no help from BGO

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by raidermom2012, Feb 4, 2012.

  1. raidermom2012

    raidermom2012 Member

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    What do you do if you have a BGO that won't help and give an interview?

    We first made contact with BGO a few years ago - introducing my son, and letting him know my son's interested in going to USMA. BGO knew of our interest, but being only a sophomore, told DS to hold off till summer before senior year. (at the time, a friend was BGO's top candidate for USMA and was accepted and is there now).

    My son got a late start on his application after spending the summer travelling, and when he contacted the BGO in September, was told he was "late" in contacting him and he's already focusing on other candidates. Son completed his application with USMA (including physical and dobmerb) by early November, and received a nom for USNA and USAF from his congressman, and ROTC. But being that he hadn't received anything for USMA yet, BGO refused interview saying he wasn't going to "waste his time."

    Son has completed his app with USMA with the exception of the BGO interview. (and nom). He's qualified academic, Physical and medical (dobmerb). Today we received notification of an ROTC nom for USMA. (yes we realize there are only 20 opportunities for that). But at least its a nom.

    BGO now says he's "too busy with other interviews" to be bothered with my son, as with only having an ROTC nom they only give out 20. (he actually discouraged DS from going after ROTC nom saying they give out so few, your chances are too slim to get in.

    At this point, what do we do? I know we just finished the 1/2 yr point of the school year and have to get updated transcripts to the various academies. All other BGO's (USNA and USAF) have been more than helpful and supportive of my son.
     
  2. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    First and foremost: USMA does NOT have "BGOs." BGO stands for Blue/Gold Officer, which is 100% USNA ONLY. USMA has MALOs (military academy liaison officers) and USAFA had ALOs. Knowing who you need to talk to is a good start.

    Secondly, he does not need an MALO interview to be accepted. At this point, you may choose to contact the RC for your region, or if you know who he/she is, the Academy Field Force Coordinator for your state. He/she is another avenue to the RC. If admissions finds your son to be competitive for a remaining slot, the RC will request that an interview be conducted. The interview can be done by either a FFR or the MALO.

    When it comes down to it, though, the class is filling very quickly. For my three districts, we're expecting one or two more offers, but not much more. The class isn't closed yet, but with the final count being around the 1150 mark, this class will be small (back to pre-war norms). You need to act quickly.

    Feel free to PM if you need more help.

    SP
    USMA FFR
     
  3. raidermom2012

    raidermom2012 Member

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    Thank you. And, oh, please forgive my ignorance to military terms - I'm a civilian. I learned the term BGO because our BGO for the naval academy has all but bent over backwards in helping us. But I know our local contact for USMA we have been in communication for 3 years now. I know him by name - not by the "term" his branch of military gives him. To me, he is the local officer we work with when going after an appointment with the USMA, Capt. ....

    He told me when I first met him a few years ago - that he essentially focuses his attention on one or two good candidates that he thinks has a chance of getting in, as he's "too busy" to work with others. He was very nice then and took an interest in my son, although did not want to start talking to him until his Senior yr in school. We would see him at all service academy events and make contact, so he remembered the name/face for when we were ready. But laid low.

    He was the one that got his shorts in a wad when my son waited until Sept to contact him (after a summer of travelling, knowing it was his last summer to get to do so). Because of the "late start", and refused interviews because he was busy with his other candidates. We had the rest of his app completed by Nov 4.

    So - as a MALO, as you have corrected me on his appropriate term - can they be so "busy" as to turn away candidates (who actually are very good, qualified candidates)?
     
  4. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Yes. The MALO staff is very thin. There aren't enough MALOs to even come close to filling the total manning requirement of the MALO corps. So yes, he can be too busy. Remember as well that these MALOs are Reserve Officers. That means he has some other career he's focusing on. Could he be doing more? Maybe. I don't know. Not enough data to make that judgment. I will say that the MALO is not critical to the process.

    Is September a late start? 10 years ago, no. It was par for the course. Now, it's getting to be a late start. WP and all the academies, for multiple reasons, have become far more competitive. Your son is by no means out of the game.

    I've said to other and I'll reiterate it here: talk to the RC directly. He's busy, but he'll at least give you some clarity and pass you off to another admissions rep who can help you. Barring that, talk to the Field Force Coordinator for your area. We are far more numerous.
     
  5. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    I'm having trouble understanding why you're upset with this MALO. YOu said he gave you his groundrules three years ago, and asked you to conatact him in the Summer before Sr. Year, a time when it is clear this MALO identifies his "one or two good candidates" and begins working with them.. You/your son did NOT contact him in the summer beause your son was off on personal pleasure travel. Apparently it was inconvenient for your son to contact the MALO, as request, in summer. Anything odd to you about this picture?
     
  6. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    I'm not a MALO, but I am an ALO. I'm not saying that this MALO shouldn't have certain rules/policies. There are definitely a lot of candidates for MALO/ALO/BGO to work with. And I can even understand if the MALO was to mark down the applicant in areas such as planning and organizing or motivation towards the military. But to refuse to give him an interview; even over the phone; is unimaginable. I know that would never happen with the ALO's in my state.

    Having said that, every ALO/MALO/BGO has a boss. ALO's have an LOD. I'd call admissions and explain the situation and see if they can tell you who the MALO's boss is and contact that person. While scout is correct that an individual doesn't need a MALO's interview, I know that in the air force, the ALO's interview count for a LOT of points. (I don't say how many, because I don't want candidates to try and compare). But it is a lot of points, and when combined with admissions review and some other things, makes up 20% of the total score. And if admissions is looking at a package, and it doesn't have a MALO/ALO/BGO interview, that would definitely be a negative when they give their scores. Again; contact admissions and ask for their help in contacting the Liaison Officer Director. best of luck.
     
  7. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    ^ I guess the question would be would there be another person who could give an interview, and submit a report and an interview score, because this particular MALO does not appear likely to give a good report or score...
     
  8. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    At WP - there are no points given to interviews as interviews are not required because not everyone can be interviewed. There simply are not enough MALOs/FFRs to go around. It would be easy to jump on this MALO/FFR'S case due to his inattention to this candidate but he may be stretched so thin that he can only concentrate on the top candidates.
    If WP wants a candidate interviewed, the MALO/FFR will be told to interview that candidate.

    raidermom2012- if you want to connect with a MALO/FFR so you have someone to ask questions of, then contact the RC and ask if there is a MALO/FFR available in your area that you could contact.

    A MALO and FFR serve the same purpose - to be the 'middle' man between the candidate and WP Admissions. The main difference is that a FFR is a volunteer and a MALO is an IRR officer and being a MALO is a paid position for them. There are very few MALOs now compared to FFRs as MALOs are either retiring or are being deployed.
     
  9. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    This.

    Yet another reason why we should stick to speaking only about the admissions processes we actually know about.

    Anyhow, as numerous people have said, if WP deems that the candidate needs an interview, he or she WILL BE INTERVIEWED.

    Beyond that, what expectations do you have of this MALO?

    dunninla made a very good point. Admissions is a two-way street.
     
  10. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

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    I agree that it's a totally different system for USMA than for Navy or AF. Which is a good thing for the OP because it means that it really doesn't matter that he didn't have the interview. I also agree that I realistically couldn't interview all the candidates in my 3 districts. I send regular emails in the spring and summer to all candidates, but once fall rolls around, I only follow up with candidates who are considered "competitive" to attempt interviews. I only interview "risk" candidates if they contact me and ask for one.

    However, that said, as I'm sure Scout and Buff know, frequently more than 1 or 2 good candidates can get in from a district, so I would never discourage someone from interviewing if they wanted. I also probably have those "1 or 2 good candidates" in each district that I'm targeting, but honestly, I'm targeting them in spring and summer to try to get them an LOA. After that, my influence is pretty much minimal. There's not much an interview with a candidate right now could do to help them at all. If I felt VERY negatively about them I might be able to get that to carry some weight with the RC, but otherwise, after the LOA period (which this year ended around Sep 15 for the most part), the interview isn't that important and might even hurt your son more than help him right now. Probably the reason the MALO was pushing for the interviews in the summer was because that was the time he felt he could actually push him for an LOA and have an effect on his file/chances.

    That said, as a minimum if at all possible, the MALO should be willing to answer questions about what else your son needs to do - but most of these answers should be obvious from his portal. And just reinforcing what the other liaisons have said - most MALO/FFR's from West Point are volunteers. Unlike Christcorp I don't really have a "boss". At best I get supplies when I ask for them (and usually I'm not even that lucky). :rolleyes: I certainly don't get pay or retirement points and worst case if they're not happy with my "job" they'd simply ask me not to do it any more. So I'd think if someone complained to the RC that I wouldn't interview them, most likely he'd assume that there was a good reason I hadn't or at most shoot me an "interview this kid to get him off my case" email. So my bottom line suggestion at this point is to just step back and not worry about the interview and hope for the best from the ROTC nomination or one of the other two academies.

    Best of luck!
     
  11. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    I understand that a interview isn't require of WP. I already acknowledged that. And I "SPECIFICALLY SAID" that the air force gives points. Not the army. Don't read what you want my post to say. Read what I wrote. My point is; which I'll admit might not have been clear; is if an individual can be interviewed, then there must be some importance and purpose to the interview. There might not be any official points for the applicant, but there must be some "Positive" or "Negative" towards their appointment. If not, there would be absolutely no reason to interview anyone

    So while the air force does award points, the army DOES AWARD some importance to the interview. If not, then there'd be absolutely no reason to interview any of them. Therefor, they either give more attention and consideration to those who HAVE been interviewed, or some other significance.

    So yes, I am speaking about the admission process I know something about. Now, if you're going to tell me that NOTHING in the interview process has ANY BEARING whatsoever on the selection process; AT ALL..... Then I'll concede and simply state that the army is wasting a lot of time interviewing individuals at all. But I do not believe that is true. I believe that what the MALO says about an applicant has "Some" significance. As does not saying ANYTHING because they weren't interviewed ALSO says a lot. In this case, the MALO validated that point by saying that he only interviews those he believes are worth the time. So not interviewing an individual basically is telling West Point that this individual is NOT WORTH THE TIME.

    So when you say that you don't need to be interviewed to be considered for an appointment, you are totally correct. But to imply that there is no negative or positive results of being interviewed or not interviewed is incorrect. There is obviously pros/cons to be interviewed or not.
     
  12. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    I think a fair summary of several posts in this thread is that you don't need to do anything. You could try to arrange an interview with someone other than the MALO, but per the above, at this point in the application season, it doesn't matter. Think about it... if this MALO had agreed to execute an interview, the results would not have been favorable anyway, based on how you describe his opinion of your applicant.
     
  13. TheDukeOfEarl

    TheDukeOfEarl Member

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    Hi raidermom2012:
    I wish your son luck, and it sounds like he has some SA options which is good. If USMA was his #1 choice, then sorry to see it playing out this way. At USMA and the other SAs, given the competitiveness of the application process, many of the candidiates open their applications in spring of their Jr. year in high school. My son had all of his items done by Labor Day week (CFA, DoDMERB, Recommendations in the mail), and was just waiting on nominations. Not saying that makes him "better", but he knew that his file would be one of the first to get looked at, which is a big help. He never had a MALO interview. And maybe he isn't tops in all measurements, but he showed the initiative to be among the first in line.

    The SA application process itself, with all its hoops to jump through and dates to meet, is itself part of the screening process. Maybe USMA is even moreso than USNA/AF? I don't know. And it sounds like your son was not one of the date-missing types, but more like he was relatively late to the game. My son's MALO sent an email in May/June of last year (my son's Jr. year) saying "Many of you probably see the due date of February 28, 2012. Note that this date means absolutely nothing to you! The aplpication process is one wherein the early bird gets the worm." Complete with underlines and emphasis.

    I'd have to ask if you would have the same expectation of Harvard or Georgetown if your son appeared suddenly on their radar in, say, late December and with perhaps nothing to differentiate him from the pack of other outstanding young men and women, and started asking why he wasn't getting an interview. Part of showing that he's a squared-away candidate is showing that he has taken the initiative at some point to Google on USMA admissions, perhaps end up on a site like this, and find out that thousands of other applicants had their files on the cusp of being complete on the day your son started the process. It's possible that he just somehow rubbed the MALo the wrong way, or perhaps if it was you yourself who did the contact in September, the MALO is one of those who doesn't stomach well when parents do the footwork for their kids. in the end, if he gets a nomnation to USMA and never hears from his MALO again, he can still end up there. And as I said, he cannot go wrong if chooses USNA or USAFA. Both are superb and will give him a great education and great leadership skills just like USMA.

    Good luck to your son, and please take my words in the spirit of support and possible explanation, and not as any disparagement of your son or his situation.. It is a stressful process no matter how it rolls out.
     
  14. raidermom2012

    raidermom2012 Member

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    Thanks all for contributing.

    We received a letter of request for 7th semester transcripts yesterday. (report cards for that semester were just issued last week, and we had already had a request in with the school for transcripts, knowing they need to be sent). That is currently the only outstanding item.

    For the record - as some people have questioned. DS contacted MALO himself in Sept. (not me). I had first met the MALO 2 yrs ago when we were at a party for another WP cadet and I was introduced to the MALO by the other mom. Frankly, that wasn't the first contact - as DS had expressed an interest with same MALO starting his freshman year when they have the "service academy days" at the school that offer a meet-&-greet.

    Secondly - just for clarification, Navy is DS's first choice, WP 2nd, and despite having nom and a completed app for AF, he recently withdrew his app there. (unfortunately his heart just isn't into anything the AF would offer and he was influenced by a good friend who didn't make it thru first semester there). But, all 3 applications were completed by Nov 4.

    So, in the end, I've learned from this thread that 1. interview is not necessary for WP, 2. Contact the RC or FFR. and 3rd, there are quite the dynamic personalities here. :smile:
     
  15. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    That's very generous of you :thumb:
     
  16. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Respectfully, you are showing that you do not understand the WP process.

    Not being interviewed does not affect a candidate's admissibility. If the RC or other admissions official finds reason for concern in a candidate's file, he may direct that an interview be conducted. If an interview was necessary for this young man to be qualified, one would have been directed. An interview was not directed. Thus, the RC is satisfied with his packet. His packet will stand on its merits.

    The value of the interview is to clarify things about a candidate that admissions seeks to have clarified. The interview form is structured and allows for little personal interjection. A thorough and complete file answers almost all questions on the interview form. A poor or weak packet leaves room for clarification. Additionally, interviews are used to clarify traits of LOA holders and potential LOA holders at early points in the process.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2012
  17. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Thank you for explaining. I was basing on the original post that mentioned the MALO saying he ONLY did interviews on people he considered worthy. (Paraphrased).

    So the question is: Do MALO's not do ANY interviews unless they are told to do so by admissions? If they only do interviews on the ones admissions tells them to do, I can buy that. But if the MALO is in the decision process of giving an interview; as the original poster implied based on that MALO's attitude and response about which candidates were worth his time; then the MALO choosing not to do the interview can definitely send a message to the selection board.

    The hardest part of this subject is the bias of the original poster. Not negative, but it is a one sided conversation. In the air force; I know, it's not Army; we don't give EVERY APPLICANT an interview. If a applicant becomes qualified and becomes a candidate, then they will require an interview. However; as an ALO, we normally won't schedule an interview for a candidate unless they've shown they are motivated. I.e. If 3-4 months into the application process, the individual hasn't made any progress on their online application, I won't waste time doing an interview. I'll email them and try to see if they're motivated. If no response after a few months, I tell admissions that they are no longer interested and they aren't a candidate any longer. I bring this up because we don't know everything about the applicant/candidate in question. Just that they wanted to be interviewed and the MALO said he wasn't going to interview him; and that he only interviewed those that were worth it. Obviously, there's a lot more to this.
     
  18. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    I can only share from my experience

    On the admissions database, certain candidates are marked interview required. So MALO/FFRs have some idea on who should they interview.

    Sometimes RC will ask MALO/FFRs to interview certain candidates

    As a FFR, I will interview candidates close to me, any applicant that asks for an interview, and RC requested interview.

    Two examples of candidate interviews helping or hurting. My RC asked me if a candidate should be given a waiver, I said no. My RC would not have asked me if I didn't interview the kid. My RC asked me for my recommendation for the civil prep scholarship program. I could only recommend who I knew.
     
  19. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

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    Agree with MemberLG - I obviously do ones I'm directed to do, but beyond that, I've found that (other than for recruited athletes) all "competitive" candidates will show as interview required, while all "risk" ones will not show that requirement. So as much as possible, within geographic limitations (my districts cover half the physical region of the state), I interview all competitive candidates, at least by phone. Actually that's overstating - I contact all those candidates, multiple times, asking them to schedule an interview with me. Probably 1 in 3 actually do. :rolleyes:

    I do tell my candidates that an interview is almost always a positive component in their file - it's like an additional letter of recommendation but from someone who West Point knows is looking at the same criteria they are. That said, I do know that probably at least 3 candidates I interviewed this year ended up with it hurting their file - I do tend to do a very complete writeup and think that information is considered. I know two of them didn't get LOA's who were being considered for them initially. But as I said earlier in this thread, at this point unless I put very negative comments, or even if I put very positive comments, I don't think it would make nearly as much difference as it did back in August or September.

    @MemberLG - that's one flaw I see in the system - last year I was asked to recommend candidates for Prep School and based on what I said above, all potential prep school candidates were also (by definition) risk candidates and I hadn't had interviews with any of them so really wasn't able to offer an informed opinion on that at all.
     
  20. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    [QUOTE I do know that probably at least 3 candidates I interviewed this year ended up with it hurting their file - l.[/QUOTE]

    Either hypotheticaly or in your actual experience what are some scenarios during an interview that could end up hurting a candidate's file?
     

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