Top 3 Tips for a Letter of Reprimand Rebuttal

Share on Social

It seems like every day that a military member comes to us for help in needing a Letter of Reprimand Rebuttal. A LOR can have a huge impact on your career in the Air Force or the Army. It can affect your chances at promotion, your future assignments, and even whether you can reenlist or continue to serve. Because of what's at stake, it's important that you write the most persuasive rebuttal to any LOR you receive. Here are our Top 3 Tips for an Effective Letter of Reprimand Rebuttal:

#1: Address the Allegations Against You

The reason you received a LOR is that one of your superiors, or your commander, believed that you did something wrong. In your Letter of Reprimand Rebuttal, it is important that you address those allegations. There are three common ways to respond to allegations based on our “best practices.”  

First, you can accept the allegations as true and simply hope for the best outcome.  This most commonly happens when the evidence against you is clear.  (For example, you sent inappropriate text messages to someone, and your command has those text messages.)  Second, you can dispute the allegations but not make a statement.  This most commonly happens when the evidence against you is unclear, but anything you say about what happened could make things worse.  (For example, someone claims you said something inappropriate to them, there is no hard evidence or witnesses, but you know that you actually did say the inappropriate thing.)  Finally, you can dispute the allegations with a statement and evidence.  This most commonly happens when the evidence against you is unclear, and your statement could change things.  (For example, someone claims you said something inappropriate to them, there is no hard evidence or witnesses, and you know you did not say the inappropriate thing.)

Although the team at Military Justice Guides are not lawyers, and cannot give you legal advice, we can say from experience that these are the best ways to address the allegations that you are facing in your Letter of Reprimand Rebuttal. There are many ways to respond to a LOR.  The key is to decide on a strategy and stick to your message.  Provide information and evidence that helps your command understand your position and, hopefully, resolve your case in the most lenient way.

Letter of Reprimand Rebuttal

#2: Include Positive Details About Yourself

When you receive a Letter of Reprimand, you might think that it is all your leadership or command cares about. In our experience, however, it's important that your leadership understands all the good things you have done. You need to show them that what led to your LOR was out of character for you. You should include positive details about yourself and your career.

We always encourage our clients to detail their careers. Talk about your assignments and what you learned from them. List your training opportunities. You should definitely include lots of information about any awards you may have won or been nominated for, even if they are "small" awards. Explain your successes, including any major projects, decorations, recognitions, etc.  Explain that, because you have been successful in the past, you know you will be successful in the future.

#3: Gather Character Letters

Perhaps the most powerful way to respond to a Letter of Reprimand is through character letters. Character letters allow you to ask other people, like your supervisors or co-workers, to stand up for you and help you show your true character. In any character letter, you want the author to talk about three things: how they know you, what they think about you, and what your best character traits are. Character letters are an excellent way for you to show your leadership how you contribute to the military community and how other people think you will succeed in the future.

When you ask for character letters from others, you should explain the allegations against you so that they understand why you need their support. You can also provide them with a Character Letter Template, which is a good way to show that you are planning to submit a professional rebuttal and need help.

Character letters are truly the best way to show that others support you and will help you in the future.

Writing a Persuasive Letter of Reprimand Rebuttal

The tips above should help you write a persuasive Letter of Reprimand Rebuttal to your Letter of Reprimand. Our products can also help. If you are interested, please feel free to read more on our website or purchase a LOR Response Template below:

Military Justice Guides

Military Justice Guides and are not law firms, nor do our employees act as legal counsel. provides an online portal to give users a general understanding of military law and to provide an automated software solution to individuals who choose to prepare their own documents. Services may also include a review of your answers for completeness, spelling, grammar, and for internal consistency of names, addresses and the like. At no time do we review your answers for legal sufficiency, draw legal conclusions, provide legal advice, opinions or recommendations about your legal rights, remedies, defenses, options, selection of forms, or strategies, or apply the law to the facts of your particular situation. We are not a law firm and may not perform services performed by an attorney. Military Justice Guides and, its related Services, and its forms or templates are not a substitute for the advice or services of an attorney.

© Copyright 2021 - All Rights Reserved
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram