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Old 05-31-2012, 12:33 AM #1
TSU-RAR
 
 
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USMC Combat Photographer/Videographer

I just finished a tour as a Marine Corps combat correspondent. I had the great fortune of also obtaining a secondary MOS as a videographer. I spent most of my time doing photography/videography work.

Just thought that people here (paintball players who like photography) may be the same people interested in this obscure job field (available under various names in all military branches including the coast guard)

SO, i wanted to make myself available for anyone interested in this job field, or available to anyone with questions about 1. photography 2. videography 3. the USMC in general. Hopefully any question will maintain primarily to photography or video since this is not posted in the Mil section.

Basic information - I attended an intensive, year-long training program at the Defense Information School aboard Fort Meade, Maryland to learn journalism, photography and videography. I completed several training rotations with line units, SF units from all branches and a combat deployment to Helmand Province, Afghanistan. In AFG, I worked with air, ground and logistics units, and also 40 commando (Royal Marines) the Rifles and a few other Foreign militaries.

Any who...that is my experience. Thought i would try to be useful as a new comer. If none of this helps...well...sorry i wasted your time.
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Old 05-31-2012, 12:56 AM #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TSU-RAR View Post

Just thought that people here (paintball players who like photography) may be the same people interested in this obscure job field (available under various names in all military branches including the coast guard)
Actually, it's more like people who once played paintball...then got into photography. Now we like photography and occasionally shoot paintball. There's actually a few in here that are in the military and I know that one of us (though doesn't post much anymore) does the same type of stuff you do.
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Old 05-31-2012, 04:06 AM #3
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That would be cool if he is around! Especially if he is from a different branch...im curious what the day-to-day was like for other branch photogs.

I spent a short stent on an AF base in Alaska and they had amazing equipment, support and access.

Anywho, if anyone is considering this route, i'm here to answer questions as honestly as possible
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Old 05-31-2012, 11:43 AM #4
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danbob1088 is a Paintball photographer
danbob1088 is an NCPA player
danbob1088 plays in the APPA D5 division
Crane is AF PA, he posts in the USAF thread.

I'm in the AF as well but I'm an aviator, so photography is a hobby only.
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Old 06-05-2012, 04:30 AM #5
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im also in the Corp stationed over in Okinawa, Im into pb and photography. how long have you been in for? where are your stationed at? the paintball scene in Japan isnt all that great but we do have a field on a local air base we have a d2 team called the Kings whcih is made up of Marines and othe sevice members..PB is slowly growing over here
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Old 06-05-2012, 02:43 PM #6
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Seriously, no photos?
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Old 06-05-2012, 02:45 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danbob1088 View Post
Crane is AF PA, he posts in the USAF thread.

I'm in the AF as well but I'm an aviator, so photography is a hobby only.
Where has that cat been?

I loved his contributions to the section.
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:12 PM #8
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I know historically war photographers end up depressed and most of them committed suicide if they didn't die in the field.

How do you feel being out on the battlefield and taking pictures of the people in the war, while not engaging in combat affected you? What, if any, special protections/treatment do military photographers get compared to soldiers?

Thanks!
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:48 PM #9
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We don't get any special treatment or protection. We also actively engage in combat. Marines are all riflemen first...every other job is secondary to that. If i was in a combat situation where my i was needed for fire superiority, maneuver elements etc...then i did that. I took pictures based on the situation. Marine combat photographers are just Marines with an (in my opinion) awesome job. Key part of that sentence...we are Marines.
So i have no real "demons" associated with that...just the normal things you would imagine from an active war zone. Actually, look up the name Lcpl. Fabri. He was combat photographer in country with me. He was killed just a few days after i finished my tour while on patrol in Helmand.


Chris - Should i link to the photos or post them here? Any specific kind of photos anyone wants to see?

Kx135rider - I never went to any of the places in Japan...i almost came for relief efforts though. For some reason or another my unit ended up not coming. I hear its hot and humid...and it's what you make of it. Some friends loved it...some hated. Honestly...i'm glad i was never stationed over there.

Do you guys get to play with any locals? Or is it all service members playing at an on-base field?



EDIT*** - After thinking, saying i got no "special treatment" is actually a little wrong. Most of my missions were dictated by high ranking people. So i was flown in and out of a lot of different places, and got to see and do almost everything offered by the Marine Corps. I flew, patrolled, convoyed...i also got to see a very large part of Afghanistan instead of being stuck in a specific part of a specific AO. So, i was not "shielded" or expected not to fight - I participated in around 100 combat missions while deployed - but i wasn't the average enlisted NCO either. I also had the really unique experience of working aboard several different UK aircraft (lynx, merlins etc) and with UK ground units (40 commando who were at camp leatherneck, Gurkas and Rifles)

Last edited by TSU-RAR : 06-06-2012 at 10:52 PM.
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:04 PM #10
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Very interesting! Thanks for taking the time to write that out.

How did you get to be a marine photographer? Did you go through the normal application process and check a box for photographer or did you have to submit a portfolio or what?
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Old 06-07-2012, 03:02 PM #11
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This is my actual account (TSU-rar was a temp until i found this password)

So i will answer on this account now.


My process was very non-standard...i lucked into this job. For most people, you have to have a high enough ASVAB score, and your RS has to have slots available (each MOS only needs a certain amount of Marines each year...so not many slots for new combat photographers each year) Then you have to meet with am active duty Marine in the MOS to do interviews (was a SSGT for me...i think it is usually a SNCO or higher)

After boot camp you attend marine combat training. AFter, you attend classes at the defense information school. from DINFOS, you are assigned to a unit where you usually do OJT before they start assigning you work.

Day to day life is spent chronicling the training operations of the Marine Corps for internal documentation and dissemination to public outlets (media) and training/preparing for impending deployment.

To be technically correct, i was a combat correspondent (4341) with a 2nd MOS of 4313 (combat videographer) I just use combat photographer as a blanket term because more people know what that is and don't understand what a combat correspondent is.
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:38 PM #12
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post some pictures mang!
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:05 PM #13
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How do i post just a picture to a thread?

Here is a link to a pic i took a while ago that was run by some major news affiliates:
http://abcnews.go.com/meta/search/im...eals_ll_110505
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:07 PM #14
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Here is a link to a few i took on a patrol in Afghanistan:

http://www.dvidshub.net/image/310518...n#.T9qm25hiufQ
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Old 06-28-2012, 04:58 PM #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TSU-RAR View Post
That would be cool if he is around! Especially if he is from a different branch...im curious what the day-to-day was like for other branch photogs.

I spent a short stent on an AF base in Alaska and they had amazing equipment, support and access.

Anywho, if anyone is considering this route, i'm here to answer questions as honestly as possible
Were you at Eielson or Elmendorf? I live ten minuted from Eielson. I want some one on one time with the F16s before they are relocated to Elmendorf. I don't think it will happen, but like you said, there is amazing access and the Eielson runway is huge (it's actually the backup runway for the space shuttle.)
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