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Example Essay On Hardships Joining The Military -with A Free Essay Review



“Commitment, Dedication, Motivation… Is It Enough?”

Many people devote themselves to become a part of the U.S. military, unfortunately many will not become part of the U.S. military. As I once heard from a recruiting Corporal of the U.S. Navy, “90 percent of the U.S. population is currently not eligible to serve.” This gives you an idea of how much the military is cutting back. You may think that this is a method used to get you to work harder to get accepted but you definitely could find out very soon how accurate this statement is. Whether you are confident about getting in or hesitant, enlisting is a stressful process… for many reasons.

It may not seem very apparent that the military is becoming difficult to become a part of, going through the military entrance procedure first hand could change your opinion. Everybody knows of that one guy who declares to himself and his friends, “I’m just gonna take a break for a while, when I’m ready I’ll join the military.” It is highly advisable not to think this way. For example, since junior year of high school I decided that I wanted to join either the Navy or the Air Force after I graduated. Fortunately I was not the procrastinating type, throughout senior year and the summer I prepared relentlessly by exercising and taking long jogs around the neighborhood. Of course, I also had to quit smoking. It’s not as easy as it sounds; it was quite possibly the hardest part. But the summer after getting out of school I went to the recruitment office to join the Navy. At the time I ignored all the hype about the economic downturn affecting the military, I thought for sure that they would accept me. I scored high on the practice tests, I was in great shape, I had a clean record, and I was determined. My recruiters told me that I could definitely make it places in the Navy. Nothing could stop me from getting in. The day came that I finally could go to the MEPS station to take the physical and swear into the Navy. I passed all the tests, vision, hearing, blood test, etc. Not until the very end of the physical did I come across the unexpected. The physician at the examination room inspected each one of us; suddenly she walked up to me and asked me to lift each leg back. She watched me pull my leg up and down then said, “Yep, you’ve got one leg longer than the other.” I looked up at her with a puzzled look on my face. She told me that it was a tiny bit off. I kind of thought it was funny, seeing how it was impossible to measure one’s legs just by looking at them. When I talked to her about it in the office she said that I had to be temporarily disqualified and she explained that I would not have any trouble getting this waivered, that if it was up to her I would be allowed to swear in that day. The problem was that I believed the person whose job it was to stop people from joining the military. After getting DQ’d (disqualified), I was rejected a waiver and was told I had no chance of ever joining the military. I was frozen with shock. The recruiters at my station were all angry knowing that I was a very qualified candidate who got rejected over the smallest problem that nobody took seriously. Once becoming a victim you start to see that nothing is certain and many factors come into play when there is a failing economy that doesn’t want to overload on employees for the military.

The military is cutting back financially, the U.S. is based on spending and there is no safety net. The economic change has affected military spending to the full extent. President Obama has presented ways to cut billions of dollars from military spending. In his Pentagon briefing he has explained that the military will be reshaped over time in order to work on the economic deficiency that has become problematic in the U.S. budget. "We have to renew our economic strength here at home, which is the foundation of our strength in the world. That includes putting our fiscal house in order," President Obama says. Secretary Leon Panetta has also announced that there will be changes in sizes of the U.S. Armed Forces. This would resize the military that doesn’t need to be working on long term military operations, according to Panetta. Even though Obama’s plans are to cut military spending many people believe that he is not actually decreasing military spending but actually just slowing down the rate of how much is spent. According to an article written by Dick Armey, Obama plans to cut down on the size of the military branches, not the budget. There really isn’t much that could be done to reduce spending; it could be a disaster to make drastic changes in the military budget. Downsizing the military is a much better way to approach the problem considering any serious changes could have devastating effects. This applies to many scenarios; let’s say a small business (a restaurant) doesn’t meet quota requirements. One of the most popular ways to confront the problem would be to cut back on employees and add more responsibilities to their workload. This is a lot simpler than changing the way the whole restaurant works financially. The same goes for the military, there are many delicate procedures that could be affected due to the sudden change of how the budget is dealt with. Unfortunately this affects the numbers of people that are being recruited to join the Armed Forces.

If there are difficulties during the enlistment process, there isn’t much help from anyone. If temporarily disqualified or permanently disqualified and the waivers do not work out, there isn’t much of a chance to get in. A re-waiver submitted with new information or documents attached can be sent to the recruiting command through the recruiters, but the second waiver request doesn’t have a high chance of being granted because the first one was already denied. It is like asking someone to change their mind after they have already made a one-hundred percent sure decision. Asking a senator of the state to contact recruiting command is another option, though it will not have much effect. He/she will probably send an email and receive an email back. It is mandatory procedure which will be used for the senator to give the phone call explaining that they did all that they could. After all, if you were in their shoes would you really want to recommend someone that could potentially cause problems for the military in the future? Why take the chance if you could just pretend like you care? Simply put, if the recruiters in the area can’t help you, no one can.

This essay’s purpose is not to convince you to forget about joining the military, but to convince you to be prepared for the process in case you run into complications and have a back-up plan if you are denied. In fact, I still plan on joining the military myself. I haven’t given up on the whole ordeal. You still have a good chance if you are qualified enough, but military hiring has seen lighter days. Also even though recruiters will not be able to help you through complications see that you tell your recruiter about any problems if you have any before MEPS so that your recruiters will be able to try to take care of it before being examined and you will have a higher chance of getting a waiver.

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ESSAY REVIEW

This is a reasonably well-written, intelligent and straightforward account of the obstacles that you faced and continue to face in fulfilling your desire to join the military. Your account of the process and of the political and economic background affecting military recruitment seems surprisingly honest (surprising to a curmudgeonly cynic like me who expects tendentiousness at every turn!). The only problem with the essay as a whole for me was that its purpose was not entirely clear to me until I read the final paragraph. You are offering your essay as advice to others, and while it can clearly serve that purpose, it seemed until the final paragraph motivated only by the desire to recount your story and offer a general critique of the military recruitment practices. At the beginning of the final paragraph, you say “this essay’s purpose is not to convince you to forget about joining the military, but to convince you to be prepared for the process in case you run into complications and have a back-up plan if you are denied.” At this point in your essay I suddenly realized that the essay is not addressed to me, who only wishes that the only thing that would prevent him from joining the military were an extra centimeter of left leg, but only to prospective enlistees. The above quoted sentence, then, might be better placed in the opening paragraph, or alternatively you might just announce in the opening paragraph that you are writing the essay for the sake of prospective enlistees (if that's the appropriate phrase), in which case you can leave the sentence above where it is. In that case it will be clear why you are offering an account of your personal experience.

Your essay of course can have a dual purpose. It can serve both as advice to prospective enlistees and as the general critique of the military recruitment process, based on personal experience, that I first took it to be. As a species of the latter type of critique, I find your essay quite interesting. Perhaps I have not paid enough attention to the matter in the last couple of years, but the last time I saw a critique of the recruitment process. it was a critique of over-zealous recruiters who were using deceptive practices to recruit people. This, as I say, was some time ago, long before the draw down of troops in Iraq, so it may be that things have changed a lot since then (or it may be that the accounts I heard back then were incorrect) but I think (this the point) that your essay could serve as an interesting corrective for assumptions that people like me still make about the recruitment process, in addition to being, as it obviously is, a corrective for assumptions that prospective enlistees might have. To fulfill that function, obviously, you would need to reference the reports about deceptive recruitment practices from the time of the Iraq war.

Language note: Your writing is generally refreshingly clear. There are, however, a few comma splices, which the fastidious among us still find objectionable. A comma splice is a comma used to join (or splice) two independent clauses (clauses that can stand alone as sentences). Independent clauses can legitimately be joined with coordinating conjunctions (such as "but" or "and"), but not conjunctive adverbs (such as "however"). So one fixes the problem by replacing the offending comma with a period or a semi-colon, or adding if possible a co-ordinating conjunction. A few examples:

“Many people devote themselves to become a part of the U.S. military, unfortunately many will not become part of the U.S. military.” [Solve the problem by adding "but" after the comma, or by changing the first independent clause into a dependent clause thus: "Although many people devote etc, many will not etc."

“It may not seem very apparent that the military is becoming difficult to become a part of, going through the military entrance procedure first hand could change your opinion.” [Solve the problem by adding "but" after the comma]

“Fortunately I was not the procrastinating type, throughout senior year and the summer I prepared relentlessly by exercising and taking long jogs around the neighborhood.” [Solve by changing the comma to a semi-colon or period]

Best, EJ.
Submitted by: peteenlund
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