Candidates for the 2017 MRE Board of Directors

The following members are candidates for the board of directors and officer positions. The election is by electronic ballot, and will be sent to all active members on March 14, 2017 (check your spam folder, just in case). Election closes March 19, 2017. To renew your membership go to https://www.regonline.com/mre.

Candidates for Board of Directors (in alphabetical order; asterisk indicates current board member).

JOHN M. DONNELLY
John Donnelly has been with Congressional Quarterly since 2004 and is a senior writer there, producing work for CQ.com, the CQ Magazine and RollCall.com on national security and foreign policy. Prior to joining CQ, Donnelly worked as a reporter or editor for 10 years at Defense Week, a newsletter that covered the Pentagon and defense industry. Donnelly has written essays on national-security issues for other publications, from the Economist to the L.A. Times. He has won numerous awards for investigative and exclusive reporting from the National Press Club and the Newsletter Publishers Foundation. Donnelly has held several leadership positions at the National Press Club, including chairman of its Board of Governors. He currently chairs the club’s Press Freedom Committee. He’s a member of Military Reporters & Editors. He has also served as an officer on the Standing Committee of Correspondents of the U.S. Congress, which represents the news media on Capitol Hill.

Vision: If elected, my priorities would be to participate in ensuring the board and officers are active in 1) recruiting and retaining members; 2) communicating with them about MRE activities and 3) soliciting their input and help as needed.

I suspect the Trump administration will present the press with a number of challenges, including at the Pentagon. MRE must be ready to respond by joining with other news organizations and media groups–or acting alone if necessary–to combat threats to access and transparency. I have the experience and contacts to make this vision a reality. I have chaired the National Press Club board and currently chair its Press Freedom Committee, and I served as an officer on the Standing Committee of Correspondents on Capitol Hill. I’ve been covering national security in the Pentagon and Congress since 1995. I am well positioned to help MRE thrive.

CHAS HENRY
Chas Henry is an anchor with Westwood One News — heard on 750 U. S. radio stations. He also serves as the network’s security affairs correspondent. A combat-decorated veteran of the 1991 Gulf War, Chas served in the U.S. Marine Corps – rising in rank from private to captain. Graduated with honors from the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television – where his coursework focused on documentary filmmaking – he went on to study transnational security issues at the University of Oxford, and earned a master’s degree in security studies from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. In the Washington, D. C. area, Chas has worked as a television reporter with NewsChannel 8 and ABC7 – and as an anchor and national security correspondent with all-news radio stations WTOP and WNEW. Journalistic assignments have over the years taken him to more than 30 nations on five continents.

Vision: We are experiencing a moment of destabilizing political flux in the United States — intertwined with our nation’s heavy — and sustained — reliance on military operations as a primary foreign policy tool. Broad swaths of the American public seem inclined to support moving quickly past soft-power means to options of force — though surveys show them, in vast measure, individually disinclined to risk life or limb in the endeavors. A professionalized cohort of men and women representing less than one percent of the nation’s population carry out military orders — lionized, though in caricature form, by most fellow citizens. I believe that, particularly in these circumstances, a democracy is well-served by honest, dispassionate reporting of how the nation uses its military forces — and how those forces perform. Faithfully documenting the circumstances of military power use — and resulting strategic or operational outcomes — shows respect for those who serve and makes it more difficult for the citizenry to disassociate itself from decisions made in its name. The present administration’s positing of journalists as “enemies of the American people” threatens the conduct of this function necessary to transparent, participatory governance. In these circumstances, I — as an individual journalist — continue to attempt to contribute useful, explanatory reporting. Joining with fellow MRE members, I would hope to explore such possibilities as:

  • working together to develop and share means of reporting on security matters in circumstances which may include diminished access to official government resources
  • conducting seminars or providing other resources to help general assignment reporters better report on security matters
  • perhaps making members’ work more widely available by routinely aggregating “best of” material, then making it available via social media
  • brainstorming the most effective responses to military-media relations issues likely to evolve in the coming months — then presenting them in shoulder-to-shoulder fashion.

SUSAN KATZ KEATING
Susan Katz Keating is an investigative journalist specializing in national security. A former Washington Times reporter, she is the author of Prisoners of Hope: Exploiting the POW/MIA Myth in America (Random House), and six books for young readers (Native American Warfare, Saudi Arabia, and others). She has covered urban combat on the ground in Northern Ireland, as well as civil unrest in the United States. As a correspondent for PEOPLE magazine, she covers military and terrorism stories, such as the Boston Marathon bombings; the Fort Hood shootings; the SEAL assault on Osama bin Laden; the Paris train attacks; and many others. Her work has appeared in Readers Digest, The New York Times, Air&Space/Smithsonian, American Legion, VFW, Soldier of Fortune, US News & World Report, and other publications. She is a contract writer for the Army National Guard, penning combat histories for the Guard’s GX magazine. She has been cited in the New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal, Salon, and additional journals. She is a founding trustee for the National Museum of Americans in Wartime, where she has worked as part of a tank restoration crew; and serves on the board for Cooking With the Troops. She briefly was in the U.S. Army, where she earned her Expert rating on the M-16 rifle. She was editor of the Dixon Tribune newspaper in California. She was a director of the Travis AFB Museum, and served as restoration crew chief on a B-52. Currently she lives primarily out of her trusty Jeep, roaming the States in search of stories.

Vision: As a board member for MRE, my vision is to learn how best to serve our members, no matter where they are in their careers, and to work toward fulfilling those needs. I would like to find a way to help connect seasoned journalists with our younger colleagues who will carry the torch, so to speak. If I could put one thing on my wish list, it would be to organize a seminar to benefit early-career military journalists, but that also would offer something for everyone.

OTTO KREISHER*
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 and 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, DC, 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, and in peace-time and training operations around the US and overseas.

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. 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 P-2 and P-3 patrol aircraft and retired as a commander in 1983.

He and his wife, Tina, have three grown children and six grandkids.

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 24 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*
Amy McCullough is a 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 drawdown in Iraq to an exclusive look inside the F-22’s first combat mission. McCullough has reported from Capitol Hill, the Pentagon, Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Germany, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, South Korea, Japan, and NATO headquarters in Brussels. 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 has served as president of Military, Reporters, and Editors since 2014. She 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 also 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.

Goals: I’d like to see MRE continue to develop its partnerships with DINFOS and other journalism organizations. I’d also like to see us sponsor more professional development and news-maker seminars besides the annual conference. One possibility we’ve discussed before is bringing back the old hack and flak happy hours.

ALEX QUADE*

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.

HOPE HODGE SECK
Hope Hodge Seck is an award-winning investigative and enterprise reporter who has been covering military issues since 2009. She covers the Marine Corps and Navy for Military.com.

Hope’s previous assignments have included a war zone embed in Afghanistan with Marines and multiple reporting trips aboard amphibious ships and aircraft carriers. Her awards include multiple North Carolina Press Association Honors, the 2015 Marine Corps Heritage Foundation Heinl award for feature writing, the Military Reporters and Editors Association 2015 award for domestic military coverage, and the 2016 American Legion 4th Estate Award for print reporting.

A graduate of The King’s College in New York City, her work has also appeared in Marine Corps Times, Newsweek, USA Today, The New York Sun, and World Magazine.

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.
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*
Kristina Wong is a defense staff writer at Breitbart, who recently worked at The Hill covering 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

President
(Board will select)

Vice President
Travis Tritten
Kristina Wong

Secretary-Treasurer
Otto Kreisher