Personal Evaluation/Reference?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Mom_CHgn, Jul 10, 2015.

  1. Mom_CHgn

    Mom_CHgn Member

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    Wondering what would an ethical personal evaluation/reference? My DD wants to use her uncle (my brother) as a reference. Her ultimate goal after Military life would be a Pilot for the Alaska State Troopers...He is the Major of the AST and said he would be honored to have her and to support her wherever. Is this going to come across as being to pessimistic for a evaluation/reference letter?
     
  2. Badge250

    Badge250 Member

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    Sounds like he would be a great reference. I'm not sure if USAFA states any where that the reference cannot be a family member (maybe they would view this as conflict of interest type situation). Seems like when my DS applied there was a stipulation against family members evaluating/being a reference. Maybe take a close look at the instructions again for this year (assuming your daughter is applying for class of 2020). Also ask your ALO or admissions counselor at the academy for advice. There are ALO's and others on this forum who may have answers for you as well (CC, Flieger, Stealth, etc.)
     
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  3. Badge250

    Badge250 Member

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    I can also understand the point of "how it looks" if a family member gives reference. Although your brother would be an excellent reference, sometimes it is better to go outside your family because of perception. Sometimes it is better to steer clear of a situation so there will be no issue at all when applying to a SA. So I can see 2 points that need to be addressed: (1) Does USAFA allow an applicant to use family members as a reference/evaluation? and (2) If they do allow family to be a reference/evaluator, is it going to be frowned upon by USAFA?
    If the answer to (1) is "No" then problem solved
    If the answer to (1) is "Yes" then you must evaluate (2) based on the advice you get from others that are much more informed than myself or just completely stay clear of any issue by going outside the family for references/evaluations.
    Sorry I can't help any more than that. Wish you and your DD the best !
     
  4. frenzymando

    frenzymando Banned

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    I'm not saying the OP's DD should lie(if they ask if the uncle is a relative tell them the truth), but how could the Academy even tell that the DD and her uncle are related? The OP is a mom so the DD would not have the same last name as the uncle.
     
  5. Mom_CHgn

    Mom_CHgn Member

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    If she can that would make her overjoyed, if not she has other's but not as meaningful and she feels knows her true wants and whys to going the Military/Getting into USAFA.
     
  6. FalconsRock

    FalconsRock Parent

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    It specifically states that references CANNOT be from family members.
     
  7. Mom_CHgn

    Mom_CHgn Member

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    Just a side note to anyone who's DD/DS is overwhelmed with the thought of the selection being such a low percent...My brother applied to AST with 2500 potential cadets. They only selected 21, he was #21. Graduated top of his class and climbed the ranks over the last 16 years. He has close contact with current and past Attorney Generals. Why did he beat out #22? Because he was a competitive swimmer. They ALL have a better chance to get in to the USAFA than my brother had to getting into the AST Academy.
     
  8. FalconsRock

    FalconsRock Parent

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    Frenzymando, I would not even think to suggest taking this route. Integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do. Period. If you don't have integrity from the get go you would not be a good candidate for any service academy. For you to even think such a thought makes me wonder.
     
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  9. Mom_CHgn

    Mom_CHgn Member

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    NO there is NO way she will have him write a letter for her if it's not acceptable to have a family member write a letter of recommendation. He is the bases of her platform and she would not be dishonest about it.
     
  10. FalconsRock

    FalconsRock Parent

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    Mom, your DD should look elsewhere for a recommendation. She will have the opportunity to tell the academy in her own words her true wants and whys about going into the military and USAFA. The LORs request different information such as your DDs leadership and character. Hopefully her portal will open soon and you can read in detail about what is required. Remember, this is a public forum. If you need extremely sage advice, look for Christcorp, Flieger, Stealth, Pima, Gradwife, Navyhoops (Sorry if I forgot a few) and others who have been here a long time because they really know what is going on. Good luck to your daughter.
     
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  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I personally would not use anyone that is a family member.

    I get he is in a position, assuming he also flies for Alaska State Troopers that can give insight, but impo, No!

    Now if she is working on her PPL, and somebody else in her uncles unit can go up and fly with her, than to me that is different. They can give a true insight of her skills, maturity, etc. without that familiar tie. Have that friend of the uncle write it. 3 hours flying over AK, can create a bond.
    ~ We were stationed at Elmendorf for 3 years. Bullet flew with the 90th.

    frenzy,
    I am with falcon on this one regarding suggesting this route.

    It is teetering on a fine line in my opinion from an ethical aspect. USAFA and the MOCS may not know due to the surname, but she sure knows.
    ~ Many will see your comment as lieing by omission.
    ~~ Not trying to flame. Just saying many posters see that as a fine line, and this thread could get diverted very quickly into where that line is drawn. Some will agree with you, some will not.
    ~~~ LET ME MAKE THIS CLEAR. I do not believe frenzy would lie by omission. I just don't want lurkers or new posters to mis-interpret his post.

    I get using all of the assets that you can, but maybe just me, I don't think your brothers rank in Alaska State Troopers would be a make or break compared to let's say her soccer coach that went to states, or if she is dedicated to Habitat for Humanity, Runaway shelters, the local Soup kitchen.
    ~ Am I wrong? Will her uncle's rec just say things like he would be honored from his position, but can't say anything else about her?

    These recs in part are also about dedication as much as character. Her uncle has never worked with her, it is just him saying as a Major in AK State Troopers, I would be honored for her to serve by her side. The soccer coach on the other hand can state examples in the rec on how she never gave up, she always cheered on and lifted up her team mates. Soup kitchen can say she never made anyone feel that they were not special.
    ~ Are you starting to see the difference?
    ~~ It is not the status of the person that writes the rec., it is about how their interactions with that candidate that makes the difference.

    Our DS had 2 O5s (USAFA) grads write recs for him. Can't remember if it was for USAFA or the MOCs. They did indeed state they were USAFA grads and pilots within the body of their rec. However, the true rec. was about DS. How certain aspects proved to them that he had what was needed. They both used different stories regarding our DS.

    I hope that helps.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2015
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  12. Mom_CHgn

    Mom_CHgn Member

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    Yes Thank You, I will pass this on to her and have her look into someone else writting her a LOR
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    If she is well rounded, with sports and volunteer hours than I am sure they could write a great LOR.

    I think you got caught up on the pilot aspect. That is years and years away. USAFA knows that every candidate will need to pass the DoDMERB. They know the majority will go rated. What they are looking at right now, impo, is dedication and shining when compared to their peers.

    Flying is not the be all for them.

    Dedication and shining is! They want to know when the chips are down during BCT, they won't quit.

    People place so much emphasis on sports, but they don't realize one thing they are looking for besides leadership is commitment. The emphasis on sports is the fact that you will lose a game/tournament. Do you quit? Or do you dust yourself, on attack it again next week? IMPO, they want the one that dusts themselves off and rallies the team next week. They want the one that does not quit.

    Hence dedication matters to them too!

    FWIW, if she has done her research regarding pilot life. Chances are her Uncle may be retired before she even can leave the AF.
    ~ Graduates 2020. Wings 2022. 9 years owed means she can leave 2031.
    YES 16 years from now before she is even allowed to bolt. How old will he be by that time?
    ~ Marries another pilot, and he decides to stay until 20, it will be 2040.

    Just saying, life gets in the way.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2015
  14. Mom_CHgn

    Mom_CHgn Member

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    I'm hoping her commitment to getting her AA will be of help. When she realized her passion was to become a pilot or language intelligence (she has 3 full languages under her belt)...That USAFA was her ultimate goal. Her AA would no longer be of any use in the USAFA (she would need to start from the bottom). She still aimed higher for herself and made it her goal to graduate HS with her AA. With only 12.5 units left, she has that goal almost complete!
     
  15. frenzymando

    frenzymando Banned

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    I did not suggest the OP to take any route that is even remotely unethical. The only route I suggested the OP to take was if "they ask if the uncle is a relative tell them the truth".

    Please read what I quoted in that post.

    All I was saying is this would not be an issue because the person reading the evaluation would not be able to tell that the evaluation was written by a family member. This would actually be a good thing IF submitting evaluations from family members were allowed (at the time of the post I was not aware that submitted evaluations from family members is not permitted). It would eliminate the cognitive bias the person reading the evaluation would feel if they knew the evaluation was written by a family member.

    I WAS NOT trying to suggest that the OP should try to submit the evaluation when it's not allowed and try to get by because the relative's surname is not the same as the OP's. I think you assumed that this is what I was trying to tell the OP to do, and that's not what I was trying to tell the OP.
     
  16. Badge250

    Badge250 Member

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    I totally understand what frenzy is getting at when quoting my phrase "how it looks". He is simply stating that at a glance how would one tell they were related just by "looking". When bringing that phrase into the conversation I didn't quite explain how I was using this figure of speech. But Pima nailed exactly what I was getting at. The perception could be that the relative obviously thinks their niece is a great young lady but someone not related who has worked with the applicant can give reference to actual events that prove the character and dedication of that individual. I do not think Frenzy would in any way suggest doing something unethical. Pima's 2 posts on this thread absolutely nail it.
     
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  17. FalconsRock

    FalconsRock Parent

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    Frenzy, I was not making an assumption, merely taking your words at face value. I'm sorry if I misinterpreted your post but Pima is correct in saying that lurkers, new posters and others may indeed, do the same. I don't know about the other academies requirements, but it states specifically on the USAFA website that family members cannot write LORs nor can they administer the CFA. All the information in Pima's posts are right on the money. Onward!
     
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