LOR's

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Striker, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. Striker

    Striker New Member

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    One area that I've not seen opinion recently is regarding "other" LOR's. They were neither required nor declined, of course. DS has had some very kind folks who felt they know him well, and wrote on his behalf. I can only assume that the English and Math teacher's letters pale in comparison. Several from retired Navy higherups. Can he expect any impact from them, or are they just an extra sprinkle?
     
  2. Spud

    Spud BGO

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    Those LOR's are ignored, if not shredded. The Academy wants only what they want and nothing else. The only LOR that is looked at is one that would give the Admissions Board important information that is not in the information pack in front of them. A BGO would know what kind of letter is helpful and can refer to it in his interview write up. An example would be an employer who writes of the exceptional leadership demonstrated by a candidate in organizing a work crew to clean up water damage over a spring vacation.

    A letter from Vice Admiral Fogbottom on how he has known Johnny all his life and how he served with his dad and what a great kid he is, is absolutely worthless. Those letters from the Math and English teachers are absolutely vital as THEY have seen Johnny's true work ethic, goals and social interaction for months on end. If Johnny has blown off forming a friendly relationship with those teachers----well, what goes around, comes around as they say in NASCAR.
     
  3. navymomwannabe

    navymomwannabe Member

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    DS sent in additional rec's from: Pastor, Head Wrestling Coach (who he also TA's for), and his Honors Chemistry teacher who wanted to help and write a letter. None of the letters were fluff.
     
  4. bubalma

    bubalma Member

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    I second Spud's thoughts. We have a very close family friend who is a recently retired Vice Admiral (second generation Academy with two sons who have gone through as well); and who has known our DS since he was a small child and thinks very highly of him. His advice to us was, "Don't ask me to do it! Admissions runs on its own agenda and resents what is perceived as outside pressure. I will be glad to write a letter; but I would strongly recommend not having me do it. There is slack shown in some cases for legacies but what really counts is competitiveness with peers. It looks tacky to appear to "hustle" the Academy."
     
  5. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    Additional LORs should be the exception and not the rule. If submitted, an additional LOR should comment on the leadership/character/skills unique to candidate and the situation/activity and not be already covered in the required LORs. Remember, if every candidate submitted an additional LOR, that would be one more LOR that an Admissions Board member would have to read. Normally, additional teachers or coaches does not add to the mix...it really needs to be UNIQUE...otherwise, all students would have their coach or additional teachers send LORs in.
     
  6. Scooter11

    Scooter11 Member

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    ^^^ Would a former Navy Chaplain who baptized me and who I have continued to work alongside for over 10 years as an Acolyte captain be unique? He spoke to my unwaivering faith and excellence as a leader from what he has noticed of me in the altar and as my spiritual leader...
     
  7. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    I wouldn't say extra letters are "ignored." However, as BGO08 says, to have ANY impact, they need to address an aspect of your life that cannot be covered by your teachers or BGO. Typically, this would be an employer (ONLY if you spend most of your free time working, NOT if you simply have a summer job), a pastor (ONLY if the overwhelming majority of your ECA's are religion-related), or something similar.

    Letters from friends, senior Navy officer, relatives, neighbors, other teachers, your Scout Master, karate instructor, football coach, etc. that say you're a great human being, walk-talk-and-breathe the Navy, are loyal, honest, sincere, dedicated, a natural leader, the second coming of John Paul Jones . . . they really are NOT going to help.
     
  8. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Per my recent post, I would say "no" UNLESS this is your only ECA. Being perfectly honest, USNA doesn't really care about your faith. Don't mean to bash religion, but religion in the eyes of USNA admissions is an ECA.

    Your teachers and BGO should be able to discuss your leadership. If your only ECA is religion (you dedicate all of your free time to it) -- maybe. But if you are otherwise active in and out of school, I don't think it will help.

    You might ask him to write an LOR for an MOC nom, if your MOC accepts such an LOR.
     
  9. navymomwannabe

    navymomwannabe Member

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    Interesting info...thanks. USAFA actually puts a lot of stock in the extra LOR's. Another way the academies differ I guess.
     
  10. Scooter11

    Scooter11 Member

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    MOCs didn't allow such a rec... In the end I suppose you are right, but in my case I felt that this man could speak to my abilities as a leader far better than any of my other required recommenders could for the simple fact that they haven't been able to see meaningful leadership in simply leading a classroom discussion, presentation, or in say my industrious behavior.

    Interesting discussion really! :thumb:
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2014
  11. bubalma

    bubalma Member

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    This has to be a really unique letter about some outstanding incident(s), hardship(s) or consistent unique behavior(s) or don't bother. More negatives than positives. You are competing with a group of primarily high achievers to begin with.
     

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