What exactly is an ALO?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by lillian, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. lillian

    lillian Candidate

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    0
    I know they are supposed to help with admissions...but what are specific things that you can contact them about?
     
  2. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,796
    Likes Received:
    930
    Flieger and CC are both ALO's so they will give you the true ins and outs.

    Just realize that an ALO is a volunteer position, many have careers that demand their time, plus a family, and multiple candidates. Some are more involved than others regarding the process. Some will want to know everything from editing your essays to performing the CFA, some will be totally hands off, and some will be somewhere in the middle.

    It truly varies when it comes to contacting.

    Caveat: I would assume every ALO wants to know the bad...i.e. DQ from DoDMERB, fail a class, get caught underage drinking.
     
  3. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,963
    Likes Received:
    872
    An ALO is an Air Force Academy Admissions Liaison Officer. (I spelled it out, because a MALO is the Westpoint version, BGO is the Annapolis version. I don't know the CG or MM version).

    One slight correction to Pima's input. Not ALL ALO's are volunteers. There are some where it's their Primary AFSC. (Military Job). But whether it's their military job or a volunteer position, it can be quite time consuming. Especially when the average ALO can be responsible for applicants and those interested, for 8, 10, 12, or more schools.

    ALO's work for the academy admissions department. The minimum duties required are to interview applicants and provide results; provide assigned school's guidance department with information for their students; handle certain forms required of candidates. Counsel applicants/candidates as needed.

    Most ALO's do a lot more than that. Most ALO's are also "College Recruiters". Just like at a civilian university. They participate in college fairs, job fairs, grass roots programs, etc... Most ALO's also mentor their applicants. Most ALO's have a close relationship with their school's guidance department to provide interested individuals with information they need. ALO's have met with interested parents. ALO's have coordinated between interested applicants who are also interested in or are a recruited athletes and the academy athletic department.

    As Pima mentioned, each ALO is different. Some put more time into the ALO program than others. Some really care about mentoring and helping their applicants through the application process. Some feel that they are only there to handle the interview and certain reports and the individual candidate needs to be completely independent in the process. Some, like Steve (Flieger) and myself, and some MALO/BGO, also spend a lot of time on forums like this one to help individuals at a national level and not just our own applicants.

    The overwhelming majority of ALO's are retired military. As i said; some are active duty. And there is a small percentage that are civilians. Most ALO's will definitely help you with any questions or concerns you may have. You should keep them advised of any significant events/changes in your life, status, or application. If your ALO isn't as active in your application as others, you'll know soon enough. But remember, the application process doesn't start until the end of your junior year. (The OFFICIAL APPLICATION) period. So sometimes, ALO's may not give freshmen, sophomores, and Juniors the attention the student would like. You have to remember that ALO's are quite busy getting their seniors who are applicants/candidates/appointees through the process. They'll help the younger folk who are interested, but maybe not at the same level as those who are actual applicants/candidates/appointees. That's why forums like this one exists.

    Oh, and for what it's worth, there are some things that Flieger, I, and other ALO/BGO/MALO simply can't tell you or won't discuss. I've been working with applicants for over 10 years. I've been assisting ALO's for that long. But I've only been an "OFFICIAL" ALO for 3-4 years. Prior to that, I was free to say anything I wanted to on the forums. Sometimes clarifying the difference between how something is SUPPOSE to be and how it REALLY IS. As an ALO, I, Flieger, and some others don't post/comment as much as we use to. We have to keep the interests of the academy in mind while trying to unofficially help individuals on the forums.

    Hope this explains a little of the ALO's. mike...
     
  4. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,852
    Likes Received:
    342
    WELL said Mike!! :thumb:

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
    Isle of Wight, UK
     
  5. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,963
    Likes Received:
    872
    I do need to clarify something. In my attempt to not make my post sound complicated; I did make it a little inaccurate for those reading it who actually know the "Details".

    When I said the majority of ALO's are retired military, I should have said that they are "No Longer Active Duty". There are a lot of active reservists and guard who are involved as ALO's.

    Also, when I said that some ALO's it's their primary duty AFSC; I should have said that for some, it's an additional duty as a reservist or such, where they are getting "Points" towards their military retirement. When I think of a "True Volunteer", I think of someone who gets absolutely NOTHING out of doing the work, other than self satisfaction. Many ALO's are actually receiving "Duty Time" (Points) towards their retirement. So while it's not their primary job, they are sort of being "Paid for it".

    Anyway; just wanted to clarify a little. Sometimes what we know in our head doesn't always come out of our mouths. (Or fingers). later... mike....
     
  6. lillian

    lillian Candidate

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    0
    It is the end of my junior year, so I am in the official application period. Should I be talking to my ALO maybe? How would you go about starting a discussion with them...? Do they already know who you are from your email address? Or do you need to introduce yourself or something? And thank you for this information. You pretty much explained everything I wanted to know. :smile: Thanks!
     
  7. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,963
    Likes Received:
    872
    Once you've gone online and officially applied to the academy, you will be assigned your ALO. (Which is generally based on your school). Normally, your ALO will send you a short email introducing themselves. But it is ok, if you know your ALO's email address (Which you can find at the admissions website), to send him/her an email introducing yourself. There's nothing wrong with that.

    Just remember; until BCT for "THIS YEAR'S CLASS" actually starts, and you give the ALO's a few days to learn how to breath again; don't be surprised if you don't get a reply to your email for a few weeks. mike...
     
  8. lillian

    lillian Candidate

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    0
    I applied in May and was deemed competitive and assigned an ALO within a couple days. Since they didn't send me any sort of introductory email, I don't think they're going to. So I guess I will send them an introductory email in a week...or maybe two because SLS is next week. Is there anything specific I should say?
     
  9. Blue Skies

    Blue Skies Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    0
    (And some have had 28 - 30 schools :)

    For me, being an ALO is a way to say "thanks" for my son's / daughter's opportunity to attend the USAFA. It's a way to help others through the complicated process of applying.

    Please reach out to your ALO if you haven't heard from him or her. When the time comes, it's much easier for us to write up a powerful evaluation for a student whom we have had on-going contact with.
    And... (now I am on my soapbox) make sure to get your application completed as early as you possibly can!!! I'm talking about finishing it up by OCTOBER or before. You not only help your ALO out, you help yourself, as well.

    Good Luck!

    Blue Skies
     
  10. lillian

    lillian Candidate

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks...! I will email my ALO as soon as I get back from camp. :) And I'll definitely make sure I get my application done as soon as possible.. :smile:
     

Share This Page