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Public Affairs Specialist

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PAs are the Coast Guard's enlisted public-communications experts. They write news releases and feature articles, shoot still and video imagery, serve as spokespersons, and maintain websites to raise public awareness of important Coast Guard issues and news stories.

Types of Duty:

PAs typically focus effort in support of media relations and are stationed in major media markets throughout the United States. They work for public affairs officers on district and area commanders' support staffs or in small public-affairs detachments located in major metropolitan areas.

Training Available:

You will receive entry-level training in an intensive 12-week course held at the Defense Information School in Ft. Meade, MD. Further training in photojournalism, digital imagery, editing and design, media relations, crisis communications, and other aspects of the Coast Guard's public affairs programs are also available.


The ability to communicate with clear, accurate speech and writing is a must. You need an excellent command of the English language and should be able to work effectively in a variety of media and situations. School courses in English, journalism, Web design, speech, photography, and typing are highly desirable. Experience with computers and video is also advantageous. Preferred traits are attentiveness, initiative, creativity, people skills, and poise under pressure.