Military Letter of Recommendation Examples & Tips

A military recommendation letter is a special letter that is intended to increase the likelihood that a person may be accepted into any military installation. For instance, it includes special programs and military academies. The letter may also be drafted to request a medal or an award.

When is the “Military Letter of Recommendation” Used?

Military academies

As noted above, these letters come in to vouch for a candidate’s suitability for joining and undertaking some military training. For this reason, the letter is used extensively by military academies to understand the qualifications of a candidate in greater detail.

Award panelists

To be able to arrive at a more favorable verdict, the award panelists will rely heavily on the letters of recommendation alongside other qualifications. These letters are mostly used to break ties when the candidates have almost all the qualifications in common.

Military units

The various military units will also find this letter quite suited for their use.


Navy, marines, the army, and the air force.

They rely on these letters to ascertain whether the applicant is indeed suited for and has what it takes to perform well in these units.

In many cases, this letter finds applicability in the following areas and circumstances:

Seeking promotion

In case you are seeking promotion in a military installation, army unit, or training academy, this letter will usually come to your rescue. It spells out your own strengths and why you deserve such consideration. The admissions committee mainly uses it to break ties.

Applying for a military award

Some military awards and medals require that you apply and express interest before the award is granted. Yet again, this letter comes in to showcase your own suitability for the same awards and medals. It gives those who know you and are familiar with your achievements an opportunity to reveal the same.

Intending to join a military rank

Intending to join a military rank? Yet again, this letter will help you do so. Such ranks are ordinarily cramped up. That is because they attract a vast number of applicants. The only way to choose one over the other is to seek additional testimonials, typically by way of letters of recommendation.

Applying for consideration by a military academy

Lastly, the letter also plays a supportive role for anyone who applies to be considered for entry into a military academy. Before being granted such permission, the academy in question will want to know more about the background of the applicant concerned. The letter contributes to this information.

What Purpose Does it Serve?

Strengthens the applicant’s position

All factors considered, the letter strengthens the position and the likelihood that the applicant will be eligible for consideration for the positions applied for. That is because it provides more information regarding the applicant’s past successes and overall suitability for the position applied for. 


Then, it also serves as a tie-breaker in that it helps the admissions committee make up their minds and sets one candidate apart from the rest. Given the enormous volume of equally qualified applicants at any given time, this letter is a crucial one.

What Should I Include in the Letter?


You have to open the letter with an appropriate salutation. This is basically a clause that shows who exactly you are addressing in this letter. The salutation may take the forms of “Dear Admissions Committee,” “Dear Sir/Madam,” or “To Whom It May Concern,” and so on.

Relations with the applicant

This one simply refers to how you are known to and by the applicant. Could you have taught him before? Have you served with him in the military? For how long have you known each other? What specific thing makes him stand out from the crowd?

Suitability of the applicant

How is the applicant qualified for the venture or undertaking he is applying for? What else does he possess over and above the bare minimum set of qualifications? Is there a significant act of bravery he was involved in? If yes, what makes you conclude that this will make him perform better and outshine other candidates?

Contact details

Lastly, you also want to leave your contact details. This is to not only prove that you are serious but also provide a way for the admissions committee to gain extra information if and when they have to. It is usually in the form of a telephone or e-mail address.

Samples and Examples

email example

Subject: Recommendation for Lieutenant Jane Doe for the Advanced Leadership Program

Dear Admissions Committee,

I am writing to wholeheartedly recommend Lieutenant Jane Doe for your esteemed Advanced Leadership Program at the National Military Academy. In my capacity as the Commanding Officer of the 77th Engineer Battalion, I have observed Lieutenant Doe’s exemplary service and leadership skills over the past three years.

Lieutenant Doe possesses a unique blend of strategic acumen, tactical expertise, and empathetic leadership. Her role in the successful coordination of complex engineering projects under challenging circumstances has been nothing short of outstanding. Her ability to lead her team with both firmness and compassion has earned her the respect of her peers and subordinates alike.

Her technical skills, coupled with her unwavering dedication to the mission and the well-being of her team, make her an ideal candidate for the Advanced Leadership Program. Her participation in this program will not only benefit her professional growth but also significantly contribute to the effectiveness of our armed forces.

Please feel free to contact me if you need any further information.


Colonel John Smith

Commanding Officer, 77th Engineer Battalion

(123) 456-7890

sample Letter

To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing to recommend Captain Michael Johnson for the position of Instructor at the Elite Military Strategy Academy. As the Senior Instructor of Tactical Operations at Fort Victory, I have had the pleasure of working closely with Captain Johnson for the past four years.

Captain Johnson has consistently demonstrated exceptional skills in strategic planning and operational execution. His innovative approach to tactical challenges has significantly enhanced our unit’s effectiveness in various high-stakes missions. He possesses a deep understanding of modern warfare techniques and has shown remarkable aptitude in training and mentoring young soldiers.

His leadership qualities, combined with his commitment to excellence and continuous learning, make him an excellent fit for the Instructor role at your academy. Captain Johnson has the experience, knowledge, and character to contribute meaningfully to the development of future military leaders.

Please do not hesitate to contact me for further endorsement of Captain Johnson’s qualifications.


Brigadier General Emily White

Senior Instructor, Tactical Operations

Fort Victory, United States Armed Forces

(987) 654-3210


Delving into the details of these sample letters, we can see why they are particularly effective and persuasive.

Let’s break down these elements:

  • Highlighting Relevant Skills and Achievements: In each letter, the writer has put a clear emphasis on skills and achievements that are directly relevant to the position or program the candidate is applying for. This targeted approach ensures that the recommendation is not just a general character endorsement but a tailored advocacy for the candidate’s suitability for the specific role.
  • Specific Examples and Context: The letters don’t just list qualities; they provide context and examples. The recommender mentions specific roles, situations, or contributions where the candidate excelled, making the recommendation more concrete and believable. 
  • Contact Information and Offer to Provide Further Information: Including contact details and offering to provide additional information shows the recommenders’ willingness to further support their candidates, indicating a strong belief in their qualifications.
  • Professional Tone and Clarity: In each letter, the recommenders maintain a formal and respectful tone, which is crucial in a military context. They are clear and concise, avoiding unnecessary jargon, and making them accessible to both military and non-military personnel on selection committees. 
  • Personal Testimonials: The recommenders don’t just list the candidates’ achievements; they provide personal insights into their character and work ethic in the letter. This personal connection makes the recommendations more compelling.

These sample letters are effective because they combine the personal experience of the recommender with specific, relevant examples of the candidate’s skills and achievements. They are structured and written in a way that is both professional and engaging, making them strong templates for anyone writing a military letter of recommendation.

About This Article

Jake Adams
Authored by:
Academic tutoring, learning resources, SAT & ACT prep, college admissions applications
Jake Adams is an academic tutor and the owner of Simplifi EDU, an online tutoring business based in Santa Monica, California. With over 14 years of professional tutoring experience, Jake is dedicated to providing his clients with the best online tutoring experience. He offers a wide range of academic subjects from K-College, specializing in SAT & ACT prep and college admissions applications. Jake has built a network of exceptional undergraduate and graduate-level tutors from top colleges across the nation. Holding a BS in International Business and Marketing from Pepperdine University, Jake combines his educational background with his expertise to deliver effective and comprehensive tutoring services.

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