Saturday, January 24, 2009

I'm Public Affairs?

This might sound a little funny to some of you, but I think I just realized something...

I've held the title of a "public affairs specialist" for the last part of a year and a half now. It hasn't really occurred to me what that meant. Sure I went to the school, yeah, I did a story here and there. Of course I took photos and ran around being all friendly and talkative. But wait, this is now full time?

At first I was a little baffled by the idea. Am I a good writer? Is this what I want to do for awhile? How will I perform in a job I have very little experience in?

As an NCO, I can lead troops, mentor them, assist them in military protocol and basic warrior skills that are part of who I am. The tactical soldier mentality, the discipline when required, the ability to excel in tasks capable of combating the enemy and saving human life. These things I am familiar and comfortable with.

Speaking to media, holding press conferences, escorting VIPs, reading the news constantly, dashing around to find, write, and photograph history in the making. These attributes are rather foreign to me, but as a soldier I learn to adapt and overcome the issues.

It hasn't dawned on me the exact nature of my job and I'm fairly certain that I won't get into great detail of all that is expected of me until we reach theater operations and take over where our predecesors left off. The long haul for a year can seem overwhelming at times, this isn't my first rodeo though, and I know how things shake out.

The diversity of personalities within the unit has been an interesting experience. As we have grown to know each other more as family rather than co-workers, it seems almost comfortable... Trying something new and interesting becomes exciting and more of an adventure than a hassle.

I realize my potential in media relations and public affairs. I know that the combined experiences from supervisors, peers, and subordinates will be invaluable in my own personal understanding of what being a public affairs specialist is.

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