positions previously, I believed I was savvier than most of my peers in terms of leadership. I came to discover in a very loud manner, that was not, in fact, the case. The physical conditioning program was insane. Three to five mile runs 5-6 times a week in the hills of Quantico, VA at sub 6 mile a minute pace. I honestly did not know if I would graduate. In those 10 weeks I learned more about myself than I had in the previous 23 years. Although I never lacked a solid moral base, I integrated the concepts of Honor, Courage, and Commitment in to my core. I made the conscious choice to honor the commitment I had made to my nation, to work on developing my physical and mental inequities into my strengths. As difficult as it was, I never gave up. On graduation day I raised my right hand in the National Museum of the Marine Corps and swore an oath to support and defend the constitution of the United States with my life.

Five years later, I am a leader who has been forged in the fire of a military that has been at war for eleven years. I am in prime physical condition. I have prepared Marines for, and led them in combat situations in Afghanistan. I say what I mean and mean what I say, even if it is uncomfortable for others or myself. I have had the privilege of company command twice. I have developed the ability to inspire others to do what is unnatural, to consciously choose the path that is detrimental to his own personage so that the other receives a windfall by his hand. Most importantly, I have the privilege of leading Marines. My commitment to succeed goes beyond personal gain; my Marines depend on me. If I fail in my responsibilities their lives are on the line. I serve them. It is along these lines that I have decided to change my life’s course once again. I believe that becoming a lawyer will allow me the opportunity to serve people. I am going to attack this new goal with the same grit and determination I needed to lose all that weight those years ago.

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Liquox
Posts: 273
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:46 pm

Re: 1st Draft PS - Please rip it apart, be ruthless.

Postby Liquox » Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:24 pm

overall: good writing style. reads quickly. drop the excess words for better flow.

for example, your first paragraph can be shortened to : "I am a Marine Officer. I never imagined
I would end up here. After all, obese young men don’t become Marine Officers." (less words, same meaning)

also, try not to use so many adjectives. (ex: attack with new vigor)
stick to facts. give examples. let people see what you saw.

good luck!

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Zensack
Posts: 125
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:05 pm

Re: 1st Draft PS - Please rip it apart, be ruthless.

Postby Zensack » Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:44 pm

I think you should include more information on the reason you decided to leave the Marines and become a lawyer. Is there a specific type of law or person you want to serve? What's your goal once you've learned how to practice law?

wwUSMC84
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2012 8:56 pm

Re: 1st Draft PS - Please rip it apart, be ruthless.

Postby wwUSMC84 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:58 am

Liquox- Thanks for the responses. I'll definatly utilize them as I work on my revision.

Zensack - I have no intentions of leaving the Marine Corps. I am applying in order to practice law as a Judge Advocate in the Marine Corps. Obviously, I need to make sure that intention is clear. Thanks for pointing it out.




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