Ukrainian ArmyFM and Military TV update – Spirit of America and the Civil–Military Partnership in Action
I recently returned from Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, where I continued Spirit of America’s (SoA) ongoing support for US diplomats working alongside Ukrainian Army colleagues at ArmyFM and Ukrainian Military TV. Spirit of America’s supporters provided the initial investment to launch the ArmyFM operation that now serves as a primary morale-boosting source of information and entertainment for Ukrainian troops fighting to defend freedom and national sovereignty on Ukraine’s frontlines in Eastern Ukraine. The ArmyFM and Ukrainian Military TV staffs were eager to report that their situation has never been better. Their viewer and listenership are up, and they are receiving more and more positive feedback from the troops and civilians on the frontlines whom they work to serve. Through their internet streaming broadcast (click here to listen), ArmyFM is also able to serve as a much-welcomed voice of Kyiv to Ukrainians living in the war-torn Donbas region (known amongst Ukrainian soldiers as the Joint Forces Operations area, or JFO). Ukrainian military TV hosts make their content available to the world via the internet as well (click here to watch). ArmyFM’s success has been dizzying. As a result, SoA’s partners in the US Department of State (DoS) identified the need for the best expert advice possible to assist in finalizing development and expansion plans for the station. As always, SoA was ready to answer the call. To answer this call, we tapped into the assistance of the Gerson Lerman Group (GLG). GLG is a New York based platform for professional learning with a network of experts who provide independent consulting services to business professionals around the world. GLG generously provides their services pro-bono to SoA as part of an ongoing cooperative partnership. The SoA-GLG relationship embodies the best of the US civil-military partnership: applying the most valuable knowledge and skills of the private sector to enable the success of our diplomats and troops in their work on behalf of our nation abroad. After identifying the key challenges faced by the ArmyFM and Ukrainian Military TV crews and their USG partners to our GLG partners, the firm connected us with one of America’s top media executives, Tom Schurr, who agreed to lend his vast experience with the knowledge to ensure our partner’s continued mission success. Having worked his way from the bottom to the top of the American radio industry, Tom couldn’t have been a more perfect fit for the job. Over the course of a week, Tom examined every aspect of ArmyFM and Ukrainian Military TV operations. He was impressed at the devotion and industriousness of the staff, and was able to provide invaluable experience-based counsel on how our Ukrainian friends could increase efficiency, expand their audience, and better serve the entertainment and information needs of the soldiers on the front lines. The professionals of ArmyFM and Ukrainian Military TV were grateful recipients of the advice, positively noting Tom’s wisdom, and was remarkable in potential impact as well as simplicity of application. By the end of the week, we all learned a lot. I am proud to have ArmyFM and Ukrainian Military TV as our partner and to provide a connection to experts like Tom Schurr as SoA continues to offer essential support to USG partners and their Ukrainian colleagues working to advance the goal of a secure, free, and independent Ukraine. Stay tuned as for more updates on SoA’s unique and invaluable work with ArmyFM and Ukrainian Military TV and our ongoing partnership with GLG and seasoned media expert and American patriot Tom Schurr. Until next time, Nick Israel
Nick served on active duty with the US Army for more than 8 years. He finished his active duty time with the 4th PYSOP Group (Airborne), headquartered at Fort Bragg, NC.