Journalist (JO)

Navy Enlisted Rating Description and Qualification Factor

Note: this rating no longer exists. It was merged into the new Mass Communications Specialist (MC) rating in July 2006. The job description is maintained here for historical purposes only.

General Info:

Navy journalists are information specialists. They gather news about people, places, and activities in the Navy, and communicate it to the military and civilian communities through radio, television, military publications and hometown newspapers.

They serve as reporters and editors, and often with civilian reporters and photographers. JOs work in print and broadcast media with public affairs officers and as independent journalists arranging public displays, exhibits, demonstrations, speaking engagements, news conferences, VIP visits and ship- and shore-based tours. This is a five-year enlistment program.

What They Do:

The duties performed by JOs include: gathering facts and writing articles for publication in civilian and Navy communities; preparing stories for hometown news outlets; writing feature articles on naval personnel and activities; gathering facts, writing, editing and proofreading news for radio and TV outlets; preparing layouts for base papers and magazines; managing radio and television stations; managing ship or station newspapers; writing and producing radio and television programs; setting up and/or conducting tape recorded interviews; editing video and audio tape for TV and radio broadcasts; writing spot announcements for radio and TV; taking news photographs; coordinating special events; advising and training apprentices in the JO rating; performing many of the functions of a public affairs officer; maintaining public affairs and research files.

ASVAB Score:


Other Requirements:

Security Clearance, (SECRET) Requirement. 60-month obligation. Must be U.S. citizen.

Notes: High school diploma graduate or equivalent with successful completion of 10th grade. Must type 20 words per minute when enlisted.

Technical Training Information:

Enlistees are taught the fundamentals of this rating through formal Department of Defense schooling and on-the-job training.

Advanced technical training is available in this rating during later stages of career development.

Fort Meade, MD --158 calendar days

Fort Meade, MD -- 73 calendar days

    Newspaper journalism, radio, TV broadcast skills Group instruction and individual assignments

    Phase II News reporting, video photography, video tape editing and production

    TV reporting and production skills Group instruction and individual assignments

    Phase III Shipboard Information Training and Entertainment Systems (SITE)

    Skills required to administer SITE aboard ships Group instruction and individual assignments Advanced technical and operational training is available later. Most journalists' first assignment is to a ship or overseas Navy broadcast station.

    During a 20-year period in the Navy, JOs usually spend 40 percent of their time assigned to ships at sea, and 60 percent to shore stations in the United States or overseas.

    Working Environment:Navy journalists do most of their work alone, with little supervision. Their work is primarily mental.

    Career Progression: None Available.