Commanders, if you ever have trouble understanding what your PAO does, just realize they have to deal with can’t-win stories like this:

A Marine sergeant is set to be arraigned Thursday in San Diego County Superior Court on a felony charge of animal abuse for allegedly hurling a kitten at a wall, authorities said.

Fernando Pacheco, 27, is assigned to administrative duties at the Marine Corps’ San Diego boot camp. The kitten was badly injured, but survived after extensive medical treatment, officials said.

The case was brought to the district attorney by the San Diego Humane Society. The 4-month-old kitten named Cullen allegedly suffered a broken leg, head trauma, and bloody eyes and a bloody nose.

The incident allegedly occurred off-base while Pacheco was not on duty. Still, a Marine Corps spokesman said the Marines will cooperate with authorities in the case.

“If these allegations are true, they are a violation of our core values of ‘honor, courage and commitment,’ ” the spokesman said.

What’s your PAO’s nightmare?

(If you don’t know CDR Brown (He’s a perfect example of a top-notch PAO), start following him.)


Posted by Defense Springboard in Marine Corps, Navy
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  • Benjamin Walthrop

    I guess my PAO nightmare would be a “super-empowered new media information maven” taking what would historically be handled as a local story (if that) and taking it national.


  • Ha! Nicely done…Well, thanks to the AP Wire, the cat was already well out of the bag on this story–

    Ran at 2030 Eastern yesterday.

  • Byron

    “super-empowered new media information maven”. Who might you be thinking of, Ben?

  • Benjamin Walthrop


    Thanks for the compliment, the response with a sense of humor, and a well argued rebuttal.

    There have been a couple of notable examples recently of that very phenomenon without assuming that I’m referring to the presently featured article (although if I’m honest it was actually a snarky shot at a serious subject).

    “Super-empowered” individuals with access to the internet really can have an impact, and that’s something all PAOs should be thinking about, planning for, and probably actively engaging.


  • Ben–That quip cracked me up. So true…

    But jokes aside, I wish there was wider discussion on how PAOs might engage the super-empowered internet maven. I do think that they can be dealt with constructively, but we’d have to go back in time when there were a few big naval/military columnists out there. How were they fed and directed?

    Would love to know the examples you’re thinking of–feel free to contact me offline–email address is over at