Public Affairs Officer 43xx...getting selected?
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  1. #1

    Public Affairs Officer 43xx...getting selected?

    Hi Marines,

    Have any of you Marines done Public Affairs? Can you give me a brief review of what you did? I majored in Design in college and I would like to graphic design for the Corps as a PA Officer sometime in the future. Is this a realistic goal? I am shipping out in June to bootcamp but I will eventually try to get commissioned after I receive my citizenship.

    Thank you very much for your time. Looking forward to your answers.


  2. #2
    Officer selection is totally different....you don't really get a choice in what job the Marine Corps assigns you. There are a few officers here that might be able to answer the question you asked, I'm going to change the thread title so they'll stop by...


  3. #3
    Thank you so much, Sir!


  4. #4
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    MOS/Title: 4302 -- Public Affairs Officer
    Type of Officer : Unrestricted Line Officer and Warrant Officer
    Type of MOS : PMOS
    Rank Range: LtCol -2ndLt
    Job Description: Public affairs officers advise Marine Corps and combatant commanders and their staff on public affairs capabilities, and public affairs matters that include public information, community relations and internal information. Public affairs officers perform duties In international and/or joint public affairs. In garrison, public affairs officers manage the activities of a public affairs office.
    Job Requirements:
    (1) Certifying authority for 4302 primary MOS is the CMC (PA).
    (2) Certifying authority for 4302 additional MOS is the CMC (PA)
    (3) Officers of other primary MOSs, who are filling a 4302 billet, meet the performance standards in MCO 1510.62, have completed Public Affairs Officer Qualification Course-DL-Phase 2 at DINFOS, Ft. Meade, MD, and who have demonstrated a satisfactory level of public affairs experience, may apply for MOS 4302 as an additional MOS only.
    (4) Public affairs officers are able to compete for MOS 4305 (Mass Communication Specialist) through the Special Education Program Board process, which enables public affairs officers to attain a Master of Communications degree at San Diego State University.
    (5) Schools available:

    • (a) Public Affairs Officer Qualification Course (PAOQC) at Defense Information School (DINFOS), Ft. Meade, MD -Entry Level MOS course.
      (b) The Public Affairs officer Qualification Course-DL-Phase 2 at DINFOS, Ft. Meade, MD.
      (c) Joint Senior P:.ililic Affairs Officer Course (JSPAC) at DINFOS, Ft Meade, MD-Senior Level MOS course.
      (d) DoD Joint Course in Communication at University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK-Interim Level MOS course.
    Duties: For a complete listing of duties and tasks, refer to MCO 1510.62, Individual Training Standards.


  5. #5
    Thank you for providing the information, Sir! I have read this many times but it's unfortunately quite vague. I am hoping to meet someone who has actually done this.

    On another note, I met with an OSO today and apparently it's harder to have the MOS of your choice as an officer. My fingers are crossed

    Thank you so much for your help!


  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Littlegraybook View Post
    Thank you for providing the information, Sir! I have read this many times but it's unfortunately quite vague. I am hoping to meet someone who has actually done this.

    On another note, I met with an OSO today and apparently it's harder to have the MOS of your choice as an officer. My fingers are crossed

    Thank you so much for your help!

    You don't really get to chose. It's a wish list type of deal. Only Air and JAG are guaranteed

    To be honest, the chances of a Public Affairs Officer dropping by on LN are right up there with Penelope Cruz dropping by. We can only wish





    Let me give you an site you might not be aware of

    http://www.marineocs.com/portal/index.php

    Similar to LN. Just register and start posting.



  7. #7
    Penelope Cruz. Worth the wait

    Anyways I signed up and I found what I was looking for! Thank you so much Dan for helping me!

    PUBLIC AFFAIRS
    (4302)


    4302 Military Occupational Specialty (MOS)

    1. Introduction

    Welcome to one of the most rewarding specialties in the Marine Corps! If you’re a people-person, enjoy educating folks, and are looking for an exciting, fast-paced, challenging field, Public Affairs (PA) may be for you. Here's the scoop, the two reasons we're here -- One: Marines, our first target audience, need to know what's going on in the Corps. We tell’em! PA gives the big picture to everyone. We call it “informing our internal audience.” Two: PA is responsible for getting the Marines’ story to middle America; our second target audience. The country has a special place in its heart for Marines. We highlight Marine accomplishments to continue to forge the bond between the public and the Corps.

    2. What is this MOS like?

    Here’s how we do business: Our Credo is “maximum disclosure/ minimum delay” in response to all queries. We don’t spin the story, we tell it like it is, taking the good with the bad. The idea is that given all the great things the Corps does, the good will outweigh the bad. If you're still reading and like the idea of knowing the bigger picture on issues and working with the media, read a little further. You'll get a better feel for what the Public Affairs field will ask of you, and what you can expect from the field.

    What type of folks are joining the field today? Are there any prerequisites? Quick answers: Good ones and no. PA sources its officers from TBS, and also benefits from a substantial number of officers who laterally move from another occupational specialty into PA. Frequently the Marines straight from TBS have an interest in journalism, reporting, or photography, but these are in no way prerequisites. Successful PA Marines pride themselves on their people and communications skills. TBS graduates with prior service fit well into the field as their breadth of experience serves them well telling the Marines’ story.

    3. What will I do after TBS before my first billet?

    After you complete TBS the PA occupational field specialist (OccFldSpec), a captain who advises the ground assignments monitor, will let you know where your first duty assignment will be. First you have to go to the 8 -week Public Affairs Officers Course (PAOC) located at the Defense Information School (DINFOS). DINFOS is a multi-service school located at Ft. Meade, Maryland, about twenty miles north of Washington, DC. Classes start 5 times a year. You may go to your new duty station for a month or two before school if your TBS graduation date doesn't quite mesh with a DINFOS pickup date.

    DINFOS itself is a great learning experience; you gain the basics of public affairs and also broaden your horizons by being surrounded by students of different ranks, from different services. The curriculum centers on four areas: PA theory, journalism (practical application -- writing stories), broadcast journalism (radio and TV formats) and service unique instruction. For more information check out the DINFOS homepage (www.dinfos.osd.mil).

    PA shops are generally clumped into three categories, large-like Lejeune, medium- like Miramar and small-like MCAS Yuma. New PA officers will typically be assigned to one of the larger shops; that’s where the majority of the billets reside. Large shops are also the best place to gain broad experience. Again, once you know that you’ve been selected for the PA field, talk with the OccFldSpec about your duty assignments. It’s a small community -- about 90 company grade officers. The OccFldSpec will work with you in order to find a billet that works for both you and the Corps.

    4. What will my first tour be like?

    At your first duty station you’ll quickly learn that PA business breaks down into three functional areas:

    Media relations deals exclusively with answering queries, escorting the media, and getting the media to cover stories we want to promote. Typically, a shop will have at least one officer whose primary assignment is media. It’s a demanding job getting the good stories out and even more demanding answering the mail when something goes wrong.
    Community relations (COMREL) deals with requests for USMC assistance from the public: typically, requests for the band, color guards, speakers, etc. The COMREL section has at least one officer who staffs all these requests from receipt through execution. It’s a great way to get to know the units on station and the public organizations we interface with daily to make our communities thrive.
    The internal section writes stories and publishes the base newspaper. These stories may be for internal consumption or for external release. Most stories are written for our internal audience, but some stories are written with external release in mind. This section typically does not have an officer member, although if a shop is over-staffed a lieutenant might be assigned to it. If you’re lucky enough to get this job for a few months, you’ll come away with a great appreciation for the publishing side of the house.

    You can expect to rotate around the three sections during your first PA tour in order to learn the different functions of PA. In conjunction with these billets you can expect to deploy randomly. It would be common over a three-year tour to make 2 or 3 deployments. Deployments come in two flavors: planned (scheduled exercise or commitment) and contingency, in response to real world events, (hurricanes, MEU augmentation). Deployment taskers come down through both the PA and operational chain of command. Requests for media escorts are usually the norm. Once you have your feet on the ground, you can be reasonably confidant that you'll be expected to deploy. Keep your bags packed. Contingency deployments can be as short as a week or as long as a couple months. Planned deployments are generally for the duration of the exercise, typically 10-30 days. Typical deployment billet responsibilities include augmenting a press information center, providing escort to the media, or providing media training to deployed units.

    5. Where might I go after my first tour?

    After your first tour, about the 3-4 year point, you will move to another PA duty station. Again, talk to your OccFldSpec and make your wishes known. Some officers move to a different PA shop, some move to recruiting districts, and some may work in DC at HQMC (PA). Whatever you do you'll gain more and more responsibility and handle bigger issues.

    Command billets are limited in the PA field. OIC billets are more frequent. After a tour in PA, officers may experience a career broadening tour at one of the recruit depots or at one of the schools of infantry. During a career broadening tour an officer can expect to command a training series or company. Reports from officers who have experienced these tours are very favorable. At DINFOS there is a billet for a Marine detachment commander, generally a captain, who commands all Marines assigned to the school. There are many opportunities to be an officer in charge (OIC) at PA shops throughout the Corps. OICs exercise virtually the same leadership responsibilities as commanders. As an officer of Marines you’ll be leading devil dogs everyday.

    6. Where can I find more information on this MOS?

    You may not know it, but generally whatever you hear about the Marine Corps in the civilian world comes through public affairs. From “dragonslaying” network commercials to Marines Magazine, Marine public affairs does it all. Any of these mediums provide insight into the field. Marinelink on the web and command sponsored newspapers also provide a good perspective into the 4302 specialty. Information can also be found at the Marine Corps Combat Correspondents Association homepage at http://web.wt.net/~cchq.

    7. Conclusion

    Public affairs is a specialty limited only by your imagination. We have missions, “ to inform our internal and external audiences”, but the ways and means to this end provide the PA practitioner tremendous latitude. If you’re self-motivated, enjoy working with the media, and love telling the Marines’ story – you may find a great home in public affairs.


  8. #8
    For the good of the Corps, I would recommend not giving me responsibility over Law or anything that involves food.


  9. #9
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    Teyu

    Did you get that info from the OCS Portal site? If so that's a great place for anyone to go info they are interested in becoming an officer


  10. #10
    I sure did! Thank you Sir for recommending it to me. I have the information I need at the moment now. It'll be at least a year and half before I'm eligible to be an officer (predicted by the OSO)...


  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Littlegraybook View Post
    Hi Marines,

    Have any of you Marines done Public Affairs? Can you give me a brief review of what you did? I majored in Design in college and I would like to graphic design for the Corps as a PA Officer sometime in the future. Is this a realistic goal? I am shipping out in June to bootcamp but I will eventually try to get commissioned after I receive my citizenship.

    Thank you very much for your time. Looking forward to your answers.
    Glad you found some helpful info. I have two friends that have been a PAO for some time now. One of them I have not talked to in awhile, but I see his name all the time in Leatherneck magazine which is pretty cool. The other one I talk to quite a bit, and he is loving his job. He's out in Camp Pendleton, and from the sounds of it, he is living the life.

    To be realistic though, Public Affairs is not an easy MOS to get. I believe there were 6 slots out of the 270 something Marines in my company at TBS. You could potentially be found "uniquely qualified" for the MOS because of your major, but this is pretty rare. The most surefire way to get the MOS you want is to finish number one in the company...good luck!


  12. #12
    Thank you Sir! It's always encouraging to hear Marines loving what they do. I am confident about my GPA and portfolio but it seems like nothing good in the Corps is freely handed out without you trying hard for it. It's a challenge I am willing to take and I will surely try my best!

    Thanks once again!


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