- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 23, 2006


With so many U.S. military personnel on active duty in the Middle East, images from the region dominated the top entries in the Visual Information Awards held at the Defense Information School at Fort Meade, Md.

The Defense Department calls on its military photographers to submit their best work each year for a competition that has been co-sponsored by the National Press Photographers Association since 1961.

Reproduced here are a few of the most compelling entries, drawn from the categories of combat documentary, picture story, news, feature, portrait/personality, illustrative, pictorial and sports. Judging was last month.

The competition originates in the office of the assistant secretary of defense for public affairs and is administered by the Defense Information School.

In all, 224 active duty, reserve and National Guard enlisted personnel submitted 1,813 single images or stories for consideration.

The still photography entries were judged by Jim Watson of Agence France-Presse, who was a Navy photojournalist for eight years; Eli Reed of Magnum Photos, who teaches photojournalism at the University of Texas in Austin; and William T. Douthitt, a senior editor for National Geographic magazine.

The military photographer of the year is U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jeremy T. Lock of the 1st Combat Camera Squadron in Charleston, S.C. The runner-up is Navy Petty Officer Chad J. McNeeley of Olney.

Tech. Sgt. Lock, a graduate of Syracuse University’s photojournalism program, is in his sixth year as an Air Force photographer. After college, he was assigned to the 1st Combat Camera Squadron in Charleston, and his Air Force assignments have taken him around the world and into various combat zones. He participated in the book project, “A Day in the Life of the United States Armed Forces.”

The military videographer of the year is U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Anna M. Wiese of the 1st Combat Camera Squadron in Charleston. The runner-up is U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Juan M. Femath of Air University Television at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base in Alabama. There were 124 entries from 56 personnel in this category.

The military graphic artist of the year is U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Robert Cook. The runner-up is U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Kurt H. Skoglund. There were 363 entries from 92 personnel in this category.

A complete review of the winning images can be seen online at https://events.dinfos.osd.mil/viap.



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