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LOR, from professor or military officer


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Hi, I'm an asian applicant.

I have three professors who are going to write LORs for me.

Moreover, I have a US army colonel who is willing to write LORs for me.

Usually letters from professors are better, but I heard that professors do not 100 percent believe the LORs from asian professors.

(I am not sure about it. I just heard.)

Because a colonel is my supervisor and we spent one and half years together, he is going to describe personality. However, he may not comment my potential research ability.

Can you advise me?

Thank you for replying

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If you are applying for a PhD or academic master's, go with the professor (unless the colonel has a PhD - but even then, a "personality" recommendation is not very useful). The people making the decision want to know whether you will do well in the program. They are going to give more weight to the word of someone who has been through such a program themselves, and to the word of someone who can attest to your specific abilities that would allow you to succeed (personality is good, but you need the talent, the background knowledge, and the skills - personality alone won't do it for you).

If you are applying for any fellowships, there may be some that do care about personality, for which the colonel's letter would be useful.

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