148th photographer takes 1st place in National Guard media contest

A UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter, of the North Dakota Army National Guard, 2-285 Assault Battalion, of Bismarck, N.D., lifts off from a landing strip in LaMoure, N.D while continuing on a mission to alleviate the flow of water over an eroding emergency spillway at nearby Lake LaMoure on April 16, 2009.   310 members of the Minn. National Guard were deployed to eastern North Dakota under an Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) to provide assistance to civil authorities to support flood fighting operations.  This is the first time the Minnesota National Guard has deployed to North Dakota under this mutual aid compact.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Brett R. Ewald)

A UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter, of the North Dakota Army National Guard, 2-285 Assault Battalion, of Bismarck, N.D., lifts off from a landing strip in LaMoure, N.D while continuing on a mission to alleviate the flow of water over an eroding emergency spillway at nearby Lake LaMoure on April 16, 2009. 310 members of the Minn. National Guard were deployed to eastern North Dakota under an Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) to provide assistance to civil authorities to support flood fighting operations. This is the first time the Minnesota National Guard has deployed to North Dakota under this mutual aid compact. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Brett R. Ewald)

A C-47 Chinook helicopter, of the Minn. Army National Guard, 34th Combat Aviation Brigade, prepares to lower a group of large 2600 pound concrete mats to the shore of a quickly eroding emergency spillway at Lake LaMoure, near LaMoure, N.D. early in the morning on April 17, 2009.  Approximately 310 members of the Minn. National Guard were deployed to eastern North Dakota under an Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) to provide assistance to civil authorities to support flood fighting operations.  This is the first time the Minnesota National Guard has deployed to North Dakota under this mutual aid compact.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Brett R. Ewald)

A C-47 Chinook helicopter, of the Minn. Army National Guard, 34th Combat Aviation Brigade, prepares to lower a group of large 2600 pound concrete mats to the shore of a quickly eroding emergency spillway at Lake LaMoure, near LaMoure, N.D. early in the morning on April 17, 2009. Approximately 310 members of the Minn. National Guard were deployed to eastern North Dakota under an Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) to provide assistance to civil authorities to support flood fighting operations. This is the first time the Minnesota National Guard has deployed to North Dakota under this mutual aid compact. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Brett R. Ewald)

Minn. Army National Guard Capt. Cochrane (left), 34th ID, 2-135 Battalion, Alpha Company Commanding Officer, communicates with the Adjutant General of the North Dakota National Guard, Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk (center) as Specialist Grandell looks on, during operations to slow the flow of water that is quickly eroding emergency spillway at Lake LaMoure, near LaMoure, N.D. on April 16, 2009.   310 members of the Minn. National Guard were deployed to eastern North Dakota under an Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) to provide assistance to civil authorities to support flood fighting operations.  This is the first time the Minnesota National Guard has deployed to North Dakota under this mutual aid compact.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Brett R. Ewald)

Minn. Army National Guard Capt. Cochrane (left), 34th ID, 2-135 Battalion, Alpha Company Commanding Officer, communicates with the Adjutant General of the North Dakota National Guard, Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk (center) as Specialist Grandell looks on, during operations to slow the flow of water that is quickly eroding emergency spillway at Lake LaMoure, near LaMoure, N.D. on April 16, 2009. 310 members of the Minn. National Guard were deployed to eastern North Dakota under an Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) to provide assistance to civil authorities to support flood fighting operations. This is the first time the Minnesota National Guard has deployed to North Dakota under this mutual aid compact. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Brett R. Ewald)

DULUTH, Minn. -- Tech. Sgt. Brett Ewald, 148th Public Affairs, was announced as the first place winner in the Air National Guard Media Contest photojournalism category.

Ewald's work during the 2009 flood fighting efforts told the story of Minnesota National Guard members deployed to North Dakota to support local officials in battling the overwhelming flood waters. Category 7, photojournalism, in the media contest focuses on both written stories and supporting imagery.

"This is the first year the 148th has won in the media contest." said Master Sgt. Jason Rolfe, "This honor validates the outstanding work our Public Affairs professionals like Ewald continue to provide for our unit and our state."

Judges waded through a record-setting number of entries in the National Guard's annual media contest this year, which included more than 700 print stories and about 140 broadcast packages.

The entries ranged from stories about the Guard's efforts to empower women in Iraq to a haunted officer's club in Michigan and came from units located around the country. They were written and produced here and by deployed troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo.

Fifteen print judges sifted through 406 Army Guard entries and 290 Air Guard entries. Contest judges were picked for their experience in military and civilian journalism, public affairs and military history.

"I was amazed by how much the Guard does all over our country, and by the contributions they make in ways big and small," said Jeri Robinson, a public affairs specialist at the Internal Revenue Service who was a new judge this year, via email. "It was a humbling, yet proud, experience."

The National Guard Media Contest awards will be presented at the Public Affairs training conference in October.

Print and broadcast winners were forwarded to the next level of competition-the Army's Keith L. Ware Contest and the Air Force Media Contest.

The Army National Guard was allowed to forward three entries in each category and the Air Guard was allowed one in each category to the next level of competition.

For more about the media contest, including winning entries and judges comments, go to http://www.ng.mil/features/MediaAwards/default.aspx