The MC Rating

The Mass Communication Specialists was established, on July 1, 2006, as the result of the merging of four ratings, the Photographers' Mate (PH), Journalist (JO), Illustrator/Draftsman (DM) and Lithographer (LI).

The Navy's computerized personnel system associates the rating name with an alphanumeric Navy Navy Enlisted Manning Code (EMC). For MC, the EMC is B610.

Mass Communication Specialist (MC) are Public Affairs and Visual Information experts. They present the Navy story to audiences in the Navy and to the rest of the world through a variety of media. MCs write and produce print and broadcast journalism news and feature stories for military and civilian newspapers, magazines, television and radio broadcast stations. They record still and video photography of military operations, exercises, and other Navy events. They serve overseas, on ships, and at stateside commands as photographers, public affairs specialists, newspaper and magazine staff, and TV and radio station staff and talent.

MCs also create graphic designs in support of the public affairs mission, create and manage official websites, and perform high-speed high-volume graphic reproduction.

Mass Communication Specialist class "A" school is approximately 27 weeks in duration. The school is located at Fort George Meade, Maryland. The MC rating requires a 60 month (5 year) enlistment obligation.

Mass Communication Specialist job description (MC)

Mass Communication Specialists write Navy news releases and feature articles from personal interviews, examination of messages, and witnessing of events. They take news and feature photographs and develop photo stories with associated Visual Information Record Identification Number (VIRINS), captions, and pertinent historical data. They understand the Navy Public Affairs mission for the acquisition, processing, and marketing of all internal and external information products through web sites, news releases and internal information products.

MCs acquire, transmit, and print electronic imagery. They understand imagery and equipment life-cycle management and archival requirements, and prepare and lay out Navy information products, including web sites, newspapers, and command information brochures using desktop publishing systems. They provide still and video documentation of Navy and joint operational events, and provide visual documentation of combat, combat-support operations, and related peacetime training activities.

Mass Communication Specialists prepare material for broadcast use. They serve on the staff of Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS) detachments. They operate and schedule command internal information and programming for Shipboard Information, Training, and Entertainment (SITE) systems. MCs troubleshoot mechanical and digital reprographic and photographic equipment; perform color management; supervise shipboard and Sea Operations (SEAOP) detachments in support of the Navy Public Affairs mission.

MCs serve on combat camera deployable teams, research, develop, and write speeches using Navy talking points and messages, and fulfill duties of senior enlisted advisor for public affairs on select Fleet, Numbered Fleet, Type Commander (TYCOM) staffs, aircraft carriers, and large-deck amphibious ships. They implement public affairs guidance and messages from higher public affairs authority, and serve as independent duty Public Affairs Officers (PAO) at small commands.

Career Sea - Shore Rotation Chart

Rating's Sea (SEA) Shore (SH) Rotation (months)
48 48 4836

Sea tours and shore tours for Sailors that have completed four sea tours will be 36 months at sea followed by 36 ashore until retirement.

Qualifications, Interests, and Working Environment

Mass Communication Specialist must relate to people in a creative and professional manner. They need above average writing and speaking skills, creativity, curiosity, and an interest in people, ideas, and information. Also important are a good memory, maturity, and good personal appearance. Other necessary qualities are the ability to do detailed work, keep good records, and a sense of teamwork.

MCs must be a U.S. citizen and be eligible for a security clearance as a condition of entry. In addition, entry into the MC rating will require normal color perception and vision correctable to 20/20. "A" School is required for the MC rating. The rating accepts qualified Lateral Conversions (via "A" School), but will not accept Direct Conversions or Strikers.

Mass Communication Specialists may work indoors or out, on board aircraft carrier flight decks, in the field with combat construction units, or in air-conditioned broadcast stations. Work varies from using precision computer graphics equipment in an office to strenuous work throughout a ship or station.

Most MCs work on projects alone or with small teams, normally with little supervision. Their work is primarily mental and creative. MC ASVAB Test requirement.

Approximately 1,500 men and women perform duties in the Mass Communication Specialist rating aboard ships and at shore stations. Opportunities for placement are good for highly qualified candidates.

Personnel in the Mass Communication Specialist rating are paid allowances (BAH, BAS, etc. if eligible) and billet pay (sea pay, etc. if eligible), and enlisted basic pay based on years of military service and paygrade.

Credit Recommendations

The American Council on Education recommends that semester hour credits be awarded in the vocational certificate or lower-division bachelor's/associates degree categories for courses taken in this rating in news editing and reporting, writing for mass media, audiovisual technology, photography, and layout.

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