Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Call Me Dave

Call Me Dave

May 12, 2016

JMS public relations senior and Navy Reservist Carlos Gomez was sitting in his Applied Research in Public Relations class when he heard a familiar, broadcast-sounding voice behind him.

Gomez last heard that voice four years ago aboard the USS George Washington in Japan, but he hadn’t forgotten it. The voice belonged to David Hecht, the public affairs officer with whom Gomez served while on active duty aboard the USS Washington.

Carlos Gomez and David Hecht standing back to back Gomez said out of respect he addressed his former superior that day in class as “Sir,” but Hecht responded with three words Gomez didn’t expect: “Call me Dave.”

Gomez and Hecht aren’t spending their days working together in the military anymore, but instead are developing their public relations expertise in the School of Journalism & Media Studies’ nationally renowned public relations program. Gomez is seeking his bachelor’s in journalism with an emphasis in public relations and Hecht is seeking his master’s in mass communication and media studies with the JMS military public affairs graduate program.

Gomez served in the Navy for approximately eight years and is now a Navy Reservist. While on active duty, Gomez was a mass communications specialist, supporting the work of PAOs like Hecht by writing press releases, producing news packages and taking photos. While he liked reporting, he says he preferred the public relations aspects of his job.

Gomez plans to develop a career in public relations working for a major hip-hop record label. He continues to serve in the Navy as a Reservist.

Before becoming a Navy public affairs officer, Hecht was an Emmy award-winning journalist, working 15 years as a broadcast news anchor and reporter. He joined the Navy Reserve while working as a journalist and first came to San Diego in 2006 for a year to work as PAO by day and freelance reporter by night. At the end of his year, Hecht was offered a permanent active duty position with the Navy as a PAO and he proudly accepted.

Hecht is now in the 10-month, intensive PAO program in JMS, which he says has been “a humbling and eye-opening experience.”

“I am excited and rejuvenated about this field,” Hecht said.

The content within this article has been edited by Lizbeth Persons.

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