July 6, 2012

Five Popular Excuses for NOT Going to USNA

group5Building a high school grad worthy of being anointed ‘USNA midshipman’ isn’t easy, but nothing worth your effort is. As President John F. Kennedy said,

A young man who does not have what it takes to perform military service is not likely to have what it takes to make a living.

Still, many who are completely capable of qualifying will claim they can’t do it, using the most mundane overused excuses. Read these top five, and then say, Bring it on!

I wasn’t smart enough

C students rule the world. John McCain finished almost last in his class. Smart isn’t the barometer for success in the world. Hard work, persistence, getting along with others, problem solving certainly makes any plan work better.

I wasn’t cut out

How do you know, at the age of 16, what you’re cut out for? Most people never work in the field they majored in during college. I didn’t. Whatever you pick, odds are you’ll do something else.

Nevertheless, read this post on the initial cut for Midshipman applicants, Am I a Midshipman? and Life the USNA Way.

I didn’t have enough timegroup2

To decide? Start now, with this college analysis

To finish? Every task starts at the very beginning. One foot in front of the other. Manage your time. You have 24 hours in each day, 7 days in each week, 365 days in a year. Plenty of time to eat, sleep, play, study and get into USNA.

I thought I was a shoo-in

The Admissions Board will decide that in a few years. For now, answer a few questions about your qualifications and collect your data so you can prove to them you are the ‘send the limo’ kid.

Here’s a starting guideline. If you’re not doing this as a freshman, you need to tweak your plan.

There are too many better-qualified people

Have you looked at the average successful candidate? You can improve your chances of acceptance just by reviewing what must be done.

One of the critical deal-breaker skills to get in USNA is the ability to think. That allows you to solve problems, set priorities, overcome obstacles. The only ‘better qualified’ person is the one who’s already accomplished this skill–and s/he is probably older than you.

In truth, the USNA selects candidates it believes can be molded into superior officers. Young men and women who will lead their sailors and marines to victory should the need arise. You won’t be that person until they’re done with you. General MacArthur understood that when he wrote this letter outlining what he’d like for his son from the military academy.

My mom forgot…


Too old for that one. Let it go like grade school slang. No one is eloquent enough to speak for you anymore.

Take charge of your future. Here are the broad strokes for application and acceptance.

There are too many steps

Set your goals, create your plan and move forward. Life has too many steps and still we complete them. Even doing nothing is making a decision, albeit one you won’t like.

I forgot to do something

Prioritize. Set up a schedule. Check them off when they’re done. Finish everything you must. One step at a time. Plan what you must accomplish by reviewing the Physical, Medical, Mental and Scholastic qualifications now–not your junior year.

Follow USNA or Bust on Twitter


Jacqui Murray wrote Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a tech columnist for Examiner.com, Editorial Review Board member for ISTE’s Journal for Computing Teachers, Cisco guest blogger,IMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything. Currently, she’s editing a thriller for her agent that should be out to publishers this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office, WordDreams, or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.