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Northwest Guardian

Published: 02:17PM February 7th, 2013

When we say “we want to hear from you,” we mean it.

It’s not an idle cliche. It’s a requirement.

The Army public affairs regulation, AR 360-1, says in Chapter 13 that a primary function of official publications is to “act as tools for two-way communication.”

The Northwest Guardian is proud of its status as the authorized JBLM newspaper. As such we bear the responsibility to ensure the military audience hears important command information messages. It would not be an overstatement to say the Guardian has never before had so many commands transmitting so many messages of such importance as we have today.

We do our best to convey the intent and objectives of DOD, the departments of the Air Force and Army, FORSCOM, IMCOM, I Corps, 7th Infantry Division and a small host of subordinate units, as well as many others doing work critical to our Airmen, Soldiers, civilians, families and retirees.

It’s especially important for our readers to stay current in times of transition and evolution — times like these, for example.

Equally important to all that downward communication, however, is ensuring we respond to higher headquarters with your reactions to issues — reactions from the business end of all that planning and policymaking.

For years, the way the Guardian has sent your feedback up and out was through a man-on-the-street-style section called “Street Talk.” We sent intrepid military reporters out to ambush you as you went about your business.

But we decided it was time to play fair and give you some warning. We have changed the name of that two-way mechanism to “Straight Talk” and put it on the JBLM PAO Facebook page.

We started the new feature this week with no notice and got hundreds of hits. Our plan is to pick the most thought-provoking responses and put them weekly on A4. You can see the results on the right side of this page. We’re already seeing more thoughtful responses.

We’ll ask questions of high importance and others about less lofty matters — to foster a sense of community, or even have a bit of fun. So join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jblmpao. Be sure to mention your rank and unit. Take a minute to share your thoughts on the “Straight Talk” question of the week.