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Starting out as a Regional Armed Services Liaison Officer

Starting out as a Regional Armed Services Liaison Officer (ASLO

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

  • Notify GSO that you have been elected to the post by email to gso@alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk 
  • Talk to the outgoing or previous ASLO about what Armed Services Liaison work has been performed in your Region 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 Regional ASLO in post for some time, talk to current or previous Intergroup ASLOs and/or the Regional Chair and Intergroup Chairs, 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 Regional level in your Region, 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.
  • Make contact as soon as possible with the Intergroup ASLOs in your Region (or other officers performing Armed Services Liaison work for instance the PI officer).
  • Liaise with Intergroup Chairs in Intergroups with no ASLO in place to discuss presenting at Intergroup meetings to encourage prospective Intergroup ASLOs into service.
  • Take up the role of chair of quarterly Armed Services Liaison meetings in your Region the Regional ASLO normally chairs these, and they are attended also by the Intergroup ASLOs. Others may also be invited, for instance the Chairs of Intergroups with no ASLOs, and ASLOs from neighbouring Regions and Intergroups. These meetings are good for coordinating activities and ensuring that areas with no ASLO are covered by ASLOs from neighbouring Intergroups in agreement with the relevant Chairs either reactively (responding to incoming queries) or proactively (actively seeking opportunities to carry the message).
  • Make yourself available to the Intergroup ASLOs to share experience, strength, and hope.
  • Attend all Regional Committee Meetings, Assemblies, Workshops, etc.
  • In preparation for these, draw up and submit to the secretary, where so requested, a report covering your activities and the activities of the Intergroup ASLOs within your Region.
  • 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.
  • In coordination with Intergroup ASLOs, draw up a plan for actively carrying the message to relevant organisations within the Region both at local (Intergroup) level and at a higher (Regional) level.
    These include:
    • 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.
    • Other Ministry of Defence sites.
    • 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.
    • 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 Regions, from other liaison officers in your Region, from the Chair of your Region, 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.