Contact Us

Jack Paxton
Executive Director, USMCCCA
110 Fox Court,
Wildwood, FL 34785
+1 352-748-4698


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To send items for the website: USMCCCA Online


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Keith Oliver
Col. Sally Pritchett
Jack Paxton
Gene Smith


Sue Sousa
Dale Baird
George Chrisman
John Kloczkowski
Don Coleman
Tom Kerr
Manny Pacheco
Bob Bowen


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
Ed Benevente
Tom Kerr

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“First to Go” revised history ready for pre-orders

Pre-order your copy today!

Pre-order your copy today!

Our updated USMCCCA history is nearly ready for shipment. We have put the book’s index on our website. There are over 500 names listed alphabetically of those who have helped us tell our story. Are you included?

Certainly, if your name is in the index below, you will want a copy of the book that commemorates the role you played in our history, right? The original history “Last to Know, First to Go” covered our history from slightly before WWII to about 1987. We have included excerpts from the original and brought it forward from that date – thanks to those who answered our requests – to about 2012.

The book’s cost is $28 to members; $35 to non-members. If you use a credit card, add a dollar. There is a button on our website that permits this. If you wish to use a check, make it payable to USMCCCA, 110 Fox Ct., Wildwood, FL 3478. The book will be shipped from St. Johann Press directly to you with free postage.

Book Prices

Index of names included in the book
Abel, Jon, 116
Abizaid, John, 231
Abrams, Mike, 109
Acosta, Frank, 6
Adams, Arthur H., 61
Adreon, Franklin “Pete,” 255
Agostino, Luis, 215, 226
Aideed, Mouhamad Farrah,
185, 190
Aiken, LaDonna, 262–270

Click here to read more ›


Stars and Stripes interview Dale Dye

Dale Dye, right, directs Tom Hanks on the set of Steven Spielberg's

Dale Dye, right, directs Tom Hanks on the set of Steven Spielberg’s “Saving Private Ryan.” Dye, a Marine combat veteran, served as a technical adviser and actor on the film. He is now working on his first feature film as a director, “No better place to die.” (Courtesy of Dale Dye)

Dale Dye's latest film project.

Dale Dye’s latest film project.

Executive Director Note: The Stars and Stripes writer of the article, “War-movie adviser looks to troops, vets to fund his directorial debut”  should not have been surprised at anything during this interview. I’ve known Dale Dye since he was a young lance corporal and nothing surprises me these days about what he is doing when most his age would be heading into a retirement home. He has a very long relationship with this organization both as an enlisted contributor and many times winner in our Distinguished Performance Awards program and as an extremely effective public affairs officer.

What he has accomplished in the film industry not only brought recognition to our Association but resulted in movie-goers seeing what they should see when watching a military movie. He demands perfection and gets it! We awarded him the Donald Dickson Memorial Award at our annual conference and training symposium last week in San Diego. This could be compared to the NFL’s most valuable player award. In 1997 our Board voted him the Brig. Gen. Robert L. Denig Memorial Distinguished Service Award for excellence as a practitioner of mass communications for his film work. He is, as the man once said, the real deal. We’re very lucky that he is one of ours.

For more information about his current film: “No better place to die,” visit Dye’s Facebook page:


“Terminal Lance” was a hit

Max Uriarte aka

Max Uriarte aka “Terminal Lance” and Marines at the USMCCCA Distinguished Performance Awards Banquet, August 23, 2017 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in San Diego. Uriarte was the recipient of the Brigadier General Robert L. Denig Sr. Memorial Distinguished Service Award. (Courtesy of Max Uriarte)


Camp Pendleton on deck for Tuesday

Tuesday: August 22:
0800-0855 Prayer Breakfast (Non-Conference event, Guest Speaker: Deacon Pat Coulter)
0915-1500 Bus departs for Camp Pendleton 0930 sharp.
(For those registered and who paid the $20 bus surcharge) a
tour has been arranged by Base Public Affairs. The tour will
include a stop at I MEF Public Affairs. As we did several years
ago, we will invite active duty Marines to be our guests in one
of the Dining Halls.
1730-2400 Command Post open,
Peacock Room

We are at a point of inflection

Keith Oliver, National President

Keith Oliver, National President

President’s Notes

Well, this feels familiar.

The year was 1967, a half century ago. The U.S. Marine Corps Combat Correspondents Association gathered in Washington, D.C., to focus on a new mission at the behest of Director of Information, Brig. Gen. Frank Garretson:

“To … administer a prestigious annual program designed to recognize the professional competence of active-duty Marines in the fields of public information, photography and art.”

Author Garry Cameron (Last to Know, First to Go) described “poorly attended” conferences in Philadelphia and Atlantic City the prior two years and “an association floundered in direction and motivation.”

But a combination of rank-and-file enthusiasm, CMC support (including dedicated military airlift) and active national leadership involvement by some of our most revered and colorful names in the gyrene PR biz, e.g., Jim Hurlburt, Hal Watkins and Bob Suhosky, meant “the CCs were turned back on,” wrote Cameron.

That first line-up of awards consisted of 11 winners and, by the way, predated both the Thomas Jefferson Military Journalism Competition and the Army’s Keith L. Ware Awards Program.

The seed had been planted the year prior, making the ’67 confab “the best-attended, most productive and successful national assembly of Marine CCs in the history of the organization to that time.”

My fightin’ hole friends, ‘tis seed-planting time.

Oh, we are going to enjoy a fine conference in sunny San Diego this week. We’ve got some “name” speakers in Max “Terminal Lance” Uriarte, former DirPA Maj. Gen. Paul Kennedy and Hollywood go-to guy Dale Dye.

The inimitable Pat Coulter is back with us.

And a blast of last-minute fiscal energy by some especially busy operational commands ensured the presence of some of our award recipients who would not otherwise have been able to make it.

Plus we shall witness the posthumous designation of legendary war correspondent Dickey Chapelle as an Honorary Marine.

But I come to you now asking your help in making the 2018 Conference (set for 21-23 August on riverfront accommodations in historic New Bern, North Carolina) a CC get-together for the ages. We will mark the end of the first full year of the U. S. Marine Corps merger of all our storytellers into one MOS.

And I promised HQMC’s Master Guns Chuck Albrecht and his designated successor, Master Guns Michael Shellenbach, that the USMCCA will proudly be a force multiplier in making this unification of our colorful military occupational specialties a stunning success.

Count this, then, as your joyful battle cry to:

— Rededicate ourselves to the prestige and professionalism of the original USMC awards program which celebrates excellence among our video and still photogs, our scribbler and our combat artists;

— Actively engage today’s Marines — our successors. Encourage them to sign up as members, to submit their work for award consideration and to join us in good fellowship (and training) in New Bern next year;

— And prove to the world that “veterans groups” and “military associations” do not have to choose between camaraderie and professional development – they can and should be both.

Semper Fidelis!
Keith Oliver, National President


Updated Conference schedule…see you in San Diego!

Click on the image to download the latest version of the schedule.

Click on the image to download the latest version of the schedule.


Iwo Jima Association of America seeks volunteer Communications Director

The Iwo Jima Association of America (IJAA) is searching for a new Communications Director. This position is especially important as we begin preparations for the large 75th Anniversary of the Iwo Jima landing in 2020. This is an ideal position for a retired, or semi-retired, Marine Corps Combat Correspondent that resides in the Northern Virginia area to facilitate interface with the IJAA office in Woodbridge, VA.

IJAA is a non profit 501(c)(3) association whose primary fund raising go toward financially assisting veterans who cannot afford to return to Iwo Jima on the annual Reunion of Honor (RoH) tour each March. Consequently, the Director of Communications is not a paid position. The “compensation” is the satisfaction of assisting veterans, as well as having all your expenses paid, as approved by the leadership, to include Guam and Iwo Jima each year and the annual February reunion in CONUS.

The major responsibility of the Director is the preparation and publishing of the IJAA news letter, “The Black Sands” as well as the preparation, publishing and distribution of the annual “Pictorial” of the RoH on Guam and Iwo Jima.

If you are interested, please send a short resume setting forth your communication skills and experience to Art Sifuentes at:

Please be reminded, this is not a paid position.


Talented award winner

Award-winning photographer, Sgt. Kirstin Merrimarahajara, who snapped this shot of Marine training in Lithuania last November, is one of 36 imagery warriors, ink slingers and combat artists set to be recognized –- many in absentia -- next Wednesday night August 23, in San Diego.

Award-winning photographer, Sgt. Kirstin Merrimarahajara, who snapped this shot of Marine training in Lithuania last November, is one of 36 imagery warriors, ink slingers and combat artists set to be recognized –- many in absentia — next Wednesday night August 23, in San Diego.


Transportation to Hotel

Transportation- The 2 options when traveling from the San Diego International Airport are either SuperShuttle at the current rate of $12 per person, each way or a Taxi which is between $20-25, each way. The Crowne Plaza San Diego offers a complimentary area shuttle to Old Town and the Fashion Valley Mall on scheduled times throughout the day as well as the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld once daily.


Did you get a room?

The Crowne Plaza San Diego informs us that all the CC blocked rooms are full, so if any of our group forgot to make a reservation you will be taking a chance on getting either a triple AAA rate or joining the Holiday Inn rewards club (IHG) and getting their discount.  Military coming in will be charged at the $149 per diem rate.


Wolfkill: Purple Heart earning Cinematographer passes

Grant F. Wolfkill

Grant F. Wolfkill

Grant F. Wolfkill former combat cinematographer USMCR in Pacific Theater WW II died June 14, 2017 at age 94.  Grant was born November 29, 1922.

Grant joined the Marine Corps in 1943.  After completing recruit training at the Marine Corps Recruit Training Depot in San Diego California, he was assigned to the Photo School in Quantico, Virginia.  He completed still photo school and cinematography school.  His classmates in cinematography school included Robert LeRoy Watson and Bill Genaust.

He was then assigned as an instructor in the cinematography school under Captain Thayer Soule.  Wolfkill was sent to First Marine Division by air transport in time to film the battle for Peleliu.  Grant also participated in the landings on Okinawa where he earned the Purple Heart.  He was assigned to film Sixth Division combat and in particular the Fourth Marines.  (Final rank Staff SSgt, but not certain.)

After the war Grant worked for Karl Soule filming travelogues for a few years.  He then worked for BBC and then NBC as a field producer.  While with NBC, Grant was assigned to cover a pending peace conference in Laos.  His helicopter was shot down over Laos, and he, the pilot and crewmember were imprisoned and shackled for fifteen-months by the communist Pathet Lao. 

Grant’s indomitable spirit and fortitude helped his fellow prisoners survive, for which President John F. Kennedy awarded him the Freedom Medal in 1962.  He wrote his story “Reported to be Alive” with Jerry Rose.

 Leading an energetic life, Grant won second place driving a Porsche Spyder in the 1960 Macau Grand Prix.  He continued to work as a photojournalist until he was appointed Vice President of Public Information for a large pharmaceutical company.  He retired to his home in Shelton, Washington.

Grant is survived by his wife, Barbara, son Kim (Editor in Chief of Road and Track, and his daughter Kiki, a top executive at Microsoft.


Ten Marines awarded year-long professional scholarships

Conference Schedule

Conference Schedule

As part of the USMCCCA’s efforts to assist and mentor today’s combat correspondents, our board last year approved a decision to develop a scholarship program for our Distinguished Performance Award winning Marines in lieu of a check for $100.

To that end we have asked for support from the membership and our Foundation to pay for and provide scholarship to several of our winners.

This year we are partnering with Lynda.Com, which provides nearly 6,000 web based training courses on many areas of web design, photography, software development and a myriad of other business and communications topics.

We are proud to announce that 10 Marines will be receiving their one-year membership to (a $350 value) to sharpen their skills in the classes of their choosing. Please note that if you are the recipient of one of these certificates you will need to contact CCHQ to get your seat by 15 Sep 2017 or we will award this opportunity to another Marine.

This years’ recipients are:

Sgt Elize McKelvey — Military Graphic Artist of the Year
Sgt Justin Fisher — Operational Documentation
Sgt Isaac Ibarra — Mil. Photographer of the Year and Mil. Videographer of the Year
Sgt Daniel Kujanpaa — Operational Documentation
Cpl. Amaia Unanue — Photojournalism
LCpl. Miguel Rosales — News Photo
Cpl Aaron Patterson — Feature Photo
LCpt Devan Gowans — Multimedia Story
Sgt Brian Burdett — Video Feature Story
Sgt Ian Leones — Feature Story

If you are one of the Marines above, we encourage you to attend our annual Conference & Training Symposium in San Diego, Aug 21-24. If you can’t make it for the whole event, please try to make it to the Awards banquet at 1800 Aug. 23. Uniform is Dress Blues. All Distinguished Performance winners will receive the banquet meal free of charge. If you are planning to attend, please let Jack Paxton, executive director, know ASAP. His email: