Photography by John Michael

"Preserving the memories so others will remember"™

PART TWO: TOG on a Mission – 2010

PART ONE of this entry touched on the selection and inclusion of the photos from the cover through JUN 2010.   PART TWO  gets a bit more into history and background rather than the selection of photos as I go through JUL to DEC of 2010.
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Posted 8 years, 1 month ago at 5:50 am.


Spirit of America – US Army Style!

I had a small inkling of what to expect having spent many days among the Old Guard and US Army Band – “Pershing’s Own” – but after the show began, I thought different. What unfurled was a extravaganza that kept moving right up until intermission… it was fast action, informative, precision, pageantry with a heavy dose of history mixed into the delivery.    I was truly impressed and after the two hours of show, my camera had recorded over 800 photos of these Soldiers in action…  I’m sure the attendees in Columbus, OH and Providence, RI would have the same impression or better.

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Posted 8 years, 4 months ago at 11:59 am.

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Sharpening the Saw… PART Two

Ordnance Corps Insignia

Ordnance Corps Insignia

I can’t believe it’s been over a month since I went to Aberdeen and the US Army Ordnance Museum… which is where we left off from the last SAW installment. I had just spent the day at Mount Vernon partially with the Commander-in-Chief’s Guard who put on a wonderful display of “revolutionary” tactics and firing their “firelocks” AND The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps.

The following day was spent capturing another Presidential Salute Battery mission in Arlington National Cemetery. Finally on Wednesday, 18 FEB 2009, with snow flying, I headed North to the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, current home of the US Army Ordnance Museum and it’s outstanding outdoor display of armor, artillery and…
My mission there was to further uncover the role that G M Barnes played in WW II and learn what I could about the WW I artillery piece known as the “French 75” … I learned quite a bit since the resources at this museum’s library are extensive.
But let me back up a bit. Arriving on post for the first time I was unsure how to get to the museum (I need a GPS – donations welcome! UPDATE – Thanks but no thanks, my mobile phone has a better APP) I slowly went by this large large – HUGE actually mortar that several people would slip inside the tube with no problem and then missed the turn for the museum’s entrance, but was given a shot of “ordnance eye candy” as I circled the outside collection. WOW, what a sight!

When I finally got around to the entrance of the museum building, I was pleasantly surprised to find an M5 out in front “guarding” the museum. It was painted its tactical color and was complete with the sights that were used to aim this gun. Despite the precipitation, which by this time had turned from frozen into liquid, I got the camera out and captured a few photographs before going inside.
Once inside, I was pleasantly greeted by a staff member and then taken to the library where I was showered with attention to my requests. I spent the morning going over the provided materials and relishing in the information that I was gleaning from these treasured tomes. The door I opened again leading me to at least 6 more for me to check behind. Seems that the French 75 was a rather remarkable artillery piece for its time and was a very impressive that GEN Pershing ordered the fired the first round (and 9,999 more) to be packed up and sent back to the United States. Its place of honor after being paraded around to show the American people what we had done is at the US Military Academy – West Point Museum in New York

To be continued….


Posted 8 years, 11 months ago at 12:13 pm.

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13 Reasons to donate to The Old Guard Museum

In 2008, after speaking with men who had served in the Presidential Salute Battery as far back as the 1950’s, I concluded that there hadn’t been a calendar for the US Army’s oldest and most historic infantry regiment – 3d Infantry – “The Old Guard”

I had, since 2000 captured thousands of photographs from the final honors at Arlington National Cemetery, the change of commands, the retirements, Presidential Salute Battery missions, Twilight Tatoo and more. What would be the first calendar for this historic regiment, should be something to tie in with the new President that the United States was “inuagurating” in 2009 – The Old Guard is “The Escort to the President” – AHAH! Why not select the photos that showcase all the elite units and the regiment in all their pageantry and splendor.

That’s how “The Old Guard on Parade – 2009” became an inspiration. To become a reality, I had to find just the right photos that made this calendar the best for the best! With the help of the public affairs office of TOG, I was able to borrow a couple of photos that completed the 13 pages of photographs … 13 Reasons to donate to The Old Guard Museum!
The calendar, A COLLECTOR’s ITEM, is still available for sale via the links that are on this blog or my website Photography by John Michael – But come 31 MARCH 2009 it will disappear from any online sales. So if you’d like to be one of those who has this “RARE” item, BUY NOW!

Posted 8 years, 11 months ago at 6:55 am.

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Sharpening the Saw…

Since the beginning of 2009, it’s been one thing after another that has kept me running, trying to keep up with the events and happenings around me… I truly am blessed to have the opportunities that continue to open up for me. However, today’s the day to

Sharpen the saw…
Late in 2008, I joined Facebook to explore what that venue could do to extend my network of friends & contacts. In less than 100 days, I was able to build a network of 400 ‘friends’ on FB, and I thank all of you who allowed me to be part of your network. It allowed me to share with all of you the work I’ve continued to do in
“Preserving the memories, so others will remember…” (tm)

I had just put the finishing touches on what I’ve since learned is the FIRST regimental calendar of the most historic Infantry Regiment in the US Army – The Old Guard. I’m honored to have built and published this tribute to these fine soldiers who unlike other parts of the US Army have a dual role – that of ceremonial support and the defense of the Washington DC area. To preserve that valuable “collector’s edition” of the calendar, I’ve decided to remove the calendar – “The Old Guard on Parade – 2009” from “online” sales as of 31 MAR 2009.
On Facebook I created a page focused on my photography and continued to create additional products from the photographs in the calendar. In the online store there are several items that also include some of my selected works from my travels within the Washington DC area – USMC Museum near Quantico (an absolutely fantastic experience that you need to devote several hours – get there early and stay late..) – The Drum Point Light, one of the last “screw-pile” lighthouses from the nearly 50 that were built to guide the navigators in the Maryland waters.
More to come from the extensive archives of the tens of thousands of photographs that I’ve captured over the years…
I spent the day at Mount Vernon, home of our First President, George Washington.

I met him that day and offered to shake his hand. He declined suggesting that gentlemen don’t shake hands, they “bow” and he bowed graciously to me as he tended to the unfolding celebration in his honor. The troops that guard him and his corps of musicians were about to come into the celebration.
(I was surprised that he approached and used the microphone with little fear… )
The day continued with an excellent presentation of “The Commander-in-Chief’s” Guard – A unit that General Washington created to function as his personal guard unit. Now re-created by the US Army’s 3d Infantry Regiment – The Old Guard. Wearing the uniforms as prescribed by the General – Blue coats with red trim, white waistcoats, pants, and a black tricorn hat with a cockade.
Commander in Chief's Guard

Commander in Chief’s Guard

As they presented the various tactics employed in colonial times to fight and defend on the field of battle, they fired their “Brown Bess’ firelocks” with their bayonets fixed and defending against the attack of the horse mounted cavalry.

They used their 18″ long bayonets to defend in tactics that have been preserved by this elite unit of The Old Guard. Marching to commands that were used during those times to move the soldiers into position or pass in review. They were accompanied by a solo fifer and snare drummer. Later joined by The Old Guard’s Fife and Drum Corps, the field was filled with the musical fullness of the instruments of this talented group of musicians outfitted in uniforms also as prescribed by their General and Commander-in-Chief – Red coats with blue trim, white waistcoats and pants and the black tricorn hat with cockade.
It was a great treat to see and hear them as the CINC Guard left the field to defend Mount Vernon and surrounds. The drum major of the corps was brandishing his

Fife and Drum Corps  of the Old Guard

Fife and Drum Corps of the Old Guard

espontoon with flourish and giving commands to his troops as they marched and played with a precision unlike ever seen. This was hardly the first time that I had seen this unit of The Old Guard, but it was a special event as I thought how a similar display would have occurred on these very grounds over 200 years ago. And here in the year 2009, there was these soldiers dedicated to preserving the traditions upon which the United States was founded.

(the Trip to Aberdeen Proving Grounds & the US Army Ordnance Museum…)

Posted 8 years, 11 months ago at 9:55 am.

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Obamamania and "The Old Guard on Parade – 2009" ??

I headed to the post office today and mailed the next batch of ordered calendars. Barely making the “last in line” before they closed, I engaged a few people in line and many had never heard of the 3d Infantry – The Old Guard – Escort to the President . I just happened to have a “sample” calendar with me and several asked for order forms.

Upon the urging of a good friend, I next headed to the Metro station to secure a day pass for my trip on Tuesday (I know, it’s going to be “bedlam” as one of my friends warned me. However I NEED to do this. Another one suggested your “peeps” are going to be there. So “peeps” here I come!)
I secured my “one day pass” and found the Metro ticket emblazoned with President-elect Obama’s face. Great, now I have my official souvenir of the year. As I left, I noticed that his face appeared on most of the newspapers waiting for purchase in their metal boxes… hmmmm

Off to the grocery store to get the basics and “SUNDAY’S” newspaper, I passed a display in the front of the store and there they were, the official “Presidential Cookie” with Barack Obama on the front. Magazines with his face smiling, pensive, etc.

Picked up the newspaper. Yep you guessed it … right there on the front! Took the paper & basics home and as I began to read “tomorrow’s news today” … yep you guessed it, I saw – “the Official Barack Obama Coins”, “The official Barack wall hanging”, “The official Barack …”

It’s Obamamania!

Maybe I should come out with the “Official Barack Obama Edition” of “The Old Guard on Parade – 2009” But I don’t think so, because it’s already the “inaugural” calendar and a historic item in itself. Since based on my extensive research in speaking with many who have served in the OLD GUARD as far back as the 1950s to current, no one can recall that there was ever a calendar about the regiment. So my claim still stands until proven wrong. As soon as I get in touch with the curator of the “now closed” Old Guard museum, I’ll have further confirmation.


Posted 9 years, 1 month ago at 9:54 pm.

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