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NEWS | Dec. 1, 2015

Army Reserve Soldiers receive training in 'telling the Army story'

By Courtesy Story 807th Medical Command (Deployment Support)

SEAGOVILLE, Texas — Army Reserve Soldiers from various units under the 807th Medical Command (Deployment Support) attended public affairs training here Nov. 30 – Dec. 1, 2015.

The training covered the roles and expectations of being a Unit Public Affairs Representative and was taught by the public affairs team from the 807th MCDS.

“I feel like it was great training,” said 1st Lt. Jennifer Rodriguez, a Medical Surgical Nurse with the 325th Combat Support Hospital. “I think the instruction will help us to tell our units story and show the public what we do.”

Public affairs in the Army is a combination of public relations, photography, video and print journalism and acts as the military’s primary means of showing other service members, and the public, what they do.

Individual military units, with the help of their UPAR, are able to cover their own events and ensure that achievements and accolades are effectively conveyed to the public.
“We do so many good things and the public needs to know about them,” Said Maj. Mahesh Gondi, a dental officer with the 965th Dental Company. “Our colleagues, other units and the public don’t know what we do and public affairs helps get that out.”
During the two-day event the attendees received training in taking well composed photos, writing cutlines, Associated Press writing style, news writing, public affairs guidance, release authority, personality features and best practices for filming video. Also, they were provided additional resources and contacts to help them in going back to their respective units to provide public affairs coverage.
“Communication is vital for the success of commanders at all levels,” said Capt. Chad Nixon, public affairs officer with the 807th MCDS. “With emerging technologies and social media, it’s imperative that commanders have Soldiers trained and assist them in having a communications program within their unit. We have a responsibility to keep the public informed of where their tax dollars are being spent while highlighting the success of our Soldiers.”