Join the Army, Become PR Pro?

Q.  Until recently, I never ever considered the military as a career option.  But I then read the New York Times article about the Army’s campaign to convince people like me that really good career opportunities are possible if we enlist.  What do you think?  -HS

A.  It’s been a long time since I once pondered military service, but the Vietnam war persuaded me to seek employment elsewhere.  Military careers are a lot different today.  I have worked with and hired a number of PR pros who served in the U.S. Army.  One of them wrote a guest post last year about military careers. 

The U.S. Army’s impressive microsite promotes opportunities for individuals seeking business-like careers.  It also provides brief, informative videos that cover a variety of entry points for Army service–ROTC, direct commission, office candidate school or the U.S. Military Academy.  The site carries job postings, including several PR-type jobs (public relations is called public affairs in the Army).

The Army arguably is doing its best job ever of marketing itself to individuals who once might have thought that military service fell below their career aspirational goals.  Other branches of the service also are better branding themselves.

Any job requires a certain amount of assessment before pursuing, but a military position should be seriously studied because you’re making a minimum two-year commitment or more.  This must be something you personally want to do and will find fulfilling, and not simply a job of last resort. 

2 comments on this post.
  1. Harry C. Kenyon, APR:

    The Department of Defense has one of the finest public affairs schools anywhere. It’s the Defense Information School in Ft. Meade, MD. As a 22-year career Navy public affairs officer (retired in ’99) I can say that the training and the experiences are second to none. Check out their website:

  2. David Albritton:

    I agree with Harry…the Defense Information School is a fine institution. I too am a former Navy Public Affairs Officer and the experience I gained was a major catalyst for launching a very successful civilian career in PR. I would fully advocate anyone considering the military option to talk to someone who has served and get some perspective.

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