Good answers here already. I also choose to have a fast transport available for the AO, and one of the FO's near.
If I have a reserve, as I almost always has (and it'd rather be a mobile one), I have the AO to ride along with it. The reserve also provides for security for the AO, unless the reserve is placed very near the front in the beginning of the game.
I try to use the company commanders for rallying, but also sometimes bring up the AO to boost the process.
And NEVER leave the AO all by himself, and not in the most obvious terrain for partisans to pop up either. And turn the weapons range to 0, but not off.
That's how I do it.
"If you want to live in peace, you have to prepare for war" - Adolf Ehrnrooth