Staff Sgt. Elvis Umanzor
4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division Public Affairs
LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – As Afghan National Security Forces plan and lead security operations, they are also telling their own story. Afghan National Army Capt. Ahmad Hamid Kohistani, the deputy public affairs officer for the 4th Infantry Brigade, 203rd Corps, learns to edit videos during training conducted by U.S. Army Sgt. Bob Yarbrough, the broadcast journalist with the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division.
As Afghan National Security Forces plan and lead security operations, they are also telling their own story.
Afghan National Army Capt. Ahmad Hamid Kohistani, the deputy public affairs officer for the 4th Infantry Brigade, 203rd Corps, is responsible for informing the public of ANA operations and coordinates civilian media to cover events in the Logar and Wardak Provinces of eastern Afghanistan.
As a child, Hamid, a native of Kapisa Province, eastern Afghanistan, said he hoped Afghanistan would become a peaceful country so he could get an education, like his father who was a doctor.
“When I was a kid, I didn’t have any hope for the future,” he said. “There was fighting and civil war.”
His father was killed when he was a baby. Being the youngest of five brothers, his brothers encouraged him to go to school and get an education. They told him they were ready to take on any financial hardship to support his success, he said.
After high school, Hamid said he took a university acceptance test where he did well. He chose to study journalism, something he had a little interest in.
During his studies his interest and passion for the field grew. He found out the ANA needed public affairs officers and decided to join the army, fulfilling a desire he had before attending college.
Serving in the Army for the past three years, Hamed said his favorite part of his job is to conduct interviews, because he enjoys meeting interesting people, like brave soldiers and citizens who want to voice their thoughts.
Hamid, 27, said he would like to work in radio and television, but it’s a medium the ANA is still working to develop. He still doesn’t miss an opportunity to sharpen his skills by learning to edit videos during training conducted by U.S. Army Sgt. Bob Yarbrough, the broadcast journalist with the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division.
“This video training should help the 4th Brigade PAO (Public Affairs Office) keep their editing skills sharp, and will help them tell the ANA story with video, which is definitely very effective,” said Yarbrough, a Holly, Mich., native.
Even with some infrastructure challenges, the ANA are prepared to do their job. They release effective messages and are very open and friendly to civilian media, Yarbrough added.
Hamid highlighted the importance as a military public affairs officer to inform audiences across the country of operations. He said the media have the ability to collapse a government or elect someone to power.
He said he enjoys serving in the army and plans to retire one day and would like to be a television reporter.
Though Hamid serves in the military, he said he doesn’t like fighting. “All Afghans have one wish, that we have a peaceful country and a stable government,” he said.
“I hope like other countries, we can also live in peace.”