U.S. NAVY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST (MC) RATING BADGE

While every sector of society has felt the startling impact of rapid advances in technology, perhaps no field has undergone as radical a transformation as that of communication. The ubiquity of the Internet, coupled with the ready availability of digital video and audio production equipment, has made news production and information delivery almost instantaneous. Recognizing the need for personnel specializing in these new technologies and information platforms, the U.S. Navy merged four existing ratings—Lithographer, Photographer’s Mate, Journalist, and Illustrator Drafstman—into the Mass Communication Specialist (MC) rating in 2006.

After completing Recruit Training, Mass Communications Specialists attend an “A” School at Fort George Meade in Maryland nearly seven months of training in all the basics of modern communications: writing, still photography, videography, digital imaging, design and layout (print and Web), and public affairs. Further training in specialized fields such as video production, broadcast management, public affairs, and more is offered at “C” schools such as the Defense Information School (DINFOS, also at Fort George Meade) or the Naval Education and Training Professional Development and Technology Center in Pensacola, Florida.

The jobs available for sailors pursuing the MC rating are similar to those found in the private sector: Broadcaster, Multi-Media Supervisor, Photojournalist, Production Manager, Public Affairs Manager or Supervisor, and Mass Communication Specialist. Regardless of the job title, however, the goal of all MCs is the same: to utilize the latest, most effective technologies and techniques to convey the Navy story not only to fellow sailors, but also to information consumers throughout the country and around the globe.

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