SOE vs. LOR

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by DeltaRecon226, Oct 6, 2016.

  1. DeltaRecon226

    DeltaRecon226 New Member

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    I'm creating a new thread because I can't find an authoritative source on this.

    What exactly are SOEs? I know they must be sent to a teacher in four specific classes, but are they to be filled out by the teacher in the same manner as letters of recommendation. Additionally, on the candidate portal, are LORs to be uploaded separately? I don't see a specific place for them.
     
  2. Teragram

    Teragram Member

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    SOE's will be completed electronically by specific teachers. You entered contact information and USMA will email request. LOR's are actually in letter form and can come from coaches, employers, scout leaders, etc. These are uploaded on portal by clicking on Upload Docs tab. If letter is sent by recommender directly to West Point it will eventually appear in this area as well from what I understand. My DD had all her letters given to her so she could make sure they got there. Hope this helps!
     
  3. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    SOE are a required component of your file and apply to your WCS in a small way. You will invite your teacher, math, chem/physics, English, Coach to answer a few questions about you. You will never see the results. There will be a time limit for your teaches to write about you.

    LOR can be submitted by anyone to support your character. They can be from Batman, Superman, Cat Woman, Chuck Norris. The problem with LORs, there is no way of checking the credibility. They are not required and not given the same validity as an SOE.

    I hope this helped

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
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  4. Teragram

    Teragram Member

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    My DD's RC in a meeting stated that although 3 LOR's are "optional" they are highly encouraged. He did stress that this did not mean to go out and get letters from distance uncles friend who was a general and never met you, but rather a way to give insight to her as a person from people who really know her outside of academia. This is why she asked several people including coaches, employer, JROTC instructor and dance teacher to write them for West Point when writing for MOC packets. She then uploaded the three she felt most closely gave insight to her character or other personal traits that wouldn't necessarily be included in the SOE. She was very careful to choose people who could credibly give this evaluation. While not given same validity as SOE's, I can't see where they would hurt if used in right way. Her USAFA liasion gave same advice. Since letters were already being written for MOC's it did not take much more effort to get addl for USMA and USAFA. Every application and candidate is different, my DD just felt she would take any opportunity offered to show her in the most well rounded light. She has found her RC to be amazing when she had questions and I imagine that is the norm so reach out to yours if ever in doubt.
     
  5. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    That's all fine and dandy.......However, its not required, LORs don't add or take away from your WCS. You can claim what ever you want on a LOR but you better be able to substantiate the claim to give it validity. All LORs are going to say "you're the best thing since slice bread" However, an SOE could and can be lack luster.

    The moral of this story: Present the biggest, reddest, roundest apple with a slight sheen of morning dew to your teacher before asking them to fill out a SOE on your behalf.

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
  6. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    A PE teacher is who WP wants to submit the PE SOE. West Point does NOT want a coach to do it - unless - they are also your PE teacher.

    SOEs and LORs are 2 different creatures.
    SOEs are part of the leadership evaluation in a candidate's file. HINT: Do they see leadership examples or leadership potential from you in their classroom.
    The SOE is 12 (or so) questions that the teachers answer on a scale.
    A RC is not going to discourage a candidate submitting a LOR , but they also realize that the candidate is only going to submit good LORs.
     
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  7. USMA21

    USMA21 New Member

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    What if LOR comes from a high ranking officer?
     
  8. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    Are you going to ask this high ranking officer to write a LOR for you if you thought it wouldn't be positive? Of course not. WP realizes this.
     
  9. USMA21

    USMA21 New Member

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    So do you believe it would hold no weight then?
     
  10. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Depends on what the LOR says. Say I worked for a 4 star general and asked her to write a LOR for my son. This general being a great lady, so writes a LOR stating how my family has a great tradition of military service, my son is a great kid because he does great in school, plays sports, and takes on leadership roles, goes on missions, and etc.

    If you think the above is a great LOR, I disagree. The above LOR just summarized the application, it's not providing any insightful information.

    What might have made the LOR better is if somehow this general had meaningful interactions and made her assessment based on those interactions.
     
  11. DeltaRecon226

    DeltaRecon226 New Member

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    Thanks all for the help. Really appreciate it. Working on getting those SOEs today.
     
  12. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    I need to make a correction to this LOR concept on my thoughts that have been posted. This is more directed to those applicants who are considering enrollment into a prep school like MMI, NMMI, NWP or the others. When attending these schools, self-prep or sponsored, during your term, a admissions officer will visit and/or will have communication with that school. They will receive reports about your performance academically and in many cases CFA. They will submit a LOR that will have credibility.

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
  13. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    A high ranking officer (General) writing a LOR would not be efficient. They would not stick their neck out like that. A close relative family member who is high ranking would approach admissions on a one on one basis. Their avenue for a nom source would be from the sup or presidential. The pressure would be on the CC to perform above standard and would be pressured from the family for asking a professional favor. This has happened.

    In my opinion: This is the making of poor Cadet and Officer, because they are riding on the coat tails of other and will never fully appreciate what has been negotiated for on their behalf. Those who have the desire and worked for their goal will have a greater appreciation for their opportunities. Now, not to say all are like that, there are far more legacy Cadets and Officers who are outstanding in their leadership callings and this segments represents the greater.
     
  14. Chockstock

    Chockstock "Forever One Team"

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    I would suggest high school teachers, coaches, or church-type community leaders - anyone who knows your DS/DD very well. I simply asked my favorite high school teachers, all of whom I believed I held a favorable impression. I think I wrote all three of them thank you notes and gift cards as a sign of gratitude. I agree that the strength of the LOR itself far outweighs the person writing it. Just ensure the person providing the LOR is someone credible in the eyes of admissions.
     
  15. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    Good to hear from you again, Chockstock! I hope you are doing well. :thumb:
     

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