A. THE SURVEY
1. Generally, Graduates do not differentiate between the AOG and West Point.Org or understand what the relationship is between the two.
2. 5000 Graduates from '25 to '97 gave advice; indications are that countless others who do not use computers want the opportunity.
3. 35000 Graduates did not participate in the Survey;
West Point.Org tried to reach only the over 12000 for whom Email addresses
B. STAYING IN TOUCH
4. 3500 Respondents indicate that classmates are their main source of information about West Point and, for most, classmates are also the most important tie.
5. Less than 1500 are serving Regulars; the remainder, more than 3500, are no longer on active military duty.
6. 4500 Survey respondents are not part of the staff of USMA or the AOG , or officers in any Society, or Class.
7. 4000 Respondents read Assembly; over 3700 look for the Supe's letter , while fewer read the other letters; and about half of those that read the AOG Chairman's letter are "occasional" readers.
8. 2500 Respondents are in Societies; less than 1500 find these a main source of information.
C. COLLECTING MONEY
9. While 2000 Respondents occasionally contribute financially to Class, AOG, or USMA, less than 1500 contribute regularly.
10. 1500 Respondents give no money, many Graduates don't like all the requests for money, and at least 2500 do not understand fund raising, including the relationship between the West Point Fund and the AOG.
11. 1500 Respondents believe the West Point Fund should be separate from the AOG, while 1000 believe that there should not be a distinction between fund raising by the AOG and the West Point Fund.
12. There are 500 other specific suggestions concerning fund raising.
D. GRADUATE SUPPORT TO USMA
13. Less than 1200 Respondents currently contribute any volunteer support to USMA, their class projects/reunions, AOG, or a West Point Society.
14. 3800 respondents say that they currently do not contribute any time or effort to West Point.
15. 3000 Respondents indicate a desire to help USMA in a direct manner, primarily with admissions.
16. 1000 Respondents offer other ways to help USMA.
17. Respondents reflect a sense of confusion in finding ways to help West Point.
18. Over 3500 Respondents, all of whom are computer users, see E-mail and Internet as their link of preference to the AOG for the future; and most believe that West-Point.Org communications services are part of the AOG.
19. At least 700 suggestions are offered for AOG modernizing communication and coordination.
20. Modernization of communications is at the top of the list; specific suggestions were: more use of the Internet, AOG publications on line, and the Register of Graduates on a CD-ROM.
21. There is a call to increase updates of information to Graduates by all available means; and for the AOG to be more responsive in replying to those who do reach the organization.
22. A need for greater coordination with, and assistance to, USMA Classes and West Point Societies in reaching Graduates is a consistent theme throughout the Survey responses.
F. AOG MISSION & GOALS
23. At least 3000 observations from respondents deal with AOG planning; with advice in 1000 proposals for clarifying what they perceive as a vague mission; 1000 inputs on redoing the goals; and 1000 observations on broad policy.
24. Advice on improving the AOG Purpose Statement is that it should provide more focus, by adding "to represent Graduates", defining the term "ideals" as, say, "ideals of Duty, Honor, Country", adding "Service to the Armed Forces and Nation", and dropping the inappropriate word, "welfare".
25. Respondents believe that:
(a) goals should address the needs of all graduates rather than a select few, as now perceived.
(b) stated goals are vague, not measurable, unachievable, and should be redefined.
(c) each goal had scores of graduates recommending it be deleted.
(d) many graduates believe there is too much effort directed towards fund raising.
26. Graduates want new goals:
(a) to increase communication frequency and coordination between all graduates and their activities for the purpose of binding all closer together.
(b) to improve assistance and networking for fellow graduates in every category of career transition seeking opportunities for employment and service.
(c) to increase focus by the AOG on playing a strong role in influencing USMA leadership to maintain the highest standards at West Point, including traditions, both academic and military.
(d) to obtain and increase public support for USMA, by publication and preservation of the history of graduates' accomplishments, and other means.
(e) to increase focus on efforts for obtaining support for USMA from the Congress, the Executive, the DOD and the Army.
(f) to encourage the best cadet applicants to USMA.
(g) to secure Regular Army commissions for cadets upon graduation.
27. In describing an AOG that did whatever was wanted, the respondents suggest policies for the AOG concerning:
(a) Advocacy and Independence: The AOG should take an active role in representing the views of Graduates to the Supe, to DoD, and to Congress. The positions advocated by the AOG should be those of the graduates and not those of anyone else.
(b) Employment and Networking: There are many requests for more effective support in transitioning from the military to civilian life, and for active networking among those in civilian life.
(c) Communications and Information: The strongest message was a desire for more information about West Point and issues affecting it. Respondents also liked and wanted more use of electronic communications.
G. AOG PROGRAMS
28. Respondents do not have a good understanding of the various AOG funds and fund raising programs.
29. Respondents, who were shown only 25 of AOG current 74 programs and services, do not have a clear picture of the linkage of these programs and goals to AOG's Purpose Statement or the Proposed Management Goals for 1997-1999.
30. Respondents are looking for programs that would allow them to help with admissions.
31. Respondents offer more than 1500 suggestions for review of programs which do not appear to be supporting what they believe is the purpose of the AOG; and for the elimination of any "discount" services or non- productive programs which detract from the dignity of West Point or from mission oriented programs.
32. Comments raised by numerous Respondents urge that AOG programs for Herbert Hall and the Gift Shop be more efficient and more purposeful and modern (for example, having Herbert Hall open on weekends for use by graduates, and the Gift Shop more capable and customer oriented).
33. Respondents offer at least 1000 suggestions for programs consistent with the goals they recommend, such as communications, support of graduates, public relations, representation of graduates, and improved transition assistance. Transition assistance should be conducted in such a way as not to encourage graduates to leave the Army.
H. STOCKHOLDERS IN THE AOG
34. About 4000 Respondents have not participated in and are not informed as to the process for electing their Board of Trustees of the AOG.
35. More than 1000 Graduates have voted in an election of the Board of Trustees and only about 200 have complaints with failures to inform Graduates of nominations and all the steps involved.
36. While less than 200 Respondents have ever attended a general membership meeting, over 2000 say they might attempt to attend such a meeting.
37. More than 4000 respondents would like to see the Board of Trustees agenda before a meeting, as well as the meeting results.
I. THE MISSION OF THE MILITARY ACADEMY
38. Less than half, 2400 respondents, were aware of the Supe's proactive process for gaining Graduate advice on West Point's mission and other issues.
39. Almost 2000 Graduates had concerns about things which the Supe could fix; and another 2000 had concerns about things which the Army, DOD, or Congress could fix.
40. More than 800 comments raised the issue of failure to grant RA commission to Graduates; Respondents are not sure where the responsibility lies for fixing the problem.
41. In the Supe's area of responsibility:
(a) Over 600 Graduates wrote concern over the perceived erosion of traditions and standards at USMA.
(b) Over 300 Graduates wrote concerns over the perceived reduced emphasis in military training, military leadership, and combat arms.
42. In areas requiring help above the Superintendent's authority, Graduates were concerned over:
(a) funding and other support for USMA (b) restoring the RA commission on graduation (c) mixed gender (d) too large a Corps of Cadets (e) too many civilians on faculty (f) personnel and other policies
J. ADVICE FROM GRADUATES
43. Helpful advice was received on technical and organizational aspects of the Survey structure.
44. Throughout the Survey Graduates express subjective views through use of dialogue boxes. Frequently responses to one question are covered again, or from another angle, in response to another question. Often Respondents inserted advice not precisely relevant to a topic area anticipated for a particular Survey heading. However, through exhaustive tabulation of responses, every suggestion and category of advice, is captured, regardless of where, or how, it is provided, or how often it is emphasized, or by whom.
45. Among the more than 15000 comments made by the Graduates in responses to the survey, they wrote up 1000 closing points that they want passed on directly, for reading by the leadership of the AOG.
46. 1000 ending comments from respondents welcomed and
endorsed the Survey, an opportunity to express their views, endorsed good
communications between Graduates and with the Association leadership, and
emphasized the importance of AOG follow-up on the Survey inputs provided