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 late May 5, 2023 (check your spam folder, just in case). The election closes May 12, 2023. To renew your membership go to https://militaryreporters.org/product-category/membership/
Candidates for Board of Directors (in alphabetical order; asterisk indicates current board member).
Altman is an award-winning journalist and photographer who covers national security, defense technology and the ongoing full-on war in Ukraine for The War Zone.
A newsroom innovator, Altman helped create the Continuous News Desk of the Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and WFLA-TV, which changed the way news was covered and delivered in one of the nation’s biggest markets.
He currently serves as vice president of MRE and helped bring keynote speakers to the past two conferences.
He lives in Florida with his wife and dog.
Carla Babb is the Pentagon Correspondent for Voice of America (VOA). She has reported daily from the Pentagon, traveled to war zones with Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretaries of Defense, and covered all aspects of the military and national security. She loves flying backseat in fighter jets and long walks on the beach. Carla has broken several significant stories throughout her career. She was the first to report the attack on US troops at Al Asad Air Base in 2020 and the first reporter to ever embed with US troops on a counter-poaching mission in 2019. Her reports on the U.S. military exit from Afghanistan in 2021 earned a National Headliner award for continuing coverage of a major news event.
Carla graduated valedictorian from North Carolina State University and graduated with a master’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Having covered the military for nearly a decade, I understand that transparency and accountability are not always automatic. We have to be willing to fight for them. As your board member, I will not hesitate to stand up for access and accuracy. I would love to help grow MRE membership through networking opportunities that are much needed in a post-pandemic era. I would be honored to contribute to MRE’s board this year.
Sig Christenson covers national defense for the San Antonio Express-News, Houston Chronicle and other Hearst newspapers, and been military reporter here since July 1997. He is a longtime journalist and war correspondent, having embedded with the 3rd Infantry Division during the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and reporting from Baghdad and Afghanistan on multiple occasions since. He was embedded with an Air Force close-air support team attached to the 3rd Infantry Division’s 3-69 armored Battalion during the invasion. The unit was involved in six major engagements that included the Karbala Gap offensive and two battles at Objective Peach on April 2-3, 2003, where U.S. troops took a critical bridge over the Euphrates River and held it against a fierce counterattack that night. He returned to Iraq that fall and winter, embedding with AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopter pilots who were part of a deep attack on Karbala on the fifth night of the invasion and working independently of the military in the Baghdad area. The following summer, 2004, Christenson returned to report on the 1st Cavalry Division in Baghdad and other Army units. Other Iraq embeds included Marines in Ramadi and Fallujah in the summer of 2006, Army units in Baghdad and the Texas Army National Guard in Balad; reporting on the start of the surge in 2007, and embedding with Army and Marine units in Baghdad, Balad, Ramadi and Diyala province, as well as with the Texas National Guard.
Christenson’s assignments to Afghanistan include one in 2009 that involved embeds with a variety of U.S. military units that included the Air Force and Army in Kabul, Bagram and the Texas Army National Guard’s Texas Agribusiness Development Team 2 at Forward Operating Base Ghazni.A Houston native, Christenson covered the Branch Davidian siege, the 1994 Pensacola abortion clinic shooting, the 2003 space shuttle breakup over Texas, the 2009 Fort Hood shooting and three years of legal proceedings leading to Maj. Nidal Hasan’s death sentence, a 2014 shooting spree at Fort Hood that left four dead, including the gunman, Spc. Ivan Lopez, the Nov. 5, 2017 Sutherland Springs massacre and May 24, 2022 Robb Elementary School shooting, the second-worst of its kind in American history. He is part of a team that reports extensively on the impact of the shooting on the families of the dead children and Uvalde itself.
A graduate of the University of Houston, he is a co-founder, former president and former board member of Military Reporters & Editors, established in 2002 at the University of Maryland to ensure media access to the troops at home and overseas, and to help journalists covering defense better do their jobs.
For a look at his work over time, see www.sigchristenson.com E-mail Sig at email@example.com
Jen Judson is the land warfare reporter for Defense News where she delivers the news through print and on-camera coverage. She has covered defense in the Washington area for over a decade. She was previously a reporter at Politico and Inside Defense.
Judson served as the 115th president of the National Press Club in 2022.
Judson was awarded the National Press Club’s 2014 Best Analytical Reporting Journalism Award. She has also won several Defense Media Awards including best young defense journalist in 2018, best unmanned systems submission in 2019 and best land system submission in 2020.
Judson began her reporting career in Boston, as a State House correspondent for the MetroWest Daily News. She also covered city government for the Daily News Tribune in Waltham, Mass. and was a jack-of-all-trades reporter at the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.
She holds a master of science degree in print Journalism from Boston University and a bachelor of arts degree in history specializing in pre-modern Europe from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio.
Judson was born and raised in Denver. She lives with her husband and two sons in Arlington, Va.
Susan Katz Keating*
Susan Katz Keating is the owner and publisher of Soldier of Fortune magazine. She is an award-winning writer and investigative journalist specializing in conflict and international security. She previously was Senior Editor at the Washington Examiner, and was a security reporter at The Washington Times. She is the author of Prisoners of Hope: Exploiting the POW/MIA Myth in America (Random House), and other books. She has covered domestic unrest and foreign intrigue, and was on the ground in Belfast and South Armagh during the height of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Her work has appeared in Readers Digest, the New York Times, and other publications. She was a founding trustee for the National Museum of Americans in Wartime, and is the current secretary of the board of Military Reporters & Editors. She was a director of the Travis AFB Museum, and served as restoration crew chief on a B-52. She is a service-connected disabled veteran.
As a longtime officer for MRE, I am interested in finding ways for seasoned journalists to encourage the younger generation of military reporters and editors; and in looking especially for ways to serve our colleagues who are based outside of Washington, D.C.
Greg E. Mathieson, Sr.*
I’m one of a small handful of MRE members that maintain a full-time Pentagon press credential. In doing that, I also maintain the MRE member work desk I established for all members to use when they visit the Pentagon to cover an event or press conference, though those have been very limited in the past year. We also have a Wi-Fi connection at the desk provide by OSD at no charge to us a well.
As a supporter of our MRE networking series, I produced the coffee mugs and signage for use at both those events and our annual conference in addition to acquiring our venue for this past year’s conference at no charge to MRE and been a speaker and promoter of MRE at DINFOS.
As one that comes from a military family, myself having served some 10-plus years in the U.S. Army, my father a U.S. Marine at the Battles of Chosin Reservoir and Inchon, and proud to have my son graduate from West Point and now serving as a captain on deployment in Korea, the military has always been in my blood and I have enjoyed the many trips around the world in times of peace and war. After serving in the Army for more than 10 years in PA and MI, I continued covering our troops of all our services, from Central America and the Contras to Korea, being on the DOD Combat Correspondents Pool during to Desert Shield / Storm to awaiting our troops coming over the Sava River in Bosnia, in Iraq and around Europe on deployments and exercises, be it on ships and subs at sea or in the air in our latest aircraft. Covering Iraq from 1992 and on for 19+ years and as a producer for NBC News in Iraq during the war and operations in the Baghdad Bureau. Numerous trips with OSD and DOD dignitaries and many trips to Guantanamo Bay and other remote places.
During those years, I’ve authored and produced several books, one, on West Point Leadership: “Profiles of Courage”, and the other a bestseller on U.S. Naval Special Warfare/U.S. “Navy SEALs” with a forward by President Bush (43) which allowed me unprecedented access for some 6 years in traveling and living with the teams around the world.
I’ve produced programs for the various TV networks and covers for publications like Time, Life, Newsweek, US & WR, NY Times, Paris Match, USNI Proceedings and many more. Never afraid to sleep in the snow, desert or swamps for months at a time alongside our troops on the front lines.
As an active member of the White House Correspondents Association, White House News Photographers Association, U.S. Senate Press Photographers Gallery, the OSS Society and many other organizations I’ve been active in supporting our profession.
Steve Walsh is the military and veterans reporter at WHRO in Norfolk, Va., beginning in 2023. He runs the podcast Free the Pendleton 14. Since 2014, he has been part of the American Homefront Project, a collection of public radio stations and National Public Radio, which reports on military and veterans issues. Starting in 2015, he was the military reporter at KPBS, public radio and TV in San Diego, where he won numerous awards from the Society Professional Journalists San Diego Chapter and the San Diego Press Club. In 2022, the Military Reporters and Editors Association awarded him best audio series for his coverage of the Marines halting efforts to integrate women at boot camp. As a print reporter, Walsh was embedded twice with the Indiana National Guard during the Iraq War.
I’ve been covering the military on and off for a while now. It hurts to see people who I’ve followed for years, end up out of work. Democracy can’t take much more of this. This is a very specialized field which demands expertise and real insight. We can’t fix the industry but we can at least be there for one another. I’ve been on the West Coast for years. Now that I’m at least closer to Washington, DC, I’d like to do what I can to help.
Kristina Wong is a defense and national security correspondent for Breitbart News. She has covered the Pentagon since 2011 from all over the world, including the Middle East, East and South Asia, and Europe. She previously wrote for The Hill, Washington Times, and ABC News, and was awarded by the Society of Professional Journalists for her breaking news coverage of the Navy Yard shooting in 2013. She is currently a board member of the Military Reporters & Editors Association.
I have been a proud member of the Military Reporters & Editors Association since 2011, and have served as treasurer for the organization since 2019. During that time, I have been a responsible steward of the association’s funds, making sure all required paperwork is filed in a timely manner as well as annual conference costs paid. I would like to serve again as treasurer to support the mission of military journalists shedding light often on the darkest corners of the world, as well as holding military leaders accountable.
My name is Sandra Vidrequin, based 50% in Henderson, Nev. and 50% in Stavanger Norway. I have a background in the Norwegian armed forces and I’m also an award-winning combat photographer and documentary filmmaker.
I’m been around the world with my camera. With my military background, I’ve navigated places and seen things I’ve been portraying through my camera lens.
As well as a military background, I also have close protection skills when it comes in handy and when it comes to knowing what to do and how to handle myself in any situation. I have a genuine interest in the armed forces and I’ve been working alongside American veterans.
As an MRE member, I’ve been following the organization MRE for some years and I think the organization does an amazing job. I’d love to be one that continues its mission on behalf of military reporters and editors.
My first newspaper job out of college found me covering the Marines at the Parris Island boot camp in South Carolina. I’ve been hooked on the military beat ever since. So much blood and treasure hang in the balance when it comes to the services. Because so much is on the line, a fearless, precise and persistent press corps must hold the opaque Pentagon Leviathan to account. I have over the years extensively covered troops, DOD policy and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with several years covering non-military stuff for The Chicago Tribune.
I want to help make MRE a force for advocacy among defense journalists. When the Pentagon or the services refuse to share information the public has a right and a need to know, we should be at the forefront of those battles. I’d also like to see MRE work more with other professional journalism associations, guided by the fact that journalists are stronger together. Living and working outside the Beltway, I think I can also offer a fresh, non-D.C. perspective when it comes to MRE business. Finally, I would work to bolster training sessions we can offer others in our humble industry regarding the finer points of military coverage, while working to attract a more diverse array of young reporters to our beat.
MRE Officer Candidates
Susan Katz Keating