Monday, January 27, 2014

"What did you do this weekend Dad?" Weekend of Media Training

I picked up my son Jacari after drill this weekend.  He asked, "What did you do Dad?" smiling and hoping to hear about Blackhawk helicopters or machine guns.

I told him my butt hurt from sitting all weekend in a Media Training session.  We changed the subject.  He did not really want to hear about the moment when I corrected the instructor who said we should hyphenate a compound noun.  I said if it was a compound modifier it should be hyphenated, but compound nouns should not.

It was just like knocking down the 300-meter target on M4/M16 qualification range (sort of).

Hapless hyphenation aside, it was an important weekend for the 15 months or so I have left before they will throw me out for old age.

The division commander, BG John Gronski, has made communication one of his top four priorities for the 28th Division.  So this seminar included assigned public affairs people like and the newly appointed unit public affairs people at each of the battalions in our brigade.  Instead of Captain Miller and I covering everything that goes on in the brigade (as well as we can), each battalion will have someone who can take pictures and write stories and Facebook posts.

The division commander and CSM spoke to our class for more than 30 minutes on Saturday.  Gronski has a Facebook page.  Both he and CSM Kepner have twitter handles.  But the class itself says just how serious the new commander is about communication.  Five soldiers from the aviation brigade were in the class and learning how to use social media to support the mission.

For me, it means I have a back up for promotions, awards, and other events scheduled at different places at the same time.   It also means that when there Chinooks are doing sling loads, Blackhawks are supporting air assault and the MEDEVAC is doing hoist training on the same day, we can get all three events.

Next drill we can get all the communications people together and talk about how to cover events and manage the Facebook page.  I can't wait!!

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