Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Army Public Relations


At one of the many briefings I had at the end of Annual Training, the most interesting one for me was from the public affairs sergeant for our brigade. During my last enlistment--in the 70s--the Army communicated only through commanders and official spokespersons. But after 9/11 the Army did some market research and found the American soldier had among the highest credibility among all professions, above doctors, scientists, athletes, etc. So the policy became "Let the Soldier speak." There are restrictions. We are supposed to talk only about what we know and we are not, for obvious reasons, supposed to talk about future tactical operations. But the best line from the presentation: "The Army is an outdoor sport. Take the reporters out in the field." It makes sense. The old Army constantly sent out "Grip and Grin" pictures with soldiers receiving awards--indoors. The new policy is much better. For those who did not see the article I was in on May 18 on the front page--scroll down to the May 18 post.