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Defense Department Honors its Military Journalists

By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

FORT MEADE, Md., May 9, 2014 – More than 110 Defense Department employees and organizations were honored today for the extraordinary sacrifices made by military journalists and visual information specialists around the world.

The annual Defense Department Communicators of Excellence awards ceremony was held at the Defense Information School or DINFOS, where service members and civilians were recognized for excellence in graphic arts, photography, videography and visual information production.

This year garnered more than 3,500 award submissions from 603 entrants.

On behalf of President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Brent Colburn, assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, noted the worldwide scope of coverage of DOD’s activities which includes a presence in 94 countries.

“Even with the changing mission coming out of Iraq and Afghanistan, that global footprint is going to remain vital, and we’re going to remain engaged around the world, so these are truly global awards,” he said.

Those honored represent the best, brightest and most-talented of media working on every continent, in every type of situation, he added.

“Without our journalists and visual information specialists, both uniformed and civilian, it would be difficult for [DOD] … to meet its obligations to document our actions, tell our story and keep the American people informed,” Colburn said.

He also noted that DINFOS does an “outstanding job” every day, providing the armed services with highly skilled print and broadcast journalists, public affairs specialists and visual information professionals that comprise the Defense communications team.

Thanking what he called a “unique group of public servants,” Colburn emphasized the difficult nature of their jobs to tell DOD’s story.

“You all put yourselves in harm’s way so that our citizens can be better armed to understand the work that the military does,” he said. “The sacrifices you make speak not only to your character, but to the values of this nation.”

Follow Terri Moon Cronk on Twitter: @MoonCronkAFPS


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