Posted on Apr 12, 2021
SPC Mass Communications Specialist
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I have just enlisted as 46s (Public Affairs Mass Communication Specialist) and will be shipping this May, and I am curious as to how 46s soldiers can maintain a civilian career and work in the national guard under this MOS.

This MOS involves video, photography, multimedia.. and i've seen/heard many videos about it having a lot of traveling. So i'm curious as to how this works.
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SFC Platoon Sergeant
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First of all: Welcome and congratulations!!! You are in the BEST MOS IN THE ARMY!!!!

It’s easy to have a career and still do National Guard. I have a full-time job and ask for military leave. They have to give it to you. If the are struggling with letting you take time off there is an ESGR office that helps to support soldiers in this area. Usually your command drafts an employer letter stating the days you will need off if it is during your work times.

I generally have one weekend during the month and two weeks of annual training (AT). We also do split-training. This is when we have missions that happen on days other than drill weekend. It can be another weekend or during the week. We try to get the two weeks of AT in one shot but sometimes we split it up to cover different unit’s trainings and other missions.

The traveling is generally covering the other units. Where they go, we go. I have been to Singapore, Hawaii, around the state, Romania, Canada. Other members of my unit have been to Mongolia, Nepal, Thailand, Bangladesh. It is still only two weeks.

Mainly, you will just have to keep your employer informed of the days that occur during your work hours. Hopefully, they will be supportive. If not, reach out to your command and let them know.
Hope this helps!
Feel free to contact me again anytime.
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SPC Mass Communications Specialist
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Thanks for the answers. This is great info! I do have some questions.

What do you do during that one weekend? The work involved in the 46s seems too big to fit just one weekend a month. So how does this work, am i going to be doing general drills or working in-line to my MOS? Do you also travel during this weekend?

Is there options for full time, and is it better? I over heard that people who chose to go active/full-time end up working in the Pentagon, is that true?
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SFC Platoon Sergeant
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During the weekend drills, we do annual/mandatory requirements. These include Individual Weapons Qualification (IWQ), the Army Fitness Test (APFT/ACF), Soldier Readiness Processing (SRP) which is getting a lot of administrative paperwork done, Medical readiness which is going through all aspects of medical evaluations (height/weight, blood pressure, dental, vision, hearing, behavioral health, etc.). We also do unit requirements: inventory of our camera kits, tactical equipment, weapons, and other items our unit "owns". Those are the more boring assignments. We also cover activities, events, trainings, and ceremonies. Some of these are during drill weekends and others are not. For the ones that are not during drill, we split train which means we trade out a drill day/weekend for the day(s) and times of the event. We cover the State Best Warrior Competition, Veteran's Day activities, and Sister State visits- these are other country's Military representatives coming here. We also do our own training to improve our MOS skills. We have gone on Photo Acquisition Training where we capture photos, and video, process them and then have a presentation of our products. When we do this, we are cross-training to improve our skills that we are weak in. We reinforce our techniques in production, writing, and the Army requirements. Since we have new soldiers coming in and some gaps of time in between missions, we need to review our skills since our skills are perishable.

We can get a lot done on the weekend. We don't have missions every weekend and not everyone goes to the mission. We usually have one or two people go and complete the product by the end of the weekend if it happens early in the weekend. After a while, we can get through the process quite quickly. You just need practice.

When COVID began we did online drills which consisted of FEMA PA courses. We are now drilling on-site, at the armory. We are following the COVID protocols. We also have done some off-site training at another armory/training area for IWQ, ACFT, and full unit courses such as the 46S conversion course for those who were 46Q/R. When we travel, we sometimes start on Friday or will add a day or two to the weekend. Occasionally when we do that, we may move one drill weekend to another to have a longer drill and more time in between them. If we have a mission that requires travel, time is allowed for that as well.

The full-time opportunities here are at the State PA Office. There are a lot of different opportunities for active duty. There are also positions at the Pentagon. It just depends on what opens up and if you are qualified for those positions. Do some research, see what you need to do and what qualifications are needed, and work towards your goals.

Hope that helps.
SFC Stratton
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