Army 46Q and 46R MOS: The Public Affairs NCO

The United States Army was established to protect and defend American citizens and their allies. In doing so, there are times when the Army needs to explain procedures and voice its position to the American public. If officers or enlisted personnel all voiced their opinions and ideas to the news media, the American public would receive a mixed result in perceptions on what the Army is doing.

Just as most major corporations have public affairs departments, so does the United States Army. The Army instated Non Commissioned Officer positions that primarily deal with all matters of public affairs. In today’s post, we are going to take a close look at the positions of Army Public Affairs NCO and what you should know.

The Primary Duties Of Public Affairs Officers

Public affairs officers have the responsibilities of keeping a balanced relationship with public media and with all departments of the Army. They are in constant contact with internal and external government offices in the coordination of the release of information. They determine before releasing any information if it will bring favorable or unfavorable support of the general public. They prepare all parties for the general response that may come.

The Public Affairs Officer positions are responsible for speeches, news releases, photographs, radio and television programs, and any other source that will show or release information to the general public in regards to the United States Army. They are also involved in all internal Army media such as base newspapers, magazines, and other media material that is distributed internally.

Public Affairs Jobs In The Army

All public affairs officer positions are non entry level jobs. In these NCO positions, there are 2 primary MOS’s. We will look at the Public Affairs Specialist-46Q, and the Public Affairs Broadcast Specialist-46R. Each of these positions deal with public affairs, and each one has its own duties and responsibilities. We will study each one.

Public Affairs Specialist 46Q

The responsibilities of the Public Affairs Specialist 46Q consist of researching, preparing and actualizing:

  • News and press releases

  • Articles

  • Web content

  • And photographs

that are on Army activities and personnel. Other duties will include providing training and guidance to subordinates, and professional support to superiors; supervising Army public affairs programs.

The requirements to attain the 46Q Public Affairs Specialist consist of:

  • A minimum score of 107 on the General Technical portion of the ASVAB.

  • High school graduate.

  • Completion of at least 2 years of high school English.

  • Completion of basic computer course.

  • The ability to type 20 words per minute.

  • The ability to attain a secret security clearance.

  • Must have a valid drivers license.

The training for Public Affairs Specialist 46Q is 11 weeks at the Basic Public Affairs Specialist-Writer Course held at the Defense Information School at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland. The course will cover:

  • Military journalist/writer mass communications.

  • Reporting news according to applicable directives.

  • Fundamentals of journalism.

  • Media formats and techniques.

  • Basic digital camera operation.

It will include hands on assignments of newspaper layout, headline news, feature stories, and more.

Once a person graduates and attains the position of 46Q, Public Affairs Specialist, they have gained an advantage over many other when they decide to enter back into civilian life. This experience can lead to many possibilities including work with newspapers, magazines, radio stations or television.

Public Affairs Broadcast Specialist 46R

While there are many similarities between the 46Q and 46R Public Affairs Specialists, there are a wide range of differences too. Where the 46Q deals with primarily written content, the Public Affairs Broadcast Specialist, 46R are the driving force behind the creation, filming, editing, and all other aspects of radio, television and video news and entertainment from the Army’s perspective.

Responsibilities of the Public Affairs Broadcast Specialist include, but are not limited to:

  • Research and prepare news releases and other information for radio and television.

  • Multiple performance duties which could include hosting programs, writing scripts, reporting news, editing, videography, etc…

  • Light maintenance on equipment used in the aspect of Public Affairs.

  • Train and mentor subordinates.

  • Supervise broadcasting operations.

  • Preparing information to be released via radio, television or the internet.

  • Prepares and manages scheduling.

  • Much more.

Requirements to become a Public Affairs Broadcast Specialist 46R are all very similar to the 46Q. They consist of:

  • A minimum score of 107 on the General Technical portion of the ASVAB.

  • High school graduate.

  • Completion of at least 2 years of high school English.

  • Completion of basic computer course.

  • The ability to type 20 words per minute.

  • The ability to attain a secret security clearance.

  • Must have a valid drivers license.

But the candidate must also provide a mandatory voice audition tape. This audition must be administered by U.S. Army Recruiting Command or designated Army officials.

Training for Public Affairs Broadcast Specialist is also conducted at the Defense Information School at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland. It lasts for 11 weeks and the course title is Basic Public Affairs Specialist-Broadcaster. Some of the course will cover:

  • Theories and principles of internal and external information release.

  • Methods of research.

  • Servicing unique categories.

  • Detailed instruction in radio and television programming and operation.

  • Script writing.

  • Operation of the electronic news gathering system.

  • Much more.

Just like the 46Q training, there will be a hands on approach, where the trainee will be involved in actual productions.

The experience from a position such as this in the United States Army can lead to some great after Army careers. There are ample jobs available throughout the world as:

  • Television and radio production.

  • News and sports broadcasters.

  • Disc jockeys.

  • Correspondents.

  • News editors.

  • Many more.

Final Thoughts

Public affairs is highly needed within the Army, and also in the civilian world. This is a position that would be wise to undertake.

We would love to hear from any of you who are, or have been an Army Public Affairs NCO. Please tell us more about the operations and any other items someone considering becoming involved in Public Affairs should know. The comment section is below.

If you are considering applying for this position, and you have any questions, ask them below and I will do my best to find an answer.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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6 thoughts on “Army 46Q and 46R MOS: The Public Affairs NCO”

  1. Raymond Benitez

    I am currently trying to reclass into Public Affairs. I have all the requisites plus also trying to knock out my Bachelors in journalism and freelancing on my free time. The only thing stopping me from reclassing is a school date and the in-out calls. Is there another way I can enter field that doesn’t require me to sit and wait for the MOS to open up again? Any feedback would be really appreciated :)

  2. Thank you sir for this information. I am working on re-classing to the 46R MOS, though I do still have a couple questions. My first is a question of rank, I am currently a SPC as an active duty 31B, do I need to be promoted/promotable before I re-class?

  3. I would like to apply for Public Affairs Specialists 46Q. I got 111 score in ASVAB, I have very fast typing speed and also driver license. Your website help me a lot to prepare for the course. Thank you.

  4. I’ll be totally honest; before reading this I had no idea what any of this meant in the title. It was surprisingly interesting, though, haha! Great post.

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