Question about he Liaison Officer

Discussion in 'Nominations' started by zephyr1999, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. zephyr1999

    zephyr1999 New Member

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    I am a candidate for the AFA, and just have a quick question about the duty of the liaison officer in the entire application process. Should i wait to contact them until i am ready for the interview, or should i contact them ASAP? I seem to remember reading somewhere that they can be a valuable resource, but Icould have just imagined it.

    Any advise would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Hi!

    As you say you are a candidate for the AFA, I'm assuming you have been notified of this and are in the process of completing ALL the online items required by USAFA?

    If that's the case, then you know the name of your assigned ALO. In my opinion you should contact him/her immediately! It serves several purposes.

    First, it shows you're serious. As an ALO, I normally don't make the "first contact" because I want to know how serious the candidate is. It's their job to contact me. I won't let the time frame go too long, but I will wait.

    Second, it puts the contact in YOUR ballpark, not mine. You control the call/e-mail. You set the pace, the reason, the initial topics, etc. You have some limited control. That won't happen much, this is your ONE chance to do so.

    So I would do it. Have a list handy with you in case he/she asks some questions about your background, sports, classes, class rank, extracurriculars, etc. I find the student/candidate that has all that handy when they call me, is more relaxed and more able to answer questions I ask "off the cuff" during that first call.

    Just my two cents... :thumb:

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Steve is the go to guy on questions like this, but I want to add one more thing, which he is too professional to state.

    ALO's are VOLUNTEER. They do this out of the kindness in their heart and their belief in the SA. Remember, they have day jobs and lives too, so understand that if it takes a couple of telephone tags before you get to talk to them, it is because of these other factors.

    Additionally, most ALO's will have multiple candidates they are in charge of for the AFA, so they need to juggle their schedule, your schedule and every other candidates schedule.
     
  4. Jabbawocky007

    Jabbawocky007 AFROTC Cadet

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    This. I'm a candidate for USAFA as well, and it took several phone calls and an e-mail to finally make contact with my ALO. I originally called planning to schedule an interview, and got asked a couple questions on the phone that caught me off-guard. So my interview is something I'll be sure to be prepared for!
     
  5. zephyr1999

    zephyr1999 New Member

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    Steve;
    thanks very much for the advice! I'll give my ALO a call this Monday. And yes, I am almost finished with the online forms. All i have remaining are the ALO interview and the CFA (which i am also clueless on how to prepare for). So, any tips for the call/interview?
     
  6. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Hi! (Please read to the end, this will be long but I hope it'll be helpful)

    Okay...first, let's go backwards...the CFA.

    DO NOT RUSH THIS! Let me repeat that: DO NOT RUSH THIS!

    A LOT of candidates see the CFA as a simple physical test: THAT IS SO WRONG!!! The CFA is a test of your fitness, both aerobic and anaerobic. As such it's meant to be challenging, but not terribly difficult for a VERY fit individual. If you are in decent physical condition, it shouldn't be too big a deal BUT, and I'm painting with a MASSIVE brush here: MOST students in the USA today are NOT in great physical condition. And I've given waaaaaay too many CFA's where I FAILED the candidate. No, check that: THEY FAILED THEMSELVES!

    You do not want to know how many young men I've watched die on the pull-up bar because they couldn't do even ONE...let alone three. GAME OVER. Ladies...maybe 5 push-ups...GAME OVER.

    And the candidate has TOTAL control here! They can build to a great score IF IF IF they put their mind to it! There's a candidate on this forum that contacted me a year ago...was concerned about things. I've discussed all this with her, etc..etc...BOTTOM LINE: a year ago she was hoping for a 2 minute flexed arm hang. When I told her that ONE pull-up outscored the LONGEST flexed arm hang EVER done (it does)...she said: "Well then, I better work on pullups."

    She recently did EIGHT for a USMC GYSGT at an airshow and was awarded a nice T-Shirt that says: "Pain is just weakness leaving the body!" FYI...MOST of the GUYS weren't getting these shirts!

    She's gonna NAIL the CFA!!! :thumb:

    So...you have TOTAL CONTROL here...focus BIG TIME on this unless you can already nicely EXCEED the means in ALL areas!

    Notice I still haven't talked about the interview? You know why?

    THE INTERVIEW WHILE IMPORTANT SHOULD NOT BE A BIG SCARY ORDEAL!!!

    Again, you can control portions of it, based upon how you approach it. If YOU make the contact with the ALO, and prior to that you have a listing of all your achievements, etc., HANDY, then when you call if the ALO asks anything "off the cuff" you will have a ready answer. That will score with the ALO. Trust me; we really REALLY like to see a positive, motivated, and prepared individual. It means, to us: THIS PERSON IS SERIOUS! And that's a BIG thing we're looking for.

    Write an "I love me" paper/resume. By this I mean a listing over EVERYTHING you've done since day-one of 10th grade. Used to be 9th grade but I'm seeing more of the "focus from sophomore year onward" now so...

    This paper should list EVERYTHING! NOTHING is too small. If you attend a church/synagogue/mosque and have been asked to take "Old Mr/Mrs XXXX down the aisle to a seat" put it down. Why? Because I as an ALO want to know "WHY were YOU selected to do that?" Do you stand out to a Minister/Rabbi/Priest/Imam? Why? What "do you have" that makes you a trusted person? EVERYTHING has value: put it down.

    Sports, extracurriculars, community service, etc...etc...ALL OF IT. The ALO will want to know it all as it will all come into play on his/her AF evaluation of the candidate.

    Have this list ready to e-mail if the ALO asks. They will but if they don't, a nice follow-up to your first call is a nice e-mail thanking the ALO and including this. Gives them a better picture of YOU, reinforces all you spoke about, ensures they realize how serious you are.

    Still haven't talked about how to prepare have I? :rolleyes:

    Or maybe I have? :shake:

    Questions? They're all over this forum..."Why you? Why the AFA/USNA/USMA...etc...", and so on. The MOST IMPORTANT thing I can pass on?

    BE YOURSELF AND BE HONEST! Do NOT try to "snow" the ALO. Trust me, it'll show and then you've dug a HUGE crater (a hole isn't a big enough term) for yourself.

    Honest, integrity, a humble but confident personality...

    WINNER!!

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    As a flieger fan I will expand on his post. Why? Because he is too professional to tell you why!

    1. The majority of them (ALO) are not new to the system, you are not the first candidate, so they can see snow before you even opened your mouth.

    2. They not only go through AFA training for ALO's, but all of them have some form of AF experience. EXPERIENCE is the key word. In their career they have seen snow and created snow.

    3. The HUGE crater is something as new candidates you are probably unaware of, their rec is a part of your WCS. You want their rec to say my number 1 candidate, not I believe they will be an asset to the AF. TWO different things. Number 1 will give you more points, asset will say to the board, I support them, but they are not number 1 on my list.

    4. Some MOC's have ALO's on their nom committee, they may also have an impact on the nom. The committee will look for their guidance regarding the overall application.

    If you listen to Steve you will be in a great place, if you think you reinvented the wheel, not so much.
     

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