Friday March 16, 2012
What is it?
The Chief of Public Affairs announced winners of the Maj. Gen. Keith L. Ware Public Affairs (PA) competition in a message disseminated to Army PA professionals March 13. The Office of the Chief of Public Affairs conducts the awards program annually on behalf of the Secretary of the Army to recognize, cultivate and inspire excellence within the Army PA community. Army PA practitioners of all components, grades and missions competed in 46 broadcasting, journalism, photography and Community Relations categories.
What has the Army done?
Some 27 subordinate and regional commands from Europe and Southwest Asia to CONUS and the Pacific conducted internal PA competitions during January. Thousands of entries competed at command level. Hundreds of their best entries competed at Department of Army (DA) level Feb. 27-March 2, producing the results announced by the Chief of Public Affairs. A panel of distinguished current and retired PA leaders, cadre at branch institutions, civilian producers and academicians judged the entries. First, second and third place winners receive plaques. The Secretary of the Army or another distinguished leader in his place presents trophies to seven winners of top individual achievement awards. First place finishers also compete against entries from sister services and the Defense Media Activity in the DoD-level Thomas Jefferson Awards Program.
Why is this important to the Army?
The program recognizes outstanding individual and team achievement within the Army PA community and highlights the finest DA internal and public communication work. The competition reminds PA professionals their labors are understood and appreciated at the highest service levels and encourages participants to try even harder next year. It also provides additional exposure to some of the finest Army stories, images and information campaigns of 2011.
What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future?
This enduring competition, held annually since 1970, not only recognizes and cultivates achievement among Army communicators but celebrates and develops a rich Army PA heritage. Contemporary Army broadcasters, journalists, photographers and Community Relations specialists, meanwhile, are already generating material bound for next year's competition.
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WHAT'S BEING SAID IN BLOGS
"We focus a lot on competence in our Army ... But it's also two other areas, which may be more intangible -- character and commitment. Those are going to be a really big part of [evaluating] the professional Soldier of the future."
- Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III, in an interview with NCO Journal, emphasized that the drawdown will impact all ranks of Soldiers in the Army and the Army is going to go back to focusing on the whole Soldier.
"I think this really shows that we're preparing our Soldiers for the 21st century warfare, given the fact that everything is moving to virtual reality training. Given the fact that most of these Soldiers coming in had gotten that growing up, this [type of training] will mesh perfectly with the Soldier of the 21st century."
- Kevin Doran, deputy chief of staff for Rep. Lynn A. Westmoreland of Georgia's 3rd District, adequately impressed after learning about the many aspects of infantry and armor training of Soldiers at the Joint Maneuver Center of Excellence, Fort Benning, Ga., March 14-16, 2012
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