The Illinois Center for Broadcasting, Chicago Campus, had Lt. Coronel Joseph Scrocca, Captain R.J. Belden and Sgt. 1st Class Michel Suaret as guest speakers on Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 9:45 a.m. at the 530 S. State Street building.
The three officers explained to the ICB students what is expected of a public affairs officer in the military. The communication tasks that they perform are in many ways identical to that which a publicist or a public affairs official performs for a corporation. The officers talked about their “public” or whom it is that they serve. As it turns out, they serve the American people, the armed forces and the government, including the Commander-in-Chief. Their main focus is to provide fellow soldiers, army brass and the American public with information regarding what the Army is doing in a locale.
Lt. Col. Joe Scrocca noted that broadcast operations are in many ways the same for the Army as that produced at TV/Radio stations in Chicago. The biggest difference is that a public affairs officer is first and foremost a soldier and must train for the possibility of having to defend the country. Broadcast cinematographers in the Army might not only tote a camera for the purpose of recording combat operations but also carry a gun. In the Army, a broadcast professional must do it all, shoot the video, edit the video, write the scripts, interview the subjects and be the on-camera talent as well; one has to be multi-talented and have knowledge of many skills while working in Army public affairs or broadcast operations.
The officers also shared a little known fact that video clips of Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force operations are available to any citizen or news operation for downloading should they need the material to produce a visual report. The website is: https://www.dvidshub.net.
We salute the service of the three officers, (Lt. Col. Scrocca, Cpt. Bender and Sgt. Suaret) for their service and for taking time to discuss broadcast career opportunities in the U.S. Military.