Tardy ALO's

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by BobBigBoy, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. BobBigBoy

    BobBigBoy Member

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    Our first ALO retired mid-stream then we bounced back and forth between two new ALO's. Once they figured out which one was to be assigned to my DD, we could never get him to return calls or emails. He finally communicated with her then waited two weeks after she asked for an interview to get back to her. He interviewed her three weeks ago and still no evaluation posted as of today. Despite phone calls and emails, no response. He told her he only had a couple of candidates yet he won't complete the job and it is very frustrating as this is the last piece of the application that needs to finalize the deal. If he doesn't want to do the job right, then he should resign.
    Bitter Bob
     
  2. skydivingkittens

    skydivingkittens NWP '12

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    I've tried to contact my ALO as well for a while, she said that "I will be in contact with you, I promise!".... its been two weeks and its starting to concern me....
     
  3. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Okay...

    While I don't react too nicely to my ALO's when they are "late" you must all understand something.

    ALO's have a timeline established for them by USAFA/RRS. This is the timeline they are required to follow.

    An ALO isn't required to perform the Form 4060 interview until the candidate has accomplished a certain amount of the application process with USAFA online. Once they are past that point, the 4060 will be given to the ALO with a 45 days suspense (typically). This is when the ALO would normally start the interview process. They might interview the candidate within a day of the form being "tagged." Does that mean they'll get it done in a week and that it'll be processed by USAFA and "visible to the candidate online" that quickly?

    Maybe and maybe not. And while I would say "...gee...why not just get it done and out of my hair" there is nothing wrong with the ALO taking all 45 days to perform investigation on the candidate. There's a certain amount of due diligence they should be doing, to ensure they know all they can about the candidate before they accomplish the evaluation write-up.

    Now...once the evaluation is completed by the ALO and digitally signed, it is "locked" and the ALO can't do a thing more to it. It is then routed to USAFA and the Regional Director for the region that ALO is assigned within will review it. And I do mean REVIEW it! Line by line, word by word...and sometimes they will reject the evaluation and ask the ALO for clarification or other things. Trust me here...this is a GOOD thing!

    I've had evaluations rejected by my RD...and it's usually with a comment like this: "Steve...I rejected this because I wanted to ask: are you sure you want to rate them XXXXX? I mean, your write-up is really awesome, this sounds like an amazing kid...are you sure you don't want to rate them higher?? Just a thought..."

    ALL of this can take time.

    Rest assured, the Liaison Officer Director that the ALO reports to keeps track of the status of ALL the evaluations pending, due, overdue, etc. And ALO's are constantly being "pinged" about them. If we submit one ON TIME and it's not processed into the system before the due date, WE get tagged as LATE. That's just how it is.

    And the last part...and while its no excuse if the ALO is dropping the ball, realize that ALO's are all non-paid volunteers. We all have other jobs that supply our livelyhoods. Most of my ALO's are airline pilots; they're gone for a week at a time. Then they're home, doing ALO work, family, etc. And yes, I can already hear the legitimate cry of: "IF they can't do the job, they should let someone else do it." Perhaps.

    But we're pretty good at this. And while I can completely understand the angst this can cause...please give the ALO the benefit of the doubt.

    Send another e-mail, follow it up with a phone call. If you still have no satisfaction of a response by the ALO...then there are several options open to you.

    1. Call the counselor at USAFA and explain that you aren't able to reach your ALO, that you sent "X" number of emails on the following dates, and that you called and left "Y" number of messages and haven't heard back.

    That will generate a WHOLE lot of attention.

    2. If you know the Liaison Officer Director for your area, you could contact them and say the same thing. This is the same as filing a complaint with the State Commander. It will also generate a lot of attention.

    This could simply be a case of the ALO being buried by many things, the eval's could be at USAFA and just not processed yet, I don't know. But lets not just automatically assume its the ALO not doing their job. While that, sadly, has happened in the past, the vast majority of the @1800 of us are pretty good folk that really enjoy what we do.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  4. cadet15

    cadet15 Member

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    Well like it is said above, please remember that the ALO's have other jobs and they have lives outside of the AF. Trust me I understand the frustration because you want things done now. My ALO was always out flying for his day job and he had a young family back home, not to mention the trips he took. I had to fit things into his schedule, but you have to just make it work. It is okay to give them a polite reminder because they are humans and they may forget things occasionally. If anything though, remember this for future experience in dealing with people. Remember what it felt like and do your best to not treat people the same way. It may not always be possible, but be aware of it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2011
  5. BobBigBoy

    BobBigBoy Member

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    Thanks for the explanation and inside information, much appreciated. The problem is that this is our third ALO. The first two were fantastic...responding immediately with an active involvement and guidance through the initial process. We are a non military family and we just had a different expectation for how he is working with my DD. We just assumed that he would be buttoned up and communicative and follow through on what he said he would do. We assumed that a graduate of the USAFA would be committed to a higher standard and it is disappointing to find that he is no different than the majority of corporate America. It is one thing to be busy and preoccupied with real life but another to simply ignore repeated email and voice mail pleas for a simple response and reassurance that he is on top of this extremely important task for which he volunteered. My first inclination is to leave him a pointed and damning email but, like corporate America, I am afraid that will ruin my DD's chances. Rest assured, after the whole process is completed and after he gives his speech at my DD's senior award night, I am going to tell him how he made us feel and suggest that if he can't follow up on his job, he should step aside. We owe it to the others that will follow my DD under his future responsibility.

    We will follow up with the counselor. How do we find the director?
    Thanks again!
     
  6. daw

    daw Member

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    At least you got your ALO to do the interview! My DS is still just waiting for his ALO to give him a date...waiting since August! :/
     
  7. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    The USAFA catalog lists the directors and gives their contact information. If it's not listed, drop me a PM with the name of her HS, and its location.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  8. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    If he/she has not communicated with your son, I would ask: how far along in the process is he? If he doesn't have enough of the "prerequisites" completed, the ALO won't have a "45 day window" on the 4060 and to be honest, it won't be high priority on his/her radar. If they have been in communication with your son, he's completed the majority of the paperwork, etc., that's a different story and needs to be followed up.

    I have several candidates...they have't completed the majority of the process, and their 4060's are not due until January 2012 because of it. I have sent them e-mails...but I'm not pressing hard to get them done. This is the candidates responsibility and it also shows me how serious they are.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  9. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    As steve said, you really need to stay proactive. ALO's are busy, but they need to be reminded once in a while too. And no, it isn't looked negatively on you if you respectfully continue to maintain contact with your ALO. Key word is "respectfully". There's actually a block on the 4060 that basically talks about the candidate's "Motivation towards air force". Keeping up on your progress and having the initiative to get your app done as soon as possible, is a good thing.

    For what it's worth, ALO's also have to deal with the opposite. Individuals who are applying, but haven't done anything. I had an applicant who I emailed to basically say: "You haven't started your application. Are you having problems logging in". The applicant said he finished the app". Hmmmmm??? Found out he thought the pre-candidate form was the "entire" application process. I got him started on the "REAL" application; (I saw he finally logged in). Not sure if he got discouraged with how in-depth the application is or what. He hasn't completed any sections. I can only keep on him so much. I can't spend all my time holding one applicant's hand.

    In the perfect applicant's world, the ALO is really only needed to do the Drug/Alcohol briefing, and to do your interview. Many ALO's also go into "Mentor Mode" and help the applicants with questions. "Sort of like this forum does". But the properly motivated and proactive applicant shouldn't need any assistance from the ALO. Just the briefing and the interview. Fortunately for those in this thread, you are motivated and proactive. You haven't had to rely on your ALO as a Mentor. But I write in the "3rd person". I don't just reply to your comments, but I try and anticipate others who read these threads who have their own questions and similar scenarios. This is your job interview. Your application. Take charge of it. If you believe you've initiated as much contact as you could we your alo, and haven't received the required response from them; don't feel bad with contacting your regional LOD if you know who they are; or contacting your academy admissions counselor. Be proactive. Best of luck. mike...

    P.S. Looks like steve and I were typing at the same time, and I was repeating much of what he said. Sorry for that.
     
  10. Romad

    Romad Member

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    It took about 3 weeks for the "ALO interview" block to be checked off on my son's status page after his interview, however, he received a postcard confirming his package was complete about a week prior - this was late August and I'm assuming that the mail avalanche hadn't yet hit RRS yet. I'm also assuming that like all bureaucracies, paperwork has to be filed, i's dotted, t's crossed, and reviews checked off etc. Then it is placed in a real (or virtual) pile and the individual's page updated as that folder / file is reached. It just takes time.

    Being retired USAF myself, I calibrated our "watch" taking into account all of these things and my familiarity with the USAF paperwork process and I was actually pleasantly surprised that it happened earlier than that. Just because it's not updated on your daughter's status page doesn't mean that it hasn't been received and processed internally by RRS - which is what counts - I know folks are getting really anxious out there and want to see immediate results (who doesn't), however, if you would humor me, I'd advise a little more patience and remember, just human relations wise, it's always easier to get something through honey... Pissing off the ALO (regardless of what we feel he SHOULD be doing) isn't the best route JMHO. Maybe you could just chat with him after the dinner and ask some questions?

    I'm just writing this drawing on the experience of getting our package marked "complete" after supplemental information requests, lost college transcripts, DODMERB Remedial requests, and plenty of waiting etc. The system actually works pretty well...

    Best of luck to you and your daughter!!!

    Romad
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2011
  11. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Excellent info Romad. (I use to work with ROMADs - screen name any similarity?) Back on topic.... This is another reason that I encourage individuals to accomplish their applications as soon as possible in the process. When my son applied, he finished his application 100% complete, in July. Obviously, there weren't a lot of applications at the academy yet. Therefor, as the academy received scores, transcripts, teacher evals, etc...; his application online was updated almost immediately. Usually within a couple days. It's a lot easier when there's not thousands of applications flooding in.

    Again; just information for those lurking and learning for next year or whenever. Get it all done as soon as possible, and you'll have a counselor and an ALO who basically is yours "PRIVATELY". Basically, there won't be any other candidates/applicants who need assistance yet. You'll have their undivided attention, and they will recognize and notice your motivation, determination, and ability to organize your time. Best of luck.
     
  12. Romad

    Romad Member

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    "Excellent info Romad. (I use to work with ROMADs - screen name any similarity?)"

    MP304XX (ROMAD), P275X0, J1C490 :thumb:
     
  13. BobBigBoy

    BobBigBoy Member

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    Understand all of the great commentary made here and it is very helpful, thank you all for your responses. However, in our situation, the only piece remaining for the application to be completed is "Liason Officer Evaluation." Please inform us, is this usual, that his evaluation is the last piece? The piece that irks us the most is that he can't just send a one sentence note telling us when he will submit it. Coaches want it complete once the first board meets...does anyone know when that is?
    Thanks to all!
     
  14. Romad

    Romad Member

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    It was for us as well, the Drug and Alcohol brief was given to my son when he was arranging with his ALO for an interview appointment. After the interview, it took about 3.5 weeks to show up on the status page, but received a post card about 2.5 weeks later indicating his file was complete... So, it's possible it may already be there and just not updated on the S page.

    Best
     
  15. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    Just a SWAG from a parent, but doesn't the ALO also verify (with the HS) some of the information on the application such as varsity letters, leadership positions...ect? I know our ALO mentioned how his evaluation would have been completed sooner if he didn't have to wait on the Guidance Counselor for information. The GC also mentioned that she had to validate quite a bit of stuff. Again...just a possibility.
     
  16. skydivingkittens

    skydivingkittens NWP '12

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    Yes! Just recently I got an email from my ALO saying that I have an interview this weekend! YEAH! :smile:
     
  17. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Validating is a case by case basis. Here in Wyoming, it's a very small population. Many times, claims can be validated with a search of the local newspaper online or the school's website online. Even if I had to call a teacher, adviser, or counselor to verify something, it could be done immediately. Currently, our ENTIRE STATE, only has 20 candidates. We have another 19 applicants. We only have 550,000 people in the entire state. Our LARGEST SCHOOL in the entire state, averages around 400 students for the graduating class. Some high schools are 100 or less in the graduating class.

    Obviously, an ALO in San Antonio, phoenix, virginia, etc... could have a lot more candidates spread out all over the place. It could take them longer. Again; it depends. If i have an applicant/candidate who also brings in letters of recommendations from their coach or teacher and it mentions varsity letters, or that they are a 3.98gpa student (And I know the school gives academic letters), then there's no need to verify anything. But you do bring up a very good point. There are some ALO's and school areas where it could take a bit of extra time to verify a candidate's application.

    P.S. Romad: I was a 2E1X3 / 304XX (Ground Radio). Assigned at some units to ABGD. Sometimes tac-com/mob/army/etc... As Gunny Highway said: "Well, we sure as hell chewed some of the same dirt". :thumb: later... mike...
     
  18. BobBigBoy

    BobBigBoy Member

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    Any idea on the first board review?
     
  19. Romad

    Romad Member

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    "Well, we sure as hell chewed some of the same dirt"

    We sure did!

    Best
     
  20. Romad

    Romad Member

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    My son's counselor told us she was prepping his package for the upcoming board - whenever that is - but it sounded pretty soon...

    best
     

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