Active Force Support
Illustrating the many creative and innovative ways PAs find to tell the Air Force story, 48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs photojournalist, Tech. Sgt. Matthew Plew, pictured above, documented three F-15s in aerial maneuvers over southern England - bringing a new dimension to the meaning of the word "selfie" in the process!
Unique contributions like this to the Air Force mission are why AFPAAA's primary focus is to provide recognition and support of the active force in whatever way we can. It's why we...
- Present every USAF DINFOS Graduate with a PA Career Field Badge.
- Sponsor the "Best of the Best" award for the top performer in USAF Public Affairs.
- Offer free two-year introductory memberships in AFPAAA to active duty PAs.
- Provide up to four grants of $250 each per fiscal year to Air Force personnel who successfully complete accreditation by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) or International Association of Business Communicators. To help offset the expense of the application for accreditation, applicants can submit a request, along with proof of accreditation, within 18 months of certification to: email@example.com. To be eligible, an applicant must be:
- Enlisted through E-8, civilian through GS-14, or officer through O-5
- Active, Guard, or Reserve
- Not receiving financial assistance for accreditation from another source (e.g. a Reservist’s civilian employer, or Air Force Credentialing Opportunities On-Line [COOL] for eligible enlisted people)
- Offer mentoring and other behind-the-scenes support when asked.
- Provide speakers, panelists, and judges for USAF competitions when asked.
Learn From Legends
To help preserve our heritage, the AFPAAA Oral History Program accumulates and preserves first-person historical accounts of Air Force, national, and international public affairs events and activities, like 1973's Operation Homecoming, when then Lt. Col. Dick Abel made five trips to Hanoi to escort POWs as they were released from North Vietnamese prisons.
Over thirty legends in the field of public affairs have participated in this on-going project, sharing their stories, insights, and advice, providing tremendous value to today's communicators.
Learn more from these PA pros here.
Annual Reunion and Membership Meeting
For many AFPAAA members, the highlight of the year is the Association's annual membership meeting.
Held at a different location each year, this three day event is a great opportunity to renew friendships and make new ones. At least one day is dedicated to briefings and tours of active duty installations, major contractor facilities, and museums. These "reblueing sessions" help AFPAAA members keep up with the changing capabilities and evolving missions of today's Air Force.
Due to Covid-19 uncertainties, the 2021 meeting has been postponed until 2022. Scheduled from September 29 to October 1, 2022, it will still take place in Dayton, Ohio as originally planned. Home to Wright Paterson AFB and the National Museum of the Air Force, the Dayton area is steeped in aviation history.
With the exception of the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021, AFPAAA has held an annual meeting every year since 1994. Here's where the meetings have taken place:
Leaving active duty may feel like jumping out of a perfectly good airplane into the great unknown, but AFPAAA is here to help, providing assistance to members transitioning to the civilian world and seeking employment by offering...
- Access to a network of public relations professionals who both appreciate the special talents of Air Force PA's and understand the unique challenges they face, and can provide advice and potential leads to those entering the civilian job market.
- An active Facebook group, where members can engage in discussions about Public Affairs issues, and where potential employers and job seekers can make contact.
- The "Tips for Transition" booklet, containing helpful suggestions about career changes gleaned from members' real life experiences.
- "So You're Looking for Another Job," an extensive compendium of employment marketing techniques authored by AFPAAA member Charlie Brown, whose post-AF career has been as a corporate head hunter and career counselor.
AFPAAA celebrates the achievements of professionals - active, retired, civilian, and community leaders - through its prestigious awards program...
- We recognize individuals - members or not - for unique or trail blazing PA accomplishments as "public affairs pioneers" through our annual President's Award program.
- We recognize members who have provided extraordinary service to the Association with our highest honor, the Mike McRaney Distinguished Service Award.
- In cooperation with SAF/PA, we sponsor the annual Brig. Gen. James W. Hart, Jr. Best of the Best Award. The Best of the Best program recognizes one outstanding individual from all nominated bandsmen, broadcasters, multimedia, and public affairs professionals. The winner receives an engraved trophy and $1,000 from AFPAAA.
The Association also undertakes special projects like...
The Brigadier General H.J. Dalton Jr. Conference Room
- The Secretary of the Air Force Office of Public Affairs (SAF/PA) conference room was named for Gen. Dalton to honor the many achievements of his distinguished career, including becoming the first public affairs officer to attain the rank of brigadier general.
- The AFPAAA Board of Directors proposed naming the conference room in Gen. Dalton's honor, and the idea was enthusiastically embraced by SAF/PA. Part of a larger renovation project that consolidated SAF/PA offices in the Pentagon, the cost of the conference room's construction, furnishings, and decoration was offset by a contribution from AFPAAA.
The USAF Public Affairs Memorial
- The Memorial was designed as a tribute to all USAF active duty, reserve and guard PA's, broadcasters, and bandsmen - military and civilian - who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
- Its purpose is to reinforce the importance of the role of the PA career field and to acknowledge the vital, sometimes hazardous duties PA's perform in support of the USAF's war fighting capability.
The USAF Public Affairs Hall of Fame
- The Hall of Fame provides prestigious recognition of those who made significant and lasting contributions to the history and traditions of the Air Force Public Affairs career field.
- The Hall of Fame was established on July 1, 2021 and is online here.
- AFPAAA is currently working with SAF/PA on plans for the Hall of Fame's permanent physical location at the Defense Information School at Fort Meade, Maryland