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Starting out as an Intergroup Armed Services Liaison Officer (ASLO)

Suggested points to help a new Regional Armed Services Liaison Officer get started.

    • Talk to the outgoing or previous ASLO about what Armed Services Liaison work has been performed in your Intergroup before you were appointed to the post. Hopefully the outgoing or previous ASLO will be able to carry out a full handover, including records of the work performed, contacts, and resources.
    • If there has been no Intergroup ASLO in post for some time, talk to current or previous Intergroup ASLOs and/or the  Intergroup Chair, who should know about any Armed Services Liaison work carried out by Public Information or other officers in the absence of ASLOs in role.
    • Read the sections Chapter One: Public Information and Chapter Two: AA and the Armed Services in The AA Service Handbook for Great Britain. Familiarity with the whole of The AA Service Handbook for Great Britain and The AA Structure Handbook for Great Britain is advised, but these two chapters are the most relevant to the liaison work.
    • Get to know who else is in service at Intergroup level in your Intergroup, in particular the other external liaison officers.
    • Through your Regional Board Trustee, you can make contact with the Board Trustee for Armed Services, to introduce yourself and find out about any developments nationally.
    • Attend the quarterly Armed Services Liaison meetings in your Region—the Regional ASLO normally chairs these, and they are attended also by the Intergroup ASLOs. These meetings are good for coordinating activities.

    • Be prepared to attend special Workshops at GSO in York (a maximum of one a year, usually on a Friday and Saturday). These are called by the Board Trustee for Armed Services.

    • Draw up a plan for actively carrying the message to relevant organisations within the Intergroup.

    • These include:

o   British Army, Royal Air Force, and Royal Navy sites.
         §  In particular, focus on contact with welfare branches, e.g. the Army Welfare Service, Army HIVES, Departments of
            Community Mental Health (DCMHs), the Chaplaincy.
o   Other Ministry of Defence sites.
o   The Public Health Departments of Local Authorities, NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups, and other NHS bodies with
      responsibility for veterans’ health, including NHS-organised Armed Forces Network events.
o   Headquarters and branches of charities assisting serving persons and veterans. These can be found by searching online
     for ‘service charities’. There is an umbrella organisation of such charities, along with various other listings.

    • Ensure your local telephone office or service has your contact details, should an Armed Services Liaison-specific enquiry come in.
    • If you are stuck or confused, ask for help, from current or former ASLOs in your or other Intergroups, from other liaison officers in your Intergroup, from the Chair of your Intergroup, or from the Board Trustee for Armed Services. Whatever problem you are having, someone else has likely encountered that problem and solved it.
    • Always remember that Armed Services Liaison work—like all liaison work within AA—requires a team effort.