Army embeds PSYOPS soldiers at TV stationsSubmitted by SteveMT on Sun, 10/03/2010 - 14:51
Army embeds active-duty PSYOPS soldiers at local TV stations
By John Cook
Fri Oct 1, 4:59 pm ET
The U.S. Army has used local television stations in the U.S. as training posts for some of its psychological-operations personnel, The Upshot has learned. Since at least 2001, both WRAL, a CBS affiliate in Raleigh, N.C., and WTOC, a CBS affiliate in Savannah, Ga., have regularly hosted active-duty soldiers from the Army's 4th Psychological Operations group as part of the Army's Training With Industry program. Training With Industry is designed to offer career soldiers a chance to pick up skills through internships and fellowships with private businesses. The PSYOPS soldiers used WRAL and WTOC to learn broadcasting and communications expertise that they could apply in their mission, as the Army describes it, of "influenc[ing] the emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign audiences."
"Both of those stations are very supportive of the military, and think very highly of the program," said Lt. Col. Stacy Bathrick. "Our officers are there to learn best practices in terms of programming and production side that they can use when they deploy.
WRAL and WTOC are not alone among media outlets that the U.S. military has sought to learn from through Training With Industry. The Upshot has previously reported that the Marine Corps placed public affairs officers with the Chicago Tribune for several years in order to better understand how to influence and work with the news media, and CNNMoney.com hosted an officer in 2007 and 2008, despite the network's embarrassment over the program in 2000.