Recommendation Dilemma

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by USMC_95, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. USMC_95

    USMC_95 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2013
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    As a college re-applicant to USNA, I have been in the process of applying for a slot in the Marine Corps PLC program this summer/fall as a plan B, and no my school does not have ROTC for the Marine Corps. Currently, I face a dilemma coming from my Congressman's nomination board. After speaking with a gentleman from the board during an interview, he commented on some of the obstacles I have overcome throughout this process, specifically the PLC process, and his respect for my commitment. He further added however, that he would like a recommendation from the SSgt. who observed this endurance and perseverance if possible. Now, I agreed that I would ask for one as it will only help my case if someone else can attest to my experiences and confirm them. But my question is: Is it appropriate to ask the SSgt., who's sole responsibility is to assist me through the PLC process, for a recommendation for another source of commission AKA USNA? The interviewer further went on to say that if the SSgt. agrees, to have him send one to USNA as well because he feels this is something USNA would like to hear about. I'm asking this so I do not make any rash decisions and hinder my chances for the PLC program because USNA is the furthest thing from a guarantee.
     
  2. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    Messages:
    3,094
    Likes Received:
    2,454
    I will be honest I am not sure about the answer to asking the SSgt, but pros and cons to both. I guess several things play into effect here... How well do you know this SSgt? If you have developed a solid relationship then that helps to ask him. Ultimately the SSgt wants to get the most qualified applicants to become officers. Heck, one day he could be the Company Gunny for someone he helped get into PLC (I had a buddy who was the OIC of her former Drill Instructor at OCS... the Marine Corps is a really small world). The SSgt can certainly attest to the things he has witnessed and his evaluation of your aptitude to be an officer. Ultimately the USMC wants great officers, regardless of commission. The USMC is shrinking (unfortunately pretty quickly) and the SSgt probably has no issue meeting quota for officer recruitment. Wanting to serve as a USMC officer and exploring all commissioning sources is great if that is your goal. I think if you sit down and explain why you are also exploring the USNA route and PLC he will understand and will support you regardless. In the current state of downsizing, trust me... no source of commission is a guarantee right now. Just read around the boards here and you will see many of the services are letting certain career fields early out. OCS will get harder and harder to not only get into, but to pass. Those who can't pass certain schools are not getting sent back to try again or change career fields, they are getting papers. I am not trying to scare you, but in today's environment understand it is changing rapidly. 4 years from now, could be another story. Best of luck. I hope it works out. I had an amazing time in the Marine Corps!
     
  3. GoBlue1984

    GoBlue1984 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Messages:
    284
    Likes Received:
    3
    You're in a hard spot. If you ask and he is reluctant, any "recommendation" may not work in your favor.

    My advice is to tell your SSGT of your academy desire and the request of the one nominating board member - then ASK if he would be willing to write you the LOR that the board member asked for. If the SSGT believes in you, he will likely be enthusiastic to do so. I agree with the previous post that he is more likely concerned about the quality of officers in the Corp and not the source of commission of those officers so I don't think he will hold pursuing USNA against you and just like most ROTC Officers, he will willingly write an LOR for you. Based on how he responds, you can also ask him to send a copy to the academy for your file.

    I'm not sure it is "fair" for that member to expect you to get an LOR from your PLC SSGT. There are other college applicants who are not pursuing PLC. Maybe that interviewer sees an LOR as something that would put you over the top in the mind of the admissions team, and he truly is impressed enough he would like to see you appointed. You can't read his mind or his intentions so I would look at it as a positive thing.

    Best wishes in approaching your SSGT.
     
  4. futuremid2018

    futuremid2018 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0
    I had to get the recommendation of my commanding officer, a career Army infantry officer (O4) for the USNA, and I am already in a commissioning program. He backed me 100%. I think you will be fine asking your SSGT. I was in the same dilemma. My CO served in the Korengal Valley, the worst part of afghanistan, and is probably the most hardcore guy ive met. I was terrified of approaching him. But I did, explained my case, and he gave me his full recommendation. Go for it, its a 0% chance of happening if you dont try
     
  5. USMC_95

    USMC_95 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2013
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    I appreciate the advice from everyone. It has become clear that as long as I approach this in a mature manner it should be fine. I have been working with the SSgt. since August of this summer so I have gotten to know him pretty well. He's been a great help and always willing to assist me. Hopefully this continues. As long as the end goal is reached of becoming an officer, I will be satisfied to say the least. Thanks again everyone.
     
  6. USMC_Ordie

    USMC_Ordie Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2013
    Messages:
    171
    Likes Received:
    55
    As a former Marine, I think he would be proud to have someone he has helped overcome any sort obstacles succeed. And attending USNA would be considered 'succeeding' in my book. Just my nickels worth of opinion though.
     
  7. USMC_95

    USMC_95 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2013
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you for your assistance as this is an important time in my life. I'm sure everything will be fine. I am calling him on Monday (the driving distance is two hours) to ask him. I'll let everyone know the outcome, so future people can learn from this experience.
     

Share This Page