Monday, January 18, 2016

MC Perspective: Lose the uniform

Everyone's watching you MC1.

See that guy in the suit down there on the floor? That's MC1 Tim Godbee on C-Span. He's the personal photographer for the Secretary of Defense. Yes, this is a job we do. If you're good enough they'll ask for a 2-3 year tour, following SECDEF all over the world.

There are also MCs working for the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON), the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS).

I asked MC1 to fill us in on what he does.


What were you doing in this screenshot? What's it like?

I'm covering the Secretary of Defense speaking on the hill. It's tough fighting off civilian press, but you have to realize you're the official photographer and have to assume that if you don't get a photo of him somewhere, he was never there. 

"Your shot is the most important in the room."

You're documenting history. It's an interesting dynamic often being the lowest ranking person in rooms full of presidential appointees and flag officers, but you can't be shy. Get in and get your shot (and get used to getting kicked out of rooms).

This pretty much sums up MC1's career so far.

 How is it working in a suit?

Working in a suit changes everything because people don't know who you are, they just know you're with the boss. I've already had flag officers get out of my way and get a lot of unwarranted sirs. 

You have to find a balance between not looking crazy in your suit and having enough gear to get you through the day. Travel light but efficient. And buy them cheap because you wear them so much and do so much moving they wear out quick.

FUN FACT:  MC1 Godbee wrote my blog before he enlisted. He found me and asked me for advice. Now he outranks me. THAT'S how fast this guy has moved up. Keep killing it out there!

MC2 Pineiro is clearly in the moment, adopting an aggressive stance to get the shot.

Here's another MC doing big things. MC2 Dominique Pineiro works for the CJCS.

DEFINITION: "Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the highest-ranking military officer in the United States Armed Forces and is the principal military advisor to the President, the National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council, and the Secretary of Defense."

What's happening in this photo MC2?

I'm taking a photo of General Dunford, General Dempsey and the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman for SEAC's change of responsibility ceremony. There were about 900 people there.

Conducting an interview with Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. No big deal.

 How do you like the work?

Make no mistake about it, the work is tough, but it's one of the most rewarding and unique jobs in the entire DoD. History unfolds in front of us and we're there to capture it.  

"When I was in Iraq I took five flights in one day. 

That was a motherf*cker."

He said he's been to eleven countries already. Not bad considering total time on the job is about two months.