What is your proudest moment as a protocol officer? My proudest moment so far was wrapping up the 2012 Chiefs of Defense (CHOD) Conference in Sydney, Australia. It was a huge conference with over 30 VIPs, their spouses, and their staffs in attendance. We executed the conference flawlessly, thanks to the outstanding working relationship we had with the Australian CHOD team, and of course, an excellent protocol team! Both ADM Locklear (Commander, U.S. Pacific Command) and GEN Hurley (Chief of Australia’s Defense Forces) were very pleased, and I was very proud to know that I contributed so much to that effort!
Why do you love protocol? I love protocol because I am naturally inclined to take care of others, so it suits my personality perfectly. To me, my job is kind of like a “Distraction Removal” service. If I can take care of my DV by removing most or all of the “distractions”, then they don’t have to worry about those details; they can just focus on engaging with our leadership, which in turn reflects positively on our leaders, our command, and our country.
Why should others love protocol? I think others should love protocol because protocol is a fast-paced, challenging, immensely rewarding career field. There is rarely a dull moment, you meets lots of interesting people, and sometimes you even get to travel…what’s not to love about that?
What do you wish you would have known when you were a “newbie”? For me, there are 3 things I wish I had known as a newbie: 1: Ask lots of questions. 2: Trust, but verify. 3: Always know who “they” is. (When I’m asked a question and I respond with “they said…” I am asked who “they” is 90% of the time. ALWAYS know who “they” is)!
Jason A. Seales
Protocol Officer, U.S. Pacific Command Department of Defense