Saturday, May 29, 2010

Symposium - A different view

SN Jonathan Sunderman, a student from the Defense Information School’s BMCSC class 020-10, listens while Rear Admiral Dennis J. Moynihan, Chief of Information, speaks during the 2010 Navy Public Affairs & Visual Information Symposium.

Photos & Story by SN Marty Carey

Recently, my class (BMCSC class 020-10) attended the 2010 Navy Public Affairs & Visual Information Symposium in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. We were able to meet with many high-ranking public affairs officials and talk to them about our future careers as the Navy’s newest MC’s.

Rear Admiral Dennis J. Moynihan, the Navy’s Chief of Information, spoke about the positive impact that the Navy Public Affairs and Visual Information made during the Haiti earthquake disaster.

Rear Admiral Victor G. Guillory, Commander, 4th Fleet, spoke about Operation Unified Response and how the Navy was instrumental with assisting in relief efforts and how the PA departments managed 24-hour lines of communication, keeping all governments and services updated.

We really enjoyed being able to see a portion of how the PA system operates, and how our work will be put to use.

Students from the Defense Information School’s BMCSC class 020-10 listen while Rear Admiral Dennis J. Moynihan, Chief of Information, speaks during the 2010 Navy Public Affairs & Visual Information Symposium.

Mass Communication Specialist Chief Lisa Qualls, a Mass Communication Specialist Detailer, speaks with students from the Defense Information School at Fort George G. Meade, Md., about receiving their orders on where they will be stationed.

Editor:  A military detailer arranges where Sailors go for their next duty station.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A public affairs nightmare

Part of my job as a Navy MC is public affairs.  It's also one of the scariest.  One day, I could be standing in front of a camera updating the press about something very unpopular strategy or even troop deaths.  Any missteps are sure to be beamed around the globe.  Talk about being in the limelight.

Doug Suttles is in the limelight right now.  BIG TIME.  He's BP's Chief Operating Officer, and has been answering tough questions from the media since this mess started.  Watch this video and pay attention to the positive wording and even his hand motions. (palms toward us)  Really interesting stuff.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Symposium - Into the fire


Today I was a guest speaker at the Navy Public Affairs & Visual Information Symposium at the Renaissance Hotel in Baltimore, Md.  I was there to talk about what I've learned, and to give those in the fleet an idea of what to expect from MCs.

 A few words to describe it are: exciting, scary, and humbling.

It was exciting because of the opportunity.  How many E-3s still in school get to do something like this?  I was able to meet and hopefully make a good impression on many important people.  And I'm hoping with a name like Slaughter I'll be easy to remember.

It was scary because my job was to simply talk about my experience in the MC 'A' school course.  I was told not to get too technical, just to give the audience an idea of what I can do.  All my life I've been a planner.  I like to have details worked out.  This "just talk about" stuff gives me grey hairs.

I felt pretty humble as soon as I stepped into the hallway.  I'm not in Kansas/DINFOS anymore.

It's safe to say I was, by far, the lowest ranking Sailor in the building.  There was so much knowledge and experience everywhere I looked.  Everyone I met was very nice, though, and I never felt uncomfortable.  Rear Admiral Moynihan even gave me a symposium t-shirt.

Lt. Cmdr. Colkitt and I in front of one of the many booths set up at the conference.  I took pamphlets from all of them.

Lieutenant Commander Colkitt is the head of the Visual Information department at DINFOS.  VI is where members of every military branch come to learn everything they need to know about video, radio, and television.  We rode up together, which meant some great conversation about my field.

Haiti was the main topic, and the biggest room was filled with all sorts of talks about Operation Unified Response.  Another word on everyone's brains was "SOCIAL MEDIA".  Conversations about Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter were everywhere.  Crazy right?  The military understands that powerful community websites like these are here to stay.

More and more Navy ships have websites that are connected to Facebook pages.  My blog follows the same model.  Sign up here!  As far as ships go, the USS Harry S. Truman is a good example.  Stop by to see how they use Facebook on their website.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Avid about Joint Ops

The class studies quietly, and many quietly wonder what the heck I'm doing.

First of all, I'm sorry about the title.  -- So, two weeks into VPD and things are going well.  The class is a good one.  So far, everyone's been punctual and disciplined.  And no one's failed anything.  All this makes the instructors happy, which makes our lives easier.

We're editing on Avid software before shooting any video.  This seemingly backwards way is a fairly new method, and is designed to show us what makes a good shot and how they're pieced together into sequences. The idea is to make us better camera operators before we ever touch one.

We're studying light theory, camera design, and our roles in wartime, peacetime, and contingency missions.  (scroll down to the military dictionary definition on the link's page).

Students get acquainted with Avid's interface during the ABCs/123s exercise.

During the week, we move back and forth between two classrooms.  One is for lecture, the other for practice.  Practice is good, because our jobs are very hands-on.  And I learn best by doing.  

Plus, everyone likes the part where they get to play with electronics.

Cpl. Elorza makes a laminated slate, which will be used to mark each new shot's beginning.

Corporal Elorza is a Marine and our class leader.  His job is to act as chain of command between the students and instructors.  We had them during my 'A' school, too.  It's definitely an added strain for the CL, because he can't just show up to learn.  He has to keep an eye on much more.

Death by Power Point!!!!!

Continuity is a very important word to us.  We have to tell a story so that it flows naturally, and the viewer isn't jolted by strange cuts.  Clean entrances and exits are one tool to maintain continuity.  Let the subject move fully into and out of scenes.  If not, it may look abrupt, like they teleported in.

Djimon Hounsou dares us to find something wrong with his scene.

We've watched a few documentaries and instructional videos, but for many the most telling moments are seeing mistakes in Hollywood movies.  Yeah, they're everywhere.  A coffee mug or coat hanger will move around or even disappear from shot to shot. Gaping wounds suddenly heal, or hair length changes drastically.

Once the eyes are opened, the matrix is revealed!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Our future MCs -- O.O

This ragtag group is the Navy's newest MC 'A' school arrivals.  I got them together kind of spontaneously the other day and took a photo.  These are their "I'm kind of scared because I don't know what to expect" looks.  There's some good ones here, but as a team, it needs some work.

Now let's see if the photo will find it's way, through Facebook tagging, to the families of these Sailors.  I wish I had a shot of my group when we first arrived.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Ultimate Frisbee

There's several very good reasons why Ultimate Frisbee is so popular here on base and around the universe.  You don't have to be a PT stud to be good at it.  There's just enough contact (no tackling) to make it interesting.  And, most importantly, it's co-ed!  (on a good day)

I took some pictures, with my Cybershot with almost no zoom, and got yelled at for not playing.

I do it all for you guys...

Chief Carter, in the camo shorts, came out to represent.  He recently had his arm replaced with a cannon.

Some slight tapping occurs when opponents go for the frisbee at the same time.

Chief Shavers, always happy to be involved with the students, may have yelled and screamed as much as he threw and caught.

Most of these guys are new.  I'm looking forward to Warrior Day, when we'll have a chance to avenge an overtime loss against the Ultimate Frisbee (or were they playing football?) champs...Army 

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Don't drink & drive

This is SN Marty Carey's 29 second spot for EJC (Electronic Journalism Course-the 'A' school video portion). It was a learning experience for him for many reasons. I think the big thing for alot of us is time constraint. You learn fast that 29 seconds isn't much time.

Carey, like me, had to dump most of the footage he shot due to the time limit. For example, in the raw footage, Sunderman knocks on the door, I answer, we sit down and start drinking. That got cut down to what you see here.

Unfortunately, my lines got cut too, but I think I did a great job chugging that root beer.

Friday, May 14, 2010

His time has come

A once in a lifetime event just occurred for the man pictured above.   A whole new world opened up to him.  It's a world of joy and wonder, of peril and possible memory loss.

Cory Asato turned 21 yesterday.  Oh boy. 

His duty section surprised him with a happy birthday song.  (Asato, in typical humble fashion, had been denying it was his birthday all day.)

You can see him looking at his section leaders, saying "Did you do this?!"

Carey bought the cake and said a few words about Asato's character.

One of those words was Ironman.

The Ironman represents Asato's dedication to supreme physical form.  He's really a ripped little guy.

Towards the end, Carey realized he was missing out on gym time, and attempted to work out while eating the cake crumbs.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Management would like you to know that they are aware of the broken Followers section.  After researching the issue, I've realized this glitch has reared its ugly face for many other Blogspot Bloggers in the past.  Please stay calm.  I'm an MC.

Monday, May 10, 2010

A brave new world

Today I started 'C' school.  I am now a tiny blue drop in a sea of green.  Translation:  Out of a class of 22, there's only 2 Navy students.  The other is a first class petty officer back from the fleet.  The instructors and most of the other students are Army.  A few are Marines.

VPD, or Video Production and Documentation, is where I'll learn my specialized video trade.  I love video, so I'm definitely excited.  It's a different scene than the all-Navy courses I've been in for the past few months.  The most interesting aspect is the language.  In my new world it's "hua" instead of "roger that" or "aye aye", "go/no go" instead of "pass/fail", and  "latrine", rather than "head."

I experienced all of this to some degree during the mixed-branch courses I was enrolled in back in September.  But back then, the ratio of students was half blue/half green.

My phrase of the day is "25 Victor", which is the career path the Soldiers around me are on.

A hint of familiarity came when the class heard my last name for the first time.  "Whoa, that's a crazy last name!"  I think the Army would steal me away and make me a sergeant if they could. :)

Today's military has a very different face than in years past.  Every branch is being integrated, which means around the world Sailors, Marines, Soldiers, Airmen, Guardsmen, and Coasties are working side by side.

I'm very grateful for this opportunity to keep learning in 'C' school.  And it's not just about using a video camera.  In today's military landscape, it's all about productive joint operations!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Don't try this at home


Photos by Kathy & Lois

May 10th is rapidly approaching...  That means 'C' school and more blog posting!  I really couldn't find a Navy tie-in for most things I've done on leave.  (sitting on the beach, eating delicious restaurant food, riding my bike up and down the east coast, etc.)

I did have an adventure recently that deserves writing about.  If you want to bring your vehicle on a military base, you'll need a parking sticker.  (3 of them at Fort Meade) If you own a motorcycle, you'll probably be required to put them on the front fork. 

When you arrive at this juncture, DON'T do what I did.


I stuck the stickers in the wrong place.  At the bottom of the above photo, you can see part of the black circular seal that keeps the shock fluid in.  Well, the stickers were placed too low and dipped into that seal, dissolving much of the stickers, and causing shock fluid to leak.  

It took roughly an hour and lots of gasoline to get what was left of the decals off the fork. Those damn decals just don't want to die. Anti-theft design I suppose.  Here's a link with some hints if you find yourself in a similar situation.

Now I'm looking at a $200-300 repair bill.  Ouch.  Live and learn my fellow Sailors.  Put the stickers lower on the fork, on the metal tube that contains the fluid, not the one that dips into it.

This is the site you'd go to for more information about getting stickers or "registration decals".

To get my decals, I didn't have to take the on-base motorcycle safety course.  All I had to do was present my MSF card I received when I took the safety course in Florida to get my license.  Sports bike riders, I think you have to take a special course, because you're all crazy.


The new seal just came in, so I'll be taking my bike down the road today to have the leak fixed.  (With my good buddy Marty Carey following to bring me back again.)

My final thought
It doesn't matter how old you get, your parents can still make you feel like a dumb kid. :)