DINFOS Inducts Accomplished Alumni Into Hall of Fame
By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service
FORT MEADE, Md., Mar. 14, 2013 The Defense Information School honored seven alumni here today with induction into an inaugural Hall of Fame for excelling in journalism, photography and videography following graduation from the school.
Army Col. Jeremy Martin, commandant of DINFOS, described three of the seven inaugural honorees present -- Jim Bryant, John Roswell Camp and Clarence Page -- as part of a group who established themselves “among the best journalists, authors and visual information communicators in our nation.”
“This is a great day for the Defense Media Activity, and a great day for DINFOS,” Martin said. “And the culmination of a great deal of hard work and commitment resulting in a day to honor our esteemed Hall of Fame inductees.”
Martin saluted the honorees for their outstanding service, and for their “life-long commitment to professionalism and excellence which has propelled you to rise to the top of your profession.”
The commandant said he was pleased that the trio offered to “give back to the next generation of communicators who are here at our school” by talking to DINFOS students later in the day.
“In our enduring efforts to tell the story of our military to the American people and various audiences, we stand on your broad shoulders,” Martin told the honorees.
“Your portfolios and biographies are a testament to the obvious -- in your chosen fields of endeavor you are among the finest communicators of any generation,” he added.
And DINFOS is “tremendously proud to be associated with such great Americans and truly awesome professionals,” Martin said.
“You are charter members of the Defense Information School, Alumni Hall of Fame, Class of 2012,” he added. “Well done, and thanks for being here.”
Each honoree has a plaque and letter from Pentagon Press Secretary George Little, the assistant to the secretary of defense for public affairs, honoring them for serving in positions of prominence or creating award-winning work within the mass communications field.
Jim Bryant, who served in the U.S. Navy and graduated from DINFOS in 1980, is an award-winning freelance photographer and author.
During the ceremony, Bryant was praised for such achievements as winning over 60 state, regional and national awards for his work.
“It's an honor to stand here today among this distinguished group of people,” he said.
“Being in the craft for over three decades, I still get excited about a great picture or moving photographic essay,” Bryant said. “Photojournalism has been one of my great passions and made my life worthwhile.”
John Roswell Camp graduated from DINFOS in 1967. Camp served in the U.S. Army, and is a 1986 Pulitzer Prize winner in journalism. He uses the pseudonym John Sandford, and has published 31 novels which have all been featured on The New York Times Best-Seller List.
“It's been a very long and strange trip since 1967,” Camp said. “I spent 20 years as a newspaper reporter after I got out, and it was DINFOS that actually did that to me.”
Camp noted he had a history degree and planned to be a lawyer, but ended up stationed in Korea with Bob Keeler, another future Pulitzer Prize winner.
“I think I would have been a pretty good lawyer, but I don't think it would have been as interesting,” he said.
Clarence Page, a 1970 DINFOS graduate, also served in the U.S. Army, and is a 1989 Pulitzer Prize winner for commentary. Page has a syndicated writing column in over 150 newspapers, is a regular panelist on the “McLaughlin Group” and appears on the Public Broadcasting Service’s “NewsHour” with Jim Lehrer.
“I am truly humbled by this honor, and any of you that have seen me on ‘McLaughlin Group’ know that humility is not one of my usual emotions,” Page joked. “I just want to say that DINFOS gave me so much that I was not expecting.
“I am here today because I really wanted to beat a path back to DINFOS to … revisit my past,” he continued, “and also to just touch on the new generation coming up.”
Page credited DINFOS with bringing him discipline and organization -- especially important since he later was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder.
“Military journalists are in a position of being a bridge between the military world and the civilian world,” he said. “The older you get the more and more you see how different these two worlds are.
“Let me say 'thank you' to DINFOS,” Page added. “Thank you for this honor, which I cherish on so many levels.”
Joining Page, Bryant and Camp in the 2012 Alumni Hall of Fame class are former Vice President Walter Mondale, who’d served in the Army; author and teacher LouAnne Johnson, who’d served in the Navy and the Marines; Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Les Payne, who’d served in the Army; and Arizona State University journalism professor Stephen Doig, who’d served in the Army.
Doig’s work as a research editor was part of a team effort that was instrumental in the Miami Herald winning the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 1993.