Partial report from Donna Miles, AFPS Jan. 30, 2006

WASHINGTON, Jan. 30, 2006 – A new documentary film will help educate the American public about military service and clear up misconceptions, according to the Defense Department's top personnel official, David S. C. Chu.

The one-hour film Today's Military: Extraordinary People; Extraordinary Opportunities takes viewers around the country and overseas.

One-minute “webisodes” of the film are posted AT THIS LINK. (Jug's comment: I checked this out and it is an excellent presentation.)

This documentary features 11 active and reserve service members who share experiences that shed light on opportunities available in the military. “This film offers a glimpse into the lives of 11 extraordinary men and women who have achieved extraordinary success,” Chu told a Pentagon audience at the film's first screening, Jan 26.

The service members featured represent all branches of the service, including the Coast Guard, and showcase jobs many people don't associate with military service. The participants include a journalist, a motion picture liaison, a musician, an animal-care specialist and a language instructor.

Other participants help show the excitement of some military careers, including that of a combat helicopter pilot, a coxswain, a joint terminal attack controller and instructors who teach aviation para rescue and surf man skills. Through their personal stories, the featured service members share their satisfaction with military life and the doors it has opened in their careers.

DOD will use the new documentary to help educate “adult influencers” - parents, teachers, guidance counselors and coaches who play an important part in young people's career decisions - about opportunities in the military, Chu said at the premier screening. “We have discovered in the Department of Defense that most Americans have limited understanding of the military, and also misconceptions.”

DOD is providing 40,000 DVDs to guidance counselors who have requested more information for their students. In addition, a 13-minute version of the film will be shown in April during in-flight programming on domestic United Airlines flights.

The documentary is part of DOD's integrated “Get the Facts” communication plan designed to reach about 85 percent of U. S. households by April through a premiere event, online, television, airline, and educator mailings.