A Few Questions Regarding ALOs

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by breakitbuyit, Sep 30, 2016.

  1. breakitbuyit

    breakitbuyit Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2016
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Will get straight to the point. I appreciate any answers or extra info. :)

    1) Is early junior year too early to contact them?

    2) How big of an area do ALOs usually cover?

    3) When emailing to ask a few questions, how much info should I give when introducing myself? Would 'Hi xxxxx, my name is xxxxxx going into my junior year and I had a few questions regarding xxxx.' be suitable, or should I provide school, city, etc?
     
  2. Hoodlum15

    Hoodlum15 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2016
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    4
    Hi breakitbuyit, I'll do my best to answer your questions as someone who went through the process last year.

    1. A lot of it depends on your ALO. Many ALOs are really busy and don't want to spend much time with people who haven't started the application yet. That being said, it doesn't hurt to start building that relationship early as the ALO interview is a big part of your admission. I reached out and mine told me to hold off on fully engaging until I had completed the pre-candidate questionnaire in March.

    2. I'm not super sure on this one, I think mine covered about 10 small high schools around my state.

    3. This isn't what you asked, but make sure the questions you ask don't have answers that can be found online and elsewhere. It makes a bad impression if you just use your ALO as a sort of "catch-all" for questions. That being said, I don't think it would hurt to provide your school so they know they're your ALO, but other than that I think you're fine. Treat it like an email you would send to a potential employer.

    Hope this helps!
     
  3. Daretodream

    Daretodream Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2014
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    49
    I think it depends on your ALO. However, you will never know if you don't reach out.

    My DS first reached out to our ALO in the 8th grade. It was simply an email introduction expressing interest in USAFA and asking for any advice as he entered high school. The ALO reached out and the two met at his office and he laid out several things the admissions office would look at when he applied. Each year my DS would send a short email with his progress to the ALO. By the time he interviewed his senior year, the ALO knew him and his qualifications well. The ALO mentioned this at the scholarship ceremony when he provided my DS with his appointment.

    ALO's are very busy so I suggest reaching out by email with a short introduction and expressing your interest in a military career and USAFA. Let them drive the conversation and relationship from there. Best of luck.
     
    dreamusafa likes this.
  4. Padre101

    Padre101 Parent

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2015
    Messages:
    585
    Likes Received:
    325
    I will echo that it really depends on your ALO. However, my DS reached out to his ALO during his junior year. Presented his resume and introduced himself. Explained why he was interested in the Air Force and that he was applying to USAFA Summer Seminar.

    The ALO conducted a quick interview of my DS to help with his Summer Seminar application right when the application opened.

    Since then, my DS has met him in person 3 times. My wife and I once.

    I think this ALO is the exception to the rule, but honestly, he has represented USAFA very well.
     
    dreamusafa and Wishful like this.
  5. TexasSoccerMom

    TexasSoccerMom Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2015
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    44
    It depends on your Alo. Son has emailed his a few times and only heard from him once. It short email response, not even a complete sentence. That's it. Son is a senior candidate and application is in progress, CFA and DodMerb passed.

    Son has also applied to USNA. Complete opposite experience. His BGO has met with him at least once a month since he became an official candidate and checks in with him via email weekly. I'm not sure if it is the difference between academies or the different interpretation of how one's fulfilling a volunteer position.

    That being said sons first choice is still USAFA.
     
  6. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,852
    Likes Received:
    343
    Hi!

    From an ALO (me)...

    I like to hear from ANY student, at any time! I've spoken with 7th graders (encouraged them, said keep in touch, included them and their parents on mailings, etc.) and last-minute seniors...I take all comers!

    The latest I really want to hear is the beginning of the senior year (okay, not really; see earlier answer) because now it's REALLY LATE in the process! The SA's will all say "the spring of the junior year is when the application procss starts" and that's really correct.

    As for the ALO's area, how much they work, etc...etc...etc...that depends upon the LOD (head ALO in the state) and how he/she assigns schools. I've typically covered 18-35 schools in the metro Phoenix area as well as in the E/NE mountains. The farthest away school I had was about 150 miles; I would visit it quarterly. I call my candidates, email, text, them all the time. I'm a very "hands on" ALO. Am I typical? I don't know...but this is my passion so if the candidate is serious...then we get to know each other pretty well.

    If you are EVER dissatisfied with your ALO, try to work it out with them first. If that doesn't work, then contact the state LOD (Liaison Officer Director) and explain your concerns. I guarantee that will generate a response and a resolution to the issue.

    What else can I tell you?

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  7. Padre101

    Padre101 Parent

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2015
    Messages:
    585
    Likes Received:
    325
    Exact opposite experience with my DS's BGO and ALO......
     
  8. Daretodream

    Daretodream Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2014
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    49
    Same with my DS Padre. However, my DS was focused on USAFA since the 7th grade and reached out early to the ALO. We didn't learn who the BGO was for our area until the application process and he reached out to us. It turned out he was very new to the process and area.
     
  9. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    Messages:
    1,664
    Likes Received:
    516
    I have related this story before, but I will do it again for the sake of the newer people on the forum.

    My son's first ALO never contacted him in any way. Son's email and phone call to him went unanswered. Two months into the process son got an email from admissions that his ALO had resigned and son was being reassigned to another ALO in Minnesota (we are in Wisconsin). During the next few months, son got one phone call from that ALO saying that he was very busy and would call sometime for an interview. During this time, son had gotten his LOA and did his MOC interviews (all arranged on his own through his own research and work). He also got an appointment by the middle of December. Later, in January, he got a phone call from what would be his third ALO that was now assigned to him. After he explained where he sat in the process, the new ALO said to let her know if she could do anything. He did ask her to come to senior scholarship night, which she did and gave him his appointment presentation. So, in the entire process he never once met an ALO until the very end. No interviews, no coaching, no nothing, yet he still got an appointment and graduated. By the way, the third ALO was wonderful and eventually became the State ALO Director, but she just came into the process very late.

    So the lesson of the story is that the ALO is important, but not necessary to the process if the candidate does what he/she needs to do.

    Stealth_81
     
  10. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,963
    Likes Received:
    872
    Stealth's story is so true. The most important thing about it is, even if you have the "Most INVOLVED" ALO in the country; Like Flieger; this is still YOUR application. It's YOUR Future. It's YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. I always thought that I was pretty involved with my applicants. That's why I spend so much time on these forums. I do care. But no matter how much I care, I CAN'T do the application, CFE, DODMRB, SAT/ACT, get your teacher's recommendation, school profile/transcript/etc.

    Much is said about how important the ALO interview/report is. Truth is, it's very important. But I can tell you first hand, if your ALO contacts you for the interview, to chat, etc. and they ask how you're coming along with the application process, your interview/report will be dramatically improved if you can show that you've taken the initiative to get "EVERYTHING" completed. When the ALO sees that all you need is their interview/report, they recognize your commitment.

    So in the end, it's nice if your ALO can be a mentor or a coach. But like stealth said, they aren't necessary if you are responsible for your application. Especially in the context of this forum. An environment where there is NOTHING that you could possibly need to know to assist you with the application, that you can't find right here. For the 95+% who don't visit this forum, the ALO may be more important to them. They may be overwhelmed by the process. But anyone reading these posts....... you have no excuses. If you don't receive an appointment, it's not because your ALO wasn't involved or to help you with questions. You can get all of that right here. It was simply because your application wasn't good enough. And even with a more involved ALO, the results would probably have been the same.

    So take advantage of this forum. The posters here are other applicants, past applicants, current cadets and alumni, parents, and even ALO's. Of course, if you don't want to hear me pi$$ and moan, make sure you always use the SEARCH feature of this forum first. Chances are, you'll find 2,534,521 posts on the topic you have questions about. But if you don't find a satisfactory answer, definitely ask. Someone here DOES HAVE THE ANSWER. Best of luck
     
    rkv, dreamusafa and Wishful like this.

Share This Page