ALO involvement?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by KO5791, Dec 16, 2010.

  1. KO5791

    KO5791 Member

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    How involved should an ALO be during the entire application process? Do they have certain "tasks" they need to complete for each candidate and once those are completed, they are "done" OR does it depend on their own personality and how much time and effort they want to put into this position? What is the average number of candidates they are dealing with each year?
     
  2. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Hi!

    Okay...I'll attempt to answer your questions.

    First, "how involved" the ALO is. This is totally up to the ALO. There is a "minimum" requirement for action...the ALO must interview the candidate and then complete an evaluation of that candidate. That's all that is required.

    Second..."tasks that must completed by the ALO?" The candidate evaluation.

    Third..."average number of candidates per ALO per year?" Impossible to speculate because each ALO is assigned a different number of schools, decided upon by their own unit.

    Now that I gave you some really short answers...Now you'll get the "Paul Harvey" portion...

    The ALO, IMHO, should be EXTREMELY involved with their assigned schools, first and foremost. That is where the candidates are! They should know the counselors, college advisors, career guidance team, etc., at each of their schools and should visit often enough that they know the ALO!

    Once a student expresses interest, even if they're not a candidate, just curious, I think the ALO should make themselves available to answer ANY question, concern, etc. Building trust and rapport takes time but it will pay dividends for BOTH in the long term.

    Once the student is in the application process, I think the ALO should fall somewhere between the parents and the school, in a lot of situations. I jokingly refer to my candidates as "my kids." I really feel that way; we're always talking about their process, how to better their applications, what they could work on, should they submit "X" or "Y" or ? I become a pseudo "next door neighbor" to all of them, always available to answer any question.

    It has gone so well over the years that I've maintained contact with many of them after their appointments, after their graduations, and now that they're serving in both the USAF and USA. Yes, I have one USMA graduate out there and one super "kid" at USMA now as a plebe. And for you USMA folks, she "tabbed" the IOCT!!! :wow:

    As for how many candidates...it's all dependent upon the number of schools, the type schools, candidate pools, etc. At one time I had 28 schools throughout Arizona. I currently have 18 but only about 5 are "producers" for any of the SA's. I still stay in close contact with all of them though.

    Last thought...IMHO the ALO needs to be all I've described and more. If they're not, I don't think they're doing the candidate service and should consider a different line of work. Then again, that's MY opinion.

    (And yes, I HAVE been accused of being a bit...STRAC at times.):rolleyes:

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  3. KO5791

    KO5791 Member

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    Thanks Steve for the great information; I wish we lived in Arizona! Unfortunately, my son is not experiencing that kind of involvement. His ALO was fine at the beginning of the process and up to the interview, over the summer. However, since then my son has tried to call and email him to give updates (I finished my application), ask questions (how should I prepare for my interview?), share news (hey, I got 2 nominations!), but he has never responded, never. He told us at the interview that he also worked a full time job in the private sector, so I assume he is very busy. But I feel my son has been at a disadvantage during this whole process. That is why I am glad to have found this forum; I have learned a lot about the process and hopefully, this won't matter much once he gets an appointment in March!
     
  4. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    We all have "outside" jobs...ALO's except for the very rare active duty "additional duty" ALO are "normally" AF reservists or AF retiree's. We do this job because we volunteered for it; were screened by several levels for it, and committed to it.

    If the ALO is un-responsive...I can accept that for a bit...a VERY SHORT bit. Then my "commander is angry" look starts to surface...and I become a bit...testy.

    The questions you mention, those are PRECISELY what we ALO's are here to help with!

    If you have questions, and can't reach the ALO, drop me a note...I'll be happy to help in any way I can.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  5. KO5791

    KO5791 Member

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    Thanks Steve, I appreciate it. I will mention your comments to my son and if he feels the need to seek your guidance, he'll get in contact with you.
     
  6. equitytheory

    equitytheory New Member

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    Need Nomination Clarification

    Hi Steve-
    I need some clarification from an ALO. My son's ALO hasn't been quite as "Distant" as the one mentioned in this thread, but still leaves something to be desired. Since you mentioned that you have some kids at West Point I thought you would probably be familiar with the topic. My son has applied to the Air Force Academy and West Point. Both applications are complete and he is "Qualified." He received a Nomination letter that stated that he had been nominated to the USAFA which was his first choice (about a 60/40 split AF vs WP). He was under the assumption that he could use his Nomination to attend any SA that appointed him. Is that true? The West Point ALO has been far more active in contacting my son throughout the process which I believe has caused him to reconsider his previous SA ranking. My son has asked me if he should simply contact his Nominating authority and discuss it with them, I'm just afraid of what that might stir up. What are my sons options?

    P.S. I've been reading your post for a couple of months. Thanks for all the effort you put into getting us the "REAL" answers. It's appreciated!
     
  7. futureAFA

    futureAFA Member

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    You may want to be real friendly with your ALO, getting on their bad side, will NOT help. On top of everything they do in contact with admissions, they will basically walk you through the process and help you. They are a “Liaison” they work for you.

    This is just on top of what was already said.
     
  8. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Equity: You can NOT use a nomination to any academy. If you want to go to air force, navy, and army; then you'll need SEPARATE nominations for air force, navy, and army. The one your son received for the air force academy is only good for that academy.
     
  9. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Hi!

    ChristCorp is precisely correct: a nomination to "USAFA" is only to USAFA. It can not be used anywhere else.

    If he'd be happier at USMA, he should contact his nominating authority to discuss it. However, from your post, I get the impression he's happier with USAFA. Then if that's the case, he's got a great start! In other words, unless he's really sold on giving up on USAFA and going "Full bore" for USMA, I'd leave it as is.

    Now he just needs to keep focused upon the end goal: appointment. And keep pressing HARD! :thumb:

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  10. rkrosnar

    rkrosnar Member

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    ALO involvement

    fllieger83,

    Very well explained, ir very nice to know there are folks out there like you, thanks for the dedication, commitment and service.

    God Bless and God Speed,

    RGK
     
  11. craeder

    craeder Member

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    ALO involved in summer seminar application process?

    I am new to this - thank you for the very interesting thread.

    Should my son contact his ALO regarding his summer seminar app? He applied Dec. 1 and his status online is "application is still under consideration." He has not been contacted by her previously nor has he met her thru his high school. He is happy to reach out to her if he is expected to and/or it would help his app but he doesn't want to bother her if it is not necessary for the summer seminar app.

    Thank you (he would have sent this himself but he's in school now and was getting concerned!)
     
  12. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I believe the SLS list comes out @March, so if it is fear, give it time.

    If it is he needs insight in case he has a "hole" in his resume, have him contact them now.

    I know my previous posts about this was contentious, at best, but my point I was trying to say is there are a ton of candidates that get LOA's and apptmts who never went to SLS or contacted an ALO prior to July of their rising Sr yr.

    I would hate to see people spinning like tops thinking that if they are not in contact with their ALO starting Soph/Jr yr they have no chance.

    Sorry, but the strong candidate has already grasped the fact that they need to be well rounded to be competitive, especially since for many they will be doing Plan B and applying to traditional colleges. Traditional colleges are like the SA's ...book smart is great, but being well rounded is better.

    Off my soap box

    Have your DS email his ALO and just give an update on what they know. In the email have him ask is there anything more they should do to regarding the process.

    The best thing you can do as a parent is to let them take control. If they blow it off, than you need to address why they are doing so. He may be in school right now, but sometime today or tomorrow if it truly matters to him he can shoot off that email to the ALO. What are we talking about 3-4 sentences, not a 500 word essay.
     
  13. michell798

    michell798 New Member

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    non involved ALO

    Our son unfortunately hasn't had that great experience either. After 3 months of trying to get an interview he finally got one. He thought that it went well. 3 weeks after the interview, the ALO emailed and invited him to go on a field trip of sort that he was doing for another candidate to a simulator. My son had missed a lot of school due to school activities and didn't feel he could miss any more at that time, apparently that was the wrong answer. The ALO said he obviously wasn't motivated enough for the Academy. I honestly fail to see what one has to do with the other but we haven't heard from him since. Count your blessings if you have a good ALO!
     
  14. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Michell; I can understand the frustration. However, try and step back and look at the bigger picture. 95%+ of all frustrations and disagreements, come from poor communications. Now I wasn't at the communications between your son and his ALO when S/He asked him about taking the field trip. He could have possibly given the "Impression" that he wasn't really interested; or that he had "More Important" things to do. I assume you heard the conversation 2nd hand from your son. However; had your son expressed his excitement and enthusiasm about such an activity; and the immense disappointment he has for not being able to attend; the ALO most likely would have picked up on that too.

    Point is: ALO's are red blooded human beings. We can't read minds; do the application for you; contact your MOC's; or read futures. The job is 110% voluntary. I say 110%, because there's also a lot personal expense and time that ALO's have to give. gas money, time off from our REAL jobs, etc... In other words, 99.999% of all ALO's really do want to do this job. Except for a reserve office who might be getting some "Points", there are no true tangible rewards for wanting to be an ALO. So, I have to believe that your son may not have communicated well enough to his ALO. I don't know if this happened very recently; whereby he can contact his ALO and clear things up; or if it happened too long ago in the past where there's nothing that can be done.

    But I write this not to second guess your son or this "Isolated" situation. I always write in the 4th person. (My way of saying to others reading this, as well as others in the future). Realize that your ALO is a human being. You need to communicate accurately to them. let them understand and feel your passion. Feel your enthusiasm. Feel your apprehension. Make sure that what you say, write, email, etc... is what you want them to understand. I have been dogged on many forums; not really this one; of being extremely long winded. Well guess what??? Very rarely can anyone ever say that they didn't understand exactly what I MEANT for them to understand. I may be long winded and even repeat myself a number of times. But I will make sure that what you UNDERSTAND is what I MEANT. Best of luck to your son. Mike....
     
  15. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Hi!

    This is a "tough" one...

    Well no, not in my "Oh so LESS than humble opinion..." :rolleyes:

    I think ANY applicant to ANY SA program should contact the ALO. I'm frankly disappointed to hear the ALO hasn't contacted HIM since he's an applicant for SS.

    I also know that the ALO has a listing of EVERY student that has applied to Summer Seminar that falls under their list (goes to one of their assigned schools). So she knows he's out there.

    Now...why would she not contact him? I'm simply speculating here; I don't know...need to give that caveat first.

    My first thought would be that she's looked at his package and has formed one of two opinions (yeah, opposite ends of the spectrum).

    a. His package while good, won't get him selected
    b. His package is so good looking, she doesn't need to do anything

    Now both are legitimate statements...but I have no idea if either applies. SOOOO...I'd have him call her and simply introduce himself, explain that he's an applicant for SS, and that he understood she is the ALO assigned to his school. Has she had a chance to review his file and if so, does she have any recommendations for him to better his chances at SS and eventually to USAFA?

    That should work.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  16. LAP

    LAP Member

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    DS completed his SS application in mid Dec. and contacted his ALO at that time. His application has said "under consideration" for quite a while. Since it became "under consideration" he has made a few updates when better test scores came in and new leadership opportunities came his way. Will the reviewers at USAFA always be seeing the latest version of his application or could they be looking at the original version? Does he need to contact his ALO again to make sure she is aware of the updates?
    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2011
  17. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Definitely follow-up all updates to both USAFA and the ALO!

    That way NOBODY misses it and we know it's being reviewed! :thumb:

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  18. LAP

    LAP Member

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    Thanks.
     
  19. craeder

    craeder Member

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    PIMA and Flieger83 - thank you for your advice!
     

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