Public schools and colleges have yearbooks but various branches of the military have what is known as a deployment book or Navy Cruise Books. These books are similar in nature to a school yearbook but rather than documenting the final years of middle or high school, they capture the highlights of a specific tour of duty. Deployment books have a long history in the armed forces and are created by soldiers for soldiers.
Some might find it odd or even a bit macabre to keep a pictorial history of deployment, particularly during wartime. However, there are several reasons to encourage your Public Affairs Office to be a part of this project. These include but are not limited to:
- Public- A deployment book can be an invaluable educational tool. Enhance the public’s understanding of specific missions and the day-to-day life of the average enlisted soldier.
- Veterans- As time goes by it is easy to lose touch with the people you served with, a pictorial history of your deployment can help you recall names and places many years after your service has ended.
- Family- It can be hard for families to understand or imagine what life is like during deployment. Having a deployment book can ease the pain of separation and give them an insider’s look at what their soldier’s life was like.
- History- a deployment book or Navy cruise book is not an official history, but it can still provide great imagery and information for specific associations or historians.
- Memory- in any action there can be losses and these books can provide a comforting memorial to those soldiers who paid the ultimate price for freedom.
Deployment books provide a visual and historical account of your time in service from the minute you first depart to the final homecoming and every exciting detail in between. In between the covers will be a recorded account of everything your unit experienced while deployed to foreign lands, giving you something to look back on in later years and providing your family a unique perspective on what you have been through.
As with yearbooks and Navy Cruise, books there are several steps that go into the creation of your memory book. Soldiers are commonly tasked with compiling information and choosing color schemes, layouts, designs and photographs, which are then sent to a deployment book publisher. Once it has been put together, your unit will receive a proof copy, which gives you an opportunity to look for errors and request any changes before final mass printing. It is important to note that most publishers will provide additional proof copies but there may be extra charges depending on the changes you have requested.