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What is the proper protocol to request a letter of recommendation from a General Officer?

What is the proper method to go about requesting a letter for recommendation from a General Officer. I recently won my Divisions' Soldier of the Year Competition. My goal is to become an Officer through the OCS program and I need a letter of recommendation and I would like to ask my Division CG for a recommendation but want to make sure I don't tick anyone off for violating the chain of command or something.

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Great question!  I can totally understand where you are coming from.  I believe you should type up your request and then seek assistance by  requesting a joint meeting with your Company Commander/1SG and ask them if they would support you in obtaining your recommendation from the CG assisting you in in setting up a meeting with the Division CDR and CSM.  It might not be a bad idea to ask for a recommendation from the DIV CSM as well.

The last thing you want to do is tick off the chain of command.  Imagine how things will go down if the BDE CDR calls the BN CDR and says….did you know SPC X sent an email directly to the CG?

This process might take a little longer but if you let them know in your correspondence that you would need the recommendation by a certain date to submit your packet then that should help as well.  Another option would be to seek a letter of recommendation from the Company, Battalion, and BDE CDRs and take these letters with you to your meeting with the CG.  This gives them the information they need to write a solid recommendation because your CG really does not know anything about you personally except that you won the Soldier of the year.

You should also consider asking each one of these CDR for words of wisdom with regard to OCS and becoming an officer.

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Mark is a Retired Command Sergeant Major with 26 years of military leadership experience. He held 3 military occupational specialties (Field Artillery, Nuclear Weapons Tech, and Ammunition Ordnance). Mark is one of the leading military authors in the fields of leadership, counseling, and training.

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