Fort McCoy News January 09, 2015

JHNS tells the military story one troop at a time

BY THERESA R. FITZGERALD
Public Affairs Staff

"Telling the American military story — one service member at a time" is the mission of the Joint Hometown News Service (JHNS).

The JHNS program, in existence for more than 40 years, is used by all branches of the military to publicize military career achievements.

Photo for Hometown News Release article

Numerous occasions, such as promotions, awards and decorations, retirement, changes of command, and more, warrant a hometown news release.

At Fort McCoy, the Garrison Public Affairs Office (PAO) stewards hometown submissions for Fort McCoy military personnel.

Staff Sgt. John Roloson, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Army Garrison Fort McCoy, and Col. Audrey Lewis, Garrison Staff Judge Advocate, have recent experience with the program.

Roloson recently was promoted and submitted information about the achievement via the form on the program's website.

"Thanks to detailed information and (answers to) the frequently asked questions, (I found) the program was easy to use," he said. "It made navigating through the site a breeze."

The options of including a photo to accompany the news release and having the news release sent to multiple news outlets were other high points, he said.

"I love that I was able to share a photo with my Family," he said. "I had so many friends and Family members congratulate me, telling me they saw the short article in the newspaper."

Lewis used the hometown news program to communicate to her Family her recent achievement of receiving the Fort McCoy 2014 Excellence in Diversity Award.

"I was very impressed at how easy it was to submit a news release and to (request it be sent to) multiple locations without having to know the (names and addresses of) newspapers in the area," she said. "I felt good about completing the form, and it was rewarding."

The process of creating a hometown news release is straightforward.

Service members must use the JHNS website, https://jhns.release.dma.mil/public/standard.

Once online, open the Joint Hometown News form and fill in all the blanks. The PAO location field at the form is critical. It requires two entries: post/base and unit.

These fields offer selections from a filtered dropdown list of post/base and unit locations. Using the dropdown arrow, first select Fort McCoy as the post/base, then select either United States Army Garrison or Public Affairs Office for the unit. Either choice will result in the Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office receiving the form for review.

A maximum of four digital photos or files also may be uploaded to the form.

Accepted formats are PDF, DOC, BMP, GIF, JPEG and PNG; limit the total size of all attached files to 5 MB or less. Space is provided to write a caption of the event, and the caption must identify everyone in the photo.

PAO will review and edit the information if necessary. Approved forms will be forwarded to the JHNS. Rejected forms will be returned to the service member for corrections, and then be resubmitted.

Upon receipt, JHNS staff members verify the validity of the form and information. If approved, staff writers will prepare an article to be released to the service member's hometown media for publishing.

Publication of information is at the discretion of each media outlet.

For more information or to request assistance completing a hometown news release, call the Fort McCoy PAO at 608-388-2407.