Farewell, and onward!

Today’s my last day at Defense News; defenseoneI’m heading off to be the deputy editor of Defense One, Atlantic Media’s national-security publication.

I couldn’t be more excited about the new job; it’ll put me back in the thick of covering news, and will allow me to work with great folks, some of whom are former colleagues and others I know so far only by reputation.

2002: Navy Times senior reporter John Burlage receives the Superior Public Service Award from Adm. Vern Clark, Chief of Naval Operations. (U.S. Navy photo)

Here’s Navy Times senior reporter John Burlage, a retired Navy master chief journalist and a mentor to me and many others, receiving the Superior Public Service Award from Adm. Vern Clark, Chief of Naval Operations, in 2002. (U.S. Navy photo)

But it’s a bittersweet moment as well. I joined Gannett Government Media back in 1997 when it was still Army Times Publishing Company. As a new Navy Times reporter, I learned about covering the military from a retired master chief journalist, who drilled into his charges the importance of serving readers who have chosen the path of military service. I went on to work for Defense News in 2001, later took over Armed Forces Journal (and C4ISR Journal and Training & Simulation Journal as well), and last year moved back to Defense News. At each step, I learned from colleagues and contributors who were generous with their time and thought, and I am grateful for all of their help and counsel.

Now it’s time for new lessons and new challenges. Farewell, Defense News, and hello, Defense One!

That Darn Train

loco IMG_8562If you work at Gannett Government Media (née Army Times Publishing Company) in Springfield, Va., you will, from time to time, wait for a pair of rumbling Norfolk Southern locomotives to drag a string of hopper cars across the road and into the nearby concrete plant. It is the train my co-workers and I love to hate.

It eventually occurred to me to wonder what the railroad was doing there in the first place — not the industrial stub, but the main line it connects to. The answer, it turned out, lay some 170 years in the past.

I shared what I’d learned with my colleagues, Pecha Kucha-style:

Production notes: The super-high quality audio was recorded by my iPhone in my shirt pocket while I gave this talk on March 10. Afterward, I exported the slides from Keynote as an M4V file and added the audio in iMovie. Oddly, the video moved more quickly than the audio, but iMovie makes it easy to arbitrarily speed up video clips, and I got them to sync without too much trouble.