Advice with ALO?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by dtennant, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. dtennant

    dtennant New Member

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    I was accepted to the AFA Summer Seminar a couple of weeks ago, so my ALO called to congratulate me and asked to schedule a meeting so that we could discuss the Air Force Academy in general.

    The meeting went well, for the most part. Something about my ALO's been bothering me though. When my ALO heard that my dad is more than likely of Native American descent, he jumped on that and told me that I should claim to be Native American because the Academy isn't legally allowed to ask me to prove if that's true or not. I wasn't comfortable with the idea, so I told him no... He later sent me an email between him and another AF LT that pretty much said, "Incidentally, intelligent Asian* applicants are a dime a dozen and none of the Academies are hurting for them as a diversity category. Not so with Native American applicants. She would be MUCH more better checking both of the valid diversity blocks……"

    *I'm half Asian.

    I'm not even quite sure how to respond to this... To be honest, it's sort of put me off the AF Academy. My ALO's being kind of persistent about this whole thing, and I don't really want to deal with him anymore.

    Any ideas or advice, please?
     
  2. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    The truth is; ALL the academies try hard to balance diversity in their selection process. It's not an Air Force thing. It's every branch of the military, and their academies. Your ALO is simply trying to maximize your chances at getting an appointment.

    I personally wish that race, gender, and any other genetic attribute wasn't an issue. But it is. If it's any comfort, when it comes to diversity, they are looking at a whole checklist of options. Are you first or 2nd generation American? Are you the first in your family to be attending college? Do you come from a single family environment? Do you come from a below average income family? And the list goes on.

    My advise is to answer the question/subject any way you want to. Definitely don't feel "Put off" by the air force. Because any BGO for the navy or MALO for the Army would be exploring those EXACT SAME ATTRIBUTES of you or any other applicant they have. It's not an air force thing. And if it bothers you enough, then maybe a military academy isn't what you're looking for; because every single one of them is looking for the most diverse class; to produce the most diverse officer corp; to mirror as much as possible the diversity of their enlisted corp and of the nation's population. So; take for what it's worth, and decide accordingly.
     
  3. USAFA_Falcon_15

    USAFA_Falcon_15 USAFA '15 Appointee

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    If the academy is something you really want, I don't think it should matter. If it's about the pride of making it to the academy on, "your own". Then, realize there are factors in every candidate that make them desirable, you obviously have more than the race card that makes you desirable or you wouldn't have gotten into the SS.

    I'm speaking from experience, I'm also native american. It's not something I flaunt, and I don't know if it helped. Someday or does, others don't. As far as I was concerned, they asked me a question and I answered honestly.

    Bottom line is, it is something that you have in your artillery, whether you decide to use it it's on you.
     
  4. Romad

    Romad Member

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    My son and I are also of Asian, American Indian (Mohawk), and Caucasion descent. He's also been selected for SS and I'm a USAF retiree. I wouldn't be put off by the attempts that the USAFA is making as all of the other services are in both the officer and enlisted tracks. Keep in mind, many of these efforts are directed by congressional mandate and are not independent attempts by the services to jerrymander their demographics...

    Romad
     
  5. dtennant

    dtennant New Member

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    Sorry, I don't think I clarified.. I'm not Native American. My ALO wants me to claim that I am though because my Dad is from Oklahoma, and according to him, he's "never met a candidate from OK who wasn't Native American".
     
  6. Romad

    Romad Member

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    It might be a good idea to plainly state to your ALO that you don't consider yourself of native descent, you indicated earlier that he believed your father may be of American Indian descent. It's always a good idea to maintain clear lines of communications in processes as complicated as the USAFA acceptance process... Good Luck.


    Romad
     
  7. dtennant

    dtennant New Member

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    My ALO knows that I'm not Native American. However, he is still encouraging me to say that I am, because no one can legally force me to prove it.

    I would love to attend the AF Academy, but not at the price of my integrity.
     
  8. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Just fill out the forms honestly and hold your integrity high. Your ALO doesn't choose whether you attend the academy or not. S/He is there to help you through the process and to be a source for the academy to interview you to determine compatibility. (The academy obviously can't interview 10,000+ applicants themselves). Either way; just fill out the application honestly, and you'll be fine. If you're being put off by the air force academy because of behavior of your ALO, then my question is: Do you like and agree with everyone at your school, church, community, etc... Do you judge your school, church, community, etc... by the behavior or actions of one person?
     
  9. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Hi!

    I applaud your obviously high ethical standards!!! :yay:

    I am pleased that ALO does NOT work for me because if one of my ALO's advised a candidate to falsify a document...

    You just continue to adhere to YOUR values!!! They will serve you well all of your life!!! :rockon:

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  10. OBXmom

    OBXmom Member

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    Never lie. That aside, do not be afraid to capitalize on any legitimate diversity status. My son's great grandmother was full blooded indian, but like you, we had no documentation, and didn't feel comfortable making such a claim. But, it turned out that my son was recruited by the USAFA Department of Diversity recruiting. In speaking to them, I did clarify that he was caucasian (wanted to make sure no incorrect boxed was checked in error). They didn't tell me the exact diversity requirement that he met, but being a caucasian from NC in a low socio-economic bracket and a single parent household must have done some good! I was told "diversity" could be race, geographic area, socio-economic, familial status...there are many categories.
    So be honest, and don't let any one person's ignorance deter you from your goal. Best of luck!
     
  11. Bundy

    Bundy Member

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    Understand too that it's definitely NOT just the service academies looking for diverse student bodies. Someone who checks the "Native American" box on an application to a highly competitive college will probably have their application moved to a different pile. For better or worse, that just seems to be the America we live in today.

    I used to work for a Hispanic company owner. He was more than happy to take advantage of every break offered to his minority-owned business. His reasoning was, "I'll take advantage of every break the government wants to offer me, whether it's related to my race or not. That's just good business."

    Having said that I'd be a little disappointed in an ALO who advised me to fudge the truth when every cadet promises not to "lie steal or cheat, or tolerate anyone who does." I can't speak from first hand experience since I have never been in the military, but it's probably not the only organization that is comprised of adults with a varying levels of morality. You're just getting a view of this aspect of the real world a little sooner than most.

    If you decide not to declare Native American and this becomes an issue with the ALO then just tell him that you personally want to respect the above creed and not start off your military career by manipulating shades of gray to your advantage. What could he say to that? He should be impressed with your integrity.

    If you do what YOU feel is right, you will always be able to look yourself in the mirror.
     
  12. RyWalk

    RyWalk Candidate-2015

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    Everyone's correct, just do what YOU know is right. Our service academies just wouldn't be the same if they were occupied by cadets who lied their way in. Don't become discouraged though, the Air Force Academy is an honest bunch of people, "officers of character."

    And you can potentially use this situation and your good choice in the near future when you have to write an essay describing "an ethical dilemma that you have faced" and its outcome :thumb:
     
  13. bugsy

    bugsy Member

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    This entire discussion has me bothered.

    1. USAFA wont accept a transcript unless its in a signed sealed envelope, but will accept a checked diversity block without verification.

    2. SA's/ALOs are so driven to fill this square that they will shortcut.

    3. The worlds greatest Air Force is relegated to social experimentation

    4. Arguments in defense of this are as troubling as the accusation,

    5. Will the same social experiment be applied to UPT selection, aircraft drops. will AFSC corps need to be diversity balanced.

    It maybe reality but this discussion has me very bothered.
     
  14. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Bugsy,

    I will try to answer IMO, your questions...


    1. USAFA wont accept a transcript unless its in a signed sealed envelope, but will accept a checked diversity block without verification. From my understanding, this is a legal thing, and no, they don't check. But I do know from past experience that there have been cadets and officers "hammered" later in their career because it was discovered they LIED about this. The military takes a VERY dim view on lying about anything, especially on an official government document. That is a UCMJ offense.

    2. SA's/ALOs are so driven to fill this square that they will shortcut. ALO's have NO diversity requirements, minority requirements, etc. Yes, we work with the SA to attempt to help meet the AF's overall goal of diversity but I don't know an ALO that will bypass ANYONE because they are NOT the correct category. If any of my ALO's did that, they would very quickly NOT be ALO's.

    3. The worlds greatest Air Force is relegated to social experimentation That's the military and the government workforce. This is nothing new, but in the "overall big picture" its really not noticeable because we get amazingly good people of ALL backgrounds!

    4. Arguments in defense of this are as troubling as the accusation. They can be. But rather than argue, look at the reasons and the actual facts that are being presented to form your opinions. Example: Diversity to the USAFA isn't about color of skin...its about socio-economic situation, etc. I have had "diversity candidates" that were native-american, other ethnic minorities, and "white anglo saxons."

    5. Will the same social experiment be applied to UPT selection, aircraft drops. will AFSC corps need to be diversity balanced. I suppose it could be re: UPT selection at the SA if the HQ/AF said it was to be. But I don't see the benefit. UPT and other professional training programs have a set requirement to enter and then to graduate. If you can't hack it, then it doesn't matter what your background is, you won't make it through. And in UPT, you can be killed quickly if you don't know what you're doing. I saw that on my first day at UPT and it happened again before I graduated.

    I wouldn't become overly concerned about this. I think this young candidate ran afoul an ALO I would love to "meet quietly with" and then remove him from the program because as a senior officer, his actions bring into question (at least to me) his fitness to serve.

    Just my opinion...

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  15. 1993A10

    1993A10 Member

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    It's this stupid pc bs. If you were born in the United States (or Canada or Brazil), you are a native American. You may not be an American Indian, but you are a native. We need to get away from putting everyone into categories--that's divisive--and get back to E Pluribus Unum.
     
  16. falconchic88

    falconchic88 Member

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    My sons Great great Grandmother was American Indian, left on the door step of a caucasion family as an infant. When we explored the possiblity of checking that box, on just about every college application, we found a side note that stated in order to claim Native American, DS had to have "tribe affiliation" and the specific tribe had to be noted on the application. Since we don't have any tribe affilition, he never checked the American Indian/Native American block.

    OP, I applaud you for your character...hopefully you won't let the actions by a single ALO sway the way you feel about the AF/USAFA as a whole.
     
  17. Romad

    Romad Member

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    Nice Synopsis.

    Thanks

    Romad
     

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