Lessons Learned from DINFOS

Many of the 27,000 personnel involved with Department of Defense Public Affairs (Public Relations, journalism, and communications) are trained at the Defense Information School (DINFOS) at Fort Meade, Maryland.

Leaders (officers, Senior noncommissioned officers, and DOD civilians) attend the Public Affairs Qualification Course.  The curriculum is outstanding and prepares graduates who are “capable of performing the basic duties of DOD military public affairs practitioners.” 

Here is a quick run-down of things I’ve learned at DINFOS:

  • DOD Principle of Information:  Maximum disclosure, minimum delay
  • The military uses AP style for internal journalism publications
  • If you are media seeking photos, videos, or military related news products go to the DVIDS page
  • Motto:  Strength through Truth
  • On writing:  “You know you’re finished [writing] not whey you don’t have more words to add, but when you have no more words to subtract.” -J. Hollewarth
  • The DOD is increasing engagement in Online and social media
  • Effective response=Bridge + Command message
  • The person who comes out with the information first gets to “characterize” it

More links: DINFOS Wikipedia page, DOD Public Affairs homepage, Army public affairs intern program, Biography of Robert T. Hastings, Jr. Asst. SecDef for Public Affairs, DINFOS graduate and former instructor, DINFOS history

AP Story:  “Over the past two years, the number of public affairs officers trained by the Defense Information School has grown by 24 percent to almost 3,500.”

Recent stories about DOD communications efforts:  here, here, and here

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3 Responses to Lessons Learned from DINFOS

  1. Jenny says:

    Thanks for the recap Myles. I wish the rest of the government would use AP style for their publications . . . unfortunately we’re stuck with GPO. Good luck!

  2. bruce bender says:

    another great resource for military photos, video and graphics is http://www.defenseimagery.mil

  3. Najmah says:

    Hey Myles, good stuff. I will use the “on writing” lesson a lot in the coming months.

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