Monday, June 18, 2007


There is a reason why I've found military public affairs officers to be skilled. The reason is in incidents like this. They deal with more tragedy than the rest of us. Military life is inherently dangerous, and there are more occasions for failures as happened here. Military PAOs learn crisis communications early, and the skill stays with them throughout their careers.

I've worked with ex-military officers several times in my career. Only once was I leery of the decisions one made and that was long ago. The rest of the time I've marvelled at the efficiency and ability of the individuals with whom I've worked. I've also admired the kinds of backgrounds they've brought to their jobs. Not one I knew had been lost in the Pentagon. All had spent time in the field handling plane accidents, working with major commands and dealing with major news.

There is little that one can say when a bomb kills children. It was an accident, but tell that to the parents and the community. One matures quickly in communications jobs like this. It's tough training, but it makes a difference.


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