The following members are candidates for the board of directors and officer positions. The election is by electronic ballot, and has been sent to all active members on April 3, 2014 (check your spam folder, just in case). Election closes April 13, 2014. To renew your membership go to https://www.regonline.com/mre.
In addition to the board and officer elections, a measure to change the MRE bylaws will be on the ballot. The question being asked of the membership is about changing the number of board members from the current seven to nine. The request to increase the leadership is to broaden the experience and scope of the board, and provide more help in increasing our activities and membership.
Candidates for Board of Directors (in alphabetical order; asterisk indicates current board member)
Bryan Bender covers national security affairs for the Boston Globe in its Washington, D.C. bureau. He is author of “You Are Not Forgotten”, the true story of a modern-day soldier’s search for a missing World War II fighter pilot in the rainforest of Papua New Guinea.
He has covered U.S. military operations in the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and Latin America and his dispatches have covered a range of topics including the war in Afghanistan; veterans; military training; the anti-war movement; the Boston Marathon bombings; the nexus between climate change and national security; and newly declassified government files on Cuba, Vietnam, and the Kennedy administration. He is the outgoing president of MRE.
Isaac Cubillos has covered the military for more than 25 years as a reporter and editor. He has won several journalism awards, including a chapter award from the Society of Professional Journalists for his series of articles on the D-Day invasion of the Normandy beaches by G.I.s of Hispanic origin.
Cubillos has interviewed Navy and Marine personnel, concentrating his reporting on enlisted members of those two branches. He has written stories and taken photographs from nine carriers, three cruisers, two destroyers, one frigate, four amphibious ships and one LCS. He covered the Navy during the Gulf War and the war against Iraq. He now is the editor of Military Media Group, and has written for Poynter Institute on military matters. Previously, he was a copy editor for E.W. Scripps Newspapers. He is the author of “Military Reporters Stylebook and Reference Guide.” Cubillos maintains the MRE website and posts to the MRE’s Facebook group page.
I believe MRE will play a more important role in the coming years as the U.S. military goes from war-footing to garrison mode. The budget, most expensive weapons systems, downsizing of brigades, the focus on the Pacific with fewer assets, the every-increasing in veteran issues from pay to health care will require expert journalists to tell the stories; even when no one wants to hear them. MRE has the best cadre of journalists and editors, and that expertise needs to be honed even more, and taught to those wanting to enter the field of military reporting. MRE will become the go-to organization when it comes to working through FOIAs, technical issues, preparing for embedding, and legal support when needed.
I see more engagement with other organizations, and outreach to our non-Beltway members to keep them connected and informed by those working inside the Beltway. We do this electronically using webinars, group chats, Facebook, and Hangouts. There’s no reason it can’t be done, and I’m willing to make those happen. Future military journalists should not feel they need to rebuild the wheel the next time a major conflict occurs, as we did during the Gulf War. This is the time we prepare the next generation of journalists for the next conflicts, and through MRE it is the way we do it. I am supporting Amy McCullough for President, and look forward to your vote so I may support her vision for MRE.
John Grady, a managing editor of Navy Times for more than eight years and retired communications director of the Association of the United States Army after 17 years, continues writing on national security and defense.
He covered the Army deployed in the Balkans during the 1990s and early 2000s and its changes in training and deployment patterns for Afghanistan and Iraq. His later work has appeared on USNI.org, BreakingDefense, Government Executive, govexec.com, nextgov.com, among others. He also is completing a biography on Matthew Fontaine Maury, a leading figure in the United States and Confederate navies and one of the 19th century’s most prominent scientists. Grady has contributed to the New York Times’ “Disunion” series, Civil War Monitor and is a blogger for the Navy’s Sesquicentennial of the Civil War site.
Covering national security, defense and the armed services will be increasingly difficult in the next two years. What does it really mean to readers and viewers when the Pentagon really has less money to spend? The Defense Department, the Army and Marine Corps particularly, are stressing a return to “full-spectrum operations” at a time when rotations to places such as the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif., and the Joint Readiness Training Center, Fort Polk, La., are being canceled or scaled back. The Navy is heading down a path that could see its shipbuilding budget subsumed into replacing its fleet of Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines. The Air Force appears to be distancing itself, as it has in the past, from providing close air support for ground forces. What does readiness look like in the land forces, naval forces and air forces? What is the mix of reserve and active forces to do what and where? How do you properly compensate – pay, housing, medical care — those who serve in an all-volunteer force, but realize it is a force in which almost 85 percent leave after one term? Is this to be a time of innovation as the mid-1990s turned out to be or stagnation? Is the gap growing between those in the military and the larger civilian society? Would that gap grow as more bases or closed, depot workers eliminated and the public and private industrial absorbs the scaled back procurement, research and development and science and technology investments? Can the armed forces recruit and retain from that larger society that has no history of military service since the early 1970s or does it keep drawing from its own children to fill the ranks? The answers to all those questions will not be settled in two years, but they certainly need to be asked by those reporting and editing stories about a military emerging from 13 years of war.
Otto Kreisher is an independent defense reporter who writes regularly for Seapower, Semper Fi, Leatherneck, Naval Forces and Air Force magazines, plus a number of web-based news outlets. Kreisher began his journalism career in 1968 with the Associated Press in Chicago, then worked for the AP in New York before joining the San Diego Union, flag ship of the Copley Newspapers, in 1972. He worked for the Copley organization for 35 years, in San Diego, Sacramento and in Washington, D.C., covering state and national politics and legislation. He later focused on national defense, including covering U.S. combat operations in Grenada, Panama, Kuwait, Somalia and Haiti and aboard an aircraft carrier during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Kreisher was an enlisted Marine, serving in an artillery battery before entering the Navy flight training program as a Naval Aviation Cadet. He was commissioned in the Navy and designated a Naval Flight Officer in December 1960. He served as a bombardier-navigator, flying in carrier-based attack jets, until leaving active duty in 1965 to enter the University of Missouri, Columbia, MO. His ground duties included squadron legal officer and public affairs officer. He graduated from Missouri in 1968 with Bachelor of Journalism and Bachelor of Arts in Political Science degrees. Kreisher continued to serve in the Navy Reserves, flying in land-based patrol aircraft and retired as a commander in 1983.
He has been a member of MRE since its formation and has been secretary-treasurer for four years.
I am running for re-election as secretary-treasurer because I want Military Reporters and Editors to remain an active and effective organization. Our original missions were to help fight for better access by journalists to our armed forces in conflicts and to encourage and train new generations of journalists to better cover the military and national security issues.
I believe we have made considerable progress in getting access to the combat zones since the dismal showings in Grenada and Panama and spotty support during Desert Storm. But that is a constant battle as many commanders still prefer not to have reporters with them during a conflict.
However, I think our greater focus in the years ahead should be to not only encourage younger journalists to get involved in national security and to provide advice and training to help them do that, but also to encourage news media officials to continue to invest in national defense and national security coverage despite cutbacks in our industry. We can do that by providing conferences or briefings on timely national security issues, by putting instructional material and good examples of defense reporting on our website and by continuing our annual contest to recognize and reward good reporting and photojournalism on national security.
I urge all of you who currently belong to MRE to continue and expand your contributions to those goals and to encourage colleagues to join with us.
Greg E. Mathieson, Sr.
Greg Mathieson is as comfortable working in war zones as he is at the White House. For more than 42 years, he has chronicled the epic lives of our heroic men and women in uniform, our star-crossed national celebrities and the media focused often chaotic lives of those who make the decisions on American policy.
This 11 year U.S. Army veteran’s reputation has allowed him to repeatedly cross the line working for hard news organizations as well as the federal government with equal objectivity. From intimate portraits of the famous to the private lives of the powerful, rich and infamous
Few photographers working today have covered as many traumatic current events, political watersheds, cultural and historical milestones as Mathieson. Since establishing his agency, MAI Photo News Agency in 1981, Mathieson has been called on by such agencies as the U.S. Secret Service, FEMA, The US Justice Department and the military services to create images that capture the core values of those agencies in service to the American people. His editorial images have appeared on the covers of Life, Time, Newsweek, US News and World Report, The New York Times, Paris Match and thousands more around the globe; in 64 countries.
Mathieson is not only well known in the corridors of political power and the halls of the Pentagon. This veteran of the Vietnam era has used his deep knowledge of the American military during exploits, from the jungles of Panama and Honduras, to the ocean seas, to the Korean DMZ and the wars in the Persian Gulf, including Desert Storm and the invasion of Iraq. He is experienced on the front lines having spent 15 years going in and out of Iraq, for months a time, depicting the difficult struggle of the Kurdish and Iraqi people. He lived with the Contra Rebels on the jungle borders of Nicaragua fighting the Sandinista and was the first into Kuwait City, recording the first U.S. Marines entering the city, pushing out the Iraqi Army during Desert Storm and on the snow covered shores of the Sava River as first U.S. M1 tanks crossed into Bosnia and Herzegovina.
He was selected as the videographer by NBC News to sneak into Iraq two months before the 2003 war as one of a five-member covert team traveling across the snow covered mountains of Iran into the future war zone. Working unilaterally and not embedded with U.S. troops like other media, his team was the first to reach Saddam’s Palace in Tikrit, prior to the U.S. forces arriving. His video has appeared on both NBC and ABC News networks.
During the past 22 years, Mathieson has never given up in his efforts to do the ultimate photo book chronicling the activities of the U.S. Navy SEALs and the closed community of Naval Special Warfare in which they live. Now for the first time much of that veil will be lifted in his book “United States Naval Special Warfare | Navy SEALs.”
Amy McCullough has been a board member with Military, Reporters & Editors since July 2011 and is now running for President. In her day job, McCullough works as the news editor for Air Force Magazine, where she produces the Daily Report column and updates the website on a regular basis. She has written numerous features for the magazine on everything from the final draw down in Iraq and retrograde operations in Afghanistan to complicated acquisition programs and force management initiatives.
McCullough has reported aboard a variety of aircraft, military installations across the country, Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Germany, and NATO headquarters in Brussels, as well as on Capitol Hill and at the Pentagon, Prior to coming to the magazine, she worked as a staff reporter at Marine Corps Times and as a deputy news editor at Navy Times. Her work has been published in most of the Military Times publications, as well as MarketWatch, The Washington Post Express, USA Today, and several newspapers throughout the Chicago and Ohio region.
McCullough received her master’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 2008 and double-majored in journalism and English at Ohio State University prior to that. She is a former staff sergeant in the Air Force Reserve where she was assigned to the 87th Aerial Port Squadron at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, from 2001 to 2007.
I am excited to run for President of Military, Reporters and Editors. It’s an organization I believe in and am proud to be part of; however, I’d like to see MRE become much more active than we have been in recent years. In addition to our annual conference, I’d like to see MRE host several professional development seminars each year. I’d also like to bolster MRE’s relationship with other news organizations, such as the Society of Professional Journalists, by hosting one or two joint events each year. With so many of our members located inside the Washington Metro Area, I also see some opportunities for Happy Hours or local networking-type events.
Don North is a journalist and director of Northstar Productions, Inc. in Fairfax, Va. He has a degree in advanced international reporting from Columbia University. He writes regularly for Vietnam Magazine and Consortiumnews.com. North has covered more wars than most of us can name or remember: Vietnam, Borneo, Cambodia, Afghanistan, El Salvador, Egypt, Israel, the Gulf, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. He is the author of “Inappropriate Conduct: Mystery of a Disgraced War Correspondent.”
Alex Quade is a war reporter and documentary filmmaker, who’s covered U.S. Special Operations Forces on combat missions. She is the only reporter, male or female, ever embedded long-term with these elite, secretive units downrange (on her own, with no crew or support). Extreme storytelling and silent risk-taking lie at the heart of what Quade does. She is the recipient of two national Edward R. Murrow Awards, as well as the Congressional Medal Of Honor Society’s Excellence in Journalism Award for her “honest & courageous” war reportage. Quade has produced videos and online reports for The New York Times, The Washington Times, and has two documentaries in film festivals. “Horse Soldiers of 9/11”, narrated by actor Gary Sinise, and “Chinook Down”, an investigation into the surface-to-air missile shoot-down of a U.S. helicopter in Afghanistan killing all onboard. Quade was supposed to be on that helicopter. She survived to report firsthand on the fierce firefight and recovery efforts.
Quade started her career as a White House intern during the Persian Gulf War. She’s worked in television covering global conflicts and hostile environments for CNN, Fox News, HLN, and CNNI out of Frankfurt, Germany and New York. Quade’s reporting from the Asian Tsunami was individually cited in CNN’s Columbia du-Pont Award; her war reports were part of a group Peabody and Emmy. She attended Georgetown University’s Institute for Political & Ethical Journalism, and holds three degrees from the University of Washington. Quade serves on the Board of Military Reporters & Editors, as its expert on Special Operations. She’s known for bringing light to dark subjects.
As a freelance reporter who’s embedded downrange often, I’d like to see MRE be the place for journalists across the country to share their skills and their experiences covering the military. I’d like to see MRE be an organization that offers hands-on tools, tips & skills for day-in/day-out coverage of the military. I’d like to see MRE host regular debriefs, or “After Action Reports” with journalists who’ve recently embedded, or “how they got that story”, or their experiences running the PAO gauntlet to get the story. That way, we can learn from each other’s experiences and keep moving forward. This is important feedback for freelancers, as well as smaller news organizations.
Jenn Rowell is the military/government reporter for the Great Falls Tribune in Montana. She has been busy covering the cheating scandal at Malmstrom Air Force Base as well as the possible New START reductions at the base and a mission change for the Montana Air National Guard unit in town from F-15s to C-130s. Rowell previously did press relations work for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund and the National Museum of Health and Medicine (a DoD museum of military medicine). Before that, she was the military reporter for the Montgomery Advertiser in Alabama where she covered Air University, Maxwell AFB, the Alabama National Guard and veterans issues for the state. While there, she was won the Crawley Award for regional reporting from MRE. She also covered military issues in Virginia and has served on local, state and national boards for the Society of Professional Journalists.
I’m interested in running for MRE board because I’ve learned so much from my association with MRE and its members. Being in Montana, I’m much more isolated and am the only dedicated military reporter for a major publication in the state, so I’d love to be better connected and involved with issues facing military reporters, even from out here in Big Sky country.
TRAVIS J. TRITTEN*
Journalist with a 15-year career covering defense, government and politics from the U.S. and abroad. My exclusive reporting exposed former NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams’ war lie and uncovered a military murder plot in the Philippines. For the past three years, I have covered daily military, defense and political news on Capitol Hill for Stars and Stripes. Previously, I was a Stars and Stripes foreign correspondent who for six years covered the military from Japan.
Vision: As a board member, I would continue to support the association’s efforts to advocate for journalists who cover our armed forces – and sometimes risk their lives while reporting. MRE’s work standing up for quality military journalism and access is especially important now, during a time of growing scrutiny and skepticism of the free press. Military journalists will be crucial as the United States looks to recalibrate and potentially ramp up its military operations in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and elsewhere. We need to have their back.
Kristina Wong is a defense staff writer at The Hill, and covers defense issues in Congress and the Pentagon. Prior to that, she was a national security reporter at the Washington Times, where she covered the Pentagon and other defense news, from December 2011 to December 2013.
During that time, she reported from Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay, China, South Korea, Japan, and New Zealand and has traveled with the current Joint Chiefs chairman and former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. Before the Washington Times, she reported and produced online stories at ABC News, on defense and political news.
MRE Officer Candidates