navy mass communication specialist
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US Navy Mass Communication Specialist (MC): Career Profile

Many people do not realize that the US Navy is actually older than the country it so proudly serves.

Its story began way back in October of 1775 when the 2nd Continental Congress passed a resolution in Philadelphia establishing the Continental Navy.

But stories just fade away if there isn’t someone around to record and tell  them.

That’s where US Navy Mass Communication Specialists come into play.

For many decades now they have been photographing, recording, and writing down US Navy history and events.

Navy Mass Communication Specialists even sometimes put themselves in harm’s way to do their job.

The current Navy MC position was formed in July of 2006 when the Journalist, Lithographer, Illustrator Draftsman, and Photographers Mate ratings were all merged together into one Navy specialty.

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Although the methods for performing the job have gotten faster and more sophisticated; MC’s are still the eyes and the ears of the Navy that will continue to tell its story as it sails into the future.

US Navy Mass Communication Specialist Requirements and Qualifications

Here are the requirements it takes in order to be eligible to train to become an enlisted US Navy Mass Communication Specialist:

ASVAB Requirements

  • Minimum combined ASVAB Score of 185 on Verbal Expression (VE) and (AR) Arithmetic Reasoning. The individual Verbal Expression score must always be at least 55 too.

Additional Qualifications

  • Be between the ages of 17 and 34
  • Be a United States Citizen
  • High school diploma or GED
  • Must be able to speak clearly and have excellent communication skills
  • Normal color perception is required
  • Must sign up for an initial 5-year enlistment period
  • Computer literacy and typing skills are also recommended but not required
  • Must be creative and detail-oriented
  • Completion of 8 weeks of Navy Basic Recruit Training held at Great Lakes Naval Training Center, N. Chicago, Illinois
  • May have to complete a Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI) to obtain a secret or higher level security clearance

Training and Career Path to Become a Navy Mass Communication Specialist

Navy MC at work. Image: Wikimedia.org

This is the training required in order to be able to function as a Mass Communication Specialist in the Navy.

Navy Technical Training Information

The class “A” technical training required to become a Navy Mass Communication Specialist is done at Fort George Meade located just south of Baltimore, Maryland.

It lasts approximately 27 weeks long.

Recruits will learn such job-related skills as still photography techniques, digital image recording and editing, photojournalism, news and social media writing, public affairs duties, and print and visual layout and design.

On the Job Training

Becoming a navy Mass Communication Specialist is not something that someone can just jump right into after technical training school.

There will be several months of on the job training at a recruit’s first permanent duty station.

This on the job training will be directly related to the exact mass communication task that the recruit is expected to perform.

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How Much Are US Navy Mass Communication Specialist Paid?

Most new Navy Mass Communication Specialists will start out at the pay grade of Seaman Recruit (E-1).

If a recruit has job applicable training or skills, they may be eligible to start out at a Seaman Apprentice (E-2) or Seaman (E-3) pay rate.  

Here is the current paytable for Navy enlisted based on rank and time in service:

InsigniaPay GradeRankAbbreviation2019 Pay (monthly)
N/AE-1Seaman RecruitSR$1,681
E-2Seaman ApprenticeSA$1,884
e-3 navy seamanE-3SeamanSN$1,981
petty officer third classE-4Petty Officer Third ClassPO3$2,195
petty officer second classE-5Petty Officer Second ClassPO2$2,394
petty officer first classE-6Petty Officer First ClassPO1$2,613
chief petty officerE-7Chief Petty OfficerCPO$3,021
senior chief petty officerE-8Senior Chief Petty OfficerSCPO$4,345
master chief petty officerE-9Master Chief Petty OfficerMCPO$5,308
command master chief petty officerE-9Command Master Chief Petty OfficerCMDCM$5,429
master chief petty officer of the navyE-9Master Chief Petty Officer Of The NavyMCPON$5,580

Advancement through the various Seamen ranks (E-1 to E-3) is done simply by time in grade.

Higher enlisted ranks (E-4 and above) are attained by a combination of time in grade and test results.

Miscellaneous Pay, Allowances, and Incentives

There are some other forms of payment such as these that an enlisted member may be entitled to at times:

  • Housing allowance for those that live off base (BAH)
  • Subsistence allowance (Food – BAS)
  • Temporary duty pay
  • Hazardous duty pay
  • Sea duty pay (Separation pay)

Health care is also completely covered for those who spend time in the navy serving their country.

What’s Life Like as a Navy Mass Communication Specialist?

If you communicate well both written and verbally and have a little bit of an artsy side, you may be well-suited to have an enjoyable Navy career as a Mass Communication Specialist.

Navy Mass Communication Specialists bridge the gap between the Navy and the civilian world and let people know in print and pictures what the Navy is all about.

They also help generate interest for people to join the Navy and also produce media content that makes Navy enlisted personnel and officers proud of the work that they do.

Those that do this job in the Navy can usually expect to do a lot of traveling.

Here are some of the duties that a Navy Mass Communication Specialist may be asked to carry out:

  • Prepare, write, and edit news and other feature articles for publication
  • Photograph Navy and non-Navy events for publication and historic documentation
  • Be involved in multi-media design and production
  • Design and manage inter-Navy (secured and unsecured) and public websites
  • Take charge of the layout and design of military newspapers and other publications
  • Manage Navy sponsored radio and television stations
  • Operate graphics and desktop publishing software
  • Create informational displays and graphics
  • Escort and direct civilian media members
  • Operate all different types of cameras, video recorders, and advanced electronic imaging equipment
  • Edit features, and documentation
  • Shoot still photographs and video for such things as accident or incident investigations
  • Conduct both Navy and civilian interviews
  • Perform the same duties that are asked of a Public Affairs Officer

This is a fun and exciting Navy career that can also lead to gainful employment in the civilian world if someone decides to leave the Navy.

Job Reviews

Here is what a former and two present Navy Mass Communication Specialists had to say about their Navy job experience on the website Indeed.com:

navy mc rate review mass communications specialist job review

These YouTube videos will give those who are interested a little more insight as to what a Navy Mass Communication Specialist does:

US Navy Mass Communication Specialist Civilian Career Opportunities

You should have no problem finding a relatively well paying job in the civilian world after serving as a Navy Mass Communication Specialist.

This is especially true since today’s Navy Mass Communication Specialists have a broader media, print, video, and research background than ever before.

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What a person qualifies for will depend on their exact job duties as an MC specialist in the Navy.

Here are some of the types of positions that Ex- are more than qualified to fill in the civilian world:

  • Photography and videography (including both aerial and underwater photography)
  • Graphic arts design and layout
  • News editor or writer (both print and online)
  • Broadcasting (TV, radio, and online)
  • Interactive multimedia and Animation
  • Public affairs specialist
  • Audiovisual and printing equipment tech
  • Media coordinator
  • Research analyst
  • Communications director
  • Photojournalist

Some examples of companies that are usually interested in hiring Ex-Navy Mass Communication Specialists include:

  • San Diego State University – San Diego, CA
  • Ivinson Memorial Hospital – Laramie, WY
  • Center for Human Development – Springfield, MA
  • Plug and Play Tech Center – Sunnyvale, CA
  • Activision Publishing, Inc. – Santa Monica, CA

References:

Navy.com

Navycs.com

Navy Personnel Command

Navy Cool

Craig S.

Craig spent many years on active duty service in the Air Force stationed in such places as Okinawa, Japan and SAC Headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska. While in the military, he spent time analyzing imagery from a variety of aircraft such as the SR-71. He was also one of the first enlisted members in the Air Force to experience working with near real time satellite imagery. Craig currently resides in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and runs his own business.
Craig S.

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