Getting the word back home has never been easier

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By Senior Airman Jette Carr, Air Force News Service / Published February 27, 2014


The Joint Hometown News Service launched a new online submission system Feb. 17, making it easier for service members and Department of Defense civilians to publicize achievements such as promotions and decorations, to their local media outlets.

The new hometown news release submission program is now fully digitized, and includes a feature that provides the service member with a unique link to show their achievements via social media.

“This new system is really a quantum leap forward for the Joint Hometown News Service,” said Michael Tolzmann, the chief of the print operation division with the JHNS. “We’ve gone from the 1980s, where paper and the U.S. postal system were the means to acquire information, to an online system that is modern, easy to use and up to date, with real-time feedback.”

The new system will allow the JHNS team to release newly-submitted stories to the hometown newspapers the same day or within a week, depending on the number of submissions, Tolzmann said.

To fill out a hometown news release, visit After submission to the news outlets, individual service members can expect to receive an email with information on which publications the news release was sent to and links to the published story.

Master Sgt. Brett Fincher, the NCO in charge of software development for DMA, worked closely with the JHNS for two years to build the simplistic processing system.

Rick Blackburn, the director of the Joint Hometown News Service, hopes the new interface will allow individuals easier access and better use of the program.

“The hometown news release makes every member of the Air Force a spokesman for their service and secondly, it gives people back home an idea of what their Air Force is doing and the accomplishments of the hometown person who’s involved,” Blackburn said.

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