Kentucky Guard’s Marketing Guru

By Sgt. Scott Raper, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs

JC Newton on Radio

Newton on the job. An interview with local radio WLAP discussing the All Resilient Team. (Courtesy Photo)

FRANKFORT, Ky. — During a brief conversation in his office, his computer beeps with several new emails and his phone rings with more incoming calls than an average person.  But for J.C. Newton, that’s all just fine with him.  As the Marketing Director for the Kentucky National Guard, he says if he were not busy, he would just as soon be home.

“I absolutely love this job,” said the Frankfort native.  “It can be tough, but it’s very exciting, there’s something always happening.”

His job is to promote the awareness of the Kentucky Guard through marketing and advertising opportunities.  He advises the Commander of Recruiting and Retention of possible ideas to produce leads on future Soldiers and Airmen and to get the Guard name out to the public.

“I sell the Guard,” he said simply.  “I have a passion for it.  It has changed my life and I know what it can do for others.”

Working with Recruiting and Retention, Newton is known as the guy with the “cool stuff.”  He manages relationships and events with NASCAR, the Indy Racing League and gets on the court or field during halftime of big games.  And with the ability to connect Soldiers and Airmen with such “cool stuff,” it’s no wonder his reputation precedes him.

Newton served for 20 years in the Kentucky National Guard.  He enlisted into public affairs based on a love of photography and writing and later on dove into the world of recruiting.   He learned how important it was to tell the Guard’s story, which made it easy for him to be an advocate for the National Guard and develop new recruits.  That same drive he had through his retirement in 1999 remains today, even out of uniform.

JC Newton

JC Newton, Kentucky National Guard Marketing Director, sits at his desk in Frankfort, Ky. Newton said his desk is always cluttered because he is so busy, but he would not have it any other way. (Photo by Sgt. Scott Raper, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs)

“I don’t want anyone to miss the opportunity to be a part of the Guard,” he said.  “Helping others while improving yourself?  That’s a great position to be in!”

Even as the times change, Newton understands the basics of communicating with the public.  Budget cuts and possible military reductions will certainly make his job more difficult, but he is keeping plans in the back of his mind already.

“We have to continue to form relationships,” he said.  “We will get back to grass roots recruiting, get back into the high schools and colleges, shaking hands and branding the Guard as the great opportunity it is, and will be.”

Newton continues his challenges, always looking for ways to connect the National Guard to the communities.  And the emails still come and the phone still rings.  New billboards are going up around the Commonwealth and an advertising campaign with the Kentucky High School Athletic Association is in the works.  He is preparing for the Guard’s participation in the 2012 Kentucky Derby Festival Basketball Classic in Louisville in April.

Newton also has produced a relationship with University of Kentucky radio announcer Tom Leach to support the All Resilient Team Powered by Kentucky National Guard Career Opportunities.  The team recognizes high school student-athletes who overcome adversities such as injuries or disabilities to achieve success.  His job is demanding because business is good, and he is thankful for the opportunity.  It gives him the chance to work towards his ultimate goal of recognition, but not all for himself.

“I will feel like my mission is accomplished if all four million people in Kentucky know about the Guard, and what it can do for them.”

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