Attending the Air Force Academy

Reasons why I want to attend the Air Force Academy

My desire to attend the Air Force Academy has strongly been inspired by my family and the will to serve my country. Raised by a single mother and with no father figure in my life, I must admit life has not been an easy path so far, both socially and economically. My mother had to work two jobs to provide for the family. She was also attending college while working at the same time to provide for us until she graduated with her Masters (MBA). Her commitment and belief in hard work to achieve her dreams and my desire to provide a father figure, who can provide for my younger sister and protect her, have contributed significantly to my Air Force dream.

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In our entire life, our mother has instilled into our heads the notion that our duty is always to God, Family, and Country in the exact order. Since family came first, I understand the challenges that we have been through when growing up without a father figure in my life and would wish to fill the void in my sister’s life. I believe that joining the military will provide the necessary skills and the protecting mentality that would help me guide and protect my sister in all ways that a caring father would.

Moreover, I have always wished to serve my country in the most basic way possible. So far, I have volunteered for six years in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and Making Strides against Breast Cancer. I volunteered for the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center (Federal Qualified Health Center) for six years too and two years in the Great Aloha Run as a refreshments distributor. I believe that a career in the Air Force would be a perfect environment for serving my country. I feel like the environment is filled with honest, hardworking, and intelligent people and I cannot think of another career that instills pride and patriotism in an individual than the military.

The lasting benefits enjoyed by the forces are also a significant attraction. The Air Force offers graduates endless opportunities. I have interacted with different individuals who are members of the Air Force, and each one of them confesses that their time at the Academy has helped them achieve a distinct career path. Besides, the Academy provides a cost-free education, and as a student, I will be able to graduate with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in any of the 26 majors offered. Graduates from the United States Air Force Academy get a chance to apply their education in real life.  Unlike my mother, who struggled to sustain a career even after graduating with a Master’s (MBA), upon graduating, I will be guaranteed a profession as an officer in the Air Force. I see it as a chance to achieve my childhood dream of becoming a doctor. I intend to further my studies and obtain a Master’s Degree, retire after twenty years and continue serving society as a doctor.

Setbacks

My research on joining the military has led me to serious thinking concerning my ability to serve in the military. For instance, while interacting with people in the military, or those who have previously served there, most of them mentioned some serious ethical dilemmas experienced while on duty. According to them, most dilemmas arise in a situation where an individual has to choose between two choices that are based on conflicting moral philosophies. Others mentioned cases where one has to make a moral choice without knowing in advance the consequences that may arise from the decision in the future. There were also cases of individuals having made choices despite knowing that the choices could harm other people.

Considering the choices, I realized that my dream was to become a doctor and save lives. However, working in the army could involve taking lives, which could contradict my principles. I doubted my ability to handle opponents by shooting to kill. Furthermore, I felt like I would have second thoughts about letting an injured terrorist die, knowing that it was my duty to save lives. Besides, my Christian background prohibits taking life and instead teaches that life is sacred and only God can give and take life. Another setback was on the issue of family. Many young Americans do not want to serve in the military, claiming that the military is regimented and physically demanding.  Signing the contract would mean joining a new culture that would limit the time I spent with my family. One of my reasons to join the military is to be the father figure to my sister, and it is not possible to achieve that while being away most of the time.

The two concerns made me rethink my feelings and deeply thinking about it almost drove me into depression. I began to consider other alternatives like studying and excelling in my studies, join the university, and become a doctor without going through the military. As an ordinary doctor, I would be able to serve society, save lives, and be there for my family. However, I remembered that my mother had a Master’s Degree (MBA) and still struggled to secure permanent employment and, therefore, I decided to seek advice from a military priest.

The Priest’s experience had seen him counsel many soldiers and social workers serving in the military who had been in such a dilemma. I learned that, besides the duty to my family, I also had a duty to my country and choosing not to join the military was selfish. Besides, like many children and I who had grown up without a father, my sister could still grow up into a responsible person. My mother had played both parents’ roles quite well, and somehow society filled other roles. On the other hand, I realized that dilemmas are present, not only in the military but across all professions. Therefore, when faced with a dilemma while in the military, I would only have to choose the option that seems more ethically correct. I was advised to abide by the military code of ethics that guided employees, seek God’ s guidance, and always remember my reasons for joining the Air Force.

Attributes, life experiences, unique perspectives, and special talents

Recently, I attended the University of North Georgia (UNG) Branch Day, which equals to a career fair for cadets, which was attended by representatives from different army branches, including the Air Force. I hoped to learn the traits of top military officers so that I could gauge myself.  The program is meant for matching talent requirements. Besides the traditional requirements of asking whether one was smart and strong, they sought to evaluate individuals’ intellectual attributes too. I learned that I qualified for most of the requirements they stated.

 The military requires individuals whose character includes discipline, empathy, and army values. According to the guest speaker in the event, the military police aim to recruit talented individuals who are also leaders of character. They also checked on presence, which refers to professionalism, physical fitness, resilience, and confidence. Besides, being critical thinkers and on top of their physical condition, officers have to be mentally fit. A high level of intelligence is mandatory for any soldier to foster innovation and problem-solving abilities. Interpersonal skills are also vital in the military since soldiers must be able to manage and lead other people even when the conditions are tense. Other essential attributes include being a developer and an achiever.   

In my life, I have worked with various groups as a volunteer and have managed to learn most of the required attributes. For instance, while volunteering at the American Cancer Society, where I volunteered twice, playing different roles, I learned the significance of empathy and discipline since we were handling patients dealing with severe health conditions and who needed the best care possible. I also consider myself “present,” as they put it in the military since I always maintain professionalism and I am confident enough to approach the sick and inform them of their condition. Awareness campaigns required enough confidence to discuss the possible death of a patient with family members or the patient in person. The activities build my confidence, helped me develop problem solving and interpersonal skills, and I can confidently consider myself to have the right attributes for the job.

My life experience has also played a significant role in preparing me for the Air Force Academy. Being in the military requires one to be dependable and a team player. Growing up in a small family and with no father, we had each other to support. My mother trusted me with taking care of my younger sister, as she worked two jobs while schooling. We offered each other support during tough times and we have grown to be a unified and peaceful family. I have this strong perspective that human beings have a duty to God, family, and the country. I am a staunch Christian, and my family is proud of me for the support I offer them. I believe it is time to serve the country to fulfill one of my purposes in life. I also possess skills like excellent communication, technical skills, flexibility, and I am a person of integrity, which I believe makes me a perfect candidate for the United States Air Force Academy.

Additional Information

I once heard my mother say that my father was a foreigner and that we lived in a foreign country for a significant part of my childhood before relocating to America. Having grown up in a foreign country, I never thought that I was fit to join the United States military. Much worse, I was raised by a single mother, and according to many people in society, children must have a father- figure in their lives for them to acquire the toughness that is required in the military. However, my desire to be a doctor and help people has seen me work in environments that equipped me with the right skills to join the Academy.   

 My level of intelligence is above average, which is evidenced in my good academic records. I am a responsible and ambitious student with an outstanding academic record, who demonstrates strong work ethics, and event planning skills. I am currently still in high school with a GPA of 4.082, and I expect to graduate in May 2020. I am always among the top in class, and I excelled in the courses: Japanese I and II and Physics at Waianae High School, where I am currently schooling. I also have work experience – working at Ma’ O Organic Farms as a student intern. During my time at the farm, I developed a deep understanding and hands-on training of organic farming practices, equipment, processing, and quality standards. I also developed an advanced concept of leadership. My experience at the Suicide Convention, where I volunteered as a trainer also promoted my ability to be trusted with responsibilities. The combination of the factors makes me more qualified for a position in the academy.

In conclusion, the circumstances in my life made it difficult for me to even dream of ever joining the Air Force. However, with great determination, hard work, resilience, and perseverance, I can see my life curving a new path towards the military, which will help me complete my purpose of serving the country. I believe I have the right physical and mental capacity to not only join but also advance to a leadership position. My patriotism is unquestionable given the many organizations I have volunteered to make the United States a better place, and joining the military will be an opportunity to serve my country more directly. Like every other activity, I have participated in life, I intend to pursue the career to the fullest, move the ranks, and retire in the Air Force if given a chance.

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