• LTC Brechin, USAF, Ret.

They Reached the Top! (The Class of 2025 Appointees)


All year they have been working diligently to attain that goal -- earning an appointment to the US Air Force Academy, the US Military Academy or the US Naval Academy. A smaller number of students have also received appointments to the US Coast Guard Academy or the US Merchant Marine Academy. Among the seven seniors with whom I had the privilege of working, four have received appointment to the Class of 2025: USAFA, USMA and USMMA. Several of them also won ROTC scholarships. They all share a common focus and strong work ethic, but each followed a unique path in earning their individual appointment.


Often, students look for that 'magic' path to allow them earn an appointment or an ROTC scholarship. The fact is that no one path will work for everyone. You must find your way that is unique and personal to you. However, I find that all successful candidates share three common traits.


They are self-discipline, hard work and a plan for success.


To earn an appointment to the US Air Force Academy, to graduate from the US Naval Academy and to become a successful Army officer after graduating from the US Military Academy, one must have self-discipline. It allows you to wake-up early for a workout, it ensures you complete a school essay in a timely manner, and it drives you to prepare for the next club meeting that you will lead.


President Theodore Roosevelt noted that “With self-discipline, most anything is possible.”


As with building muscle, self-discipline is learned and then practiced to improve your ability to drive yourself to achieve bigger and better things. All of my successful students have shown me this trait and continued to improve as we worked through the application process to earn an appointment/scholarship.


Thomas Edison once said that, "Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration." A successful candidate 'out sweats' the others!


'Smart' students work very hard in preparation and then applying for these scholarships. They complete the application steps in a timely manner. Successful candidates work very hard to improve their performance on the individual events that make up the Candidate Fitness Assessment and the ROTC physical fitness test required by each of the military services. Each applicant works diligently to maintain a strong academic record in the classroom and to prepare for the ACT or SAT. In my coaching endeavors, I see my students stay on task and challenge themselves daily to improve in all areas: athletics, academics and leadership.


Lastly, a successful candidate will create a plan and follow it. It is flexible, but a plan allows a student to focus on the 'next' set of tasks. A good plan covers all areas of preparation: athletics, academics and leadership. When combined with self-discipline and hard work, a strong plan allows an applicant to make definitive and positive progress toward the goal of earning an appointment/scholarship.


Congratulations to my four appointees! They should be proud of their success in earning their appointments. All four followed different paths, but each one possessed the self-discipline, work ethic and planning to 'reach the top.'


You can do the same! Let's discuss how we can shape a path to reach your goals.

[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. Contact me at chris@cbbrechin.com and/or 503.515.7406]

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