Your media relations career begins in America’s Navy Public Affairs

You address a group of international reporters as they convene for a scheduled media visit to a Navy aircraft carrier. You arrange a presidential visit to a naval base. You oversee the production of a television program featuring America’s Navy. As an individual skilled in communicating ideas quickly and creatively, a public affairs position with America’s Navy is a career choice that enables you to work on an international scale.

Job Description

A Navy Public Affairs Officer handles visual, audio and written communications for internal and public audiences, chooses the best media to deliver information, responds to reporters, and provides intuitive advice to top-level Navy decision makers.
In positions available for college graduates, Navy Public Affairs Officers manage the flow of news and information for the Navy, the media and the public.

Specific Responsibilities

Your planning and communications skills may come into play as you work with a combat photography unit or direct a training video. Or perhaps you’ll help arrange a presidential visit to the Norfolk Naval Base. As a Navy Public Affairs Officer, you may also:

  • Supervise the writing and delivery of press releases and reports and provide information to news media and civic organizations
  • Brief military personnel before they meet with the public and news media and schedule and conduct news conferences
  • Oversee the content and production of radio and television programs, newspapers, magazines and Web sites
  • Advise the operational Commander about decision making and communication with three main audiences: media, internal Navy and the public

Work Environment

Whether you’re coordinating a video webcast for the Navy’s Web site, issuing a press release or helping an Admiral prepare an important speech, your creativity, communication skills and people savvy will be employed daily in a career that’s never short on excitement.

“I entered the Navy with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and history, with the question, Now that I have this degree, what do I do?” says LCDR Herlinda Sweeney of Portland, Texas, now a Navy Public Affairs Officer. “I didn’t want to start a 30-year career where I’d stay in one place the whole time. I was interested in travel, moving around, and possibly even living in different cities overseas. Today, I’ve been in the Navy for a little over three years, and I feel like I’ve accomplished everything I’ve set out to do! 

I’ll be finished with my master’s degree in education and the Navy paid for most of it. The Navy has given me the opportunity to work with people and do things I never thought I would do, plus given me a bigger picture of what life is all about. The opportunities here are endless.”

Training and Advancement

Most prospective Public Affairs Officers attend the 12-week Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Newport, Rhode Island. You will also attend a 10-week advanced training course, the Defense Information School at Ft. Meade, Maryland, which includes principles of public information and community relations and Department of Defense policies.

Education Opportunities

Earn while you learn. As a Navy Officer, you’ll have opportunities for continuing education and training throughout your career. Public Affairs Officers can gain a master’s degree in communications through a program offered at San Diego State University while being paid full-time as a Navy Officer.

After the Navy

The skills you will acquire as a Public Affairs Officer are essential to large corporations, government agencies, and colleges and universities worldwide. With media exposure, management skills and public relations experience, you’ll have the skill set to dive into virtually any civilian media or public affairs position. The opportunity to document news almost anywhere in the world is a reality in the Navy, giving Officers in this field a wide range of real-world experience and an unmatched portfolio.

Consider Your Service Options.

There are different ways that you can commit to serve in America's Navy. Besides full-time opportunities in Active Duty, part-time Reserve positions are also available in this career area.