Selling the CF a Bit Better

I preface this by admitting that there’s probably HEAPS more hurdles and process than I can see from the outside looking in when it comes to getting the CF’s message out to the public.  I also know the individual CF public affairs people I’ve dealt with are passionate about getting the good word out there.

All that said, I’ve pointed out some areas where the CF comms machine might do a better job in selling the outstanding work the soldiers/sailors/air folks are doing in the field, maybe even picking up some best practices from military establishments alreading doing interesting things.  I’m still seeing things that make me scratch my head, though.

For example, on Canada’s Expeditionary Forces Command (CEFCOM), we read about the good work being done by troops in general, and engineers in particular, on an operation almost a month after the operation happened.

Meanwhile, I stand to be corrected, but I’ll bet a donation to Wounded Warriors that these stories and photos from ISAF Public Affairs about Canadians didn’t take a month to get out there on the Internet:

Canadian Medic Returns to Kandahar to Mentor Afghan National Army
Story by Pvt. Luke Rollins, 22nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
Date: 12.09.2009

FORWARD OPERATING BASE WILSON, Afghanistan – Surviving just one tour in Southern Afghanistan is no mean feat. Many of the world’s best and brightest soldiers have fought and died here, and still more return home irrevocably shaken. There are among us, however, soldiers whose mettle has been cast in the furnaces of war, and who feel it is their duty to return, having emerged battle-tested and knowledgeable.

Army Cpl. Corey Sagstuen, a combat medic currently serving in a Canadian Operational Mentor and Liaison Team, is one such soldier. In 2007 he deployed to the Kandahar province with Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in the Pan’jwai District. Now, he has returned to Kandahar’s Zhari district on the opposite side of the Arghandab River to lend his skills and experience to his fellow Canadian soldiers and Afghan national army soldiers alike.

There are a lot of green medics coming to Afghanistan, and it’s a bad place to make mistakes, said Sagstuen, an Edmonton, Alberta, native. Making sure they get back in one piece is how I make a difference, he said….

A Spirited Cook Dedicated to the Morale, and Stomachs, of Canadian and U.S. Troops in Southern Afghanistan
Story by Pvt. Luke Rollins, 22nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
Date: 12.09.2009

FORWARD OPERATING BASE WILSON, Afghanistan – An old military maxim says, “An army marches on its stomach, not its feet.” The Forward Operating Base Wilson dining facility has two armies, American and Canadian, to feed and keep marching to their missions in southern Afghanistan’s Zhari District.

The FOB Wilson dining facility features an all-military cooking team with members from the Canadian and American armies. Leading this team is Sgt. Karen Jones, a military cook with 23 years of service behind her.

“It’s been a unique experience for our American counterparts, because they’re not afforded the same kind of training or time on the kitchen decks that we are. We do this all the time as Canadians,” said Jones, whose home unit is 3 Area Support Group at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, New Brunswick.

Under Canadian mentorship, Jones said, the Americans have done and learned things which many of their peers and seniors haven’t….

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