i need some help


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Aug 4, 2008
i'm a high school junior soon-to-be senior and i have been an official candidate for the air force academy, naval academy, and west point. i have most of my forms sent in already, but i do not know what to do for the candidate fitness assessment. do the academies send you paperwork to give to the administrators (like a score sheet)? the academies have sent me mail telling me there are instructions to this, but i don't know how to access them. i also keep hearing about this 'candidate kit'. do they send you this too? i'm somewhat prepared for the cfa, and i have a person in mind to administer it. i'm just confused about the cfa and when to take it. thanks for anyone's help.:frown:
Not trying to put you off, but your questions are broad. Meaning, they cover multiple areas and have numerous ways to go about them. If you are already a "Candidate", then you have been assigned an ALO. (Academy Liaison Officer). Matter of fact, if you haven't yet, you will need to have an interview with this ALO. I suggest that you contact your ALO with these questions. You need to contact them anyway. If you don't know who it is, their name is listed online where you fill out your application. That's also what is called the "Candidate's Kit". It's online for the Air Force. Your ALO will also have the CFA requirements. Give them a call. Plus, it shows a lot of initiative and if you haven't met them yet, it will be a good first time talking.

Concerning ALO's. Too many people think the ALO is just someone that you are interviewed with once; they give an assessment of you; and that's that. The truth is; the ALO is there to help you with all your questions. S/He is there to contact the academy with concerns you may have to get clarification. Thus, the word "LIAISON". It means a surrogate between you and a higher level to assist both sides with getting information processed. My son's ALO answered many questions for us. She contacted the academy, plus had online access to areas we didn't, for clarification and status changes. Throughout the year, our ALO kept in contact with the athletic department of the academy to keep them abreast of my son's achievements. The list goes on and on. Your ALO is there for you. Use them Later... Mike....
thanks. :smile:I'll ask my ALO about the cfa. appreciate the help.:thumb:
Big, your ALO will also decide who administers your CFA; you do not decide it. Your results can be shared with the other academies, and it is up to them if they accept these results or require you to do it over with their own reps.

My suggestion is to get in contact with your ALO right away. They are busy people with lots on their own plates and need time to schedule interviews, CFAs, and other items.
really? the web site said that anyone with a physical education degree, a coach, an officer with the military, as well as in addition to the ALO would be able to give the test to me. but, i may have read it wrong or i may have other academie's guidelines confused. i have no problem with the ALO giving me the test. thanks anyway, but my ALO has yet to reply back from the email i sent him. i appreciate the advice:smile:.
Talk to your ALO first. I know that they would not accept the results from my kids' coach, especially since there might be a conflict of interest. Your ALO is a fount of information. Call him or her tonight! Email! Ask what he wants you to do - It's the military!

I can honestly say that if my kids had gone to their first meeting with their ALO and said, "Oh, by the way, here's my CFA results," The ALO would have laughed and said, "yeah, right." Twin A was given his by two colonels at the YMCA on a Thursday night. Twin B was given his at the local Air Reserve BAse by the colonel and a major.

Yours may indeed take your results; why take the chance?
It can be given by anyone you mentioned, but it needs to just be cleared by the ALO. Most ALO's don't live anywhere near the candidate. 90-95% of all applicants have no military background at all. Therefor, many times it is given by a PE instructor or such. The thing is; just like you mentioned those qualified to give it; the ALO needs to verify that the person is indeed qualified. And of course, ensure no conflict of interest. (Conflicts are very rare unless the person giving the CFA happens to be the applicant's coach in a sport. But that too is a catch-22, because chances are if a person is in a full time varsity sport, they probably aren't going to have any issues passing the CFA, so there's nothing really to "Fudge" the score with. With the CFA; the overwhelming majority of those taking it have absolutely no problem getting decent scores. Those who do, usually have a problem in just 1 area. (Usually pull ups). Those who problems in multiple areas usually have problems passing the CFA all together.

But as fencermother mentioned, just clear it with the ALO first. They will probably not have a problem. There is a good chance that someone in your school probably applied in past years and the ALO is familiar with the person who can give the test. Remember rule #547. There is not ONE thing that you can do or experience in the entire application, basic, cadet, active duty military process, that hasn't been experienced or done by someone else. I doubt you're the first candidate your ALO has started the process on. They have the answers to all your questions. Later... Mike....
Mike is right. My kids didn't go to a regular brick&mortar school, and didn't have an actual "gym teacher" to administer the exam. But their ALO's both decided not to have their coach (from a private club) do the CFA since it was in his best interest too to have each twin excel at this exam.

The only thing my sons did not do well in was the basketball throw. Fencers get ejected for throwing anything. :shake:
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... but it needs to just be cleared by the ALO....

Not always. Every situation is different, every ALO is different. Some are very involved, some are not.

My son had his CFA administered by his HS football coach, submitted it to USAFA admissions, and mentioned it to his ALO in an email a week later.

It was no big deal, the ALO was happy to know that he had proceeded independently.
Well, that is true, Luigi, but the OP should make sure he knows what his ALO expects. He should not just barge ahead and do whatever he thinks should be next, or he may wind up doing some things over, or having some problems down the line. While the service academies like "take charge" guys and gals, they usually prefer for them to operate within the rules or expected procedures.
Using a PE teacher without "clearing it" with the ALO does not violate any rule or procedure.

As I said above, every situation is different, every ALO is different.
I am gonna have to go with Luigi on this one:
from the academy webiste:
Your examination may be administered by your Academy Liaison Officer (ALO), by any commissioned officer other than a parent or any teacher holding a physical education degree. It is your responsibility to arrange for a qualified person to conduct your examination

Do NOT have a Coach administer the test. Many coaches are not physical education teachers.
My daughter's guidance counselor at her school arranged for her physical education teacher to administer the test. If your ALO, BGO or MALO is willing - that person can administer the test as well.

Since you are applying to three academies, know that you don't need to take it three times. Just take it once and have the scores sent to the other academies.
This is one the benefit of having the phys ed teacher do it.
thanks, my ALO sent me an email and said i'll be meeting with him sometime this weekend or late monday morning. there was this one kid who graduated high school in '06 that went to west point and he had his coach give him the cfa. i have the same coach for cross country, so i was thinking having him give me the test if it was alright with him. i didn't know that i would only have to take the test once for applying to multiple academies, though, i am reluctant that the air force standards for the cfa might be too low for west point or annapolis to accept. but, thanks for the info! :biggrin:
Back in '06 is was fine for a coach to administer the CFA. The academies have changed their rules since then.
Allow me to repeat myself - do NOT have a coach administer your CFA , it will be found invalid. Please, please follow the instructions that you are given with your application or online. Instructions change from year to year.

CFA standards do vary between the Academies. What those standards are exactly, is a highly guarded secret. Any admissions officer could tell you but then he would have to kill you. (JK)
In the end, it doesn't matter. Take the test and do your best on every event. You wouldn't think of dogging an event if you thought it didn't matter as much as the others would you? I thought not.
The biggest thing to remember is that every situation can be different. In my son's experience (he is class of 2011, so very recent), he never had an interview with his ALO, and he only was in contact with his ALO via email twice before she presented his appointment at his school. His track coach did his CFA, and the results were accepted by the USAFA.
The best thing to do is ask your ALO what they want, and what are their requirements. Just A Mom's advice about following the instructions given to you is right on, since things always change.