Organizing to create a unique field experience

Through the Warrior to Citizen Campaign, several University of Minnesota student journalists will be embedded with Minnesota National Guard soldiers during annual training exercises this summer. M16.jpg

Like real embedded journalists, the students will go into the field each day, identify story ideas and conduct interviews, then write, produce and file their work.

The "embed" was the brainchild of Lt. John Hobot, an Iraq War veteran and public affairs officer with the Minnesota National Guard. Lt. Hobot saw firsthand how difficult it was to be exposed to media for the first time during battle and felt soldiers could benefit from media training.

This week, photo journalism students Heather Rudloff and Teagan Higley are at Camp Ripley in north central Minnesota. Teagan is shown above with First Sergeant Juan Esquivel, who is preparing to fire an M16. Photo: Heather Rudloff

The "embed" provides an example of the power of relationships - in this case, between the Center for Democracy and Citizenship, University of Minnesota students, and the Minnesota National Guard - which are vital to any organizing effort. It is also an example of students creating opportunities for themselves to develop a variety of skills that will serve them as professionals and citizens.

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Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs