Department of Defense (DOD) public affairs professionals are often under utilized or used inefficiently (Allen, Beaufort, Choates, & Devine, 1999). Accordingly, for public affairs practitioners, history and experience help shape the opinions of the role they play in carrying out the PA mission in garrison and abroad.  Since the Vietnam War, many American military professionals have been sensitive about the topic of media involvement in combat operations (Fialka, 1991).  Media coverage of the Viet Nam conflict brought this wars’ intense imagery into the homes of all Americans, and allowed for the agenda and opinions of the press to undermine foreign policy.  Thereafter, the military distanced itself from the media because their leadership believed “biased journalism had, by itself, turned the American public against the Vietnam effort.  And if given half a chance, newspeople, especially ratings-hungry television people, would portray the military in a bad light”(Fialka, 1991, p. xi).    

      Today, many Americans and servicemembers fear negative media bias toward the military.  Accordingly, this ideology has expanded the role of public information offices, and created a military profession dedicated to providing command information to troops, while handling media interest in garrison and on the battlefield.  However, this ideology has also created an obstacle for public affairs practitioners.  Many times public affairs practitioners are the first to go, but last to know.  They deploy with commands to carry out the public affairs mission, without being given the opportunity to coordinate in the planning.  More importantly, public affairs practitioners are often viewed by servicemembers and leadership as external media, trying to discredit the individual, unit, or service.  



  Case Study 1 

  Case Study 2 

Literature Review