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Motivational Statement MEGA Thread


Well-Known Member
SAR Guy, thank you so much for your post. I have been scouring the internet for a good explanation of what to write in the motivational statement for my upcoming board, and until your post I was at a loss. It helped me effectively direct my essay and now I have a solid 2 pages single spaced. I'm going to ask my recruiter and others to review it for grammar and content before submitting. Thanks again!
2 pages double spaced might be long. Make sure it fits in the section of the APSR well without changing to a weird font or size. My recruiter cut mine down some.


Hi all, I've been reading all of the threads here and have gained a lot of useful information, and just wanted to express my thanks for everyone who has shared their information and expertise. I think I am a non-traditional candidate (based on my age alone), and I've highlighted that fact in my motivational statement. I read the recent post about saying not just why you want to serve but what you can bring to the Navy, and I believe I have done that, but I wonder if I can still request feedback on what I have so far. I am concerned what I have is too short, but I also don't want to be overly verbose. Thanks all again for your help.
I grew up a child of military service. My parents were both in the Army. They met at DLI, where my father studied Korean and my mother studied German. I was born there at Ford Ord, and then spent the rest of my childhood and teenage years moving every couple of years as my father's duty station changed, until he retired after 20 years of service. It had always been in my mind to join the military. After high school and a couple of years of college I immersed myself in work, building new skills and gaining valuable experience in leadership roles in a variety of different environments, from small retail locations to large corporate offices. Then at 27 years old I decided to go back to school. I put myself through university full time (while still working full time) to earn a Bachelor's degree in Anthropology. It was during my last year of school that I decided to pursue a postgraduate degree, which eventually led to moving to the United Kingdom to complete a Master's degree in Archaeology. I returned to the US and again immersed myself in jobs that were interesting and afforded me opportunities to expand my knowledge base and build new skills. I've worked at Space Camp and taught children about rocket propulsion, and recently I worked as a compliance analyst at a university where I helped oversee research animal protection and created a responsible conduct of research program for students and faculty. I also currently serve on my county's volunteer historic committee, which involves managing documentation on historic sites in the county and reviewing and approving designation of newly discovered historic sites. I utilize skills similarly used in my degree fields of anthropology and archaeology, which often entail interpreting old documentation, much of which was handwritten, and translating documents and written sources from a variety of languages. At all of my work and educational positions I try to consider transferable skills and what I could ultimately do with the variety of work experience I have gained over the years. I say all of this to explain why at the tender age of 37 I have decided to apply for an officer's commission with the Navy: it was always in my heart to serve my country, to follow in my parents footsteps, to continue exploring the world, and to face the challenges that military service can bring, but knowing that the rewards of military service greatly outweigh those challenges and risks. Perhaps my choice of educational focus (human culture and history), work experience (leadership, analysis, administrative support), life experience of growing up in a military household, has all coalesced into being a well-rounded and experienced individual who can be flexible and sharp under pressure, and become an effective intelligence officer with the US Navy.
e. Candidates should clearly explain any adverse areas in their application. In such a competitive review process, any unexplained or ambiguous issues were generally not favorably considered for “best fit” within the “whole person” concept.
I'm curious to what extent you meant this for. My package's biggest weakness will be my DUI I received three years ago. My recruiter seems to think I should be able to get a waiver and it not have an issue getting selected, but I'm skeptical. Is this something I should address in my motivational statement?


Well-Known Member
I am not the one to ask - I stole that from a post that @RUFiO181 shared in a different thread. I believe it was from a post selection board analysis for a DCO IWC board. I put it in here to assist those of you that are writing MOTO statements.
My opinion for you would be different based on what you are applying for within the navy. AC vs RC. HR vs IWC vs JAG etc. For instance INTEL DCO (my designator, 1835) Is super competitive and requires a TS/SCI background check - 10yrs back. Some might say that your DUI is too "new" and affect that clearance which would make you less competitive to the board. I would trust your recruiter on this one.

To stay on topic - id say the moto statement is an area to discuss areas of weakness - not areas of concern. If you don't have a masters yet... tell them you are working on it and when your degree is expected to be conferred (weakness). Dont talk about how your best friend growing up was a Russian national here studying abroad with govt ties, but you still love the USA (concern). eg.
My opinion for you would be different based on what you are applying for within the navy. AC vs RC. HR vs IWC vs JAG etc. For instance INTEL DCO (my designator, 1835) Is super competitive and requires a TS/SCI background check - 10yrs back. Some might say that your DUI is too "new" and affect that clearance which would make you less competitive to the board. I would trust your recruiter on this one.

To stay on topic - id say the moto statement is an area to discuss areas of weakness - not areas of concern. If you don't have a masters yet... tell them you are working on it and when your degree is expected to be conferred (weakness). Dont talk about how your best friend growing up was a Russian national here studying abroad with govt ties, but you still love the USA (concern). eg.
I do have a bachelor's in engineering. Though I'm leaning towards going for SWO despite its reputation. It will give me the chance to travel while I'm young and figure out if the Navy is right for me. I'd like to make military my career but there's no way to know if it's the right fit for me until I'm in it. I can try for a lateral transfer in the future if I want to. That gives me time to build up my resume in the event I want to do something like EDO or CEC. As is, I do not have my FE yet, and I have not been out of school long enough for a MS (my goal would be to use the GI bill towards a Masters). Seeing as engineering designators are quite competitive, I'm not sure if it's worth my time going after those right now.


Well-Known Member
I do have a bachelor's in engineering. Though I'm leaning towards going for SWO despite its reputation. It will give me the chance to travel while I'm young and figure out if the Navy is right for me. I'd like to make military my career but there's no way to know if it's the right fit for me until I'm in it. I can try for a lateral transfer in the future if I want to. That gives me time to build up my resume in the event I want to do something like EDO or CEC. As is, I do not have my FE yet, and I have not been out of school long enough for a MS (my goal would be to use the GI bill towards a Masters). Seeing as engineering designators are quite competitive, I'm not sure if it's worth my time going after those right now.
understand I am coming from a DCO background and that post I shared originally came after a DCO board. If you are going for OCS selection board for AC Navy - that is a different cookie. Ask your OR
Thanks to everyone who's given advice in this thread! Below is my first (and wildly rough) draft of a motivational statement, going for NFO/SWO. There's definitely excess flowery words in there, I definitely suck up too much, and the ending is pure cheese, but it's a work in progress. Am I heading in the right direction at least?
Simply put, I wish to serve because I love my country, and I am fiercely protective of the things I love. I wish to serve in the Navy because the Navy is the embodiment of excellence, something for which I have striven throughout my life. I wish to serve as an Officer because I want to help those around me reach their full potential, something I have been working to do since the start of my career.

I believe that I can offer the Navy an abundance of energy, tenacity, curiosity, and passion for leadership. These things I have demonstrated throughout both my academic and professional careers. My 3.96 GPA is not the result of natural intelligence or ‘skating by,’ but of hours of dedicated work and constantly going above and beyond. I ask questions when I do not understand and correct mistakes when I make them, constantly seeking new knowledge and ways to improve. And yet, while the world of academia and theory offers endless possibilities for learning, I have never been content with mere theory. I need to get my hands dirty, to learn by doing, and I believe that service in the Navy is the perfect way to do so—I recognize the lesson in every push-up, every lap run, and every ironed crease.

My capacity for and commitment to both teamwork and leadership have been solidified by my experiences with my previous internships, my current role as a Writing Coach at the Rutgers Learning Center, and by a memorable experience as a coxswain on the Rutgers Women’s Rowing Team. By working in small offices I have learned to pick up the skills needed to take on any of my team members’ jobs, even if they are not directly relevant to my own. In the same vein, as a coxswain I completed every exercise my rowers had to, even though I would never need to pick up an oar, because I would not ask them to do something I wasn't willing to do. I learned to lead loudly, growling into a headset while sweat-drenched rowers hacked at the water or crouching behind them as they sat at the dreaded rowing machine. I learned to read what was being said by a curved back, a furrowed brow, or a red face, and to crack through the mental walls that kept my rowers from reaching their full potential. As a writing coach, I seek to lift up every student who comes to me for help. In this role I have learned to lead quietly, watching the gears turn in my students' heads and allowing them to find solutions on their own. I have learned to dismantle the obstacle of self-defeat through firm encouragement and by adapting my teaching technique to each individual student’s learning style.

At the Department of State, I explored my ability to be a self-starter. In a unique position working in HR Student Programs as a student intern myself, I read between the lines of what the Department needed and determined ways to better every student’s internship experience. I initiated, coordinated, and executed a Department-wide program for student interns to practice their foreign language skills, reaching out to my more experienced teammates for collaborative assistance and creating SOPs for those who came after me to continue the project. This was one of the first times I was able to truly see an idea come to life in real time: in a single room, one could hear conversations taking place in Russian, French, Arabic, Spanish, and more.

These experiences outline my primary motivation to become a Navy Officer: I seek to aid and watch the growth of my sailors as they push their limits and realize their true capabilities. I wish to create and participate in something bigger than myself, something that will outlive me. Few things can replace the sight of one of my rowers beating her personal record, or one of my students finally understanding an elusive concept. If just one of those rowers hears my voice in her head when she thinks she can’t keep going, then I will consider my efforts successful. If just one of my students improves to the point where he no longer needs me, then I will know I did right. In the same way, I seek to make a lasting impact on my team and the sailors I lead, breaking down barriers and working to improve every day. Heretofore I have laid the foundation for a career underpinned by the pursuit of excellence and unstoppable drive. As a Navy Officer I hope to help others lay that foundation and to continue the critical work of defending the nation I love.


SNA selected
I’ve been working on this for quite a while and wanted to receive some feedback before I send it off to my officer recruiter.
Any advice, criticism, etc. is appreciated!

"My Desire To Serve

Truthfully, serving my country wasn’t always at the forefront of my mind. It wasn’t until high school that I really started considering the military as a path. Ever since that point, I’ve had my sights set on becoming a Naval Officer and being afforded the opportunity to earn the title of Naval Aviator.
I have grown up being exposed to aviation for as long as I can remember. With both of my parents being commercial airline pilots, taking lessons, and being constantly exposed to aviation I have always been drawn to it. The military aspect, on the other hand, is something that wasn’t really presented to me while growing up. Neither of my parents took the military route and only my grandfathers had ever served, one in the US Navy and the other in the Merchant Marine. What really drew me to the military aspect of aviation was the fact that I would be able to serve my country while also doing something I am already passionate about.
The idea of serving my country occurred to me over time and through experiences. I always knew the military was an option and as I grew older I decided to explore that option more. Through receiving information from ex-military pilots that my parents flew commercially with as well as a family friend who was currently going through flight school for the Navy gave me a wealth of information about serving as an aviator. One aspect that they all stressed was the desire to lead as an officer was to be at the forefront. That I was to be a Naval Officer first and an Aviator second. The way I see it is being an officer and leader in the Navy is an extraordinary honor, only to be enhanced by earning the opportunity to be a Naval Aviator.
From high school graduation to this point, there have been many obstacles and several failures. Those failures though, have helped me learn and grow academically and morally in ways that will be invaluable during a Naval career. When I misstepped, no matter what the situation was, I always worked hard to correct it while owning up to it personally. Owning up to one’s mistakes instead of trying to cover for yourself makes a significant difference, especially in dangerous environments. I know that’s a valuable attribute for a Naval Officer.
Leadership is perhaps one of the most valuable skill sets that an Officer must possess. I wasn’t a natural leader from the beginning. It wasn’t until the end of high school and beginning of college that I took up leadership positions in order to start organizations. In high school, I created and ran a foundation that raised money for a non-profit in Southern Africa and it was in college that I founded and was the chair of political activism group. Creating both organizations not only took time and effort, but also leadership. Whether it was planning meetings, delegating duties, or assigning positions, it all took initiative and a goal-oriented attitude. During the processes of creating the organization in college, I was handling coursework, keeping in shape, trying to maintain a social life, and also putting about 2 hours or more every day into making the organization what it is today.
For any group to be successful, teamwork is necessary. There is strength in numbers, but only if those numbers work together in a cohesive fashion. Being a founding member of my college’s first fraternity in 13 years required a lot of teamwork. Whether it was sifting through the university bureaucracy or enticing students to support greek life, it wouldn’t have happened if we all didn’t work together. I understand the value of teamwork and the way it forges camaraderie between members which, in turn, boosts morale and ultimately increases the effectiveness of the task at hand. Being able to come together for a common good is absolutely necessary within life and within the military.
Becoming a Naval Officer is more than just earning the opportunity to be an aviator. It’s an opportunity to serve a country that has given me so many opportunities throughout my life. A chance to lead others and have the responsibility of defending the United States from enemies foreign and domestic by any means necessary including one’s life. It is an honor that I have been working and striving towards for the past 8 years with an ultimate willingness to do anything it takes to achieve it. Thank you for the consideration."


New Member
Hi everyone, first post here. Just wanted a look over and maybe some edits if I'm really bad a writing. Here's what I've been working on for a while. I'm still stuck in some parts so feel free to tear it apart. All criticism is good criticism!

I want to become a Naval Officer to know that I can be more than just another productive member of society. I want to know that what I can do for the Navy will leave a mark for others to follow, and set an example of what it means to be a Naval Officer. Serving as a Naval Officer would mean fulfilling a duty to my country that I would be honored to uphold, and take part in protecting my fellow citizen. I want to achieve my goal in the Navy through one of my biggest passions in life; aviation. It was something that I once thought was unattainable, and had taken a different career path because of this, but I know now that I have every ounce of drive in my body to be a part of the Naval Aviation community as a Naval Officer.

My love for aviation began from a very early age, and has evolved in many ways since then. From about the age of 5, I had attended the El Centro NAF Air Show for almost every year, including the Meet the Pilots Night the day before the main event. My father saw the glint in my eyes I had for the aeronautic, and constantly pushed me to pursue my dreams in aviation. Those air shows are my biggest inspiration for choosing this new career path, and I still believe the Blue Angels are some of the best pilots in the world. I have dreamed of becoming a pilot right along side the ranks of those I had seen at my first airshow, and it was apparent that the Navy is home to the best.

Here is where I'm trying to transition and talk about my education history, and things I think make good leadership qualities

During my time in high school I took on as much initiative as I could to help my instructors. I became a tutor during two separate summer breaks to assist my algebra teacher for study hall sessions throughout the day. On the extra curricular side, I had been studying martial arts for several years at this point, and I would regularly lead the beginner classes when the instructor wasn’t available to teach. I was known to take leadership of group work and always delegated work to my peers based on the individual strengths everyone had, this was a skill that since then I’ve learned to tap into with ease.

After graduating high school and starting my first few part-time jobs, I had a natural inclination to leading my fellow peers and guiding others to a collective goal. As a Sales Floor member during my time working for Target, I took the initiative when I noticed evidence of theft throughout the store. When a security/loss prevention position had opened up, I was actually approached first to take it on, and remained in this position until I resigned to move away for university several months later.

As I was adjusting to my new life away from home, I started working as an Audio-Visual Technician at the Student Union. This was a job that I was mainly interested in for working with large scale event production equipment, like sound consoles, lighting rigs, performance staging, etc. In this position, I took the lead on most special events and productions, which led me to attain a lead position within a year in the job. In my new role as a Lead Technician, I continued to regularly manage events and productions, and eventually helped in developing standards and practices that were implemented in regular setup routines.

Looking for another way to transition here too...

There is no doubt in my mind that I have the ability to be a great leader. I have had plenty of experiences in many aspects of life that include work, school, and even in my personal life where I’ve taken the initiative to achieve a greater goal amongst those around me and I will proudly serve the Navy the same way. Becoming a Naval Officer is a responsibility that I am ready to uphold every value of. I am confident that I have the ability to go above and beyond what is expected of me, and I am even more confident that I have the ability lead others to greatness, and as a result will do my part to continue the Navy’s legacy. As a Naval Officer, it would be the highest honor to be a part of an elite community, and serve my country with pride, integrity, and virtue. I am ready to fulfill a true purpose to serve the greater good, and contribute to the protection of my country.


Well-Known Member
Do you know the accepted word count for that section of the APSR?
my MOTO was about 1000 words originally, but I/my recruiter cut it down. Id say set 1000 words as your max but make it around 600-800. Most importantly, the moto is meant to be your voice to the board and a place to point out your strengths and attributes to why the navy will benefit from selecting you over others. I am 36 and was applying for DCO against many other incredibly qualified individuals. I had to point out my civilian experience in leadership and how my packet improved over my previous packages. If you are 22 and right out of college - that MOTO will be shorter and much more concise. Work with your recruiter - they are the experts! Dont make it about just a word count - make it about quality. Mine was probably still too long - imagine if you had to read 250 of those things?!


Emergency. Dekaranger Blue!
I haven't posted my very own statement (2nd draft as the 1st one didn't help me get to OCS).

Well, here goes nothing.

"I was born the only child in my family. But, in spite of this, I have a number of cousins that are younger than I am. During my adolescent years, life took a turn for the worse: My parents divorced in September 2001. My father had been an abusive man towards me and my mother. For instance, he would berate me for being a fat, little butterball, then beat the soles of my feet thereafter with a thick leather belt. He would also criticize my mother for supposedly mocking his steadfast Catholic beliefs. It did not help that he eloped with another woman as he was finishing up his enlistment in the Navy, all because he failed to overcome his very own insecurities. In April 2009, one of my uncles died from suicide through drug overdose. This uncle of mine felt like he had failed towards his obligation on being the best son he could ever be for my grandparents. Such conditions compelled me, and, in turn, taught me to make critical decisions in a heartbeat. Even though family life had gone sour, the notions that I was the first-born child of my generation and that my younger cousins look up to me as somewhat of an older brother fueled my goal to step into a special kind of leadership position, that of becoming a commissioned officer in the United States Navy.

Given the chance to earn my Ensign’s bars, I can and will serve the Navy best as a Naval Flight Officer. This is because I am passionate about the overall purpose of the community: To protect the fleet from threats anywhere, provide aerial support for Soldiers, Marines, and Airmen deployed on the ground, and oversee the dominance of American naval power from the skies.

Complementary to this warfighting doctrine is my enlisted service as an Aviation Electrician’s Mate from 2007 to 2011. As an Airman, I deployed aboard the aircraft carrier USS George Washington with two strike fighter squadrons - VFA-192 "Golden Dragons" and VFA-115 “Eagles." During my tour of duty at NAF Atsugi, Japan, I obtained my AE Apprenticeship, Emergency Reclamation Team Member, Shipboard Damage Control, Inlet Duct Diver, Brake Rider, and NC-10 Power Cart Operator qualifications. I held collateral duty billets as Assistant Tool Control Petty Officer, Barracks and Ship Roving Watch Stander, ASDO Watch Stander, HAZMAT, Corrosion Prevention & Treatment, and Maintenance Record Audit Petty Officer. The qualifications I obtained eventually led to effective and efficient operation of 24 F/A-18 jets during two carrier deployments as well as two SFARP detachments in Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. Overall, my expertise as an electrician enhanced my knowledge towards the principles of flight, aircraft carrier operations, maintenance fundamentals, and integrated aircraft systems.

There are a number of leadership activities that I partook in while I pursued my undergraduate studies. In 2012, I participated in Air Force ROTC at the University of Southern California for one year (on a trial basis) so I could keep up with the regimented structure of military life after my initial enlistment. From January 2015 to December 2016, I was a member of Toastmasters International at the City of Hope Cancer Research & Hospital, Duarte, CA. During my time as a Toastmaster, I rose to the position of Sergeant-at-Arms and was responsible for everyone’s recital of the Pledge of Allegiance and opening every session with words of welcome. I also worked towards becoming a Competent Communicator by completing 10 required speeches. During summer in 2016, I volunteered for a total of 23 hours as a docent at the Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum at MCAS Miramar. As a docent, I guided visitors around the museum and presented some historical details about Naval and Marine Aviation. I also served as technical advisor for the F/A-18 Hornet display. As a former electrician on the aircraft, I presented the many flight control components in the jet to guests and ensured their safety, especially that of children, as they explored the many parts around it and inside the cockpit. I am also a volunteer at Operation Gratitude Center in Chatsworth, CA, where I helped in making 5,000 care packages for troops deployed overseas. In November 2013, I was inducted in Chapter 40 of the Sigma Alpha Pi fraternity (The National Society of Leadership and Success). My duties as a fraternity brother included helping peers on academic issues during Student Networking Team discussion sessions and devising speech tactics in exercises simulating leadership scenarios.

As a Warehouse Associate with a temporary agency called StaffMark, I am involved in the areas of training and safety management in various workplaces I have been assigned to. So far, I have mentored seven coworkers and trained them in proper setup of boxes that are due to be shipped out nationwide. At one of the warehouses I worked in (NewEgg City of Industry), I took initiative and devised approximately 20 templates for different sizes of televisions that were eventually sent to paying customers anywhere in the country. This dramatically reduced the workload of that unit, saving the company not in terms of money spent on manpower but the hours of overall work done.

Should I be given the privilege of undertaking a continued career with the Navy, I would like to serve somewhere between 20 to 25 years, enabling me to retire as either a Commander or Captain in the distant future. Furthermore, if the chance for a postgraduate education should congeal, my goal is to obtain a Master of Science degree in International Relations.

With utmost sincerity and fullest of confidence, I have surpassed a previous generation in my family that had been burdened with numerous tragedies and am now ready to give back to the nation that welcomed me with open arms many years ago and lay my life on the line to preserve peace throughout this great nation and around the world, especially as leader of Sailors in the vast waterfront."

If anyone could, please let me know how to improve this statement. Any feedback will be appreciated in advance.


Emergency. Dekaranger Blue!
That entire statement was awful. Read it aloud and think to yourself, “would the boards select me off this statement?”

But, at the moment, I'll admit I couldn't really think of a grand motivational factor (adversity, so to speak) other than a set of family strifes.

Please, don't get me wrong.

I understand that the first paragraph is more than likely stepping over the line of personal matters. I just had to lay it out as what I have composed consists of a profound degree of adversity that took me several years to overcome in this life.

I also understand that having the chance to vie for officership is never a right and that only those that truly deserve it can make the transition from civilian life (or enlisted stint) to said status.

I apologize for any misunderstanding that this draft might incur.


Professional Silly Pants
Here's what I typed up for mine. Please judge me.

From a young age, I was taught to live my life by a set of guiding moral principles; integrity, loyalty, respect, and accountability. My grandfather, a Vietnam War veteran, and my mother both deserve the credit for instilling these principles in me. I would later put into practice and expand on the principles I learned from them through professional work experience and the guidance of other role models in my life. All of these role models played a part in demonstrating to me what it means to be a leader that can be depended on. A strong leader is a confident, honest, and committed individual that focuses on the development of others and puts the team before themselves. A strong leader works to tackle challenges through thoughtful decision making and committed to being the best at what they do. In the classroom, in the workforce, and in my community, I strive every day to exemplify all of these aspects of a leader.

My time at The Ohio State University was utilized focusing on my course work and taking on leadership positions in group projects and assignments. After graduation, I moved into a professional career where I had the chance to take on many challenges and work with several exceptional individuals. I currently have the privilege of being a leader to other leaders in a distribution center environment where I am accountable for over 100 men and women. I also work to make a difference in the community by volunteering to help young boys and girls with disabilities build self-confidence and socialize with their peers. My ultimate goal is to demonstrate the principles of leadership that I have lived by throughout my professional career as an officer of the United States Navy.

My main objective for seeking a commission as an Officer in the United States Navy is to serve my country and contribute my demonstrated professional leadership experience to the nation. I understand that I have been able to live my life to this point because of the contributions and sacrifices others have made for this nation. I believe that it is my duty to contribute all that I can to upholding the founding principles the United States represents. I believe that my guiding moral principles, professional experience, and demonstrated leadership ability make me a strong candidate for a commission in the United States Navy as an Officer.