What is a "Letter of Encouragement"???

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Brawny77, Aug 28, 2015.

  1. Brawny77

    Brawny77 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2015
    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    391
    So DS got a letter on his portal today. Here is some of what it said:

    Dear -------

    "I reviewed your application for admission to the United States Military Academy at West Point. The information you provided indicates that you are the type of competitive and accomplished person who will thrive on the unique blend of programs we offer. I encourage you to discover if West Point is the right college for you."

    Then there are two paragraphs inviting him to visit and giving him a name and number to call with any questions.

    Here is the last paragraph word for word;

    "Since this letter is sent only to outstanding candidates deserving admission, your accomplishments to date should be a source of special pride to you and to your family. With this letter I am authorizing you for an overnight visit which is reserved for our most competitive candidates. I wish you the very best in your pursuit of an appointment to West Point."

    So....This seems pretty darn good but not quite an LOA. Am I right?
     
  2. 845something

    845something Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2013
    Messages:
    739
    Likes Received:
    166
    LOA's are rare for the majority of candidates. If you are receiving a LOE at this point, you are looking like one of the top candidates in your district or nationally.
     
  3. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2007
    Messages:
    2,577
    Likes Received:
    799
    This is NOT an LOA; do not expect one, do not be disappointed if you do not get one.

    This is, however, a suggestion that USMA is interested. If your son has a similar interest, follow the instructions.
     
  4. USMAROTCFamily

    USMAROTCFamily Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2013
    Messages:
    630
    Likes Received:
    171
    Yes, this should be viewed as a very good thing!
     
  5. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    Messages:
    1,737
    Likes Received:
    521
    As 845something stated, you're looking like a top candidate. Remember to finish up the application process ASAP. And don't forget to mention his LOE at the time of his nomination process.
    Even though his future looks bright, always work on a Plan B.

    Congrats!!

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
  6. USMAHopeful97

    USMAHopeful97 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2015
    Messages:
    92
    Likes Received:
    5
    How many people are sent LOEs?
     
  7. Sledge

    Sledge Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2014
    Messages:
    613
    Likes Received:
    321
    Putting a name with a face is important. I would take advantage of that overnight visit, for both parent and DS. DS should get an opportunity for face time with his regional commander, which, this early on, will give DS time to take action on RC recommendations such as taking the SAT/ACT again, etc.
     
  8. Fishpart

    Fishpart Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2015
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    12
    It also represents a great opportunity to spend a day with a plebe, you will get to see what daily life at USMA looks like. My DS was wavering ever so slightly and his overnight visit clinched it for him. Spending time with the RC also helped him tie up any loose ends. This is vey positive, take advantage of it at the earliest opportunity.
     
  9. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    2,807
    Likes Received:
    443
    Don't know the exact number, but the LOE serves two distinct purposes - (1) get an applicant to complete his or her application or (2) to confirm a higher competitive standing. So depends on how much of the application is complete, the applicant should be able to determine the primary reason for the LOE.
     
  10. Brawny77

    Brawny77 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2015
    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    391
    His application is about 75% complete. Waiting on a slow high school counselor and to do his CFA which is hard because he is always so tired and beat up from starting both ways on the H.S. football team. The L.O.E. accomplished what is was supposed to. It excited him and provided a shot in the arm to finish this up. We are in Rural Texas so it will be quite an undertaking and a large expense to do an overnight visit. He is also a candidate ate USNA and USAFA. I will have enough money to fund one visit but that's probably it. He has also been invited for a CVW at Annapolis but could not go this fall due to football commitments. But he hopes to get an invitation for winter or spring. Hmmmm.....Hard choices here. Oh yeah plan B and plan C school visits too....
     
  11. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    2,807
    Likes Received:
    443
    Brawny77

    Good for your DS. Did you consider doing the CVW for USNA and USMA at the same time? Your DS coud probably fly into BWI, visist USNA, than take the train up to USMA to mininize the trip cost. As for missing football or some activities during high school, I always recommend unless a candidate thinks what he or she does in the high school will end up being your life accomplishment (i.e. being a member of the state championship team), the candidate should prioritize his effort to somthing bigger (i.e. making the right decision on which college to attend). Perhaps your DS is exceptional kid that can do everything. If not, he needs to prioritize.

    Share a story. When I was in high school, long long time ago, I had to miss a practice to participate in a different activity. I felt bad about missing the practice, but asked the coach if I can skip the practice. He said sure as there are more important things in life that a practice.
     
  12. Brawny77

    Brawny77 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2015
    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    391
    LG...Thanks very much for the idea of turning one plane trip into 2 visits. The thought of that never even occurred to me. I totally agree that he will have to make some prioritized choices but one of the kids strongest qualities is loyalty (sometimes to a fault) There is no way he would skip a game. He wouldn't do that to his team mates. Missing a practice or two might be okay. I think he will just try and get a visit after football. I don't know how smart that is but it is one of the things I have always liked about him.
     
  13. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    Messages:
    3,083
    Likes Received:
    2,435
    Brawny, sounds like a great kid. I applaud the loyalty. I would of never missed a game either. The great part about USNA CVWs is you can request them. Since you son has been invited he should be able to request one after the fall and get signed up with no issue. This issue comes up every year and USNA has usually been more than accommodating. Sure, it might delay helping him narrow down his choices, but the truth is he probably won't get TWEs/BFEs until Feb-April. In the meantime, I would highly recommend your DS to really think about a few things:

    1. Future service - What really interests him? Ships? Flying, helos, jets or cargo? Infantry type stuff? He will spend at least 5 years of service doing this for his future career. It could end up being as much as 30. Which career really interests him at this point?
    2. School - Which one has the major he is interested in? What about sports? You mention football... is he small enough to play lightweight football in college and is this something he is interested in? Or another sport, maybe crew or rugby?
     
  14. USMAROTCFamily

    USMAROTCFamily Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2013
    Messages:
    630
    Likes Received:
    171
    We decided to have our DD/DS do the expensive cross-country trips AFTER they got into the schools/academies rather than prior to. We knew they were going to complete the applications and we felt that we would wait for a few reasons: 1) They had already gone to SLE/NASS and gotten a taste of the academies already 2) We didn't want them getting their heart set on a school/academy when they might not even get in 3) We felt it would have been a waste of money on flights, hotels, etc. if they ended up not getting in 4) Once they had the actual school admittance/appointment in hand, we believed they would look at the schools/academies very differently knowing they needed to make a decision on where they actually wanted to go vs. where they might be able to go to. 5) We thought the cadets/midshipman/students might give more insight or treat them a little bit differently since they knew they were "in" instead of just another kid hoping to get in. They both had multiple ROTC Scholarship offers (Navy and Army) and DS with 2 academy appointments and these visits helped to provide clarity in the final decision process.
     
    kinnem likes this.
  15. Brawny77

    Brawny77 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2015
    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    391
    His dream is aviation of some sort. He is interested in Aerospace or Astronomical (not even sure I spelled that right) Engineering but also is interested in Mechanical Engineering so really any of the 3 S.A.s might be very satisfying paths for him (if he can get in). West Point and Annapolis have shown him some interest (L.O.E and CVW offers respectively). The North Texas West Point Association is having a Black and Gold Dinner for candidates in early October. We are going to go to that. We will be country coming to town but it should let him gain insight. This is not reality yet but it is getting a bit more real.
     
  16. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    2,807
    Likes Received:
    443
    To echo Navyhoops, your DS should think more about what he wants to do if he graduates from a SA. Are your DS interest in Aerospace or Astonomical or Mechanical Engineering means or ends? Does he want to be an aerospace or mechanical enginee? He can puruse those interests after leaving the Army, but he will have limited options to puruse those interests while he is in the Army (on a side note, if interests aerospace equals being a helicopter pilot, it's workable situation). There some technical positions in Navy and Airforce for 2LTs. Typical Army career path is leadership and management roles, not a technical matters, at least 51% vs 49%. Although, in the Army about after 10 years of service, an officer can focus on technical/professional positions/career.

    While serving on a nomination board, I asked a simple question of what happens after graduation to a candidate. The candidate's answer was to design weapon systems. He didn't realize that after graduation from a SA, he will be serving in the miltiary in mostly leadership/management roles. Another board member with AF background back me up by telling the candidate even in the Air Force not likely for a 2LT to go stright into a position designing weapon system.
     
  17. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2007
    Messages:
    2,577
    Likes Received:
    799
    Many 17/18 year olds cannot even imagine what their careers will be like, inside or outside the military.

    I knew a young man once who wanted to be an architect, and nothing else. After five years of study to get his B.Architecture (note: not BS in architectural studies (which is not the same)), he graduated and promptly took a job in chicago, sitting at a computer drafting door knobs on a CAD. He was so disgruntled, he ultimately left the profession and builds his custom furniture, with his own hand.

    So, here we may have a student interested in Astronautical Engineering. make sure s/he knows that he's not going to go right to Mars, or put as a lead on a design group for a new plane... don't want to quash the kids' dreams but they should have some sense of the reality before them.
     
    AROTC-dad likes this.
  18. Brawny77

    Brawny77 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2015
    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    391
    Thanks to all of you for the wise words and things to consider. I will make sure these considerations are made. I think his first goal is to fly. But he knows that only some are chosen/qualified to do this. He does want ultimately to be an engineer. He was chosen as a High School Aerospace Scholar and went to NASA this summer and greatly enjoyed it. He would probably board the Mars flight right now if he could lol. He has said he would love flying fixed wing aircraft or helos so all that is still exciting possibilities to him. I will make sure he understands that although these things are possible, he may have other jobs and or dues to pay before these "dream assignments" kick in....if ever
     
  19. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    2,807
    Likes Received:
    443
    I agree and disagree. As a FFR interviewing a candidate or serving on a nomination board, I expect more from kids that want to attend a SA have better understanding of what they are signing up for. A 17/18 year old aspring to attend a SA should stand out above average 17/18 year olds.
     
  20. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2007
    Messages:
    2,577
    Likes Received:
    799
    Member, but many still cannot guess that they will sit behind a computer, not in a lab, or be flying in a simulator not a cockpit.
     

Share This Page