Veteran Spotlight: David Yens
David Yens is Research Director at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine (TouroCOM) in Middletown.
Reason he enlisted: Former Corps of Engineer Captain David Yens enlisted in the army after growing up as a self-described Army brat as his father served as an Army doctor for several years.
“When I went to college, I decided to enroll in the ROTC program and graduated as a Second Lieutenant. Upon completion of my Master’s degree, I entered active duty and served for slightly over two years,” he said.
Active duty assignments: He served in several capacities as a Corps of Engineers officer. These include with the engineer detachment of the Third Special Forces Group in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Psychology Instructor in the JFK Special Warfare School at Fort Bragg, Executive Officer of an engineer company in Pleiku, Vietnam, Information Officer for the 18th Engineer Brigade in Saigon and Information Officer for the U.S. Army Engineer Command in Vietnam.
“While serving in this last role, I started a newspaper about Corps of Engineers activities that I wrote for, as well as managed its information office, served as a liaison to various news organizations, lobbied to get additional staff (successfully) and worked for several weeks as a liaison to an Army motion picture team that was documenting engineer activities in Vietnam. Additionally, I worked on the production of the film in Queens,” said Yens.
Military awards: Bronze Star for the meritorious work completed after creating a functioning information office, developing the newspaper, etc.
Experiences had while serving that helped make him a better educator: Working with a wide variety of personnel in the Army provided him with a better perspective on the variety of students that he is now working with as an educator at Touro.
“As an instructor at the special warfare school, I learned the ‘Army way’ of providing instruction, some of which I incorporated into my current teaching activities,” said Yens.
Military skills he applied at Touro: The news-writing skills that he developed have been useful in publicizing some of the activities at TouroCOM. Additionally, some of the interpersonal skills learned during this time enabled him to effectively communicate with a diverse group of students and faculty.
What he appreciates most about the students at Touro: His student’s inquisitiveness and dedication to learning, plus the serious interest in research evidenced by several of them.