By Lisa R. RhodesJanuary 14, 2010
From the artistry of a multimedia illustrator to the commanding voice of a radio newscaster, Lt. Gen. Mark P. Hertling said he was impressed with the broad training offered at the Defense Information School.
Hertling, Deputy Commanding General for Initial Military Training, visited DINFOS Friday. The general ran with the student company at the morning physical training session and spent the remainder of the day here.
"This is one of the places that I think we have some great work going on," he said. "It's pretty fascinating after seeing the various aspects of what happens and what builds the public affairs specialist."
In addition to training Soldiers and Army civilian leaders, TRADOC designs, develops and integrates capabilities, concepts and doctrine in order to build a campaign-capable, expeditionary Army.
Hertling, who was promoted in September, visited DINFOS as part of an effort to become familiar with methods for basic training, advanced individual training and leadership development at Army installations, particularly those in the northeast region.
Before a 45-minute tour of the school, Hertling met with Col. Gary L. Keck, the commandant of DINFOS, for a command briefing. Keck said the two men discussed the expansion of DINFOS in the spring and the school's commitment to meet the training needs of the Army and all service branches.
"He seemed very interested in learning how training is conducted and how well it is received by the Soldiers," Keck said of Hertling. "He seemed very impressed with the variety of skills that service members learn at DINFOS."
During the tour, Hertling met faculty and students in both a DINFOS multimedia illustrator course and public affairs qualification course. The lieutenant general also met Charles Brown, chief of the school's International Military Student Office; sat in on a live radio show; and visited a television broadcast studio.
Hertling said quality training comes as a result of great instructors who can motivate students and students who are passionate about their chosen career.
"You can see the spark in the eye of every one of the students," Hertling said. "They're enjoying what they do. They're learning something new. They are about to go into an organization where they can contribute even as a private or a sergeant."
Such dedication is crucial in the war on terror, Hertling said, because public affairs and community-relations training are critical to the effort to combat the nation's enemies.
"When some of these young Soldiers put a product out online ... or command information to Soldiers, it can quickly be taken by the enemy to be used against us," he said. "So these young Soldiers have to understand that their specialty is important. They have to understand the bigger picture."
Keck said Hertling's visit was important to the DINFOS faculty and students because it helped them to understand the importance that Army leadership places on their training.
"I have no doubt that the staff and students who were able to speak with him could feel that interest and his concern for their overall educational experience," Keck said.