Army (Military) Letter of Recommendation

The military letter of recommendation, also known as the army LoR, is vital in a military career. The form is used in various cases to decide on promotion or accepting a person into the army. Recommendations are accepted in the navy, air force, infantry, and generally in all army units. Like other recommendations, the paper is a compelling argument for making a decision. If the letter is well written and inspires confidence in the reader, and its author is a reliable person, it has value.

Usually, the applicant attaches several letters of recommendation. They should be written not so long ago, within six months before applying for an award or position. This article tells you about the document’s structure, content, and writing rules. At the end of the article, you will find five samples of army letters of recommendation.

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Why Write an Army Letter of Recommendation

The letter of recommendation for military enlistment increases one’s chances of being accepted for the desired position in the army. This form is also used in cases where a serviceman seeks to improve their working position and apply for a higher rank. Besides, recommendations are important when studying, namely when entering a military school—whether you want to become an army pilot or serve in the navy.

Letters of recommendation are in demand both in educational institutions such as Officer Candidates School (OCS) and Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC or AROTC) and in army services such as the United States Marine Corps (USMC). Since the quality and reliability of the recommendation depend significantly on the applicant’s fate in federal organizations, it is significant to follow the rules and the structure of the letter. Thus, a military character reference letter is required in the following cases:

  • Admission to a military academy
  • Transfer to another position in the army, including promotion
  • Request for a military award by ex-servicemen

It is also important to find the right person to make a recommendation. The Army board considers the title and institutional weight of the source, so contact a reliable author.

Who Writes the Letter?

When the commission makes a decision, a veritable military letter of recommendation has a lot of weight. All other things being equal, the board members will prioritize the applicant whose letters sound more convincing. The author of the recommendation should be a high-ranking military officer. Their social weight in the army adds advantages to the letter.

You can contact a general, major, colonel, captain, or admiral in person or through service members. Compose a detailed letter with your regalia and achievements in the air force, Marine Corps, or another field of your military specialization. Explain the purpose of the military character reference letter, whether it is education or a career. Please make sure to attach your CV. These papers will help the officer write a comprehensive recommendation.

Generally, there is a sizeable positional distance between the high-ranking military personnel and the applicant. Therefore, the officer does not always know the applicant personally and cannot write a whole letter that provides a detailed description. If there are no high-ranking officers who are closely familiar with the candidate, you should request a letter from a serviceman who has known you for a long time. The person should have witnessed your career growth, dedication, professionalism, and leadership qualities. Thus, your acquaintance is supposed to last several years.

The author of the army LoR can be your teacher, employer, mentor, or coach. In other words, what matters here is not the significance of the writer’s title but the duration and closeness of the relationship between them and the candidate. In this case, the theses of the letter are convincing, and the author has the opportunity to support the statements with real examples and anecdotes.

How to Request a Recommendation?

Inform the intended author of the recommendation that you will enroll in a military academy or apply for a promotion. Prepare the papers mentioned above to provide them with additional information about you and your current purpose. If you have not seen the officer for a long time, remind them of yourself and the circumstances of that meeting. You can make a request both verbally and by email.

Remember that you must provide several letters of recommendation. For example, applicants to the six-month Aviation Warrant Officers training program require three to six letters, according to a unit at the official website of the U.S. Army. Here, the army board recommends contacting influential acquaintances who know the applicant personally. It is a feature of this training, as not all courses require both conditions to be met. Please pay attention to such instructions when collecting recommendations for your program to avoid requesting a letter that is not useful. Also, you can always contact the recruiter to clarify the details to comply with the requirements.

Different authors must repeat your characteristics. This collection looks convincing because different people confirm each other’s statements. Of course, you cannot tell the authors of recommendations what to write. However, you can slightly instruct them by setting your perspectives. It is in your power to provide them with the information to use when drafting the document. Here you can talk about your career or educational track and highlight your goals. Further, it is already clear for the author what your abilities and talents are needed to solve the set tasks.

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Army Letter of Recommendation Writing Guide

Since these papers are kept in the national military archives, their requirements are slightly stricter than ordinary recommendation forms. Like the civil recommendations, the military character reference letter consists of three main parts: introduction, the body of the letter, and conclusion.

The main distinguishing feature of military recommendations is the more detailed design. The rules are slightly different for civilian and military guarantors. If you are a military member, number the paragraphs and write on the official letterhead of the organization. The header is written in a special way.

Stylistically speaking, the document should be written in an official language without lyrical digressions. Below is a guide to filling out the paper, including the structure and design of the document.

1. Heading

The title identifies the persons mentioned in the recommendation, namely the recipient, the author, and the applicant. In the upper part of the sheet, usually on the right, the author who has a military rank writes down the following information:

Point out the date when you write the letter.

MEMORANDUM FOR: Provide information on the recipient, such as the name and their position in the military service (rank) and the name of the recipient’s military unit or institution.

FROM: Specify the same identifying data of the author of the recommendation.

SUBJECT: Write a “Letter of Recommendation for” and specify the name, rank, and unit of the person you are writing about.

A civil author, such as an applicant’s teacher or coach, may omit to fill in all lines except the date. Also, there is no need for them to write on the official letterhead.

2. Introduction

Within the first three sentences, specify the candidate’s name and the letter’s purpose (the position the individual is applying for). Point out the nature and duration of your relationship. It effectively establishes your right to recommend the person.

3. Main body

The central part of the letter contains one to three paragraphs. Here, the author of the recommendation should indicate:

  • The applicant’s military experience and specific evidence (anecdotes, pieces of evidence)
  • Personal qualities of the applicant that help them achieve their goals (diligence, endurance, camaraderie, the ability to make a decision quickly, etc.)
  • The relation of the candidate’s experience and character traits to the position they are applying for.

The letter aims to explain the reasons for the recommendation and prove a person’s right to a promotion or a place in a military school. Emphasize the uniqueness of the candidate and their positive qualities, supporting them with examples.

4. Conclusion

Demonstrate that the applicant is absolutely prepared for the position they are applying for or is worthy of the award. Specify additional statements if they are not included in the main part of the letter. Indicate that you are ready to respond if the commission representative wants to know more about the candidate.

5. Sign-off

The signature does not have strict regulations for both a civil and military individual. Write in order your name, full postal address, phone number, and email for feedback. Affix your signature below to certify the paper.


Below are five sample letters of recommendation for the army. These drafts reveal the content and structure of the letters, and you can expand them according to the specific characteristics of your subordinate. We have prepared samples from authors of the different US Army units for various organizations to give you the right sample or combine the necessary wording.

We will not duplicate the header in each sample, so do not forget to provide identification data in the letter (for more details, see point 1, Heading in the previous section of the article).

Navy Letter of Recommendation

I have the honor to recommend _____________ (indicate candidate’s full name and rank) for admission to the ______________ (name the school). I have had the opportunity to observe _____________ (candidate’s surname and rank) since ______________ (specify the date) as a ______________ (point out your position). (He or She) demonstrates outstanding intelligence, maturity, and dedication.

_____________ (candidate’s surname and rank) is responsible for ______________ (specify the main position). Last year, (he or she) completed ______________ (specify the quality or volume of tasks) that led to the promotion of the entire team ______________ (point out the amount of money or reward). In order to improve (his or her) work, _____________ (candidate’s surname and rank) took advanced training courses (name the title, organization, and terms). (He or She) did this without study leave after working hours, which shows a deep involvement and dedication to the maritime service.

_____________‘s (candidate’s surname) hard work and diligence encourage me to recommend (him or her) for admission to your school. I am sure (he or she) will become a worthy member of your student team! For more details, do not hesitate to contact me by phone or mail.

United States Marine Corps (USMC) Letter of Recommendation

I am very delighted to recommend _____________ (point out candidate’s full name and rank) for the program (specify the Marine Corps program). I have known (him or her) for _____________ (set the period) as an executive and responsible naval.

During the time I have been (his or her) mentor, I have been impressed by _____________ (candidate’s surname) professional achievements, (his or her) relentless pursuit of the subject and perseverance. I met _____________ (candidate’s surname) when (he or she) joined the staff of our military ship _____________ (name it) as _____________ (indicate the position of the applicant). Since then, (he or she) has shown progress both in their professional field and in personal qualities.

From my 30-year career in the U.S. Navy as a chaplain, I am convinced that _____________ (candidate’s surname) needs further education, given (his or her) aspirations and talents. I am ready to tell you more about (his or her) personality, so I am waiting for your call or write if necessary.

Air Force Letter of Recommendation

I strongly recommend _____________ (enter candidate’s full name and rank) for the position of ______________ (point out the unit and position). (He or She) has worked under my leadership in ______________ (indicate the location) for ______________ (specify the term of your cooperation) and has demonstrated the unique qualities of a military person and loyalty to their work.

_____________’s (candidate’s rank and surname) promotion to ______________ (the position) would be the proper solution, as (he or she) has proven time and time again that they are a disciplined, hard-working, confident leader. (His or her) team is perfectly organized, demonstrating (his or her) ability to control (himself or herself) and manage (his or her) subordinate troops. _____________’s (candidate’s rank and surname) flawless loyalty to the cause is always strong as (he or she) wants to serve the army as best they can.

All these qualities of _____________ (candidate’s rank and surname) convince me to sincerely recommend (him or her) for the post of ______________ (the position). I am sure that the new position is earned by honest work and will give the military many prospects. For more specific information, please call or email me.

Letter of Recommendation for Congressional Nomination

I am honored to recommend _____________ (enter the candidate’s name, position, and rank) for the _____________ (specify the position). As a long-serving colonel, I have rarely seen militaries so dedicated to the American Army.

During the _____________ (determine the term) that _____________ (candidate’s rank and surname) has served under my command, I have repeatedly been convinced of (his or her) intelligence, ingenuity, hard work, and diligence. (He or She) earned my trust already at the beginning of the service, when _____________ (give an anecdote). Further, _____________ (candidate’s surname) only confirmed (his or her) positive qualities _____________ (list special character traits). (His or Her) strong-willed character did not go unnoticed, and _____________ (candidate’s surname) was awarded with _____________ (name the military awards).

I am convinced of the fairness of _____________ (candidate’s rank and surname) nominating and am ready to provide additional information if necessary. Please do not hesitate to call or email me.

Letter of Recommendation Army Promotion Board

I have the honor to recommend _____________ (indicate candidate’s rank and name) for promotion to the _____________ (indicate the position). For _____________ (specify the period of cooperation), (he or she)  has been the high standard officer of the US Air Force.

During (his or her) service in our unit, _____________ (candidate’s rank and name) has come a long way from _____________ (specify the starting position) to _____________ (specify the current position). (He  or She) managed to establish friendly relations with the closest circle of sailors and the entire crew. _____________’s (candidate’s rank and name) eagerness and dedication became an example for the sailors over and over again. (Here, it is appropriate to give an anecdote confirming what has been said).

Based on _____________’s (candidate’s rank and name) outstanding qualities, I strongly support their promotion to the rank of _____________. I am deeply convinced that this decision will be fair not only for them but also for the US Air Force. Stay in touch with me if you would like to clarify any details in my recommendation.


So, the purpose of recommendations for the army is to create a positive verbal portrait of the person and emphasize their compliance with the service or training position. Be sure to back the qualities up with evidence; otherwise, it will be weak and vague.

Please pay attention to the specific letter requirements applied in the organization where you submit the recommendation letter and consider the number of letters they typically require. Contact the program recruiter if you have any questions on writing rules and regulations. However, in most cases, this is not necessary since you can use the guide provided above.

Published: May 21, 2021