Welcome to my world!

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Basking in the glory of DMA on Fort Meade, Md. – Photo by MC2 Tim Haake.

Hi everyone and welcome to The Military Lens! If you’re interested in the world of military public affairs specialists, TML is where you want to be. If you’re interested in becoming one of us, TML is your new home.

This is your Trust Tree and your Sanctuary of Safety.

I’ve been working as a Navy Mass Communication Specialist since July, 2009, and currently work for Department of Defense News. We’re located at Defense Media Activity (DMA) on Fort Meade, Md. This is literally the center of the military PA universe. Every branch sends us their photos, videos and written stories so we can redistribute that information to our global audience.

But it’s not just DoD News. Each branch uses the building to run their service-specific publications. It’s tough to describe such a complex web in one post. Here’s a quick overview (with pictures!) of the moving parts.

See that guy on the right? That’s Tech Sergeant Nathan Parry. He just interviewed President Barrack Obama in front of a live global audience. He’s sort of my hero. – Photo by me.

Okay these photos aren’t super exciting but hopefully they give a good idea of the size of DMA.

In the Air Force, PA personnel have two names.

TSgt. Parry: “Air Force public affairs is split into two enlisted parts. We have the Photojournalist who take pictures and write stories, blogs, and handle quite a bit of the social media positions. Broadcast Journalists take care of the video side of the house be it for online or for air on American Forces Network. Overseas we also have the opportunity to be radio DJs.”

These two work with me at DoD News but there’s a section for just Air Force. Their publication is called Airman Magazine. (It’s the best but don’t tell them…they’re already cocky.)

SGT. Luther Washington in the best-decorated cubicle at DMA. Yes he’s holding the Juggernaut. – Photo by me.

This is a fine example of the Army presence. Sergeant Luther Washington is a fan of comics…and being awesome in front of a camera. His job is called Broadcast Specialist. The Army’s publication is called Soldiers Magazine.

Don’t these two look related? I would’ve sworn they were brother and sister. – Photo by me.

This is in the Navy section. It’s where the majority of Navy Mass Communication Specialists (MCs) work on awesome things like All Hands Magazine. With over 20 Sailors in just this area, the Navy has the biggest presence at DMA. It’s because we’re so cool.

As you can see, we’re mixed in with civilians. It can take some adjustment if you’ve spent years working with only military. – Photo by me.

Ahh Marines…they’re usually the loudest and most interesting folks in the building. See that bald guy on the left? He’s an absolute BEAST. I’m pretty sure Rocky Balboa wasn’t as fit as that Marine. They stopped producing an online magazine a year ago but you can still find Marine stories at marines.mil and on their Facebook page.

Coming in hot with the coolest name, they’re called Combat Correspondents.

Uniform inspections are always painful. Photo by me.

It’s not enough to be a good story teller. All service members here must also keep up their military discipline. A uniform inspection is an effective way to remind us that we’re Sailors first, Mass Communication Specialists second.

Shine your boots, then go play with the camera.