Maintenance window scheduled to begin at February 14th 2200 est. until 0400 est. February 15th


Forgot Password?

    Defense Visual Information Distribution Service Logo

    Navy Public Affairs Support Element SEAOPDET Academy Ensures Mission Ready Reserve MCs

    Navy Public Affairs Support Element SEAOPDET Academy Ensures Mission Ready Reserve MCs

    Photo By Petty Officer 1st Class Horacio G Idrogo | NORFOLK (April 8, 2022) Chief Mass Communication Specialist Chad Butler, background,...... read more read more

    NORFOLK, Va. (Apr., 2022) — In a classroom on the second floor of the Navy Public Affairs Support Element Headquarters (NPASE HQ) on Naval Station Norfolk, 20 Reserve Mass Communication Specialists (MC) from NPASE commands around the country sat poised to strengthen their skills at the Sea Operations Detachment (SEAOPDET) Job Qualification Requirement (JQR) Academy.

    The week-long academy is one of the newest efforts to align the Reserve force with the fighting instruction released by Chief of Navy Reserve, Vice Admiral John B. Mustin.

    At the helm, was a team of active-duty NPASE instructors aimed at ensuring the warfighting readiness of the class.

    For MCs, readiness means knowing how to use the weapons in their arsenal, their cameras, audio equipment, editing software, and other tools, to accurately tell the Navy’s story.

    According to Master Chief Mass Communication Specialist William Lovelady, senior enlisted leader for NR NPASE-HQ, being fully qualified in these basic MC skills is essential to deployability and the academy is one of the best ways to get Reserve MCs that qualification.

    “As the Navy Reserve pivots towards great power competition and large-scale mobilization readiness, our intent has been to become deployable seagoing NPASE assets and part of that is the SEAOPDET JQR, which defines how our Reserves will be incorporated into our operations,” Lovelady explained.

    The instructors covered five main topics as outlined in the JQR: photography, videography, news writing, social media, and the DICE model.

    In addition to lectures and in-class work, MCs were given homework assignments each day, which would be reviewed by the class and instructors the following morning.

    One of the instructors, Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Tiarra Brown, training leading petty officer assigned to NPASE East, said coming up with a curriculum that would sufficiently cover all the topics in one week took hours of re-writes, draft plans, and hashing it out with the other instructors.

    “We went through all the line items of the JQR and pulled out what was actually needed, what we could train to, and what we couldn’t cover due to time constraints,” Brown said.

    Initially, the instructors were concerned that the course work might be too watered-down considering the different levels of experience in the class.

    Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Thomas Higgins, an instructor assigned to NPASE East, said that his fears quickly went away when he saw how responsive the class was.

    “Everybody stayed flexible and gave us room to tweak things and adjust the course as needed to fit everybody's skill level. So that was really cool to see,” Higgins said.

    Before MCs become fully qualified, they must submit a portfolio showcasing their best work in the categories of photography, graphic design, videography and news writing for review by a board of their peers.

    Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sarah Myers, training assistant leading petty officer assigned to NPASE East, said the course is designed to not only cover the basic MC skills, but to also show MCs what to look for in their products and the products of their peers in order to create quality portfolios.

    “We set this course up so that no matter what your skill set is you’re also taking this in from a leadership position. As instructors we needed to not only teach how to do it, but how to critique as well,” explained Myers.

    Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Michael Lopez, training leading petty officer assigned to NPASE East, said he sees the value in the course for both Reserve and Active Component MCs.

    “We have so many skills that we use that are perishable. So even though I've been on the active side doing this daily, instructing this course also gave me a big refresher, and putting both components through this training will get us all on the same page,” Lopez explained.

    One of the students, Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Gabriela Isaza, a reservist assigned to NPASE Midwest said that at first, she felt intimidated as a new MC fresh out of “A” school, but that she appreciated the array of experience and knowledge in the room.

    “I gathered as much information as I could from everyone. This course was a great way to refresh my mind on all things MC so that when I go out on my first annual training, I will be well prepared,” Isaza said of her experience.

    Throughout the week, MCs received sign-offs on each JQR requirement after demonstrating to the instructors their grasp of the basic concepts.

    The week ended with instructors conducting individual portfolio reviews for those MCs who were getting ready to submit their portfolios to the board.

    Lovelady said he felt the academy went very well, and that he looks forward to the student and instructor surveys.

    “If there's something that is broken, we want to fix it. But I think from my perspective, we're accomplishing exactly what we set out to,” Lovelady said.

    “Our active-duty counterparts have contributed to the creation of this course, they have verified our training and our skill level and they've attested to the fact that we're ready to deploy in support of the NPASE mission, so there is that credibility,” Lovelady explained.

    The plan for the SEAOPDET academy moving forward is to hold the event twice a year, once in Norfolk, Va., and once in San Diego.

    Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class D’Artanyan Ratley, another student at the academy, expressed that he was extremely surprised and thankful that the training exceeded his expectations.

    "The commands intent is to make sure that each Reserve MC has a baseline understanding of public affairs and communication capabilities and can be assets to those units in the fleet. I truly believe this course does that,” Ratley said.




    Date Taken: 04.20.2022
    Date Posted: 05.02.2022 15:51
    Story ID: 418873
    Location: NORFOLK, VA, US 

    Web Views: 82
    Downloads: 2