Army Reserve
Using my photography skills in the Army

Public Affairs Specialist (46Q)

  • Enlisted
  • Officer
  • Active Duty
  • Army Reserve
  • Open to Women
  • Entry Level


The Army public affairs specialist participates in and assists with the supervision and administration of Army public affairs programs primarily through news releases, newspaper articles, Web-based material and photographs for use in military and civilian news media.

Job Duties

  • Research, prepare and disseminate news releases, articles, web-based material and photographs on Army personnel and activities
  • Gather information for military news programs and publications within your unit and around the Army
  • Develop ideas for news articles
  • Arrange and conduct interviews
  • Write news releases, feature articles and editorials
  • Conduct media training


Those who want to serve must first take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, a series of tests that helps you better understand your strengths and identify which Army jobs are best for you.


Job training for a public affairs specialist requires 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training and 12 weeks of Advanced Individual Training with on-the-job instructions.

Part of this time is spent in the classroom and part in the field, including learning hands-on how to write news stories, operate a camera, and edit newspapers and photographs. You’ll also put together a real newspaper contributing stories and photographs.

Some of the skills you’ll learn are:

  • News, feature and sports writing and research
  • Newspaper design and production
  • Interviewing techniques
  • Photojournalism (photography journalism)
  • Public speaking
  • Media Relations

Helpful Skills

  • Interest in English, journalism, communications, computers and photography
  • Ability to speak clearly in front of an audience
  • Detail oriented 
  • Enjoy researching facts and issues for news stories
  • Can write clearly and concisely

Required ASVAB Score(s)

General Technical (GT) : 107

Learn more about the ASVAB and see what jobs you could qualify for.


Total compensation includes housing, medical, food, special pay, and vacation time. Learn more about total compensation.

Education Benefits

In the Army, qualified students can earn full-tuition, merit-based scholarships, allowances for books and fees, plus an annual stipend for living expenses. Learn more about education benefits.

Future Civilian Careers

The skills you learn will help prepare you for a future with newspaper, magazines, wire services, public relations firms and radio and television stations. You’ll be qualified to pursue a career as a staff writer, editor or correspondent.


Those interested in this job may be eligible for civilian employment, after the Army, by enrolling in the Army PaYS program. The PaYS program is a recruitment option that guarantees a job interview with military friendly employers that are looking for experience and trained Veterans to join their organization. Find out more about the Army PaYS Program at

  • AT&T, Inc.
  • Hewlett-Packard Company
  • Kraft Foods Global, Inc.
  • Sears Holdings Corporation
  • Time Customer Service, Inc.
  • Walgreen Co.


Hi I’m Sergeant First Class Scott Turner. I’m a public affairs specialist that’s a 46 Zulu in the Army. I’m in the Army Reserve, I’m active duty that means I’m full time in the reserve, and I thoroughly love my job. And the reason why is because it gives me the opportunity to showcase what I can do for the Army which is photography, still imaging. Also to teach younger Soldiers the skills I’ve developed over the past 40 years to show them how to be a journalist and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed that. I’ve been able to travel the world – to do all kinds of things the average person would never even think about. Been to Europe a couple of times, been to Central America, I’ve rubbed shoulders with folks in the Amazon, I’ve rubbed shoulders with presidents and I’ve traveled everywhere that you can imagine – all because of the camera in my hand. Thank you for listening.