Team

Military Veterans in Journalism was founded in 2019 by U.S. Marine Corps veteran Russell Midori and U.S. Navy veteran Zack Baddorf.

Zack Baddorf

Executive Director / Founder

I’m a journalist and filmmaker with more than 15 years of experience producing award-winning stories from more than 30 countries, including Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the West Bank, and Kashmir, as well as rebel-held territory in Sri Lanka and Burma.

My work has been published by the New York Times, Washington Post, BBC, Reuters, AP, The Guardian, CBS, ABC, NPR, the Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, Newsweek, VICE, RYOT, Al Jazeera English, and other publications in video, radio, photo, and print formats. My videos on social media alone have more than 30 million views.

While based in the Central African Republic, I broke the news of the American military ending its mission against the Lord’s Resistance Army. My in-depth reporting on the Syrian town of Moadamiyah contributed to humanitarian access being granted to besieged people there. Weeks before Russian troops invaded Crimea, my reporting from the peninsula highlighted its political importance in the conflict.

I work as a video producer for the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism, crafting anti-ISIS videos. For a year in Afghanistan, I worked on rural, remote bases for the U.S. Special Operations Command as a civilian videographer, alongside Green Berets, Navy SEALs and Afghan security forces.

I have also worked as an adjunct professor at New York University and New York Film Academy, teaching public relations and broadcast journalism. I've got a master of fine arts degree in documentary studies, a master of arts degree in international relations, another master’s in public relations and a bachelor's in journalism.

Rich Dolan

School Outreach Manager

Rich Dolan is an Assistant Professor of Military Science at Hofstra University in Long Island, New York where he teaches Military Science and Tactics to third-year Army ROTC Cadets. He has served on active duty in the U.S. Army as an infantry officer for six years and will soon transition into reserve duty. Prior to his current assignment, Rich was a Leader Rakkasan.

Rich is pursuing his master of arts in journalism at Hofstra University and will earn his degree in May 2020. He has been published in The Points Guy, Military Times, U.S. Veterans Magazine and the Maneuver Center of Excellence Donovan Research Library on a variety of topics.

Babee Garcia

Director of Digital Strategy and Content

Babee Garcia is an award-winning multimedia journalist with experience in print, digital, and broadcast television reporting. She has covered a wide range of stories involving LGBTQ+ rights, politics, body image acceptance, and military-related issues.

She used the post 9/11 GI Bill to earn a bachelor's degree in journalism at Montclair State University and completed the certificate program at the Connecticut School of Broadcasting in Hasbrouck Heights, NJ. After graduating from college, she was the Digital and Press Assistant for Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) for one year. She recently made the move to Charlottesville, VA to become a News Producer for CBS 19 News.

During spring break 2018, she traveled to Puerto Rico with student and faculty journalists to document recovery efforts after Hurricane Maria impacted the island. Her mini-documentary "Meals with Love" was featured for the special half-hour edition of "Montclair News Lab: Hurricane Recovery Mission to Puerto Rico." She and her team earned prestigious awards, including a collegiate Emmy from the Television Academy Foundation, Bricker Humanitarian Award, and a student Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Video Reporting from the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA).

Babee served on active-duty in the Marine Corps from 2013- 2016 as an Aviation Supply Specialist in MCAS New River, NC.

Clyde Gunter

NYC Chapter President

Clyde Gunter is a United States sailor turned multimedia journalist who is currently completing his studies in Documentary Filmmaking at The New York Film Academy. Clyde served on active duty in the United States Navy from 2013 - 2018 as an Operations Specialist. He initially served three years in Sasebo, Japan, where he deployed with two amphibious warfare ships as his department's career counselor. Then he concluded his final two years of service in San Diego, California on board the guided missile destroyer USS Decatur (DDG 73). During his enlistment, in a matter of two years, Clyde was promoted from the apprentice ranking of E1 to the supervisory ranking of E5 for his exemplary performance along with several recommendations from his senior officials. As a result of his tenacious work ethic paired with heavily-praised leadership abilities, he is a two-time recipient of The Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2016, 2017) as well as the Humanitarian Service Medal (2014).

Jonathon House

Podcast Producer/Host

Jonathon Sheley House is a lifelong learner with a passion for service. In 2011 he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, serving aboard Marine Corps Air Station-Iwakuni as the News Director for the local American Forces Network affiliate where he led a team covering events such as President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima and earthquake relief efforts. He separated in 2016 at the rank of sergeant. In 2017 he was a Fellow with NPR’s Next Generation Radio program and in 2018 he was a Fellow with The Mission Continues, serving in the Office of Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Emerson College in Journalism (2018) and Public Relations (2020).

Francisco Martínezcuello

San Francisco Chapter President

Francisco Martínezcuello will be a student at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism – Class of ’22. He was born in Santo Domingo, República Dominicana and raised on Long Island, New York. His passion for storytelling began as a teenager and continued throughout his 20 years of Marine Corps service. He serves as an editor and contributing writer to Panorama: The Journal of Intelligent Travel. He is an Into the Fire Writing Retreat Scholarship Recipient, a Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Fellow, and a contributing co-editor of the veteran anthology, Incoming: Sex, Drugs, and Copenhagen. Francisco has been published in Hobart Pulp, Construction Literary Magazine, The War Horse, Split Lip Magazine, River Teeth: Beautiful Things, Collateral Journal and the Dominican Writer’s Association. Publications and social media are posted on his website – www.themotorcyclewriter.com.

Russell Midori

President / Founder

Russell Midori has worked in multimedia production for ten years, both as a freelancer and on newsroom staffs. He has held a staff position as a journalist and cinematographer for CBS News network since 2017, traveling overseas and around North America to produce breaking news, character-driven features and the occasional long-form broadcast. He relies on his documentary background to influence storytelling on CBS This Morning, Evening News, 48 Hours, and CBS Sunday Morning.

Russell is an Overseas Press Club Foundation board member, a frequent guest lecturer at colleges and universities, and he volunteers as an alumni mentor for students in the Brooklyn College Radio and Television department.

He used the post-9/11 GI Bill to earn a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism from Brooklyn College and a dual master’s degree in investigative journalism and documentary production from Columbia University. He has done field work in Iraq, Kurdistan, Korea, India, Mexico, Haiti and Standing Rock. He produced several segments for an Emmy-winning broadcast, and received an OPC award and a Mark of Excellence Award from the Society of Professional Journalists.

He served on active-duty in the Marine Corps from 2008 - 2012, and was twice named an honor graduate of courses at the Defense Information School. During his enlistment he held the rank of sergeant and served as the NCOIC of the Parris Island Public Affairs Office. In 2014 he did a six-month tour at Marine Forces Europe and Africa as a reservist, working as the director of photography and editor for Marine Corps video content shot across both continents.

Jared Morgan

Los Angeles Chapter President

It was the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq that prompted Jared to become a journalist. Several other well-calculated factors were involved, but this event was the catalyst. Just before President George W. Bush's declaration of war, the Ali Al Salem air base in Kuwait was abuzz with media activity. As forward echelon units and their media embeds quickly moved across the northern border, so too did the excitement of purpose. The base fell quiet and its support personnel looked on at Fox News — the only channel higher-ups allowed in the rec tents — to witness the action of war they had also trained to endure.
For more than 10 years, Jared has worked loosely in the field of journalism and more broadly in media as a content manager and web designer. He spent three years as a reporter and editor for Patch.com, an upstart national news organization owned by Aol, for which he launched its first attempts at covering the community aspect of U.S. military bases. Jared spent another three years covering the gun world as a political editor. He's written articles for local and international publications like Al Jazeera America, Public Radio International and has produced radio segments for NPR affiliate KCRW in Santa Monica.

Since 2014, Jared has worked in veterans' advocacy with The American Legion, where he's held an advisory council seat on the VSO's National Media & Communications Commission. Jared is currently The American Legion Department of California's newsletter editor and web team lead, working to report on issues important to the veteran community and helping to grow the veteran service organization's influence through advocacy journalism.

Jared hopes to use his connections in the veterans space to help Military Veterans in Journalism grow its reach and influence.

Erich Reimer

Blog Manager

Erich Reimer is a DC-area attorney. Prior to joining the United States Army his media experience consisted of working at a columnist at various publications and as Host of Tech Investment Insights at Seeking Alpha, focusing on financial commentary and reporting with an emphasis on technology companies and markets, through both of which he also appeared frequently on television news. He currently serves in the US Army's Judge Advocate General's Corps at the rank of Captain and is stationed at Fort Lee. He holds a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Pennsylvania, a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, and is a licensed member of the DC Bar.

Jeff Dean

Slack Community Manager

Jeff Dean was a MEDEVAC crewchief in the U.S. Army for 9 years, serving in Iraq in 2006 and 2008 in the Baghdad theater of operations. After getting out of the military in 2013 Jeff studied at the University of Oregon, earning his BA and MA in Journalism. He is currently based in Cincinnati, Ohio where he is a freelance photographer for Reuters and Agency France Presse.

Melia Summers

Special Projects Officer

Melia Summers is pursuing a Bachelor's of Arts in Political Science and Middle Eastern Studies with a minor in Arabic at New York University’s global scholars program in Abu Dhabi. She has been studying Arabic for the past six years. Her research focuses include: the role of private military contractors in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the security implications of the Belt Road Initiative; and the influence of Wahhabism on the Saudi-American military alliance.

Prior to working for MVJ, she interned for Hedayah Center of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. where she supported the research behind the center’s countering and preventing violent extremism projects in Kenya and Singapore.

Post graduation, she aims to enlist in the U.S. Armed Services.