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Veterans have varying experience­s in the military and varying pathways into journalism. Some get training at DINFOS, the Defense Informatio­n School, a DOD’S Defense Media Activity component, at Fort George G.

Meade, Maryland. DINFOS trains more than 2,600 military, DOD civilian, internatio­nal military, and interagenc­y students across 19 basic, intermedia­te and advanced public affairs and visual informatio­n courses, says its website.

“There are some who did go into journalism,” said Report for America spokesman Sam Kille of his DINFOS peers. “The ones who tended to stick with it went to jobs covering the military, working in places like Military Times. But a number of them, like me, found themselves in communicat­ions roles.”

Some pair DINFOS training and military public affairs experience with a GI Bill to pay for college as they launch into a post-military media career path.

When he originally left active duty in 1999, Kille used the Montgomery GI Bill towards an associate’s degree. When he went back to school to finish a bachelor’s degree, he had served in the reserves through 2003 and was activated for a large part of that time, making him eligible for a percentage of the post-911 GI Bill. “The post- 911 GI Bill has made it much easier for all military veterans to pursue education afterwards because it pays up to 100% of the tuition.”

Brandon Lingle went through DINFOS in 2003. He said that many of his Dinfos/public affairs peers left the military before he did due to reductions in force and cutbacks over the years. Many of his peers ended up in different branches of the military. The ones who remain in the military are largely still in public affairs. Some have gone to the civilian sector, as a government civilian or into corporate. A lot land in civilian government roles in the Defense Department or other government department­s because of the stability, said Lingle.

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