CAMP JOHNSON, N.C. -- Year after year, the Combat Camera-Instructional Media office at Camp Johnson receives awards and accolades for their outstanding work in supporting Marine Corps training and operations.
In the last four years, combat camera has won 15 Department of Defense awards for excellence in digital art, multimedia presentation, graphic art and other visual formats. Two Marines from the shop were recognized this year for their work in illustration and multimedia.
Corporal Sean Murphy, a combat illustrator from Abilene, Texas, received the DoD award for work he did for the new Consolidated Academic Instruction Facility on Camp Johnson.
“I did an illustration for the building, a portrait of Master Gunnery Sgt. Brooks Elbert Gray Jr.,” said the 24-year-old. “Master Gunnery Sgt. Gray was one of the founding members of the Montford Point Association, and the building is going to be named after him. The illustration is going to be hung in the lobby.”
This is not the first time Murphy has been recognized for his exceptional work. Last year he won two awards- one for animation and one for digital art.
“I submitted work in four different categories,” said Murphy. “I was pretty confident
I would win something; I am confident in anything I send in. I do my best on every project, so every project is the best I can possibly do.”
The other Marine to come away with an award was Sgt. Gabriel Sotelo, with a first place and an honorable mention in the multimedia category.
“I thought I was going to place. I just didn’t think I was going to win first place,” said Sotelo. “I submitted items in four categories, but I felt most confident in the multimedia category.”
His project, a multimedia presentation for the Logistics Operations School, gave an introduction to amphibious embarkation that included interactive quizzes and lessons that reinforced the learning objectives presented by the instructors.
“Basically, our job is to supplement the courses presented at the school,” said Sotelo. “We want to make something memorable that will help the students remember what they’ve been taught. I think what we do here helps them walk away from the school with something they will remember.”
The Combat Camera-Instructional Media section is a unique unit in the Marine Corps. They are the only unit designed specifically for visual training support.
“No one else in the military really does what we do,” said Soleto. “We hear from the classes all the time. They are always saying how much our presentations help the course and how much they appreciate what we do here.”
According to Capt. James Bouns, an instructor at the Supply School, ever since the unit began producing its unique training aids, the school hasn’t been the same.
“They’re great,” he said. “They are bunch of sharp Marines who make a huge impact on our training. With their support, it makes our job that much easier.”
With the success of their multimedia classroom aids, many of the service schools are requesting presentations be made for their specific courses.
“Each project takes about four months to finish,” said Soleto. “It is really a challenge to adapt to and create lesson plans that are interesting and motivate the students. With every project, I try to make the scenarios as real as possible.”
Most projects are all-in-one student aids, including core information, video, animation and quizzes that test the students as they progress through the material. Many times, the information included in the presentation is useful and well organized, and the students ask for copies to keep with them after they graduate into the fleet Marine Corps.
The Marine Corps as a whole will continue to benefit from this award-winning unit and so will the students who pass through the schools because the work the Combat Camera-Instructional Media unit does affects a large number of Marines. By supporting the schools that train important and wide-ranging jobs, they touch, in some way, almost every Marine in the fleet.