For lack of better words, being a combat camera is unique. You, whether a lower enlisted or NCO, are trusted by battlefield commanders to quickly and diligently provide them with useful visual information in any given environment. That includes frontline combat. It’s humbling, to say the least. I can’t imagine another job in the military where your purpose is to document history, combat operations and be a staple for information operations.
One of the many things I will take away from being a combat camera is being able to wear “multiple hats.” We often operate alone and are entrusted to brief commanders, and execute any mission. At any given notice you can be in combat alongside special operations, or working with local law enforcement during a hurricane. I found being a force enabler to the Department of Defense as a whole taught me to trust in myself and my abilities, as well as my training.
My favorite activity outside of military duty is reading nonfiction, listening to podcasts and watching documentaries. I’m happiest when I learn something new. Books, podcasts and documentaries provide lessons and information I use to improve myself and teach others.
I joined the military because I felt college was limiting my ability to create meaningful experiences. To me, education is important, but oftentimes we forget a classroom isn’t the only place we can learn something. I wanted life experience, and I needed challenges. The military is where I receive both.