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NEWS | July 10, 2024

From firefighter to photographer: Switch to public affairs a chance to explore creative passion

By Pfc. Wesley Richardson 340th Public Affairs Detachment

As a firefighter for the 379th Engineer Detachment, Sgt. Michael Higgins always loved taking photos of events and training exercises throughout his career. Now he is changing his occupation to a Public Affairs Mass Communicator to explore his passion for photography.

Higgins stated that he enjoys having fun with his camera and has limited experience in public affairs. “I have a passion when it comes to photography,” said Higgins, and he is pursuing this passion in the Army Reserve and will soon attend the Defense Information School. He says, “It’s therapeutic for me to be able to sit there and squat down at the right angle. You find the right amount of sunlight, and it’s nice.”

Being new to the field of public affairs Higgins wants to, “Just learn as much as I can,” and “Stay humble and hungry.”

He said that he was interested in public affairs because it provides him a way to be creative. He likes the creativity because it gives him the ability to, “make something beautiful with it, whether it’s a picture, interview, or article. I just think it’s a cool thing.”

He also likes the artistic freedom given in public affairs because it allows him to make something uniquely his own.

Higgins says, “My assumption is that every person that does their own piece will have their own style. That's what I strive for. Hopefully, whenever I'm doing anything in this MOS [military occupational speciality], a person may recognize that and see that this is Sergeant Higgins work.”

Higgins says he likes public affairs because it is beneficial not only to the Army but himself as well.

“I always thought, since I’ve been in the service, to pick a MOS that could benefit you more than just when you’re in uniform. When I get good at this (public affairs), there are different fields that I can go in with this experience,” said Higgins.

For Sgt. Michael Higgins this is a new chapter in his Army career. It is a chance for him to explore his passion for photography and gain experience in the field of public affairs. Public affairs is an opportunity to hone his craft and leave behind his own unique footprint.

“When I look at myself 36 months from now, I am going to really be blessed and be equipped with the gifts and skill sets that I am striving for.”