How to train a communicator: Life at 336th TRS Det 2

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Elizabeth Davis
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

In the brisk early morning, military precision and camaraderie converge. As students from five military branches assemble, the sound of boots marching in unison echoes around. Outside a large brick and glass building, student leaders halt their formations with authoritative commands that cut through the air. There’s an instant rise in volume once the formations finally dismiss, as students meet up with friends and prepare for another day of training at the Defense Information School.

The Air Force students attending technical training at DINFOS on Ft. George G. Meade, Maryland, fall under Detachment 2 of the 336th Training Squadron, a geographically separated unit of Keesler’s 81st Training Group. The detachment is responsible for the development and administration of Air Force students who come to DINFOS for initial and advanced training in Public Affairs.

The mission of the schoolhouse is to serve as the Department of Defense’s educational institution for training agile military communicators and leaders who will compete and win in today’s complex and demanding information environment. Students are instructed in several disciplines including digital photography, video, graphic design, news and feature writing, community engagement, media engagement, strategic communication, and public speaking.

While learning two years’ worth of college-level material in six months, students are also expected to master another essential skillset – how to operate in a joint environment.

“Training in a joint environment at DINFOS reflects the operational needs of Public Affairs by providing Air Force students with a holistic understanding of inter-service collaboration and communication,” said Capt. Daniel Rubio, 336th TRS Det 2 commander. “In Public Affairs, effective communication that is digestible across all branches is paramount when disseminating information, shaping the Air Force story, and maintaining transparency with the public.”

Approximately 462 Airmen graduate from DINFOS every year. Their home away from home while in training, nicknamed “The Det”, focuses on creating a community and instilling skills in Airmanship, leadership, and professionalism. With a smaller staff than many other training units, the team operates with a commander, four Military Training Leaders and two command staff personnel.

As an Air Force detachment on an Army installation, being geographically separated from the home unit comes with challenges. The team stays one step ahead by working with their students to collaborate on immersive and innovative 6th generation learning environments.

“The key lies in networking and sharing knowledge and struggles collectively,” said Tech. Sgt. Charity Spearman, 336th TRS Det 2 MTL. “Recently, our Det has been recognized for various updates aimed at benefiting our students, such as the addition of a studio room for on-the-job training even after school hours. This addition has proved to be impactful, and other sister services are looking to replicate our improvements for their own Det.”

Students are also encouraged to use their geographic location to their advantage and explore the nation’s capital region in their free time.

“Once our students earn their ability to travel off post, they have access to museums, libraries, government agencies, and historical sites. This area offers educational opportunities to learn more of our nation’s history, and chances immerse themselves in cultural attractions like art galleries, theaters, music venues, and food,” said Rubio. “Inspiration is everywhere here.”


Interested in the career field? See if you have what it takes to be a Public Affairs Specialist. To discuss the Public Affairs career field with a recruiter, use the Air Force’s Find-a-Recruiter tool.