Welcome to the Public Affairs Officer (PAO) Training Academy!
The State Defense Force Unit Public Affairs Representative (SDF UPARS) training package was approved at the 8 April 2017 Executive Committee Meeting of the State Guard Association of the United States (SGAUS) Mid-Year Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee. Tasked by BG (TN Ret.) Kenneth Takasaki to stand up Public Affairs Officer (PAO) training through SGAUS, the training curriculum is led by SnAmn (TX) Christopher Bracken, 1LT (TN) Steve Estes, and MAJ (IN) Terry Heifetz.
Modeled after SGAUS’s Chaplain and Judge Advocate General (JAG) trainings, the SDF UPARs training will train unit PAOs to tell the SDF story: the who, what, when where, and why of the SDF mission. The need for PAOs in the 21st century is increasingly important due to the manner in which news and information is distributed through the internet. Many Americans do not know that SDFs exist, let alone what their mission is, and the task of the PAO is to get the word out to this external constituency. In addition, information about the SDF mission, SDF training, and SDF successes needs to be distributed quickly and accurately to SDF forces so that morale remains high and mission success is more likely to be achieved. Finally, PAO personnel are critical to making sure that SDF forces are appropriately informed of their commander’s intent so that mission success and training occurs according to design.
The contemporary PAO will also be trained in the National Incident Management System (NIMS) role of Public Information Officer (PIO). This on-site role in the Incident Command System (ICS) is the “action” role of the PAO in the disaster relief environment. In order to successfully fulfill this role the contemporary PAO will be NIMS qualified in all PIO duties, and will hold appropriate NIMS certifications for these duties in the ICS.
A SDF UPARS training will be held at the SGAUS National Conference in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on 22 September 2017. Lead instructors are SnAmn (TX) Christopher Bracken (Chishtopher.Bracken1@txsg.state.tx.us) and MAJ (IN) Terry Heifetz (terry.heifetz@igr.IN.gov). The agenda for the 8-hour training at the 22 September training will include: basic news writing, social media, photography, photo captioning, operational security, PIO exercise and presentation, and conclude with an AAR for future trainings. Point of Contact (POC) for the training is 1LT (TN) Steve Estes (LTSteven.Estes@icloud.com), Chair. Requirements are SGAUS membership, conference registration, and an active role as a unit PAO/PIO SDF soldier.
If you meet the requirements above, please send an email requesting to enter the program to:
Other PAO Academy Instruction Material and References
Please follow the Web link below to access the Dropbox repository for the other PAO Academy training and reference materials. You’ll be able to download the documents, presentations or videos from the repository to your local PC, Laptop, or Tablet.
If you don’t have a Dropbox account to access the repository via the link above, you can sign up for a free basic account at the Web site by clicking below:
All inquiries should be directed to:
1LT(TN) Steven Estes| Chair, PAO Committee | email@example.com