Faces From the Front for December 13, 2010 - Staff Sgt. Frank Brown
Current Unit: Armed Forces Network Afghanistan
Current Position: Broadcast Journalist
Current Location: Afghanistan
Hometown: Valdosta, Ga.
Years of Service: 11
As a broadcast journalist with Armed Forces Network Afghanistan, Staff Sgt. Frank Brown provides the American public with a broader scope of Soldiers’ activities in Afghanistan by documenting the progress U.S. Troops are making in reconstruction. Rehabilitation efforts in Afghanistan can be difficult to capture by stateside media, but Brown’s work tells the story of how the U.S. is restoring a tattered nation.
Brown is responsible for capturing audio and video content of service members completing their missions and explaining their experiences in their own words. Through these efforts, he is able to give the public a chance to see stories and accomplishments that may not be covered on their nightly news.
“The purpose is to show what the brave men and women here on the ground in Afghanistan are doing daily,” said Brown. “I hope to give viewers and listeners a snapshot of what goes on in a deployed environment. I’d like to show the hard work and dedication these service members are displaying, and the strides being made in Afghanistan.”
Often, Brown accompanies his fellow Soldiers out into the field to record their work on security, development and reconstruction missions. Being out in the community also allows Brown to film candid interactions between his fellow Soldiers and the Afghan people, showcasing the relationships being built between these groups.
The content Brown develops is then shared with the American public on a variety of sources, including the American Forces Network, the Pentagon Channel, local television and radio affiliates across the U.S. Brown also posts the stories to Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, and the podcasts he creates can often be found on iTunes.
Brown, who started his career as a cavalry scout and then spent time as an Army recruiter, takes pride in his current role as a broadcast journalist and feels privileged to showcase the work of his fellow Soldiers.
“It is an extraordinary task. At the end of the day, I hope I did a sufficient job in showing the great things they're doing here,” Brown said.
Brown knows that his work makes a difference and allows family members the opportunity to see their Soldiers in action.
“The mother of a Soldier I featured commented on his profile ‘Looking good, son.’ It made me feel really good,” Brown said.
However, being new to the world of broadcast journalism, Brown has faced a variety of challenges throughout his deployment.
“Since I'm a new broadcaster, I'm often self-conscious about my inexperience, but I've gained a lot of experience here,” Brown explained. “The other challenge is technical. I send up all of the products through the internet and in some places communication is pretty bad. We make it happen though.”
Despite the challenges, Brown wouldn’t trade his current job for the world and is grateful to his recruiting buddies for pushing him to apply for this job.
“I always loved broadcasting. I found out about this military occupation specialty when I was a recruiter. My friends on recruiting duty convinced me to audition for this job.’ Brown said. “I was scared to death to audition, but they pushed me through it. I owe being here to them.”
Thanks to Brown, a wider range of Soldiers’ accomplishments can be shared back home. His efforts have helped to create a well-rounded record of the work that U.S. troops are laboring to accomplish, and in doing so, giving Americans the chance to witness these valiant endeavors as well.
Brown returned home to Valdosta, Ga. earlier this month, and has enjoyed spending time with friends and family. Once his leave is over, Brown will return to Europe, where he is stationed, and plans to begin taking some college courses.