Guardsmen embrace unit public affairs duties

Kentucky National Guard Staff Report

Unit Public Affairs/Historian Representatives completed public affairs training at the Commonwealth Emergency Operations Center in Frankfort, Ky., April 14, 2019. Members of the 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment hosted the training and provided instruction on photography, video production, writing and social media operations. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by 1st. Sgt. Heather Acosta)

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Army Guardsmen representing every major command in Kentucky gathered for the 2019 Unit Public Affairs & Historian Representative (UPAHR) Workshop in Frankfort, April 13-14. The workshop was facilitated by members of the 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment in the Commonwealth Emergency Operations Center.

More than 20 Soldiers received updated training and were certified to tell their units’ stories.

“I felt that the training was relevant and well presented for a clean understanding of the UPAHR’s role and expectations,” said Spc. Jessica Elbouab with the 118th Haul Platoon. “I would love to see a continuing course emerge from the program down the line for those that are truly sparked by the course’s creativity and the amazing opportunities units could experience through the role of one of their fellow Guardsman.”

A UPAHR is tasked with documenting the activities of a particular unit throughout the year. The workshop focused on instruction in how these new UPAHRs can effectively photograph, video and write about unit functions such as training exercises, Soldier profiles, promotions, award ceremonies and any other events their unit participates in.

Instruction was also provided in social media techniques, camera phone operations and operational security.

UPAHRs are a key in telling the whole Kentucky National Guard story said Maj. Stephen Martin, director of public affairs for the Kentucky Guard.

“Our unit public affairs representatives are a direct line to the communities they serve in and are a critical part of communicating our story to the public,” Martin said. “The 133rd MPAD did a phenomenal job training up these Soldiers and I look forward to seeing the fruit of this course come to bear.”

Each UPAHR was assigned a photo and video assignment during the training. Using their new skills and some creativity, they produced products such as the video and photo below.

Video by Spc. Devin Blanton, 149th Vertical Construction Company and Spc. Destini Keene, 2112th Transportation Company.

Photo by Spc. Destini Keene, 2112th Transportation Company.