For Coast Guardsmen in the Public Affairs Specialist rating, the normal path of advancement is to the Chief Warrant Officer specialty of Public Information—an area that has becomingly increasingly important as lightning-fast digital communications and the use of social media as a source of news has had a dramatic impact on the public’s perception of almost any event.

By the time Public Affairs Specialists are eligible to apply for promotion to Chief Warrant Officer status, they will not only have had extensive coursework in fields such as journalism, news writing, photography and photojournalism, TV production, digital multimedia, media relations, but also have gained experience serving as the public face of the Coast Guard as writers, public relations spokespersons, video presenters, and reporters.

As Public Information Specialists, these CWOs will be able to pass along their hard-earned insights as they supervise personnel on the front lines of the information war being waged against sloppy or biased reporting and even intentional disinformation.

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