It is Monday morning, and the pace begins to
quicken in the office. The PAO is on leave, and you are
on your way to brief the CO on several public affairs
matters. With one foot out the door, JO3 Boate asks you
several questions regarding the new press release format
you instituted Friday. While answering her questions,
JOSN Dory, who is tasked with writing a similar release,
asks you a style question regarding military titles.
Meanwhile, JO2 Arts requests assistance in retrieving
the sample change of command release on the computer
because his access has been denied.
All three areas could have easily been addressed
during an all-hands training session at a less hectic
time. Subject: preparing press releases.
ROLE OF THE SENIOR JO
As a senior JO in charge of a public affairs office,
you are responsible for making sure your subordinates
are properly trained. You are responsible to the PAO for
administering and monitoring a training program that
keeps your staff sharp and on the cutting edge of the
journalism profession. By providing your staff with the
latest information and methods, your efforts will
unquestionably boost efficiency and professionalism.
Although you are responsible for administrating
and monitoring the training program, you should not
envision yourself as the sole trainer. When you select
your training topics (using the occupational standards in
the Advancement Handbook for Petty Officers for the
JOs as your guide), assign members of your staff to
conduct the training on a rotating basis. Have the
assigned instructor develop a lesson plan and show it to
you at least two days before the training session, and
check for thoroughness. (Be sure to include yourself in
APPROPRIATION OF TIME
Training is most effective when it is held on the
same day and time each week. There are several factors
you should consider before selecting the day and time
for training, such as work schedules and deadlines,
general military training schedules and other
commitments. Of course, even if you determine that
Wednesday at 1400 is the best day and time to assemble
your troops for a one-hour training session, a priority
project or an unplanned event can arise and throw your
program off kilter. When appropriating time for
professional training, keep the following points in mind:
To give some thought to primary and secondary
training days and times.
To never cancel a training session because of
work commitments; postpone them.
To be flexible.
CHARACTERISTICS OF PROPER
The public affairs office aboard the USS Birdfarm
is located on the second deck, just below the after brow,
where the boatswains mates of first division are
removing paint and rust with needle guns, grinders,
sanders and handscrapers. The noise has reached a
deafening level and your conversation with the first
division officer confirms your worst fears: the work
will continue through 1600. Your 1400 training session
with the staff is five minutes away.
Obviously, your designated trainer and the trainees
will have an extremely difficult time speaking and
hearing in this environment because this situation is in
no way conducive to learning. That is why the office
supervisor must select the training site as carefully as
the topics and methods of training. The supervisor, in
this case, may or may not have known about the
scheduled deck work just on the other side of the
overhead. Regardless of the circumstances, an alternate
location should have been identified ardor reserved,
such as a conference room, administration office or even
the mess decks.
Training ashore offers a wider variety of settings
and locations. Using your existing office spaces for
training is fine, but as a diversion, also consider training
the staff at a different location on base or even off base.
This will stimulate learning and maintain interest in your
For instance, your training topic in two weeks is on
preparing news releases for local radio stations. Instead
of just reviewing the release format and procedures in
the office, you can call the news director at one of the
stations, briefly discuss your training intentions, and
request a representative to discuss their newsroom
operations with your staff at the station. In most cases,
newsroom directors, general managers and other media
authority figures will be delighted to honor your request.
A major distraction during any training session is
the constant ringing of the telephones and visitors who
wander into the office to conduct business. You can deal
with this in the following ways: (1) turn on the
answering machine for the duration of your training