News: Fort Benning civilian takes command of Army Reserve detachment
Story by Spc. Bryan Randolph
GILLEM ENCLAVE, Ga. – U.S. Army Capt. Michelle A. Lunato assumed command of the 300th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment in an Aug. 24 ceremony in the reserve center at Gillem Enclave, Ga.
Lunato, who most recently served as the brigade public affairs officer for the 359th Tactical Theater Signal Brigade, said she wants to make sure her new unit gets a wide range of experiences.
“I would like to see the 300th MPAD soldiers engage in a bigger variety of training and missions – like creating a magazine and video stories for the command, receiving some combatives and weapons instruction and working with some civilian journalists on technical skills,” she said.
She took command from Maj. Perry Jarmon, a Chattanooga, Tenn., native who has led the unit since 2009. His next assignment is the at the personnel section of the 359th TTSB.
Jarmon, who said he will miss leading soldiers directly, offered advice during the change of command ceremony.
“Do what's right,” he said. “Put the mission first. Hold soldiers accountable. Take care of soldiers and their families.”
Before Lunato was commissioned as an officer, she was a public affairs specialist and learned to work as a photographer. She has been in the Army Reserve for more than 12 years. As an officer, she has served in a variety of positions, including media imbed coordinator with Multinational Force Iraq and public affairs officer with Task Force Thunder-Afghanistan.
“In the last six years, most of my time as a brigade public affairs officer was serving as an office of one … Being able to work with a team of high-speed public affairs soldiers will be a welcome change,” said Lunato.
Lunato, who lives in Cataula, Ga., also works as a civilian writer and editor for the U.S. Army at Fort Benning, Ga. She holds a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism from the University of College Park, Md.
In addition to new types of training, she said she wants the soldiers to practice their military basic skills.
“As public affairs soldiers, we need to be proficient at our [journalism] skills, but we are soldiers first,” Lunato said. “So all of the basic skills of fitness, military customs and common tasks are just as critical.”