Eglin military, civilians can help spread the word

  • Published
  • By Jasmine DeNamur
  • Team Eglin Public Affairs
The history of Eglin Air Force Base spans nearly seven decades, and from the past to the present, each chapter has been and is kept alive in the community by the base's very own Airmen.

Team Eglin members have played crucial roles in promoting the Eglin story from highlighting programs through writing articles to assisting with tours as subject matter experts.

"Leading tours gives Airmen the opportunity to work on their public speaking skills. There is a multitude of information and "gee whiz" nuggets of knowledge about the base that are fun to share," said 1st Lt. Eric Zimmermann, Air Force Research Laboratory avionics control engineer.

Team Eglin Public Affairs receives several tour requests per month, ranging anywhere from single-person visits to large international organizations such as high schools, universities and military groups.

"I was a tour leader for an ROTC cadet group that came here for a week of exposure to the 'real' Air Force. I led the tour and tried to tell them as much as I possibly could about the developmental engineering career field," said Lieutenant Zimmermann.

"At the end of the day, it was rewarding because the detachment commander wrote my boss a nice thank you letter and enclosed one of their unit coins. Being able to mentor the cadets was the best part, even if it was only in a minor capacity - the coin was just icing on the cake," he said.

Another way Airmen tell Eglin's story is through writing news and feature articles on projects and programs unique to their line of work. Given the broad spectrum of missions performed here, coverage from members ensures the news spotlight spans beyond the exposure the PA office is able to provide.

"Being able to write stories for publication provides a great venue for us to talk about our programs and disseminate to a wide audience," said Marilyn Leggett, Civilian Health Promotion Service nurse coordinator. "We have had individuals who participated in our programs say they became more aware of our mission through reading our published articles."

Stories submitted to PA are reviewed for Air Force and Associated Press publishing guidelines and are then approved and posted on Eglin's official Web site at Not only do the voices of Eglin's very own members get heard, they get worldwide publicity. Articles posted online can also be pulled to be used for publication in local newspapers such as the Eglin Dispatch and Eglin Flyer and even national publications like the Air Force Times. The possibilities are endless.

"We appreciate having this opportunity to promote our programs through these vast venues. I, personally, wouldn't know how I could get the word out about our services if I didn't have this opportunity," said Ms. Leggett.

Writing articles may seem like a daunting task for some, but for Ms. Leggett, it is one well-worth the time and effort put forth for the product.

"All you need is to focus on the info you want to convey and what's important to get out to readers," she said. "I always get a quick turn-around and it doesn't take very long for my product to get published. What I find is the spirit of the piece always comes out once it is finalized." 

Telling Eglin's story can also be achieved on a personal level through the base Speakers Bureau Program. The program is designed to provide community organizations with members to speak on topics related to the Air Force mission and its careers.

The PA staff receives several requests throughout the year for speakers to take part in venues in the local community. Some of those venues include chamber of commerce events, university career days and local ceremonies honoring national holidays such as Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

"Volunteering is a way of giving back to the community. Whether it's out of a sense of duty, spiritually, personal development, or enriching the community; it's one of those things you get out what you put into it," said Lieutenant Zimmermann.

There are several base tours on the horizon. The office is scheduled to host the following groups within the next two months and is looking for Eglin volunteers to help support them: Maxwell Officer Training School Feb. 9, University of Michigan ROTC Feb. 24, and Southern Illinois ROTC March 10.

Members interested in supporting tours, writing articles or speaking at events may contact Team Eglin PA at (850) 882-3931.