Monday, April 2, 2012

In case you didn't know, an MC (Mass Communication specialist) is the eyes and ears of the Navy.

MCs are documentarians, historians.

MCs are trained in photography, public affairs, journalism, videography, print and design, graphic design, and that's all just part of the basic training we receive to earn the title of MC.  So I'm not just busting out my best Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson impression by referring to MCs in the third-person; I do so because I am not one yet - I have three more months to go.

Training for the MC rate happens at the Defense Information School (DINFOS on Fort George G. Meade in Maryland.  It's located between Baltimore and D.C.

The first half of training is a joint-operation kind of deal.  My class of sailors from the detachment was split into four groups and we were all put into sections with 3-4 members of the other branches excepting the Coast Guard (some of the instructors are in the Coast Guard, though).

The school is staffed by senior enlisted from all of the military branches as well as civilians.  My journalism instructor is a civilian and she was great.  My public affairs instructor was a tech sergeant from the Air Force and he was pretty cool, too.

What's really great about the training at DINFOS is all of the instructors love what they do and enjoy spreading that love via training up the next wave of public affairs and mass comm specialists.  When an educator is actually excited about his or her subject area the students can't do anything but benefit.

Well, a couple of Fridays ago we finished the first half of our training and we've moved downstairs into the Navy-specific training.

First up is photography and it's been great.  The assignments are challenging and the instructors demanding, but it's worth it.  Just today (Monday) we went to Annapolis with the assignment of taking several pictures with different shooting techniques in mind.  It really pushes a person out of his comfort zone, but once you get going it gets easier.

I chatted with the owner of a tobacco shop for the better part of two hours and got some decent photos and then moved over to a coffee shop where I got to know a couple of baristas.  It was cool.

So, in a nutshell that's what's going on - just wanted to catch you all up to speed.

In the coming posts I'll begin sharing some more stuff on the faith/spiritual side of things again and talk more about the MC rate.  Right now, though, I have a lot of plates spinning and I'm working on my time-management skills.

More to come!

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