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NEWS | Aug. 19, 2016

Rifleman to Reporter: Reserve Soldier answers the call

By Sgt. Rebecca Newton 206th Broadcast Operations Detachment

FORT MEADE, Md. – The Army has an obligation to keep the American people informed, and public affairs specialists carry out that mission.  Spc. Stephen Doherty of the 362d Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, Londonderry, N.H., is training to become a 46Q – public affairs specialist.

The twelve-week course is held at the Defense Information School, commonly known as DINFOS; and is part of the Defense Media Activity, at Fort George G. Meade, Md.  DINFOS trains service members from all branches of the military.

Doherty joined the military at 40-years-old, and served as an 11B – infantryman with the 3d Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia, from 2009 to 2012.

For the past few years, he worked as an actor for Tyler Perry Studios.
Now training for the PA specialty, he says the 46Q course is a lot different than he thought.  “It’s definitely tougher than any writing that I’ve ever done.  There’s no flowery stuff here,” he says. 

Doherty, who has a background in English, says he is excited about all the things he will learn during the course.  He is especially fond of learning new writing formats and the on-the-job training aspect. 
Practicing with his Army Reserve unit, he has conducted interviews and written two stories prior to coming to DINFOS.  “This training is helping me become more confident during interviews, and is going to help me with my writing,” he said. 

The study guides, classroom instruction and practical exercises are what impress him most about the course.  “It helps a lot, and we have time to work on our own; creating products,” he exclaimed. 

Topics covered during Doherty’s course include: news writing, public affairs, photojournalism, writing feature articles, design, and desktop publishing.

Doherty is looking forward to graduation so he can head back to his unit and keep the American people informed!