More than 60 service members were recognized as the newest members of the Army's Psychological Operations regiment during a Psychological Operations Qualification Course graduation ceremony July 20 on Fort Bragg.
The course, conducted at the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, including U.S. Army officers and noncommissioned officers, as well as select officers and NCOs from the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, and allied natiions such as Brazil, Bulgaria and Moldova.
"These graduates stand ready to join the Military Information Support Operations Command or return to their respective joint and allied commands," said Lt. Col. Brinton H. Rosenberry during the ceremony. Rosenberry is the commander of 5th Battalion, 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne), which manages the course. "They're going to synchronize plans and execute inform-and-influence activities across the range of military operations."
The 44-week-long qualification course includes language and cultural training for specific world regions, familiarization with government capabilities and polciies, and courses in the conception, development, design, production, approval, distribution and evaluation of military-information-support products.
"Your knowledge adn skills have operational, joint and strategic implications that you will soon experience," Rosenberry told the graduates. "Applied across our various mission-sets and activities, the power you possess is enduring, and the education you just received is cutting-edge."
Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Michael W. Stein, the event's guest speaker, was inducted as a distinguished member of the Psychological Operations regiment during the ceremony. Prior to his retirement in 2004, Stein served as the command sergeant major for the 1st, 5th and 9th Psychological Operations Battalions (Airborne) at Fort Bragg. He participated many miltiary contingencies during his 24-year career, serving in various capacities in Grenada, Honduras, Panama, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, Bosnia, Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Japan and Korea.
"You've come a long way," Stein told the graduates. "Phrases like 'assessing vulnerabilities and susceptibilies' and 'selection appropriate counter-propaganda measures' are now a working part of your vocabulary. What you read in newspaper articles and see in television commercials will never again regard as mere entertainment or opinion; all these things are done for a purpose, and you're now educated on how these purposes are realized."
Stein advised the newest members of his regiment to remain phyically and mentally to serve their country, and to never stop learning and rely on the experienced members of their new units for information and guidance.
"There will be many times where the difference between mission-success and mission-failure will hinge on your brute ability to simply learn faster than anybody else," Stein said. "Rembmer always that the outcome of your work has an impact beyond your immediate circumstance.