Skip to main content

Lt. Col. Charles Patterson

Lt. Col. Charles Patterson

Director of Public Affairs and Communication Strategy Directorate at the Defense Information School

Keynote Speaker: Friday, June 3 | 5 p.m.
"Military Communication Professionals: Ways Military Public Affairs is similar to Corporate Communications"

Key Takeaways:

  • Similar lexicon, different meanings
  • Similar people, different enemies
  • Similar challenges, different outcomes


Lieutenant Colonel Charles “Kip” Patterson leads the Public Affairs and Communication Strategy Directorate at the Department of Defense Information School (DINFOS).

DINFOS is the primary training institution for professional military communicators in the fleet and field. In his role as director, he enables the DOD’s communication professionals to successfully navigate the complex, volatile global environment by educating them in topics ranging from disinformation and strategic forecasting to systems thinking and cognitive biases. The full breadth of the 10 transformative courses he shapes are the Public Affairs and Communication Strategy Qualification courses (both in-residence and distance learning courses), the Joint Intermediate Public Affairs course, Joint Contingency Public Affairs course, Intermediate Photojournalism course, Intermediate Motion Media course, Intermediate Public Affairs Specialist course, Visual Information Management course, the Public Affairs Course for International Students, and administrative support to the Coast Guard Public Affairs course.

Patterson has had a distinguished military career recognized by the Bronze Star Medal (one bronze oak leaf cluster); Defense Meritorious Service Medal; Meritorious Service Medal (two bronze oak leaf clusters); among others during 20 years of service that includes multiple tours in Iraq, Afghanistan, NATO, and U.S. Army Cyber Command.

The Philadelphia native earned a bachelor’s degree in English Education at the Pennsylvania State University and a master’s degree in International Relations from Webster University.

Military and Civilian Career Overview

Patterson was commissioned as a second lieutenant branched Field Artillery (FA) in May 2002 after earning his bachelor’s degree and completing the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the Pennsylvania State University.

His first two tours with the 1-10 Field Artillery, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Benning, Georgia, deployed in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM between 2003 and 2006.

In 2006, he entered the civilian sector as a secondary English teacher and academic  director for the Global Media Studies magnet academy program in Columbus, Georgia. The  unique program helped equip high school students with skills in print and broadcast j ournalism, video production, photography, communications, and media literacy studies.  During this time, he continued service in the Army Reserve training units to deploy  Overseas.

In 2010, he re-entered Active Duty specifically to serve as a Public Affairs (PA) officer and  since served in various PA staff positions at multiple levels of command. Assignments  included PA planner at the International Security Assistance Force Joint Command in  Afghanistan, the PA officer at the Research Development Engineering Command - Atlantic  Office in Europe, the European Regional Medical Command PA officer, and deployed  forward as the PA officer of the 30th Medical Command in Afghanistan. He held deputy  communication director positions and interim chief positions at NATO’s Allied Rapid  Reaction Corps and most recently at US Army Cyber Command.

During his joint and combined PA assignments, he deployed to Afghanistan twice in  support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM and OPERATION INHERENT RESOLVE.

Patterson’s military education includes the Field Artillery Officer Basic Course, the Military  Police Advanced Course, the Department of Defense Public Affairs Qualification Course,  U.S. Army Command General Staff College, and the NATO Public Affairs Qualification  Course.