WRITING HER OWN STORY
Reporter Liberty Zabala is standing in a flood zone in San Diego. The torrential California storm system has overtaken a roadway, stranding cars and keeping residents from leaving their homes. She rehearses her segment, which she crafted moments before based on what she found at the scene. Her cameraman holds up his hand and gives her the signal; they will be on air in 3… 2… 1…
“This is Liberty Zabala, reporting live from Mission Valley.”
Liberty always knew that journalism was her calling. Serving her community as a member of the media gave her the chance to tell stories that truly mattered—and she had it in her blood. Her father was a Filipino immigrant to the United States and a journalist himself, serving as a diplomat from the Philippines in the U.S. He grew up in extreme poverty and used his skills as a writer to propel himself to success as one of the top journalists in the country.
He instilled in her a will to serve people with truth and honesty, shedding light and authenticity on the positive stories that don’t always make the news. That included reporting on the United States Navy. She told the stories of the servicemen and women in the Navy community for over nine years and was compelled to start writing her own.
She soon found her place in the U.S. Navy Reserve. As a Navy Reserve Sailor, she could keep her civilian career as a reporter and serve just one weekend a month as a Navy Public Affairs Officer. Her communications and public relations background made her the perfect candidate and she began to prepare for Officer Development School (ODS). ODS is a five-week program that gives working professionals the skills they need to enter the fleet and become Naval Officers.
In February 2023, Ensign Liberty Zabala was proud to graduate and become one of the newest members of the public affairs community. Now, she can begin writing a story of her own as a Navy Reserve Officer.
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PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER
Public Affairs Officers (PAOs) are masters of communication, defending our fleet from misinformation and negative publicity. Working with Mass Communication Specialists, it is the job of PAOs to help America’s Navy shine in the spotlight of our nation, ensuring we always put our best selves forward.
Find out more about life as a Public Affairs Officer.
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