The following are winning four-year scholarship essays from Army ROTC applicants we have worked with in the past at ROTC Consulting. We will provide commentary at the end of each essay as to why each answer is effective. You can find our previous post about building a successful essay here.

Army ROTC Essay #1


Consider carefully, and then state below in the space provided why you wish to enroll in the Army ROTC Program. Indicate in your statement how you believe your own objectives in life are related to the education and training offered by Army ROTC and what a career obligation means to you.

Winning Answer:

I believe that American values and our way of life are worth fighting for. One of the finest ways one can demonstrate this commitment is by becoming an officer in the United States Army. This commitment is not something to be taken lightly and I needed to explore what the duties and responsibilities of both a cadet and a lieutenant were. I had a plan.

I visited the Somerset Army National Guard unit near my home in New Jersey. There, I was introduced to a group of officers, non-commissioned officers, and cadets. I learned from my visit that officers lead by example and need to take care of their soldiers. Non-commissioned officers are the “backbone” of the Army and it is important that new lieutenants learn from their sergeants. Since I am interested in the National Guard after I commission, they told me about the civilian jobs that I could pursue in the State Police or the FBI while I was in the National Guard. It was really inspirational to see how National Guard officers and enlisted both serve their community and the Nation.

On my visit to Army ROTC at Drexel University, I spoke to the PMS and what struck me was the importance for future leaders to become proficient in basic soldier skills and troop leading procedures. The ROOs at TCU and Wake Forest reinforced this message. I know that by mastering these tasks, I will be a successful lieutenant and the best leader I can be no matter what path I choose in life.

Once I become a lieutenant, I hope to deploy overseas. An important aspect is to understand the local culture in the execution of my duties as an officer. I hope that my intended major of international business helps me gain a deeper understanding of the people I will be interacting with overseas.

Overall, through my experience in visiting both a National Guard and several ROTC programs as well as from my current activities, I understand what it takes to be an Army officer and I am prepared for this challenge.

Commentary on what makes this essay successful:

Notice that this essay is not a rundown of what the candidate did in high school or a listing of achievements. This prompt is most effectively answered by showing things that you did to learn more about being both a cadet and an officer in the United States Army.

This can be demonstrated by letting Army ROTC know what research you did on the internet, who you talked to (both cadets and officers) and especially what things you did to visit ROTC programs and actual Army units (such as Army National Guard or Army Reserve Units) to talk with both officers and noncommissioned officers to learn the duties and responsibilities of a lieutenant.

In addition, did you take the time to visit an Army ROTC program? If so, what did you learn? Are you ready for the challenges of Army ROTC? Tell the board members that you took the time to visit and learn more about Army ROTC and are excited about being a cadet.

Examples of Real Essays That Won the ROTC Scholarship!

Army ROTC Essay #2


State below in the space provided how you spend your time in a typical week during the school year. For example, how many extra hours do you spend: at school, during homework, engaged in athletic activities, engaged in extracurricular activities (i.e. clubs), engaged in volunteer work, or other (explain).


I am a very busy and focus driven individual. From the classroom to the athletic field I am constantly working to hone my skills.

Every day I am up early, whether I have a specific task or just looking to get a head start on the day. I arrive at school an hour early to get academic help, complete assignments, or just relax and get my mind right for the day. This is an important part of my routine.

During a normal day of school, I take countless notes, tests and quizzes as well as attend weekly club meetings. It is almost guaranteed that I will have at least two club meetings per week during break. Some days my lunchtime or study hall time is spent in a teacher’s classroom solidifying my understanding of the subject matter. After the academic day, my real day begins. I have 50 minutes in between my last class and athletic practice to do homework and see teachers. I utilize this time every day even if I don’t have questions in order to gain more insight from there instruction.

As the captain of the varsity cross country team and tennis team, I am tasked with always showing a positive attitude and setting the standard in regard to work ethic. I am responsible for keeping the team focused and working hard. Practice typically lasts for an hour and half depending on the intensity. After cross country, I head straight to tennis practice on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Although tennis practice is only three days a week, it is a year-round commitment for me. I am often on the courts on Tuesdays and Fridays as well when my schoolwork is manageable. My school days last until 7 pm, and then I get to go home.

When I get home and have showered and eaten dinner, I begin my homework and academic preparation for the next day. I often work on papers or projects at this time, and I always manage to spend time with my family. After I have completed everything I need for the next day, I get a good night’s rest and prepare to do it again.

Commentary on what makes this essay successful:

This essay is fairly standard, and it is important to let Army ROTC know that you are a dynamic individual who is busy doing a variety of activities that involve the range of scholar, athlete, leader activities. The more specific you can be about each of these areas, the stronger the essay.

Specifically avoid non-kinetic activities such as playing video games, TV watching, bystanding, or other events where you are not an active participant. Again, emphasize active scholar-athlete-leader events.

Army ROTC Essay #3


Please expand on any additional information outlining scholastic, athletic, and leadership achievements not otherwise annotated in the previous sections. Although you are not required to do so, you are highly encouraged to do so if applicable.


Ronald Reagan Presidential Leadership Institute: I recently had the honor of being selected to attend his Institute. I learned that leadership can mean more than being a role model, it can also mean being an instrument of change. Attending the Institute gave me the chance to meet a leader of a non-profit focusing on preventing drug overdoses. I saw how one person could make a difference and started a chapter on my own high school campus. A lot of students start their encounters with drugs through medications they find at home. I am working with the Behavioral Health Department to obtain kits that neutralize medications. Maybe we can prevent a future tragedy.

Eagle Scout: I was a leader in several capacities. The most challenging was being a leader for a group of new scouts on a camping trip to Death Valley. It was pretty frustrating at first to get everyone to fulfill their jobs, but eventually I helped them understand that we had to work together to make things run smoothly. My Eagle Scout project gave me the chance to oversee a project from start to finish. I built a much-needed library in my temple and it was extremely fulfilling.

Captain of Varsity Lacrosse and Basketball Team: I have also served as a leader for my sports teams. I am proud to be a captain and I take my responsibility seriously. I know my actions have an impact on the other players and am more aware of the need to be a good role model. The most challenging part of being a student athlete is managing my time so I can give school and my sports teams my best effort. I have been named a Scholar Athlete several times which demonstrates that I can manage my time effectively.

Commentary on what makes this essay successful:

This is where you provide Army ROTC your “signature” accomplishments. The top three to four things you are most proud of. List each and then explain in a paragraph why this accomplishment is significant. In this way, you highlight to the selection committee clearly what you are most proud of and what they need to pay attention to. This is where you get to “brag” about yourself.

Final Thoughts on Army ROTC essays:

Essay #1 and Essay #3 are where you make your “money” sat the Army ROTC Scholarship Board. Essay #1 needs to show what effort you put in to learn more about Army ROTC and the duties and responsibilities of an Army lieutenant. Essay #3 is your signature accomplishments to demonstrate why you should be selected for a scholarship over someone else. Make sure you highlight only the most important things you have done.

If you do the above things, you are that much closer to winning an Army ROTC Scholarship!

ROTC Scholarship Consulting provides assistance with your essays as well as other areas of the scholarship application. ROTC Scholarship Consulting has an unparalleled record in helping candidates win ROTC Scholarships. Please take a look at our services for more information.

Want to maximize your potential of earning an Army ROTC Scholarship?

Army ROTC Essay Examples with Explanation Blog Post Title

Article Contents

Examples of Real Essays that Won the ROTC Scholarship

A comprehensive guide to the Air Force ROTC scholarship interview

LTC Robert Kirkland

Lieutenant Colonel Robert Kirkland (USA, Ret.) is an expert on military admissions and leadership. He served for over 25 years in the United States Army, including stints as an instructor at West Point and as a commander of two Army ROTC programs. He has helped students win ROTC scholarships for 8 years.

Want to earn maximum points on your Army ROTC scholarship essays?