Recommending someone for a medal isn't the only way to recognize someone's contributions. At the lower end of the recognition spectrum is the humble Letter of Appreciation. Although often considered less significant than an Achievement Medal or other decoration because of the lack of promotion points, a Letter of Appreciation is an excellent way to recognize your troops. A Letter of Appreciation, received from the Commander or the Chief of Maintenance, can have a big impact on a troop's morale and motivation. After all, Letters of Appreciation are awarded for genuine accomplishment which is not always the case with medals. When a person receives a Letter of Appreciation, they know they've accomplished something!
Letters of Appreciation are appropriate for just about any circumstance where a person goes above and beyond the call of duty and deserves recognition. Although a letter of appreciation presented by anyone is generally an effective motivational tool, it has become customary for them to be signed and presented by the commander. Below is an example of a letter to the commander recommending members for a Letter of Appreciation. You can attach your own Letter of Appreciation for the commander to sign or leave it up to him. Below that are a few examples of Letters of Appreciation.
A few tips:
Address the recipient by a name they actually use, not a nick name that no one recognizes.
Describe what the recipient actually did and its overall significance. Nothing signals insincerity more than being praised for someone else's accomplishments.
Make sure it's actually signed and not stamped or printed.
Letters of Appreciation don't have to be presented at Commander's Call but if they are routed through normal distribution, send it to the correct office.
The Commander will use this information to write his own letter of appreciation
MEMORANDUM FOR 13th AF CF/CC
FROM: 13th CF/SCM
SUBJECT: Letter of Appreciation - TSgt Baker
1. I would like to recognize TSgt Benny Baker for his outstanding work as Security Manager from April 06 to October 07.
2. When he heard about the requirement, SSgt Baker volunteered to take on the additional duty of Primary Security Manager. In order to do so, he elected to take his mid-tour leave early so that he would have time to attend available classes, learn the job, and work on this program.
3. Within the last 30 days, TSgt Baker accomplished the following and more:
- Prepared six security packages, submitted five
- Loaded EPSQ security software on two workstations and three laptops
- Installed Sentinal Key and Security Clearance Tracking software on one PC
- Updated security-related forms, manuals, and instructions
- Updated the Security Manager Handbook
- Improved Security Clearance Notification letters for our members
- Brought us into compliance with established standards
4. I appreciate TSgt Baker taking on this additional responsibility as I am heavily tasked elsewhere, preventing me from giving this program the attention and effort it requires. After seeing TSgt Baker in action, I am confident that I am leaving this program in good hands.
FIRST M. LAST, SMSgt, USAF
Chief, Maintenance and Operations
(Signature blocks are 5 spaces below the last line of text.)
SUBJECT: Letter of Appreciation
TO: SCXXPM (SSgt Daniels)
1. The recent Misawa Air Base Open House was a grand success. All activities were well conceived, planned, and executed. All who attended and participated enjoyed themselves tremendously, as did I. Our Squadron's involvement with this activity was highly visible and I can say that our reputation as a unit that makes things happen has made us the envy of the Wing.
2. Please accept my heartfelt appreciation for all your hard work and sacrifice. Your personal involvement and dedication to the welfare of our community has contributed greatly to base morale and improved the relationship between the base and the local population.
3. As a token of my sincere appreciation, I am awarding you a one-day pass, to be taken at the discretion of your supervisor. Again, thanks for all your efforts and keep up the good work!
JOHN WAYNE, Colonel, USAF
MEMORANDUM FOR COMMANDER
113 Bong Hwy
Clark AB, RP
SUBJECT: Letter of Appreciation
1. When the decision was made to move an operational headquarters within 30 days with no loss of communication or command, there were many people who were skeptical it could be done successfully and many others who predicted certain failure. The plan to move the Command Post became known as the Impossible Dream because no one believed it could be done without days or even weeks of service interruption. It was a very ambitious undertaking which required the coordinated and dedicated efforts of many people from several agencies. But despite the obstacles and the shortage of time, the members of the 1837th Electronics Installation Squadron, led by MSgt Porter, did the impossible. They hit the ground running and ran new circuits via alternate paths to our new facility, effectively building a duplicate and completely functional command post before they even attempted to cut over the existing trunks. The end result was a brand new facility with better communications than our old one and not one minute of downtime. Your members accomplished the impossible and I'd like to single them out to express my sincere appreciation.
MSgt Bob Porter
TSgt John Little
TSgt Raymond Collins
SSgt Lamar Troup
SSgt Dan Brown
SSgt Ed Little
SSgt Owen Zumwalt
SrA Steve Kapp
Sra Rob Sweetland
2. Your team, and I mean team in the truest sense of the word, worked tirelessly, often late into the night, to keep this complicated project on schedule. It is impossible to estimate what might have been lost in terms of men and equipment if this project had not been successful. The success of our mission in Southwest Asia is a direct result of your unit's support. I can't adequately express my admiration of your unit's professionalism and pride or my gratitude for their selfless efforts. On behalf of the JTF SWA staff, please accept my thanks for a job well done.
CURTIS P. COLTRAIN
Brigadier General, USAF
Thank you for assisting with the recent retirement ceremonies. Your thoughtful efforts helped create a world-class event and lasting memories for retiring Air Force members and their families. In addition, your selfless contributions increased the morale and esprit de corps of our squadron which is an even larger and ultimately, more important accomplishment. You truly are a valued member of the 601st Maintenance Squadron and the United States Air Force.
As always, it is a pleasure serving with you. Thanks again for all your hard work.
JOHN W. WAYNE, Colonel, USAF