Public Affairs Broadcast Specialist (46R): Army Careers

SSG Pesta wasn’t sure the Army was for him, but once they offered him a broadcast position, he couldn’t pass up such a great opportunity.

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I'm Staff Sergeant Marshal Pesta; I'm a Public Affairs Broadcast Specialist and I'm from Cleveland, Ohio.

When I decided to join the Army is my best friends was joining the Army and asked me to go talk to him at the time. I really didn't think it was for me, but I'd been looking at doing a career in broadcasting journalism and they offered broadcast position to me and I thought it was interesting opportunity to take advantage of.

A public affairs broadcast specialist is the Army's tool for communicating to the Army audience the families of American Soldiers and to the American public. They work with the video, to tell news stories. They work with radio and they also work coordinating with media. But once you're out on the ground in the deployed environment you're out with the Soldiers everyday telling their stories. Its a pretty unique experience because you get to see what everybody does but you really get a big picture of what the Army doing everyday.

I would say one of the bigger challenges in the Army is being away from our family or loved one for a long period of time. But what's interesting is it's compensated by kind of the comradery, the brotherhood, sisterhood that you experience. Those few people they really become like family to you. While it's difficult to be away from your real family, at the same time, when you come back you missed the family you had over there too. What's interesting about the military is your future. You can kind of shape it. One of the nice things about the Army is they look at how you perform and they judge you based on your merits. So if I do well on one job then I can kind of position myself to go into another job that I want to do.

In the Army they have the noncommissioned officer education system, which really gets you back to the basics of what your job field is. And starts to teach you the advanced skills for the people that are really into what they are doing and they want to get better they have all sorts of advanced electronics journalism courses, advanced photography courses; editor positions and stuff like that.

So as you progress in the public affairs field you might start off as just a photojournalist but eventually you can be an editor of a paper or magazine or you can be producing your own video show. There's a lot of different opportunities in the Army and the education system is there to back people up who want to get to that.

If someone was to come to me looking to join the Army, the first thing I'd probably tell them is to try to figure out what they really want to do. The Army has a lot of different jobs available. But really think about what you want to do long term, because there is a lot of opportunities that you can do in the Army that not just benefit you while you're in the military but they'll translate to civilian skills in the end.

So figure out what you really want to do and I encourage people that enjoy talking to people, enjoy communicating that's a perfect field for public affairs. If you enjoy writing, if you enjoy talking it's a perfect field for you to get out and meet as many people as you want and try to shape some of the opinions of people about the people back home.