Tips for Embedding Media - Arkansas National Guard

Tips for Embedding Media
Here are a few tips I learned through the process of embedding media before and after our units deployed:
Embedding Media before unit deploys
 Before our first units deployed, our public affairs posture was active.
 Follow the published DoD PAG for embedding media.
 Identify unit and determine if commander can support media embed. (We focused on battalion and higher
level units.) Company size units felt that they could not provide the necessary manpower or resources for
 If no, stop process. If yes, notify media of possible embed.
 Focus on media that you think can participate.
 Send media information letter, response form and PAG. Give media a suspense for reply.
 If media can embed, begin coordinating embed process with media, unit commander, mob station PAO and
CONUSA PAO (1st or 5th Army).
 Send request to embed media to 1st or 5th Army PAO. (See attachment of our request and the approval
from 1st Army.)
 If approved, send copy of approval to commander, mob station PAO, CENTCOM PAO and cc NGB-PA.
 Provide PAG to unit commander and brief him or her on their requirements. (Provide transportation, media
escort, medical assistance, billeting, etc.)
 Inform Mob Station PAO of plan.
 Put the media in touch with commander or unit UPAR for direct coordination. However, you should remain
in the information loop.
 Commander is responsible for obtaining country clearance for media embeds.
 Space A must be available for media to travel with unit.
 Commander's are authorized to issue protective masks and other NBC protective equipment.
 The wear and use of Kevlars and flak vest is a personal decision. (Our log people here in Alabama would
not allow me is hand receipt these items to the journalists without a lease agreement.)
 Jounalists bought their own kevlars and flak vest. (Procedures for issuing kevlars and flak vest might be
differrent for each state.)
 Media are required to have credentials and passports. Shots are highly encouraged, but are not mandatory.
However, without some shorts, journalists might have problems getting back into the country.
 If the commander receives country clearance for media, then media should be able to embed.
 Media must sign Ground Rules Agreement and the Hold Harmless/Release From Liability Statement (See
attachment 7).
 Determine the tentative duration of embed. This will be based on the unit's deployment EDATE and when
the media will want to return.
 Media can terminate embed at anytime.
 Military transportation back to CONUS is not a gurantee.
 Media may have to use commercial air at their own expense to return home. Media should be informed of
this up front.
Embedding Media after a unit deploys
 After our units deployed, our public affairs posture was passive and we only responded to media's requests
to embed.
 Follow the published DoD PAG for embedding media.
 If media request to embed, send media invitation letter and response form along with a suspense to reply.
At least you have a formal record of their request.
 Determine if deployed unit can support the media embed. (Transportation, media escort, medical
assistance, billeting, etc.)
 If no, stop process. If yes, begin coordinating with commander, media and CENTCOM PAO.
Send formal request to embed media to CENTCOM PAO. In the request, include media credentials,
passport, duration of embed and wheather media will fly commercial. CENTCOM and CFLCC PAOs will
ask for this information.
CENTCOM PAO will send request to the CFLCC PAO for final approval.
Media are encouraged to obtain shots.
More than likely, media will have to pay for their own transportation to and from theater. (Media must be
informed of this up front.)
If media travels commercial, country clerance is not required. However, embed still requires CENTCOM
and CFLCC approval.
Unit must be willing to support media throughout the duration of embed. Pick up media upon arrival at
commercial airport and provide other support.
Unit must develop plan for media embed. Where will unit take media? What units will media visit? Identify
transportation (air and ground) assets that are available. Identify manpower and other resources needed to
support the media embed? Will unit issue the media kevlar, flak vest, NBC protective equipment in theater.
(Our unit commander was able and willing to do this for a journalist we embedded after the unit deployed.)
Put the unit commander or his/her UPAR in touch with the media POC. Email works the best.
Unit should also do its own coordination with the CFLCC PAO.
If CENTCOM and CFLCC approves the embed, send approval to media.
Media will be required to sign the Ground Rules Agreeement and the Hold Harmless/Release From
Liability Statement upon arrival in theater.
Media can terminate embed at anytime.
CENTCOM PAO POC: Lieutenant Commander Nick Balic - (813) 827-5896. [email protected]
CFLCC PAO POC: Lieutenant Colonel Leon Sumptor - DSN 312-367-4693. email : Unknown.
LTC Bob Horton
Public Affairs Officer
Alabama Army National Guard
DSN 363-7244/CML
(334) 271-7244
[email protected]