By Nathan Van Schaik (USAG Schweinfurt)November 16, 2010
SCHWEINFURT, Germany - The military is notorious for rehashing outdated videos and tired old commercials, but luckily there are people like Lothar Rueckert around to breathe life into them.
Recently, Mr. Rueckert and members of the Schweinfurt community, along with a professional filming crew, coordinated efforts to re-film a 15-year-old version of the garrison's environmental management program video.
Lothar Rueckert, the lone environmental specialist here on the garrison, is a burly man. His large frame and grizzled beard complement a thick Bavarian accent. He wears blue jeans with his leather vest and is prone slipping into his native German tongue and slapping friends on the back in jest. But his soft disposition and passion for the environment transcend his brawny, menacing look.
"He's easy going," said Staff Sgt. Nathan Moore, who played the film's lead role as narrator. "He really cares about the environment and definitely loves his job."
Mr. Rueckert has worked for the garrison for 34 years. His job is to manage the environmental program. "I'm the primary advisor for the command on environmental concerns and issues," he said. "I also advise the units and organizations on environmental laws, requirements, updates and changes."
A zeal for the environment coupled with the drive to keep the community environmentally conscious led him to remake a movie he had helped launch 15 years ago. "I contacted my conservation support contractor and I told them that I would like to update it to the current standard, the current vision," he said. He then contacted a professional firm, Docuvista, who produced it.
"We determined the content of the film, what I wanted to put out. I wanted to present environmental compliance, prevention, the conservation pillar, restoration, sustainability-to cover the entire program," Mr. Rueckert said.
Mr. Rueckert didn't receive guidance or orders to make a film. What makes the video notable is that no Army regulations mandate it. No check in the box here.
"It's not a requirement, but it makes the awareness program more visible," he said.
Many members from the Schweinfurt community participated or performed in the making of the film. Production of the movie drew family members, volunteers from the Free Cycle Center, employees from the directorate of public works and Soldiers from the training facility.