• LTC Brechin, USAF, Ret.

Creating Your 'Academy Hour'

COMPLETE YOUR ACADEMY APPLICATION TASKS IN A TIMELY MANNER TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOAL!


Rising seniors in high school, or rising college freshmen, applying to one or more of the U.S. service academies must make the time to 'do the work' to complete on-line applications, draft nomination essays, prepare for upcoming interviews and the other myriad tasks required.


How do you typically approach your preparations? As I tell my students, "Eat the elephant, one bite at a time!" Make the time every day to work on your applications, nominations and preparations. I call it the "Academy hour."

In the very simplest terms, the 'Academy hour' is a daily scheduled period of time where you open up your admissions plan and accomplish the tasks required. Often these task are due in the fall of your senior year targeting the following July to enter the Academy. By working every day, you make the kind of progress that ensures your timely accomplishment of all of the tasks. Note that the items you must complete will often possess due dates that are many months away, but please AVOID WAITING TO THE LAST FEW DAYS PRIOR TO A DEADLINE to complete the work!


In a recent letter, the Northeast Regional Commander of USMA Admissions, Captain Richard Simpson, noted, "Do not use the official admissions cut-off date of January 31st as your deadline. If you wait that long to turn in all the necessary components of your application, you will likely be too late . . . almost 90% of the slots for the incoming class will be filled by that time."


West Point, like many of the academies, has a rolling reviews so completing your application early is a great strategy for success. Plus, as we all know, “Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.” (source unknown)


For most of my students, applying to two different academies, four nominations and two ROTC scholarships represents a long list of items to accomplish. One must collect optional letters of recommendation for the U.S. Air Force Academy, author personal statements and essays to a dozen different prompts, including the 300 to 500 word essay for the U.S. Naval Academy, and address a myriad of personal details required for admissions. All of this must be addressed in a timely and effective manner.


So how do you avoid 'the grave of opportunity'? By using the 'Academy hour' daily to read, plan, prepare, draft, complete and submit all of the necessary items required for your academy application and your nomination sources.


Start now with this easy daily habit. As the author, John C. Maxwell, stated, "The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda."


[I would welcome a chance to discuss details with you. I offer coaching services to pace and prepare you (and your parents!) for the entire Academy application process . . . including creating an admissions plan! Contact me at chris@cbbrechin.com and/or 503.515.7406]




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