By Vannessa L. JoseyApril 23, 2018
"Ms./SSG Josey, attached is your approved 4187 for the 46S convergence for your records. Congrats on being the first USAR Soldier to get it done! V/r MSG Licea." I continued to read this a few more before it actually hit the part of my brain that allows me to understand the written word. How did that happen? I haven't ever been first.
Throughout my career, I have focused on making positive changes and improvements that apply to my life. The courses I have taken both in my military and civilian career have provided me the tools and knowledge to become the public affairs professional that I am.
We are here for the service members and our commanders. We storytellers. We are communicators.
Public affairs professionals have an impact on our soldiers who raise their right hand and swear to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. We also have an impact on the American public, by sharing the stories of their sons and daughters doing heroic things.
The foundation of our profession starts at the Defense Information School at fort George G. Meade, Maryland. The education provided to public affairs professional has evolved to keep up with the 24-hour news cycle.
Gone are the typewriters and betacams. Tablets and smart phones are the new communication technology.
A public affairs professional in the 21st Century needs to be well-rounded and tell the story of our soldiers across multiple platforms.
The 30-second YouTube video is the new thousand word story.
These trends of how the public receives information led the Army to combine the print and broadcast journalism military occupational skill into Mass Communication specialist.
I stood in front of the camera, created news segments, and wrote stories with one goal in mind . . . tell the Soldiers story and do it faster, better and more efficiently.
The hands on training with still and video cameras, electronic news gathering, a completely different style of writing and editing software was pretty intense for this dinosaur.
Change is good. Because of the training I received, I am confident representing my command on camera. I know that a 30-second You Tube video can reach a larger audience than the best written Keith L. Ware winning feature.
As the first Army Mass Communications Specialist, it is an honor with great responsibilities.
I have the opportunity to teach, coach and mentor my soldiers at 362nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, Londonderry, New Hampshire and use as a as a public affairs specialist at the Natick Soldier Systems Center, Natick, Massachusetts.
So, I'm the first Mass Communications Public Affairs Specialist. I'm no big deal. The men and women veterans of the world are the most important of what I do. It's an honor to serve as the conduit to tell their stories. They're a really, really big deal.