Presidential Letter of Appreciation
A Presidential Letter of Appreciation (PLOA), or retirement letter, is a standard letter of appreciation prepared by the White House and signed by the President of the United States. The letter recognizes a military or civilian retiree with 30 or more years of creditable service for retired pay. This award may be given to civilians, Service members that served in multiple branches or those who served in both military and civilian positions.
Each Military Department requests PLOA's through their respective White House Liaison Officer (WHLO) and provides the information necessary to complete the letter.
DoD Components - Civilians
Department of Defense (DoD) Components shall request PLOA's through their respective awards representative. The PLOA template provided in the left margin of this page is the form needed for processing all DoD request. Requests shall be routed through the Executive Secretary of the DoD. Submit all DoD request through CMD, room 3C843 in the Pentagon or fax to 703-695-1219 for processing.
PLOA's should be requested 90 days in advance of actual retirement date or retirement ceremony (whichever comes first).
For information and form to request a PLOA for a Department of Defense retiree, please email the email the DoD White House Liaison Office.
Department of the Army - Military and Civilians
For information and form to request a PLOA for a Department of the Army retiree, please email the Army White House Liaison Office.
Department of the Navy
Presidential Letters of Appreciation (PLOAs) cannot be submitted directly to the White House. Requests must be submitted through the Navy White House Liaison Office (WHLO), which is part of the Secretary of the Navy's administrative department located in the Pentagon.
Active/Reserve Navy and Marine Personnel
Do not submit requests for retiring military personnel. Letters for retiring Navy and Marine Service members are automatically requested by the retirement branches of both Navy Personnel Command (NPC) and Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps (HQMC). Once NPC and HQMC receive a service member's retirement paperwork from the retiree's parent command, their staffs calculate the total years of service, determine whether the retiree is eligible for a letter, and if so, forwards a request to Navy WHLO.
Department of the Navy Civilian Personnel
Requests for PLOAs need to be verified by the retiree's command and submitted to Navy WHLO. The Navy has a specific form required to make a request for a PLOA. Instructions and the form are available at this link. When prompted, select email certificate and Adobe Acrobat to view the PDF.
Processing Time: Due to an increase in retirees and a high volume of requests for PLOAs, the White House processing time can take 6 months or greater. Navy WHLO will confirm an initial receipt of your request. However, due to the high volume, the White House is unable to provide further status updates.
Department of the Air Force - Military and Civilians
All Air Force personnel should refer to AFI 36-3203, Service Retirements, chapter 6, located on the Air Force e-Publishing website, to request a PLOA. Please do not send requests directly to the White House. Send all questions to the Air Force White House Liaison Office.