Capturing the Navy story – and sharing it with the world News, Media & Public Affairs

Recording the takeoff of an F/A-18 from 10 feet away utilizing your digital video cam. Chronicling the exploits of fellow Sailors in 1,500 words. Addressing a group of international reporters during a media visit to an aircraft carrier. Even arranging a presidential visit to a Naval base. Serving part-time as a Reservist in the News, Media & Public Affairs community in America’s Navy.

Job Description

In an organization as large and complex as America’s Navy, talented individuals are needed to document, report and communicate important information to general audiences both within the Navy and throughout the general public. These outstanding part-time opportunities are available as Enlisted positions to high school graduates, and as Officer positions for college graduates.

Enlisted News and Media Specialists present the Navy story through a variety of media. In this role, you can expect to:

  • Record and edit still and video photography of military operations and exercises and other Navy events
  • Write, edit and produce print and broadcast journalism news and feature stories for military and civilian newspapers, magazines, and television and radio broadcast stations
  • Create graphic designs in support of the public affairs mission, design and manage official Web sites, and perform high-speed high-volume graphic reproduction

Public Affairs Officers manage the flow of news and information for the Navy, the media and the public. You will choose the best media to deliver information, respond to reporters and provide intuitive advice to top-level Navy decision makers.

Whatever the specifics, your duties will be carried out during your scheduled drilling and training periods. Take a moment to learn more about the general roles and responsibilities of Reservists. And know this: The impact of your work and your service will go far beyond the time that you put in.

Specific Responsibilities

If you are a high school graduate, you can enlist in the Navy Reserve as a Mass Communication Specialist, where you may be called upon to:

  • Prepare and write news and feature articles for publication
  • Photograph events for publication and historic documentation
  • Operate and maintain a variety of state-of-the-art still and video cameras
  • Operate computer-based graphics software and desktop publishing systems
  • Create original visual information displays and graphics
  • Create multimedia design and production
  • Design and manage public and secure Web sites
  • Layout and design military newspapers and magazines
  • Manage radio and television stations
  • Operate video and electronic imaging equipment
  • Operate digital electronic reproduction equipment
  • Edit video news, features and documentation
  • Shoot still photographs and video for accident or incident investigations
  • Conduct interviews
  • Market stories

If you have a college degree in a related communications field, you may join the Reserve as a Public Affairs Officer. In this role, you may:

  • Supervise the writing and delivery of press releases and reports and provide information to news media and civic organizations
  • Brief military personnel before they meet with the public and news media and schedule and conduct news conferences
  • Oversee the content and production of radio and television programs, newspapers, magazines and Web sites
  • Advise the operational Commander about decision making and communication with three main audiences: media, internal Navy and the public


Most of what you do in the Navy Reserve is considered training. The basic Navy Reserve commitment involves training a minimum of one weekend a month (referred to as drilling) and two weeks a year (referred to as Annual Training) – or the equivalent of that.

Individuals in Navy Telecommunications serve in either Enlisted or Officer roles. Before ongoing professional training that is part of being a Reservist, initial training requirements must be met.

For current or former Enlisted military servicemembers (NAVET or OSVET): Prior experience satisfies the initial training requirement – so you will not need to go through Boot Camp again.

For Enlisted candidates without prior military experience: You will need to meet the initial Recruit Training requirement by attending Boot Camp for seven to nine weeks in Great Lakes, IL. This training course will prepare you for service in the Navy Reserve and count as your first Annual Training.

For current or former Navy Officers (NAVET): Prior experience satisfies the initial training requirement – so you will not need to go through Officer Training again.

For current or former Officers of military branches other than the Navy (OSVET), as well as for Officer candidates without prior military experience: You will need to meet the initial leadership training requirement by attending the twelve-day Direct Commission Officer School (DCO) in Newport, RI. This will count as your first Annual Training.

For those showing the right level of talent and motivation, the News & Media specialty offers many opportunities to receive additional training as well as career mentoring.

Career Advantages

As an Enlisted Mass Communications Specialist, you’ll find civilian career opportunities are as limitless as the oceanscapes you see and photograph. Your training may enhance your career prospects as a(n):

  • Writer or reporter
  • Photographer or photojournalist
  • Motion camera operator
  • Film editor
  • Offset press operator
  • Illustrator, designer or art director

Advanced training in photojournalism or digital editing is available to Reservists who display a high level of talent and motivation. Your specialized training in the Navy Reserve could prepare you for credentialing, certification and/or licensure opportunities from a number of national boards and organizations.

What’s more, you could potentially get full tuition for college – plus money for books and living expenses – through the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

As a Public Affairs Officer, know that the skills you will acquire are essential to large corporations, government agencies, and colleges and universities worldwide. With media exposure, management skills and public relations experience, you’ll have the skill set needed to launch or enhance virtually any civilian media or public affairs position.

Regardless of your career track, consider the more tangible benefits of service: Competitive pay. Points earned toward retirement benefits. Outstanding insurance options. And much more. Read about the benefits of serving in the Navy Reserve.


General qualifications may vary depending upon whether you’re currently serving, whether you’ve served before or whether you’ve never served before.

To qualify for an Enlisted position in the News and Media field, you must have a high school diploma or equivalent.

To become a Public Affairs Officer, you must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college in a communications field, such as:

  • Journalism
  • Advertising
  • Radio/TV
  • Cinematography
  • Speech
  • Marketing
  • Motion picture production
  • Industrial relations
  • Photojournalism

More Information

Want to explore further? Learn what you need to know about joining the Navy Reserve. Find us on Facebook to interact with actual Navy Reservists. Or, if you need more information, contact a Navy Reserve Recruiter.

Consider Your Service Options.

There are different ways that you can commit to serve in America's Navy. Besides part-time opportunities in the Navy Reserve, full-time Active Duty positions are also available in this career area.