*Updated, Sept. 10*

 


The Defense Information School is closely monitoring news and information concerning the local and global health situation around the outbreak of a novel (new) coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 respiratory disease. There are no confirmed COVID-19 cases at DINFOS at this time.

Based on updated DOD travel restrictions issued March 13, 2020, course updates are effective immediately. DINFOS will continue to conduct all required initial occupational MOS or qualification training.


 DINFOS will conduct the following courses in residence:

BRTSM  010-21: (Oct 05 - Feb 02) - 14 day ROM will begin on Sept 21 

PACS-Q  010-21 (PAQC):  (Oct 13- Dec 18) - 8 day ROM will begin on Oct 5  

JIPAC 010-21:(Nov 02- Dec 11) - 8-day ROM will begin on Nov 1; Virtual training during Week 1

IMMC 010-21: (Nov 03 - Dec 10) Class size reduced to 12. - 8-day ROM will begin on Nov 2; Virtual training during Week 1


The following courses have been converted to virtual instruction

CMC 010-21: dates changed to Oct 13 - Nov 10. Students will attend online instruction daily.

IPASC 010-21: (Oct 26 - Nov 06) Students will attend online instruction daily.

VIM 010-21 : Converted to traditional Distributed Learning (DL) instruction VIM-DL 005-21; Dates changed to 9 Nov - 8 Dec


DINFOS will continue to hold the following courses during the DoD travel ban:

- Broadcast Television and Equipment Maintenance*

- Mass Communication Foundations Course*

- MCF-Visual Documentation*

- MCF - Visual Documentation - Photography (USMC)*

- MCF - Visual Documentation - Videography (USMC)*

- MCF - Broadcast Journalism*

- MCF - Writing*

*These courses have a mandated 14-day restriction of movement (ROM) prior to the class report date. Contact student's service detachments for more information. 

- Combat Camera Leadership Course (will be conducted as distance learning)

DINFOS will continue to coordinate with our Service partners to make a determination on other FY20 schedule changes as DoD guidance is received. The situation remains fluid, and we’ll do our best to keep our staff, faculty, students and the rest of the field informed on future changes.

Coronavirus Q&A

A) We will adhere to all CDC guidelines regarding self-quarantine for new employees reporting in.

Currently, countries designated as Level 3 have the highest restrictions. If anyone does arrive from these countries, they are subject to a 14-day self quarantine before setting foot in the building. Additionally, CONUS travel may require a 14-day self-monitoring period. 

As it stands now, we have very few new employees set to start in the foreseeable future, and the current travel restrictions are limiting that possibility even further.

A) Great question. The National Defense Strategy requires a steady, predictable flow of high-quality, well-trained recruits into the force to ensure continuity of operations over the near, medium and long term.

Any significant disruption to that Recruiting-Accessioning-Training pipeline impacts the ability of DoD and the Services to execute their assigned missions. This is why we continue to execute initial entry training and why the Services continue to recruit new members, send them to Basic Training, then onto their schools and finally out to the fleet and field. For an example, see the memo from the Air Force Air Education and Training Command regarding their Mission Essential Determination for Basic Training and Tech Schools.

We are doing everything we can to keep the number of people in the building at the minimum necessary to carry out initial entry training and to keep the workforce and our students safe and healthy.

 

A) We’re currently making every effort to minimize class size and all congregations of personnel in and around the schoolhouse in accordance with CDC recommendations.

After our two-week training pause concluded April 13, class sizes have be significantly reduced. We continue to emphasize proper social distancing, mandatory wear of face masks and good hygiene to prevent transmission of COVID-19.

All of us must do our part to adhere to the prescribed prevention measures in order to minimize risk to ourselves and our students. DINFOS will continue to look for new ways to deliver our training that further reduce risk to our faculty and students.

A) Online instruction for our courses is difficult for a few reasons. First, much of our Mass Communication Foundations course (MCF) and Maintenance curriculum is extremely hands-on and performance-based; it is very difficult to meet all the required training objectives in an online environment. There may be some portions of the curriculum that can be taught remotely, and some teams are already experimenting with this and learning how to better leverage our technology. But full conversion to online is unlikely.

Second, the Services have indicated that they do not want to switch to an online model yet for initial entry training. Some of the Services have policies prohibiting conducting IET in an online setting. At this time, they continue sending initial entry students (MCF, PAQC, Maintenance) until travel restrictions determine otherwise.

Third, there are technical/IT challenges with regard to Internet bandwidth at the student detachments.

While on the surface it would seem like an easy lift to convert a lot of courses to an online model, the in-resident curricula isn’t currently designed for online learning, and the majority of faculty are not yet trained in conducting online instruction. Once converted, those classes would have to conform to a certain standard that the services approve in order for it to still qualify their students for an MOS/AFSC/Rating. If the current restrictions remain in place for a lengthy time, DINFOS will explore the possibility of conducting some of its intermediate courses online if it is deemed feasible.

A) The situation is still too fluid at this moment to project the future with any certainty. At a minimum, it will take significant change in guidance from senior military and/or civilian government authorities. Medical assessments from agencies such as CDC, and our civilian and military leaders’ cost/benefit calculus will play an enormous role. And bear in mind in our federal system, state and local authorities heavily influence our daily lives even if they don’t set military policies.

We are all in uncharted waters right now and must be prepared for the current conditions to be extended.

 


As health and safety conditions force us to adjust our operations, our priorities at DINFOS remain 100 percent aligned with the Department of Defense:

1) Protect service members and their families
2) Safeguard mission capabilities
3) Support the interagency

Per the Department of Defense’s COVID-19 Travel Restriction guidance, students reporting from OCONUS CDC Level 2 and 3 Travel Health Notice countries are authorized 14-day early reporting for the purpose of CDC-recommended self quarantine.

Funding for lodging and per diem during the 14-day self-monitoring period should be covered by the individual Service training command or the member’s home unit.

CONUS travel may require a 14-day self-monitoring period. 

For inquiries, please email: dma.meade.dinfos.list.registrar@mail.mil.