VILSECK, GERMANY — Armed Forces Network (AFN) Europe, the Europe branch of the well-known and extremely popular military television network, broke into this year's Emmys with a nomination for best zulu time series and best aggregator of other Emmy-winning series. The network joined the likes of Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, and Homeland, all of which earned their own nominations for best drama series, and all of which directly contributed to AFN's nomination.
This marks the first time an entire network has been nominated for an Emmy, and the first time a nomination has been given for the rebroadcasting of other networks' series.
"We are absolutely elated," says Army Staff Sgt. and AFN Europe reporter Juan Ibarra, who reports for In the Trench and considers the nomination a "reminder of the countless service men and women who work hard at keeping you connected," a phrase that is also the network's motto and gets repeated roughly 2700 times throughout the day.
"We work hard to bring service members what is often times the only English-speaking television program in their area, and we do it with all original segments to fill the original network's advertising space."
"And the soldiers forced to watch it in the mess halls really love it," he added.
AFN Europe, which rebroadcasts major sporting events, as well as hit television and cable shows, was also recognized for its original segments, such as State Quiz and This Moment in Military History. Other short segments covering sexual harassment, bullying, and motorcycle safety also pushed AFN Europe into the Emmy spotlight.
"We believe service members deserve to be recognized not only for the hard work they do on the frontlines, but also for the hard work they do on Frontline News," says a quote at the bottom of the Emmy.com contact page. "Armed Forces Network truly is a work of art, and something all soldiers should be proud of."
In recognition of AFN Europe staff and the service members deployed within AFN Europe's viewing area, AFN Europe has scheduled the broadcast of the 2013 Emmys just five hours after the awards take place, instead of the typical 12 hours.
The award overshadows a major accomplishment of AFN's sister network, The Pentagon Channel, which recently celebrated its 100th viewer.