Defense Information School

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Defense Information School
DINFOS Seal.png
DINFOS 2.jpg
Agency overview
Formed January 1946 (1946-01)
Headquarters Fort George G. Meade, Maryland,  United States of America
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Motto "Strength Through Truth"
Agency executive
  • Colonel Martin Downie, Commandant
Parent agency Defense Media Activity

The Defense Information School, or DINFOS, is a United States Department of Defense (DoD) school located at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland. DINFOS fulfills the Department of Defense's need for an internal corps of professional journalists, broadcasters, and public affairs professionals.[1] Members from all branches of the U.S. military, DoD civilians and international military personnel attend DINFOS for training in public affairs, print journalism, photojournalism, photography, television and radio broadcasting, lithography, equipment maintenance and various forms of multimedia. The American Council on Education recommends college credit for most DINFOS courses.[2]


The Army Information School was founded in 1946 at Carlisle Barracks in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Other branches of the military merged with the Army Information School in 1948 to form the Armed Forces Information School at Fort Slocum, New York. The joint service venture disbanded due to poor enrollment until 1964, when Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Arthur Sylvester chartered DINFOS. DINFOS moved to Fort Benjamin Harrison, just outside Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1965 where it remained until its 1995 move to Fort George G. Meade, Maryland.


Leadership courses

The Public Affairs Leadership Department is one of four departments in DINFOS.

The Public Affairs Leadership Department offers the Qualification Course (PAQC), the Joint Expeditionary Course (JEPAC), the Joint Intermediate Course (JIPAC), and the Joint Senior Course (JSPAC). Courses are offered to military officers, senior enlisted personnel, Department of Defense civilians, and members of coalition partners from around the world who are preparing for or already in billets of public affairs leadership.

The Public Affairs Qualification Course (PAQC) provides those who are new to the public affairs field the fundamentals of public affairs to include military-media relations, the different mediums used to facilitate the flow of accurate and timely information, and how to conduct public affairs operations in support of the command's mission. In addition, the students are taught the fundamentals of news, journalism, and how to write and copy-edit in accordance with the Associated Press (AP) Styleguide.

The Public Affairs Expeditionary Course is a ten-day, intensive follow-on course to PAQC. Students are expected to have a basic working knowledge and experience in PA as the course is focused more on the application of PA skills in a field environment.

Journalism courses

Journalism classes feature basic writing skills and include a headline style known at the school as "headline-ese", a total style for writing and developing headlines. Students are taught a variety of writing styles and formats such as news, sports and feature writing.

Photojournalism courses focus on composition, exposure, and general camera operation skills. Flash photography is introduced in the basic photography course. Students learn advanced photo-editing, composition and other techniques not taught in basic photojournalism classes.

For military print journalists, DINFOS offers the 12-week Basic Public Affairs Specialist Course (BPASC), a 26-week online BPASC and three-week Editors' Course. U.S. Army students are awarded the Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) designator of 46Q, and U.S. Marine Corps students are awarded the MOS 4341 Combat Correspondent.

For military Broadcast journalists, DINFOS offers the Broadcast Communication Specialist Course. Broadcasters begin by attending several weeks of BWAS - Basic Writing and Announcing Skills. If the class requirements are met, students may continue into Radio and Television broadcasting classes. U.S. Army students are awarded the MOS designator of 46R.

Students in all courses hail from all branches of the U.S. military and reserve as well as International military students.

Equipment maintenance courses

The Basic Television Equipment Maintenance (BTVEM) course includes apprentice level instruction in the repair of all types of studio and transmission equipment. Students also learn how to maintain the AVID non-linear digital editing systems. The U.S. Army MOS 25R and the Air Force AFSC 2E134 is awarded upon completion. Since December 2006 Air Force class graduated, DINFOS no longer trains Air Force personnel in the BTVEM course.

The Broadcast Radio and Television Systems Maintenance course is an advanced level course where students learn the ins and outs of American Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS) engineering standards and practices.

Both maintenance courses are nationally accredited by the Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE). Upon completion of either course with an average GPA of at least 85%, students are certified by the SBE as broadcast technologists (CBT).

Notable alumni


  1. "DINFOS History" Defense Information School. Retrieved 2014 Jan. 22.
  2. "ACE Military Guide" American Council on Education. Retrieved 2014 Jan. 22.
  3. "WCSU Faculty" Western Connecticut State University. Retrieved 2014 Jan. 22
  4. "Play’s Gay Theme Reflects Background of Creator" Jewish Journal. 2006 Aug. 10. Retrieved 2014 Jul. 5.
  5. "About Chas Henry" Retrieved 2014 Jul. 5
  6. "LouAnne Johnson Biography" Retrieved 2014 Jul. 5.
  7. "Defense Information School Holds Inaugural Hall of Fame Induction" United States Army. 2013 Mar. 26. Retrieved 2014 Jul. 5
  8. "Rod Simmons Biography" IMDb. Retrieved 2014 Jul. 5
  9. "A Soldier's Peace" Retrieved 2014 Jan. 22
  10. "James E. Whaley" Corporate Communication International. Retrieved 2014 Jan. 22
  11. "Hall of Fame induction ceremony held" Fort Meade SoundOff. 2013 Mar. 21. Retrieved 2014 Jul. 5.
  12. "DINFOS graduates reflect on their careers in panel discussion" Ft. Meade SoundOff. Retrieved 2014 Nov. 18

External links