Contact Us

Jack Paxton
Executive Director, USMCCCA
110 Fox Court,
Wildwood, FL 34785
+1 352-748-4698

EMAIL:

usmccca@cfl.rr.com
SKYPE:
USMCCCA

Click here to contact a member (your request will be forwarded to maintain privacy for our members).

To send items for the website: USMCCCA Online


Boosters

Platinum
$5,000 up

Gold
$1,000-$4,999

Keith Oliver
Col. Sally Pritchett
Jack Paxton
Gene Smith

Silver
$100–$999

Sue Sousa
Dale Baird
George Chrisman
John Kloczkowski
Don Coleman
Tom Kerr

Bronze
$50-$99

Dedicated Members

The 2017-18 Dedicated Member Campaign has begun. This year you can designate where your contribution goes. Your name and dedication will also appear in the Annual Conference Journal at the end of the year:

Walt Ford
Mal Barr
Cal Openshaw
Sally Pritchett
Joe Galloway
Sue Sousa
Dale Baird
George Chrisman
Jack Holsomback
Pat Coulter
Dan Bisher
Don Gee
Fred Tucker
Emil Dansker
Keith Oliver
Joe Skymba
Mike Rhea
Don Coleman
Dr. Re McClung
Ed Benevente
Tom Kerr

Choose Option
Dedication


Camp Pendleton on deck for Tuesday

Tuesday: August 22:
0800-0855 Prayer Breakfast (Non-Conference event, Guest Speaker: Deacon Pat Coulter)
0915-1500 Bus departs for Camp Pendleton 0930 sharp.
(For those registered and who paid the $20 bus surcharge) a
tour has been arranged by Base Public Affairs. The tour will
include a stop at I MEF Public Affairs. As we did several years
ago, we will invite active duty Marines to be our guests in one
of the Dining Halls.
1730-2400 Command Post open,
Peacock Room
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We are at a point of inflection

Keith Oliver, National President

Keith Oliver, National President

President’s Notes

Well, this feels familiar.

The year was 1967, a half century ago. The U.S. Marine Corps Combat Correspondents Association gathered in Washington, D.C., to focus on a new mission at the behest of Director of Information, Brig. Gen. Frank Garretson:

“To … administer a prestigious annual program designed to recognize the professional competence of active-duty Marines in the fields of public information, photography and art.”

Author Garry Cameron (Last to Know, First to Go) described “poorly attended” conferences in Philadelphia and Atlantic City the prior two years and “an association floundered in direction and motivation.”

But a combination of rank-and-file enthusiasm, CMC support (including dedicated military airlift) and active national leadership involvement by some of our most revered and colorful names in the gyrene PR biz, e.g., Jim Hurlburt, Hal Watkins and Bob Suhosky, meant “the CCs were turned back on,” wrote Cameron.

That first line-up of awards consisted of 11 winners and, by the way, predated both the Thomas Jefferson Military Journalism Competition and the Army’s Keith L. Ware Awards Program.

The seed had been planted the year prior, making the ’67 confab “the best-attended, most productive and successful national assembly of Marine CCs in the history of the organization to that time.”

My fightin’ hole friends, ‘tis seed-planting time.

Oh, we are going to enjoy a fine conference in sunny San Diego this week. We’ve got some “name” speakers in Max “Terminal Lance” Uriarte, former DirPA Maj. Gen. Paul Kennedy and Hollywood go-to guy Dale Dye.

The inimitable Pat Coulter is back with us.

And a blast of last-minute fiscal energy by some especially busy operational commands ensured the presence of some of our award recipients who would not otherwise have been able to make it.

Plus we shall witness the posthumous designation of legendary war correspondent Dickey Chapelle as an Honorary Marine.

But I come to you now asking your help in making the 2018 Conference (set for 21-23 August on riverfront accommodations in historic New Bern, North Carolina) a CC get-together for the ages. We will mark the end of the first full year of the U. S. Marine Corps merger of all our storytellers into one MOS.

And I promised HQMC’s Master Guns Chuck Albrecht and his designated successor, Master Guns Michael Shellenbach, that the USMCCA will proudly be a force multiplier in making this unification of our colorful military occupational specialties a stunning success.

Count this, then, as your joyful battle cry to:

— Rededicate ourselves to the prestige and professionalism of the original USMC awards program which celebrates excellence among our video and still photogs, our scribbler and our combat artists;

— Actively engage today’s Marines — our successors. Encourage them to sign up as members, to submit their work for award consideration and to join us in good fellowship (and training) in New Bern next year;

— And prove to the world that “veterans groups” and “military associations” do not have to choose between camaraderie and professional development – they can and should be both.

Semper Fidelis!
Keith Oliver, National President

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Updated Conference schedule…see you in San Diego!

Click on the image to download the latest version of the schedule.

Click on the image to download the latest version of the schedule.

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Iwo Jima Association of America seeks volunteer Communications Director

The Iwo Jima Association of America (IJAA) is searching for a new Communications Director. This position is especially important as we begin preparations for the large 75th Anniversary of the Iwo Jima landing in 2020. This is an ideal position for a retired, or semi-retired, Marine Corps Combat Correspondent that resides in the Northern Virginia area to facilitate interface with the IJAA office in Woodbridge, VA.

IJAA is a non profit 501(c)(3) association whose primary fund raising go toward financially assisting veterans who cannot afford to return to Iwo Jima on the annual Reunion of Honor (RoH) tour each March. Consequently, the Director of Communications is not a paid position. The “compensation” is the satisfaction of assisting veterans, as well as having all your expenses paid, as approved by the leadership, to include Guam and Iwo Jima each year and the annual February reunion in CONUS.

The major responsibility of the Director is the preparation and publishing of the IJAA news letter, “The Black Sands” as well as the preparation, publishing and distribution of the annual “Pictorial” of the RoH on Guam and Iwo Jima.

If you are interested, please send a short resume setting forth your communication skills and experience to Art Sifuentes at: RSifuentes@IwoJimaAssociation.org.

Please be reminded, this is not a paid position.

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Talented award winner

Award-winning photographer, Sgt. Kirstin Merrimarahajara, who snapped this shot of Marine training in Lithuania last November, is one of 36 imagery warriors, ink slingers and combat artists set to be recognized –- many in absentia -- next Wednesday night August 23, in San Diego.

Award-winning photographer, Sgt. Kirstin Merrimarahajara, who snapped this shot of Marine training in Lithuania last November, is one of 36 imagery warriors, ink slingers and combat artists set to be recognized –- many in absentia — next Wednesday night August 23, in San Diego.

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Transportation to Hotel

Transportation- The 2 options when traveling from the San Diego International Airport are either SuperShuttle at the current rate of $12 per person, each way or a Taxi which is between $20-25, each way. The Crowne Plaza San Diego offers a complimentary area shuttle to Old Town and the Fashion Valley Mall on scheduled times throughout the day as well as the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld once daily.

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Did you get a room?

The Crowne Plaza San Diego informs us that all the CC blocked rooms are full, so if any of our group forgot to make a reservation you will be taking a chance on getting either a triple AAA rate or joining the Holiday Inn rewards club (IHG) and getting their discount.  Military coming in will be charged at the $149 per diem rate.

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Wolfkill: Purple Heart earning Cinematographer passes

Grant F. Wolfkill

Grant F. Wolfkill

Grant F. Wolfkill former combat cinematographer USMCR in Pacific Theater WW II died June 14, 2017 at age 94.  Grant was born November 29, 1922.

Grant joined the Marine Corps in 1943.  After completing recruit training at the Marine Corps Recruit Training Depot in San Diego California, he was assigned to the Photo School in Quantico, Virginia.  He completed still photo school and cinematography school.  His classmates in cinematography school included Robert LeRoy Watson and Bill Genaust.

He was then assigned as an instructor in the cinematography school under Captain Thayer Soule.  Wolfkill was sent to First Marine Division by air transport in time to film the battle for Peleliu.  Grant also participated in the landings on Okinawa where he earned the Purple Heart.  He was assigned to film Sixth Division combat and in particular the Fourth Marines.  (Final rank Staff SSgt, but not certain.)

After the war Grant worked for Karl Soule filming travelogues for a few years.  He then worked for BBC and then NBC as a field producer.  While with NBC, Grant was assigned to cover a pending peace conference in Laos.  His helicopter was shot down over Laos, and he, the pilot and crewmember were imprisoned and shackled for fifteen-months by the communist Pathet Lao. 

Grant’s indomitable spirit and fortitude helped his fellow prisoners survive, for which President John F. Kennedy awarded him the Freedom Medal in 1962.  He wrote his story “Reported to be Alive” with Jerry Rose.

 Leading an energetic life, Grant won second place driving a Porsche Spyder in the 1960 Macau Grand Prix.  He continued to work as a photojournalist until he was appointed Vice President of Public Information for a large pharmaceutical company.  He retired to his home in Shelton, Washington.

Grant is survived by his wife, Barbara, son Kim (Editor in Chief of Road and Track, and his daughter Kiki, a top executive at Microsoft.

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Ten Marines awarded year-long Lynda.com professional scholarships

Conference Schedule

Conference Schedule

As part of the USMCCCA’s efforts to assist and mentor today’s combat correspondents, our board last year approved a decision to develop a scholarship program for our Distinguished Performance Award winning Marines in lieu of a check for $100.

To that end we have asked for support from the membership and our Foundation to pay for and provide scholarship to several of our winners.

This year we are partnering with Lynda.Com, which provides nearly 6,000 web based training courses on many areas of web design, photography, software development and a myriad of other business and communications topics.

We are proud to announce that 10 Marines will be receiving their one-year membership to Lynda.com (a $350 value) to sharpen their skills in the classes of their choosing. Please note that if you are the recipient of one of these certificates you will need to contact CCHQ to get your seat by 15 Sep 2017 or we will award this opportunity to another Marine.

This years’ Lynda.com recipients are:

Sgt Elize McKelvey — Military Graphic Artist of the Year
Sgt Justin Fisher — Operational Documentation
Sgt Isaac Ibarra — Mil. Photographer of the Year and Mil. Videographer of the Year
Sgt Daniel Kujanpaa — Operational Documentation
Cpl. Amaia Unanue — Photojournalism
LCpl. Miguel Rosales — News Photo
Cpl Aaron Patterson — Feature Photo
LCpt Devan Gowans — Multimedia Story
Sgt Brian Burdett — Video Feature Story
Sgt Ian Leones — Feature Story

If you are one of the Marines above, we encourage you to attend our annual Conference & Training Symposium in San Diego, Aug 21-24. If you can’t make it for the whole event, please try to make it to the Awards banquet at 1800 Aug. 23. Uniform is Dress Blues. All Distinguished Performance winners will receive the banquet meal free of charge. If you are planning to attend, please let Jack Paxton, executive director, know ASAP. His email: usmccca@cfl.rr.com

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DPA Winners, will you be there?

If your name is listed below, you get a free meal at our annual Conference & Training Symposium, Aug. 21-24, 2017 in San Diego. (That’s a $50 value) Plus you will receive recognition and a certificate. Please ask your commands if you can attend. Uniform is Dress Blues. Contact Jack Paxton, executive director at 352-748-4698 or email: usmccca@cfl.rr.com.

Click here to read more ›

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Gee: Past president, director and long-time member passes

Sadly, Don Gee passed away on July 28, 2017. He is survived by his wife, Iris (above).

 
Donald H. Gee Sr., a longtime Chalfont resident, passed away on Friday, July 28, 2017 at the Doylestown Hospital. He was 77.
Don was the husband of Iris Gee. Born in Bristol and raised in Warrington, Don was a son of the late Harry and Alberta Gee. He was a 1957 Central Bucks High School graduate.
Don was a proud Gunnery Sergeant with the US Marine Corps retiring in 1977, after 20 years of service. Following his retirement, he remained active with the military as the Public Affairs Officer with the Veterans Administration, Philadelphia. Don was on the Bucks County World War II Memorial Committee. He was the Doylestown Township Veterans Memorial initiator and founding member. He was the driving force behind the United Veterans of Doylestown for the sole purpose of making sure the Memorial Day Parade continued. Don was involved in many other organizations, with the goal of helping veterans wherever he could, such as:
Central Bucks Marine Corps League Detachment
Masonic Mitchell Lodge #296, Jenkintown, PA
United States Marine Corps Combat Correspondents Association
1st, 2nd and 3rd Marine Division Associations
Chapel of Four Chaplains
American Legion, VFW and the Marine Corps Association
Chapel of Four Chaplains
Marine Corps Mustang Association
Chosin FewIn addition to his wife, Don is survived by a son Don, Jr. (Michele), a daughter Tammy Gee (Daniel Milillo), 3 step sons, Corey Fisher, Jeremy Smith (Kimberly) and Paul Smith and 2 grandchildren, Don III and Chris. He is also survived by a sister Lois Mims and several Step grand and great grandchildren.

Relatives and friends are invited to Don’s funeral service with military honors 11:00 am, Wednesday, August 2, 2017 at the Shelly Funeral Home, 1460 Easton Road, Warrington, where the family will receive friends from 9:00 am until the time of service.
Interment will be held privately.
Memorial contributions in Don’s name may be made to the Marine Corps League Foundation of PA. http://mclofpafoundation.org.
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Doc Church donates MIA/POW chair

Taken from the Summer 2017 edition of  Keystone Leatherneck: On April 28, 2017, Valley Forge Military Academy and College held a wonderful dedication ceremony for a Chair of Honor for Prisoners of War-Missing in Action in Wayne, Pa. Commander Paul Galanti USN (Ret), a seven-year POW during the Vietnam War, accepted the chair from Colonel John C. “Doc” Church, Jr.,USMCR (Ret.), president of VFMAC. This chair symbolizes there will always be a place at Valley Forge Military Academy & College awaiting the return of those service members. Paul is a graduate of VFMAC. He spoke about his POW experience and commented upon his special relationship with Colonel John Ripley,USMC (Ret.). Doc noted that his youngest daughter, Claire Ripley, is named after the Marine Corps legend. Paul told the gathering which included his VFMAC classmates that he “never had a bad day as a POW.” All were humbled and honored to be in his presence. The chair was graciously donated by the Consentino Family, left of chair. Also pictured is Commander Galanti and President Church.

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