Air Force recruitment is competitive, particularly for much-coveted specialties such as pilot training, where approximately 10 percent of the 800 to 1,000 candidates are selected each year. A potential recruit needs to do everything possible to prove his suitability for selection, including providing three to five strong letters of reference from reputable sources who know him well and are qualified to comment on his strengths, work ethic, moral turpitude and personality. The candidate should ask people such as professors, ministers, employers, flight instructors and civil air patrol leaders, who know him sufficiently well, to write letters of reference on his behalf.
Use letter-size white paper, and use a computer to generate the letter, if possible. Select a readable font such as Times New Roman or Arial in 12-point size.
Start by putting your address, telephone number and email at the top of the page. Place this in the center or to the right-hand side.
Give the letter a title, such as "Letter of Recommendation for John Smith," and make this text bold.
Start the body of your text with the salutation "Dear Sir:"
Explain your credentials for writing the letter. Your first paragraph should be brief and explain who you are, your relationship to the candidate and how long you have known him.
Detail the candidate's academic performance and qualifications, if you are qualified to do so. Discuss his personality, attitude, volunteerism, leadership and communication skills and participation in sports and extracurricular activities. Where possible, give examples, such as "He lead a team of eight students on a two-week trek in the Andes. During this time the team was engaged in performing research projects for ... ."
Discuss the candidate's enthusiasm and motivation for wanting to pursue an Air Force career, and give details of activities he has pursued to further his ambitions.
Finish your letter by indicating your willingness to provide additional information, if required. Sign off with "Sincerely," and add your signature to the letter.
Be honest, clear and concise in your letter.