Letters of Recommendation

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by USNFilms, Sep 16, 2012.

  1. USNFilms

    USNFilms Member

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    How should we send in letters of recommendation that aren't from your english or math teacher? Where should they be addressed? and should they include your candidate number on the envelope?
     
  2. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    Include the candidate number on the letter, so you should provide it to the person writing your letter of recommendation. The envelope should be addressed to the Candidate Guidance Office, which should be listed on the Candidate Information System.

    Lastly, I can't tell you how many times the Admissions Officer stressed NOT to send in letter of recommendations unless they SPECIFICALLY KNOW you and how you are UNIQUE to USNA. In other words, if the person writing the recommendation is just saying that you are another great candidate -- it isn't going to mean ANYTHING! The letter needs to tell the Admissions Board (in another perspective) how you are different from the rest of the candidates.
     
  3. parkhurst89

    parkhurst89 Member

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    Agree. Is somebody every going to send in a bad letter of recommendation?

    There is a time, though, when letters should be sent in. This past summer I had a candidate who did an ocean rescue and saved a man from drowning. The captain of the rescue squad sent a detailed account of the candidate's actions.
     
  4. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    The general rule of thumb is that the recommendation should address some aspect of your life that won't/can't be covered by your other recommenders, typically because they have no knowledge of it.

    SOME examples (in addition to the excellent one cited above) would include:

    You've worked a part-time job throughout h.s. to support your family and thus have very limited opportunity for ECAs and sports. A letter from your employer would be helpful.

    Your primary ECA is outside of school and you've done fantastic things in it (e.g., raised a record amount of money in a fundraiser). A letter from the organization leader would be helpful.

    A letter from a neighbor, family friend, another teacher, coach, pastor, etc. saying you're a terrific person isn't going to make any difference.
     
  5. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    Another example cited by Admissions was a candidate who was running for Mayor at 17 years old (even though he/she couldn't legally do it). The actual Mayor wrote the letter of recommendation. Again, those unique experiences are of value.
     
  6. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    An exception or variation is if the recommender is a SA grad or a military member that puts his or her credintial first (i.e. As a West Point grad/20 years in the military, I can say for sure John has what it takes to become a great Army officer - provide good supporting details)
     
  7. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    Absolutely fiction and this was specifically addressed by Admissions at a USNA forum. If the above was true, then if every candidate found a Service Academy grad or someone in the military and had those same comments, what difference would it make. Again, USNA wants to know what makes candidates unique....you are more likely to get more headway from specific incidents that parkhurst and I have described vs. "I am a USNA grad and Brad makes an excellent candidate..."
     
  8. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Agree w/Jadler.

    The BGO (who frequently is or was a military officer) is charged with assessing a candidate's aptitude to handle a military environment -- and to provide supporting detail. Thus, this is a topic that is already covered by mandatory recommendations.
     
  9. time2

    time2 Member

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    ".... Is somebody ever going to send in a bad letter of recommendation?"


    I am sure they do. I wouldn't assume everyone will say the person is 'wonderful' or 'amazing'. Applicants generally don't get to see what the person writes nor do they have the opportunity to chose only the good ones. One of the reasons USNA asks for recommendations from teachers is to have someone who can provide an independent/objective perspective on strengths and weaknesses.

    I would imagine some recommendation letters say things such as 'very intelligent, but doesn't always fully apply himself and tends to be disruptive in class'....well you get the idea. These things do make a difference when applying.
     
  10. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    ^^^

    I think the poster meant whether someone whom you solicit to send in an extra rec (vs. teachers and the BGO who "must" submit one) would say something negative.
     
  11. time2

    time2 Member

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    Probably true. However, since as a candidate you don't get the luxury of proof-reading them before deciding which ones to submit, I still wouldn't assume recommendations even from those you expect to only say positive things, might not still include statements about one's weaknesses. You just never know what someone will put into that sealed envelope. That was the point I was making regardless of whether it is someone you hand pick or one of the 'required' recommendations.
     

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