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Keith Oliver
Col. Sally Pritchett
Jack Paxton
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Sue Sousa
Dale Baird
George Chrisman
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Don Coleman


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

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Conference fact sheet

Everything you need to know about attending next month's Conference and Training Symposium.

Everything you need to know about attending next month’s Conference and Training Symposium. Click on the image to download a printable version.


Longtime member, officer, Eddie Kafafian passes July 9

Eddie Kafafian

Eddie Kafafian

Thomas “Ace” Peters writes: Its with sadness that I inform you Eddie Kafafian passed this morning. (July 9, 2017)

CCHQ will post more info as it becomes available.


July Leatherneck cover highlights cannon cockers

President’s Notes

Photo by Cpl. Zachery Laning

Photo by Cpl. Zachery Laning

Cpl. Zachery Laning’s compelling shot of  11th MEU artillery operations in northern Syria garnered him a great cover just in time for the 4th of July.

The Chincoteague, Virginia native is a videographer by training (see some of his work in that realm @ but  his NCOIC, Gunnery Sgt. Robert Brown of Spring Lake, North Carolina said Laning used the  unit’s recent  far-ranging deployment to “cross-train into still.”

Brown said that Laning continues to do “game changing stuff on the video side of the house,” noting that he was a lance corporal during the float and regularly “thinks way outside the box.”

“This guy is beyond the box,” brags his gunny.  “Laning is the future of what this hubrid MOS is becoming for our Marine Corps.”

A tribute to Norm Hatch

A tribute to Norm Hatch. (click on the image to download the page.)

Appropriate that Leatherneck editor Mary Reinwald paid grand tribute to our beloved USMCCCA icon, the late Norm Hatch, in the same issue in Nancy S. Lichtman’s “Saved Round” feature on page 92.

Word is that a handful of present and former  11th MEU storytellers will join us in San Diego next month.  Gunnery Sgt. Scott McAdam of Des Moines is Acting PAO of the current time, awaiting the arrival of Capt. Jim Stenger.


Keith Oliver, USMCCCA President


Major General Paul Kennedy

Maj. Gen. Paul Kennedy

Maj. Gen. Paul Kennedy, CG Recruiting Command, will represent the Commandant of the Marine Corps as guest of honor of our 2017 Distinguished Performance Awards Banquet on August 23 in San Diego.  As you may remember, General Kennedy served as Director of Information a number of years ago and was our guest of honor at the New Orleans conference.  He also presided over the ceremony at the opening of the Denig Memorial at the National Museum. 


“Terminal Lance” Wins 2017 Brig. Gen. Robert L. Denig Sr. Memorial Distinguished Service Award

Maximilian Uriarte, AKA

Maximilian Uriarte, AKA “Terminal Lance.”

The USMCCCA Board of Directors has announced that Maximilian Uriarte, AKA Terminal Lance, is the 2017 Brig. Gen. Robert L. Denig Sr. Memorial Distinguished Service Award winner.

If the name does not immediately come to you, we would bet a year’s membership he is known by thousands of Marines who saw similar actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.  He caught our attention several years ago with his weekly strip in Marine Corps Times.  When his book, The White Donkey, Terminal Lance, was selected a 2016 winner in the recently concluded Heritage Foundation competition, we had a chance to read it.  As a Marine who has been around a long time, we finally really understood what PTSD and our concern over the suicide rate among servicemen and women was all about.  It is a powerful work.

CC Life member Chas Henry made the Denig nomination.  His words: “In 2016, Mr. Uriarte — using crowdsourced funding — independently published The White Donkey: Terminal Lance — the first graphic novel created by an Iraq War veteran.  Its success was so immediately evident that — 72 hours after its initial release — the book was optioned for commercial publication by Little, Brown and Company. 

“Mr. Uriarte joined the Marine Corps in 2006, at age 19 — enlisting as an open-contract infantry Marine.  His initial service was as an MOS 0351 assaultman with 3rd Battalion, Third Marines.  He deployed twice to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom — the second time attached to an infantry battalion as it’s combat photographer and artist (Ed. Note:  He retained his MOS 0351)  While still on active duty, Mr. Uriarte created the often satirical, always entertaining and popular comic strip Terminal Lance.  Discharged in 2010, he used GI Bill benefits to fund his earning of a bachelor of fine arts degree from the California College of the Arts.  He has worked as a motion picture storyboard artist.

“In The White Donkey: Terminal Lance, Mr. Uriarte has masterfully employed a comparatively new form of artful literature to skillfully and unsentimentally capture and share essential aspects of life as a combat Marine.  Having been only nominally familiar with the graphic novel medium, I have to admit to being surprised by the weight of The White Donkey’s emotional impact.  It brought tears to my eyes.  Mr. Uriarte’s work depicts the sometimes profane, but very profound interactions of young Marines maturing in the forge of war.  It is without question a valuable contribution to the body of literature perpetuating the ideals, traditions, stature and achievements of the United States Marine Corps.” 

 (Ed. Note:  Mr. Uriarte will accept the Denig Award at our awards banquet August 23 at the San Diego Crowne Plaza Hotel. )


Rosenthal Chapter needs signatures

Sign the petition today!

Sign the petition today!

The San Francisco Joe Rosenthal Chapter of the United States Combat Correspondents Association (USMCCCA) is collecting signatures to try and honor Joe Rosenthal — a San Francisco and national hero — by supporting an effort to name a US Navy warship in his honor. They currently have about 1700 signatures but need at least 10,000. Please pass this around if you can help. Go to and sign the petition.


A Reece Lodder shot adorns Leatherneck cover. Again.

President’s Notes

Perennial CC award winner, Staff Sgt . Reece Lodder,  nabbed another Leatherneck cover this month.

Editor Mary Reinwald chose Lodder’s strong vertical from 2012 operations in Afghanistan to highlight Aaron Fenwick’s tale of three lance corporals whose infantry squad leader work. in the Helmand Province earned them meritorious promotions to corporal.  The trio was serving under fire in sergeants’  billets.

Elsewhere in the May issue,  P.L. Thompson, one of the merry band of Marines who served on the Leatherneck staff while on active duty, penned a piece on former Pfc. Omer Hadsall’s return to Vietnam along with his son, retired Maj. Troy Hadsall.  The father and son are but two Marines who are part of an impressive Hadsall Family legacy of service in our Corps.

Please allow a Sunshine State shout-out to my fellow Floridian Bob Loring, whose review of Lucky 666: The Impossible Mission, adds to his prolific list (more than 100) of Leatherneck bylines. 

Hopefully our annual conference in San Diego in August is where you’ll meet some of today’s warrior-scribes and shooters whose  photo credits and/or bylines also appeared in the current edition:  Cpl. Kelsey Dornfield, Sgt. Ian Leones, Cpl. Melissa Martens, Cpl. Thomas Mudd, Cpl. Harley Robinson and Cpl. Daniel Jean-Paul.

Also:  Sgt. Ian Ferro, Cpl. Jessica Collins, Lance Cpl. Justin Bowles, Lance Cpl Andy Martinez and Sgt. Clemente Garcia.

In San Diego, two professional panels of special interest to our active duty Marines are very much in the purview of Leatherneck, both historically and in terms of today’s Marine Corps Association and Foundation staff:  “Life After the Corps” will address  civilian job possibilities in journalism, PR, marketing, imagery and other aspects familiar to combat camera and public affairs Marines.

And “Special Media Outlets”  seeks to rekindle an old fire, i.e., the importance of reaching out to military-oriented organizations and their outlets (print, video, web-based and in-person)  who are hungry for our active duty CCs’ copy and images (and/or their presence!).     

Keith Oliver, USMCCCA President


McEwen: CC President, mayor and officer passes

Bob McEwen passed away June 1, 2017

Bob McEwen passed away June 1, 2017

Robert (“Bob”) G. McEwen returned to his heavenly home on June 1, 2017, in Jefferson, GA.

Bob was born to the late Lillian and William McEwen on Sept. 21, 1929, in Cleveland, Ohio. Bob was preceded in death by his wife of 53 years, Mary-Carter Faust McEwen and son William “Gavin” McEwen. He is survived by his daughter, Margaret “Megan” Britt, son-in law Ellis “Butch” Britt Jr., of Jefferson, GA, grandson Robert Britt and wife Katie of Jefferson, GA, grandson Wesley Britt of Denver, CO, great-grandchildren Kenlee, Conner and Cohen Britt and brother Daniel McEwen.

Bob was a very proud United States Marine. He enlisted in 1946 at age 17 and retired as a 2ndLt in 1967. Following retirement, Bob was a Sales Manager for United Media for another 20 years, retiring as a VP of Sales in 1978. Bob served as President of the U.S. Marine Corps Correspondents Association in 1971, 1997 and 1998, served as Mayor of Indian Shores, FL, from 1990-2000 and was Commissioner of the Pinellas Suncoast Fire District from 2000-2008.

Bob lived life to the fullest. He and Mary-Carter were avid world travelers, visiting more than 30 countries after retirement.
At Bob’s request, no services will be held. His ashes will be buried next to his late wife Mary-Carter and son Gavin at Bay Pines National Veteran’s cemetery in St. Petersburg, FL.

The family is grateful for condolences, but declines flowers and donations.


(Photo by Master Gunnery Sgt Joe Espinosa)

(Photo by Master Gunnery Sgt Joe Espinosa)

Deputy Director of the Corps’ Office of Communication in the Pentagon, Col. Brad Bartelt along with NCOIC Master Gunnery Sgt. Chuck Albrecht, welcomed a visit from CC President Keith Oliver and CC Foundation President Manny Pacheco on April 19. The USMCCCA duo discussed a wide range of mutual issues with their active duty comrades, including the annual awards program, the 2017 conference and the merger among the Marines’ storytelling military occupational specialties.


2017 Dedicated Member Program Kicks-off

The USMCCCA 2017 Dedicated Member program is off and running this week.  This program was begun in the early 2000s as a backup to our annual Booster Club drive for contributions from those members who wanted to participate in our various programs but could not fit their gift into a Booster Club category. 

Gifts to the Foundation can be at any level and can be designated to the USMCCCA Scholarship Funds or to the general fund to help keep the organization afloat.  When you receive your dedication envelope you may even designate your gift in honor of a friend, loved one, or even yourself.  All gifts will be acknowledged in our new monthly e-newsletter “Now Hear This“ as well as our year-end USMCCCA Annual Journal.  All gifts should be made payable to the USMCCCA Foundation.


USMCCCA friends and colleagues in May issue of Proceedings

Cpl. Kimberly Aguirre's photo from Hurricane Matthew relief in Haiti helped illustrate Lt.Col. James W. Hammond III's 2016 Corps roll-up in the May issue of Proceedings.

Cpl. Kimberly Aguirre’s photo from Hurricane Matthew relief in Haiti helped illustrate Lt.Col. James W. Hammond III’s 2016 Corps roll-up in the May issue of Proceedings.

President’s Notes

The current issue of Proceedings, the U.S. Naval Institute’s 144-year-old flagship pub, is replete with names familiar to USMCCCA folk.

CC Joe Plenzler was praised by USNI CEO Vice Adm. Peter Daly for his “positive impacts on membership and engagement” as he leaves the Annapolis outfit to join USMCCCA stalwart John Raughter in doing liaison work with the American Legion.

Joe’s work as the Institute’s vice-president for marketing and membership had followed in the footsteps of CC lifers Betsy Judge and Chas Henry.

Speaking of the Legion, sales are steady for longtime staffer Bob Bowen’s new book, My Life and Lens. Watch for fellow CC mustanger Bob Jordan’s review in an upcoming Leatherneck.

From our mantle-has-been-passed department, retired Lt. Col. James W. Hammond III, son of USMCCCA Denig nominee,  the late Col. “Wes” Hammond, was bylined atop Proceedings’ annual “U.S. Marine Corps in Review.”  The younger Hammond was featured as a character in at least one of his Dad’s books and picked up the professional writing bug early in his wide-ranging career.

One of ComCam's warrior-leaders, CWO2 Paul Mancuso, had some of his work featured in the current Naval Institute Proceedings.

One of ComCam’s warrior-leaders, CWO2 Paul Mancuso, had some of his work featured in the current Naval Institute Proceedings.

His current piece was illustrated by a bevy of USMC Office of Communications warriors’ photos, including those snapped by Cpl. Kimberly Aguirre and CWO2 Paul Mancuso.

Hammond’s father was well-known to a generation of Marines as Gazette editor when the post was an active duty billet.  He commanded the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines (“The Magnificent Bastards”) in Vietnam and headed up MarForPac intel during some of the that war’s most critical years.
Katie Haddock’s former CJCS boss, retired Gen. Pete Pace, was named new board chair for the Institute Foundation’s trustees.  

The May issue of Proceedings also featured the Corps’ current general officer roster, helping CC readers keep tabs on the likes of Lt. Gen. Gary Thomas (2015 Conference Guest of Honor and Mawk Arnold‘s cousin), Maj. Gen. Paul Kennedy (CG, MCRC and former DivPA), and Maj. Gen. Stacy Clardy (J-8 Staff and former USMC Community Relations head).

— Keith Oliver, USMCCCA President