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Suggested points to help a new Regional Armed Services Liaison Officer

Getting Started

  1. Notify GSO that you have been elected to the post by email to gso@alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk 
  2. Talk to the outgoing or previous Regional ASLO (RASLO) about what Armed Services Liaison work has been performed in your Region before you were appointed to the post. Hopefully the outgoing or previous RASLO will be able to carry out a full handover, including records of the work performed, contacts, and resources.
  3. Be sure to inherit the Armed Services email for your Region which will give you a valuable list of contacts and progress that has been made. If an RAS email does not exist, contact York and they will set one up for you.
  4. If there has been no RASLO 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.
  5. 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. You can contact the Board Trustee for Armed Services, whose e-mail is in the confidential directory to introduce yourself and find out about any developments nationally.
  6. Attend all Regional Committee Meetings, Assemblies, Workshops, etc.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Ensure your local telephone office or service has your contact details, should an Armed Services Liaison-specific enquiry come in. 
  10. Contact the appropriate Armed Services committee member (currently aservices4.sc@aamail.org) to ensure your contact details go on the national AS 12th Stepper database. Encourage serving, veteran and interested civilian members to go on this list. 
  11. If you are stuck or confused, ask for help, from current or former RASLOs and 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.

Internal Communication

A.  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).
B.  Liaise with Intergroup Chairs in Intergroups with no ASLO in place to discuss presenting at Intergroup meetings to encourage prospective Intergroup ASLOs into service.
C. Take up the role of chair of quarterly Armed Services Liaison meetings in your Region, to be attended 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).
D.  Make yourself available to the Intergroup ASLOs to share experience, strength, and hope.
E.  Make yourself known to neighbouring regions’ RASLOs.

Carrying the message externally

I.  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:

  • a.    British Army, Royal Air Force, and Royal Navy sites.
  • b.    welfare branches, e.g. the Army Welfare Service, Departments of Community Mental Health (DCMHs), the Chaplaincy.
  • c.    Other Ministry of Defence sites.
  • d.    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. 
  • e.    Headquarters and branches of charities assisting serving persons and veterans. These can be found by searching online for service charities. An umbrella organisation exists for these – the Armed Forces Covenant team at your local council - along with various other listings.

II.    Always remember that Regional Armed Services Liaison work - like all liaison work within AA - requires a team effort.