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Public Affairs Officer

Arts and Media
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Public Affairs Officer - 46A

  • Active/Reserve:Both
  • Officer/Enlisted:Officer
  • Restrictions:None


The Army Public Affairs Officer's (PAO) primary responsibilities are to assess the public affairs situation, advise senior leaders on public affairs issues, and assist them in making well-informed decisions, and translate the decisions into effective public affairs operations. PAOs plan and execute communication strategies to achieve desired objectives, and evaluate the effectiveness of the programs. The PAO analyzes the situation, anticipates issues, assesses implications, and develops comprehensive operations to meet the news and information needs of internal and external audiences. The PAO also facilitates media relations with domestic and international news media. The PAO supervises photojournalists and broadcasters who create information for print, broadcast and digital media.

Job Duties

  • Provide media training for senior leaders
  • Respond to media queries
  • Plan and coordinate community events
  • Develop and execute communication plans
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of communication activities
  • Supervise photojournalists and broadcasters
  • Advise senior leaders on the implications of unit actions
  • Communicate news and information to the internal military audience
  • Gain the support of the American public
  • Requirements

  • Officers must first obtain a basic branch before obtaining Functional Area 46 Public Affairs.
  • Training

    Officers attend the Public Affairs Officer Course at the Defense Information School, Fort Meade, MD. Part of the training is conducted in the classroom and part in the field. You'll get hands-on training in how to develop communication strategies, oversee command information, media relations and community relations programs, supervise photojournalists and broadcasters, write speeches, give public presentation, coordinate press briefings, write the Public Affairs Annex for operations orders, and evaluate the effectiveness of communication activities.

    Helpful Skills

  • Interest in English, journalism, mass communication, digital media
  • Ability to speak clearly in front of an audience
  • Detail oriented
  • Ability to write clearly and concisely
  • Skills in planning and execution
  • Perform work within tight deadlines
  • Make decisions quickly and independently

    The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is an examination that is administered by the United States Military Entrance Processing Command. It is used to determine qualification and helps predict future academic and occupational success in the military.

  • No ASVAB
  • Compensation

  • Total compensation includes housing, medical, food, special pay, and vacation time.

  • See the whole list of Army Occupational Specialties here

    To learn more about the Army's rank structure, see our complete list of Army ranks.
    To see a list of military medals and decorations that can be earned by servicemembers in the Army and other branches of the military, see our list of military decorations and medals.