Monday, June 6, 2011

Vietnam -- PSYOPS

I don't know that much about PSYOPS, I just know a lot of metal containers up at headquarters were filled with enough paper for every man at Camp Eagle to roast marshmellows for 60 years. Here's the job description.

The role of Psychological Operations is to alter the behavior of foreign populations in a manner consistent with United States diplomatic, national security and foreign policy objectives. A Psychological Operations Specialist is an information and media specialist who can assess the information needs of a target population and develop and deliver the right message at the right time and place to create the intended result.

As a member of the Army Special Operations community, the Psychological Operations Specialist is primarily responsible for the analysis, development and distribution of information used for information and psychological effect.

Some of your duties as a Psychological Operations Specialist may include:

  • Research and analyze methods of influencing foreign population from a variety of information sources.
  • Develop marketing and media products that includes handbills, trifolds, brochures, leaflets, posters, television commercials, web postings and/or radio scripts.
  • Operate and maintain Psychological Operations equipment such as ground tactical vehicles and shelter systems, loudspeaker systems, state of the art computer, analog and digital recording and playback devices and communication systems.
  • Disseminate products that include the development, production and broadcasting of relevant information via television, radio, internet and newspaper media.
  • Travel to overseas locations in peace, crisis and conflict to assist U.S. and foreign governments, militaries and civilian populations.


Job training for a Psychological Operations Specialist requires nine weeks of Basic Combat Training, where you'll learn basic Soldiering skills, and 14 weeks of Advanced Individual Training (AIT) where you'll learn the skills of a Psychological Operations specialist.

For active-duty Soldiers, graduation from AIT will be followed by three weeks of Airborne training and then four to six months of Language training. For Reserve PSYOP Specialists, airborne and language training are not required for qualification.

Some of the skills you'll learn are:

  • Acquiring analytical skills and ability to conduct research using a variety of methods to include standard library research, use of web browsers and other search engines and services.
  • Developing, producing, and disseminating relevant messages and media products.
  • Obtaining computer skills that include graphic design and innovative methods of information dissemination
  • Training with equipment to include vehicles, weapon systems and other PSYOP unique systems
  • Preparing cultural studies and target analysis reports.
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Helpful Skills

Helpful attributes include:
  • An aptitude for college-level study in the social sciences
  • An interest in foreign countries, cultures and languages
  • An interest in reading, Web and library research
  • An interest in sales, advertising and marketing
  • An ability to analyze and organize information
  • An ability to think creatively and speak and write clearly
  • An ability to build rapport and be comfortable in unfamiliar surroundings
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Advanced Responsibilities

Advanced level Psychological Operations Specialists provides guidance, supervises and trains other Soldiers within the same discipline. As an advanced level Psychological Operations Specialist, you may be involved in:
  • Coordinate resource requirements
  • Assist in the formulation of planning efforts and coordination of PSYOP activities with other services, agencies or organizations, both military and civilian
  • Assist in the determination of the appropriate mix of media and methods of disseminating information
  • Maintain situational awareness in order to select the appropriate audience to influence and determine the most critical information required for dissemination
  • Identify accessibilities, vulnerabilities and susceptibilities of the intended foreign audience
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Related Civilian Jobs

The skills you'll learn as a Psychological Operations Specialist may help prepare you for a future with the Department of Defense, State, other federal government agencies or related fields in the commercial industry. The training you receive in researching, analyzing, documenting, developing and distributing information may prepare you for other fields, such as public relations, sales, marketing and advertising.

Because of the time you will spend studying foreign cultures and social systems, you might be interested in a future career in the diplomatic service or as an anthropologist, journalist, social scientist, statistician, market analyst, advertising consultant, or sales manager.


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