CAMP PENDLETON — With sought-after strategy comms expert Helio “Fred” Garcia among the speakers, the First Marine Expeditionary Force public affairs office convened its second annual Communications Summit at Camp Pendleton earlier this week.
MEF PAO Lt. Col. Chris Perrine credited his deputy, Maj. Staci Reidinger, with pushing the concept – a robust blend of academic and real world thought and discussion which included a variety of southern California military public affairs practitioners as well as Combat Camera representatives.
The inclusion of ComCam was no accident, according to Reidinger, who noted the MEF’s day-to-day teamwork approach with their imagery-gathering counterparts. A highlight of the sessions was HQMC’s Maj. Sean Hays’ briefing on the merger of the two occupational fields.
In addition to a lively pitch from Marine Corps social media guru, Sgt. Julia Dagostino and a strategic planning class offered by Reidinger and MEF PAO operations head, Capt. Rachel Nolan, the group also heard from CC national president Keith Oliver, who was invited to speak on PA and ComCam’s historical perspectives on behalf of the USMCCCA.
“If Norm Hatch’s and Bob Jordan’s and Dale Dye’s ears were itching, “ Keith said, “it’s because I used their names and war stories as examples in trying to explain ComCam’s and public affairs’ contributions during wars and crises over the past seven or eight decades.”
Oliver also freely cited current and deceased USMCCCA members Jack Lewis and Jack Paxton(Korea); Russ Thurman, Steve Stibbens and William Perkins (Vietnam); John East (Grenada); Eric Dent and Keith Milks (Afghanistan); Joe Sanders and Brett Beard (Iraq); and Neil Gillespie and Jerry O’Leary (WWII).
“We received pledges of CC annual conference attendance and support from the Camp Pendleton-based shops,” Keith said, as well as from “Capt. Skye Martin’s Marines at 12th Marine Corps District and lst Lt. Karen Holliday’s at Twentynine Palms.”
2nd Lt. Holli Richmond coordinated the event and it was she who first made the call to CCHQ inviting association participation.
The USMCCCA Annual Conference & Training Symposium is set for August 21-24 2017 at the Crowne Plaza San Diego, Click here for room reservation. Marine Commandant, Gen. Robert Neller, has been invited to address the association as Awards Banquet speaker on Thursday night.