Fort Campbell launches new video series to empower workforce

By Ethan Steinquest, Fort Campbell CourierDecember 7, 2021

Jerry Woller, lead photographer, Fort Campbell Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security, films a microlearning video with Anthony Hilderbrand, district chief of fire prevention, Fort Campbell Fire and Emergency Services. DPTMS plans to release at least one microlearning video per month, each one covering the key points of a different professional development topic in two to four minutes.
Jerry Woller, lead photographer, Fort Campbell Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security, films a microlearning video with Anthony Hilderbrand, district chief of fire prevention, Fort Campbell Fire and Emergency Services. DPTMS plans to release at least one microlearning video per month, each one covering the key points of a different professional development topic in two to four minutes. (Photo Credit: Ethan Steinquest) VIEW ORIGINAL

Fort Campbell’s workforce development program is a model for U.S. Army Installation Management Command when it comes to building first-class civilian employees, and the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security is constantly innovating to further that mission.

DPTMS’s latest initiative is a series of microlearning videos aimed at providing two-minute bursts of professional development to employees or supervisors struggling to find time for in-person training.

“We believe our microlearning videos can meet some of the development needs of our garrison workforce because we can emphasize a specific learning objective in a short amount of time,” said Leslie Herlick, training program coordinator, Training Integration Branch, DPTMS. “We can deliver meaningful, thought-provoking information quickly – like a Monster energy drink for the mind.”

The videos began publishing on DPTMS Training Integration Branch’s YouTube channel this month, with plans to share them on platforms including Facebook, email and the Civilian Employee One Stop Shop.

Employees and supervisors from across the garrison will narrate each installment, and DPTMS’s goal is to upload at least one video a month so viewers have several topics to choose from.

“This allows employees to take ownership of what they want to learn and not just go through mandatory training,” Herlick said. “There are links to books or resources for them if they want to engage further in a topic, and ultimately the goal is to have a more professional civilian workforce.”

While the two-minute format ensures the videos are accessible for everyone, Herlick said it was important to include resources for those who connect with a particular topic.

For example, an upcoming video in the series is geared toward newly promoted supervisors and inspired by Chase Sargent’s “From Buddy to Boss: Effective Fire Service Leadership.” Viewers from any organization or industry can gain insight from watching the video, but firefighters may be more interested in reading the book.

“This is something I’m still dealing with even a year after being promoted: still having friends, but trying to figure out how to go from that relationship to being their boss,” said the video’s host Anthony Hilderbrand, district chief of fire prevention, Fort Campbell Fire and Emergency Services. “Being able to make that transition not only helps you but the employee as well, because you’re not just saying, ‘I’m the boss, do what I say.’ The literature on that shows how toxic that can be, but being able to transition into being a boss and an effective leader can do wonders.”

Hilderbrand previously worked as a fire inspector alongside three employees he now directly supervises. He said the opportunity to help others navigate similar situations was important to him.

“I think the participation from people across the garrison is what makes the videos so well-received,” said Jerry Woller, lead photographer, DPTMS. “The subject matter experts are the ones speaking, so they’re more passionate about it and that comes across on camera.”

Each video’s target audience depends on the subject matter expert and their chosen topic, but Herlick said the larger microlearning project was based on a training needs assessment conducted over the summer.

“We learned what employees and supervisors said they wanted and needed, and we’re taking the topics that were the most requested and talked about,” she said. “All the ideas don’t necessarily have to come from us. We look to professionals around the garrison to have these great ideas, and we recruit them to help us in this endeavor.”

By offering microlearning videos alongside in-person classes and other resources, DPTMS aims to continue investing in the installation’s world-class, adaptive, responsive and mission-ready civilian workforce.

“Our workforce development program here is a model for IMCOM, so we don’t want to just sit back,” Herlick said. “We want to keep propelling it forward and come up with new ideas to make our program stronger, and this is one of those ways to do that.