ALO Question

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by RSpight, Apr 13, 2015.

  1. RSpight

    RSpight Member

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    I have emailed my ALO twice now to introduce myself without a response; once in October of last year and the second time last month. I understand he still may be busy with helping last years applicants with the nomination process, but is it normal to have nor response for this long? Should I have called him instead or does it not matter? Any advice will be quite helpful, thank you.
     
  2. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    How old are you. When will you be applying to the academy? While I believe he should have emailed you back out of politeness, it is not uncommon if you are a freshman or sophomore in high school for him to think he will get around to emailing you back, and it slips his mind.

    I've personally made a canned email response for those who email me and they have 2 or more years before they're eligible. I use to email back genuinely to such emails, but believe it or not, teenagers change their mind a lot in a 3 year period and many of those individuals never wind up applying.

    For those who truly want to serve, and become a commissioned officer via the academy, they will apply no matter if the alo replies to an email when they are 14 years old. And when you do apply, your alo will be there for you during the process. Almost all of the alo's do this voluntarily and part time. They have real jobs to pay the bills. I'm sure most intend to get back to emailing the prospect who is a few years out from applying, but other things come up. Again, this is not their full time job. And many alo's move around. So who your alo was last year may not be the same one this year.

    If you're a junior now and will be applying to the academy starting in June or July, your alo will know who you are and will contact you. It may or may not be the alo you think it is today. If you've still got another year or so, you might have to hang in there. Or, you could ask your questions and concerns here. There are quite a few alo's here as well as many others with a lot of experience.
     
  3. RSpight

    RSpight Member

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    I'm already a Junior and I turned in my Pre-candidate questionnaire early March. I'm currently getting my recommendation letters and starting my Congressional Nomination Application. I am 100% committed to apply to the Academy. As I've said I have already emailed him twice and feel it would be annoying to email or call him again. As you've said my ALO probably has a real job but I am just uncertain of what I should do next.
     
  4. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    As soon as you actually start the real application in June or July, your alo will know who you are. She or he will definitely be in contact with you. As soon as you accomplish 3 items on the application, your alo will be given a deadline on when to interview you and put in his or her report. Again, who you think your alo is, may not even be the right person. Yes.... The online listing of alo's can be wrong.

    There isn't anything really that your alo needs to know about you. She or he will have all your info and will be interviewing you. If you have questions about the academy or the process, feel free to ask here. There are plenty of knowledgable posters. If you're simply wanting to get to know your alo, it's not needed. They have a lot of applicants and so little time. Many people on this forum find that they only need their alo for the interview. They aren't needed for much else.

    And for what it's worth, while some alo's go way above and beyond when helping their applicants, the alo is an extension of admissions. That's who we work for. Their only requirement is to make sure the academy admissions department knows as much about you, via the interview, as they can. They aren't really there to help you through the application process. Many do, but that's out of the kindness of their heart.

    But again, feel free to ask here any questions or concerns you wanted to ask your alo about. If you simply wants to meet and get to know your alo, don't worry about it.
     
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  5. RSpight

    RSpight Member

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    This helps a lot at putting my worries at ease! Thank you!
     
  6. TexasSoccerMom

    TexasSoccerMom Member

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    My son also emailed his ALO over a month ago and never heard a response. It is hard. My son doesn't want to be a pest but also wants to know that the message was received or if he has contacted the wrong person.
     
  7. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Again; it all depends on WHY he wants to contact his "Future" ALO. If it's just to get to know him/her, then that's not needed and the ALO probably has more pressing things going on. (Not to say they shouldn't at least be polite enough to email back).

    If it's for specific questions, as soon as your son becomes an official applicant, the ALO will be there to answer any questions. Or, the questions could be asked here on this forum. And once your son completes 3 steps in the application, they go pretty much to candidate status if they are qualified and the ALO will have a 30 day deadline in which to interview your son and complete the report for admissions. So he'll definitely be in contact with the ALO.

    Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of emails ALO's get from Non-Applicants, us usually along the lines of:

    "Hi, I'm John/Jane Smith and I've been interested in going to the air force academy every since I was (Pick an age). I've been working hard to get good grades and improve on my ACT/SAT scores. I play sports and hope to be one of the captains of the team this coming year. I'm also involved with......... etc. I look forward to meeting you soon and hopefully attend the academy." (Usually, this is the end of the email, or they'll throw in a bunch of questions).

    Unfortunately, many of these individuals, especially if they are in 9th-10th grade, change their mind about 2,437 times and many never do actually apply. Unfortunately, many think their ALO is their academy "Guidance Counselor" and "Mentor". The ALO means: "ADMISSIONS LIAISON OFFICER". We are admissions at the closest point of the applicant because the admissions office obviously can't travel to the thousands of high schools to do interviews and background checks with the schools and teachers. (Yes, we do check up on you sometimes). We promote summer seminar to juniors. There's a lot of official things an ALO does. But they must remain impartial.

    It is definitely an ALO's job to answer general questions about the academy and the application process to potential applicants. Usually, this is done based on the ALO's available time. There are programs higher up the chain to present academy fairs, Q&A, town hall type meetings, etc. at local schools for anyone to attend. The ALO of that school will generally work as the liaison between the school, the ALO's Boss (LOD), and the admissions department of the academy. Many ALO's do go the extra mile. You can email or call them any time and they'll help you out. They'll administer the CFA for the applicant/candidate. They'll contact admissions with concerns. They're involved with the MOC's. Etc. But most of this is out of the goodness of their hearts. They don't have to do a lot of this. Each ALO is different with a different amount of time they can provide to the program.

    While I have definitely enjoyed being an ALO and/or assisting applicants get into the academy and ROTC for the last 15 years, it's important for me to remember that I must remain impartial. I can't give some applicants more attention or assistance than I do others. That's why when my son was applying to the academy, I couldn't be an ALO for him, and generally for anyone applying who goes to the same school. For me, I simply didn't do anything as an ALO. Obviously, I gave my son as much help as I could based on my experience. But I didn't have any official capacity. But with him being a military brat and having lived in a number of military bases; including overseas; he really didn't need much of my help when he was applying. But ALO's need to keep that level of impartiality with all of their applicants. There are some ALO's that only correspond with official Applicants/Candidates. Anyone else, they only talk to during school career fairs, Admissions Town Hall Meetings, etc. They want all of their applicants to start with the same footing.

    Remember; you on this forum posting, you make up LESS THAN 1% of all the applicants. You have a major advantage already over the other 99%. You get answers almost immediately here. The answers are pretty well vetted by the other posters. The other 99%, they contact or are contacted by their ALO AFTER they OFFICIALLY apply to the academy. They do their online applications pretty much on their own. They'll email or call the ALO or Admissions counselor with the occasional question; but pretty much they are on their own. You all have so many resources on this forum. You have ALO's, Current Cadets, Alumni from the academy, parents of cadets and alumni, other applicants, etc. That's why the percentage of those posting here is so high for receiving an appointment. The "Appointment Thread" is pretty big considering how many applicants post here.

    Anyway; sorry for the long post. I sometimes think that some expect more from their ALO's than is required of the ALO. They are suppose to be personally involved in helping you receive an appointment. They are there to provide you the necessary information to apply to the academy and to interview you. Remaining neutral with you and your COMPETITION. Some ALO's can provide more personal service and remain impartial. Some can't. Wait until you're an official applicant and you're ALO will definitely be contacting you. If you need anything answered prior to that, simply ask here. Mike
     

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