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News > Speakers bureau serves valuable role educating public
Speakers bureau serves valuable role educating public

Posted 2/3/2011   Updated 2/3/2011 Email story   Print story

    


by Christi Spargur
375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs


2/3/2011 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill.  -- Approximately 75 percent of Team Scott's active-duty personnel live off base. These are servicemen and women who shop at the same stores as the general public, who attend church with them, and whose children are often enrolled in school with their children.

Yet, many of our civilian neighbors have no idea what these military men and women really do.

The Scott Speakers Bureau is one tool the 375th Public Affairs office uses to educate the public about the people and missions of Scott Air Force Base.

Speaking engagements for military members include such events as patriotic ceremonies, rotary club meetings, school presentations, and professional training seminars.

The topics discussed at these events vary as well. The most commonly requested topics are the servicemember's deployment experiences (in keeping with OPSEC), his or her career field, and the unique challenges of military duty.

Belonging to the Speakers Bureau benefits the military member and the civilian community alike. For the member, the Scott Speakers Bureau provides opportunities to improve speaking skills, to network, to get involved in the community and to tell their military story. Volunteering to be the guest speaker at an event can also be a mark of distinction on annual performance reviews.

Benefits to the civilian community include an increased awareness and understanding about their military neighbors with respect to the installation itself (mission, assets, etc.) and to its personnel.

The community plays key roles in recruiting, retention and troop morale. It makes a difference, for example, when local schools have counseling services or programs available for military children with deployed parents. Community support can also ease the struggle for military spouses in finding employment. Community support may even translate into military discounts at local retail stores and restaurants. These are all things that can make life better for service members, or in the least, make the burdens that often come with the call to duty less cumbersome.

Getting the civilian community's support, however, requires knowledge about the base, its mission, and its people. America cannot support its troops if it first does not have a basic understanding of what they do, how they do it, and why they are doing it.

The Speakers Bureau and those who participate in it are the Armed Forces best instruments of communication in getting these important messages to the people who most need to hear it.

For more information, please contact 375th Public Affairs at christine.spargur@scott.af.mil.



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