While the duties of the Coast Guard’s Public Affairs Specialist (PA) rating are almost identical to those of the Navy’s Mass Communications Specialist, the Coast Guard rating was established nearly thirty-five years earlier in 1972 with the merger of the Journalist (JO) and Photographer’s Mate (PH) ratings. (Some sources say the rating was originally titled “Photojournalist,” but the scope of the rating was the same.) The merger is reflected in the specialty mark, which uses the quill from the JO insignia (scroll and quill) and a 35mm camera (rather than the older, bellows-style camera of the PH rating).
The nature of the Coast Guard’s missions means that its personnel interact frequently with the public, often under stressful or highly hazardous circumstances.. Making sure the public is fully aware not only of the Coast Guard’s duties, but also its mandate in carrying them out, is critical in ensuring the service has the trust and cooperation of the people they’ve been tasked with protecting.
In seeking personnel to serve in this important rating, the Coast Guard places a premium on the ability to communicate clearly and accurately, even for personnel who will be working in visual mediums such as videography and photography. Other qualities the service looks for in PA candidates are above-average interpersonal skills, a high degree of creativity, and attention to detail.
Public Affairs Specialists receive their entry-level training at the Defense Information School in Fort Meade, Maryland, which serves as the joint training facility for enlisted personnel performing public affairs/public relations jobs from all five branches of the United States Armed Forces. Graduates will emerge as petty officers ready to step into entry-level positions as writers, reporters, public relations spokespersons, videographers, photographers, and Web designers. Once established in a particular field of media, advanced training will be made available to teach media management and other critical aspects of public affairs.

About us

As a certified manufacturer of uniforms and insignia, The Salute Uniforms considers it a privilege to provide the members of our nation’s military services with superior-quality apparel and accoutrements. We guarantee that every product we offer is made in the USA and meets or surpasses Mil-Spec standards. Browse our online catalog and discover how our tradition of excellence and commitment to innovation makes us your best source for military uniforms, insignias, medals, and accessories.


100% secure payment

Salute Industries Inc, proud maker of The Salute Uniforms.
105 Apache Drive, Archdale, NC, 27263.