BGOs come in all shapes and forms. Some are alumni who can tell you exactly how things were 30 or more years ago. Some are parents who have a very parochial view of the application process as it pertained mostly to them and life in Bancroft Hall as seen second hand from a very prejudiced plebe. Some are both parent and alumni. Others are Naval Reserve Officers who know very little about the Academy but are doing it simply for retirement points. Their knowledge and experience comes in all shapes and forms. Some have been to the one week training course at the Academy and have a good basis for working with candidates. Some have years of experience on top of this and have most likely experienced most situations. Some have neither. Some have a lot of energy, dedication, and time to devote. Others are strapped and will do the minimum. Some are computer literate and respond to emails promptly. Some check their emails only during the monthly grandkid visit when someone is able to turn the computer on for him. Some want to hold the candidate’s hand, walking them through each stage of the process. Others want the candidate to find out things for themselves, judging this as dedication and desire for a Naval career. All are warned by the Admissions Office not to speculate on a candidate’s viability. BGOs do not have access to the applications at all. They only know SATs and what the candidate has told them. They do not see the teacher’s recommendations, the NASS write-up, the two ‘C’s on the transcript that the candidate has ‘forgotten’ to mention. They are unable to make final decisions on changes to the candidate’s application package. CGIS specifically states to contact the CGO with changes in the package. My recommendations would be for the candidate to visit both the Admissions and the DodMERB website. Read and understand everything about the application process. Read the on-line catalog from cover to cover. There is a lot of good info there. Scan all the DodMERB forms so see the type of things you will be asked on your exam. Then, if you still have questions, contact your BGO. If he still chooses to hold your hand and walk you through the process, let him, but make sure he understands that you also know the answers. BGO’s primary tasking is the interview. One of the primary purpose of the interview is to determine that the candidate, not the parents, are the overriding factor in the desire to attend an Academy. Good BGOs can and will ferret out undue parent influence. My favorite is to ask the candidates if they are keeping a file of all their paperwork. They will always say yes. I then ask if I can see it. Now the sweating often begins. Mom usually asks or volunteers to go get it. I always respond with a comment that I would rather the candidate get it because I have a very few things which I want to discuss with the parents alone. The call from the bedroom asking mom where she put the file when she cleaned up last time is usually an indication to dig deeper into motivation and parental influence. All else in the interview is pretty much common sense. Lastly, for unsuccessful candidate debriefs, the BGO may have some info, may be able to get a feel from the CGO, and should definitely be contacted. However, a good debrief from the Regional Director is paramount. Use them. Find out their preferred methods of communication. If they are intolerable, contact either the CGO or the Area Coordinator (listed in the catalog).