I am an Army Sergeant Combat Correspondent. I served a tour in Afghanistan from Feb 09 to Feb 10 as part of the 4th Brigade 25th Infantry Division (Airborne). I am currently a CC at the US Army Pacific headquarters at Ft. Shafter, Hawaii. I was the 2009 DOD Military Videographer of the year and have been nominated for two Emmy's for documentaries I made while in Afghanistan.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

SSG Robert Ham named 2012 Videographer of the Year!

This month was the annual Department of Defense Visual Information Awards. This is a competition of all the services to determine the Military Photographer, Graphic Designer and Videographer of the year. To enter you need to be a service member on active, reserve or national guard status and the productions had to take place in 2012. There are six categories in Videography and then a Videographer of the year which consists of a portfolio of two categories (documentary or combat documentary and field production). I was named Videographer of the Year for my "Mass Casualty" story I shot in Japan (in the field production category) and my "Live Fire Range" story I shot in India (in the documentary category). This is my second Videographer of the Year award, I won in 2009 for my work during my Afghanistan deployment. Below are the links to all the winning videos. Note that many of these stories were edited shorter for the competition in order to fit the categories criteria.

First Place -  Field Production
(shortened from 5:30 to 4:00)

First Place - Feature
(shortened from 8:40 to 5:00)

Honorable Mention - Feature

First Place - Editing

Third Place - Editing

Second Place - Documentary
(Shortened from 4:00 to around 3:00)

I listened to almost all of the judging this year and saw 95% of the videos. These videos are some of the best I've ever seen in the military. There were so many that I thought were amazing. I was completely humbled by winning. In the Videographer of the Year category it came down to me and a Marine Corporal (whom I've never met). This Corporal's work was extraordinary and the judges were really going back and forth. I'm proud of this accomplishment even more knowing that I'm among many great military visual storytellers.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Australian Humanitarian Aid Conference - PAMS XXXVI

So I took an adventure to Canberra, Australia which is the capitol of Oz. My mission was being the videographer of PAMS XXXVI. Pacific Armies Management Seminar XXXVI (PAMS) is an annual conference where leaders from Pacific armies discuss security and stability. This year's exercise focused on humanitarian aid and disaster relief. I had a great time videoing the conference and experiencing the rich culture and history of this amazing country. After my week in Canberra I met my wife in Sydney and we spent 3 days there then flew up to Cairns for 5 days. We explored the Daintree Rainforest and dove the Great Barrier Reef (See some of the pics from our trip below). 

I shot this video entirely on the Canon C300. And those kangaroo shots at the end were not stock footage. We ventured up a large hill covered in roo poo and we still had our dress uniforms on because we didn't get a chance to change but it was worth it!

Shot and Produced by SSG Robert Ham
Music by E.S. Posthumus (used with permission)


Me, the Go Pro, and the Great Barrier Reef 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Operation Desert Lark - U.S. and Indian Soldiers during Yudh Abhyas - HD

Short Documentary I made while in Rajasthan, India about Operation Desert Lark a training event during Yudh Abhyas, and annual exercise between the U.S. and Indian Armies. Much of the focus on this story was about the opportunity some U.S. soldiers had to work specifically with Indian Special Forces Paratroopers. It was a unique opportunity because typically Special Forces from both countries are participating in the exchange but the U.S. Special Forces were unable to attend this year so some high-speed soldiers were able to sit in. The units that took part were from U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) including the A troop 2-14 Cav 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii and the 6th Engineer Battalion (Airborne), 2nd Engineer Brigade out of Ft. Richardson, Alaska, along with Indian conventional and Special Forces units.

Produced and Shot by: SSG Robert A. Ham

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Live Fire Range Competition in India - Yudh Abhyas in HD

This is a short documentary I shot while on assignment to India for the annual Yudh Abhyas military exercise between the Indian and American Army's. This story is about a live obstacle course range that the soldiers competed in. Shot on the Canon 5D Mark II (my first time shooting on location with this camera).
The units that took part were from U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) including the A troop 2-14 Cav 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii and the 6th Engineer Battalion (Airborne), 2nd Engineer Brigade out of Ft. Richardson, Alaska.

Produced and Shot by SSG Robert Ham.
Cultural Advisor and translation by SPC Mohan Pagonda.
Music: Deva Shree Ganesha by Ajay Gogavale (from the soundtrack Agneepath)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Yudh Abhyas video featured on Rediff News India.

My video I shot in India on the Yudh Abhyas exercise was featured in the "Times of India" news website and "Rediff News India." Check it out!


Also check out the Yudh Abhyas exercise featuring a USARPAC soldier on Indian national news (you can even catch a few seconds of me running around with my camera in the Broll).


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Yudh Abyhas 2012 - U.S. and Indian Army military exercise Trailer - HD

This is a video I put together over the course of the last 3 weeks during an exercise called Yudh Abyhas 2012. Yudh Abyhas is an annual exercise between the Indian and U.S. armies. Yudh Abyhas 2012 took place in Mahajan training range, Rajasthan, India 70km from the Pakistan border. This was my first field exercise using the Canon 5D Mark II. I also used the Panasonic HVX for slow motion shots and audio. 

 The units that took part were from U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) including the 2-14 Cav Scouts 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii and the 6th Engineer Battalion (Airborne), 2nd Engineer Brigade out of Ft. Richardson, Alaska.

Produced and Shot by SSG Robert Ham.
Cultural Advisor, SPC Mohan Pagonda.
Music by Celldweller
Song - ShutEmDown

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Purple Heart Wounded Warriors meet NFL All-Stars

This is a short documentary about PFC Aaron Cool along with other Purple Heart Recipients from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team 25th Infantry Division meeting Calvin Johnson (of the Detroit Lions) and John Lynch (Superbowl champion and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers Safety) during NFL's Pro Bowl week. The two NFL stars hang out with the soldiers, sign autographs and give all the Purple Heart recipients tickets to the Pro Bowl where Aaron Rodgers gives a special message to the Wounded Warriors.

This was a fun story to work on because I got to hang with some great courageous Soldiers and hear all of their war stories. I also had a press pass that allowed me to go anywhere during the Pro Bowl. I hung out in the locker room and got an Aaron Rodgers shout out to the Purple Heart Recipients and then enjoyed the game from the side lines shooting some awesome video (yes, all those shots were mine).

Shot and edited by: SSG Robert A. Ham

Friday, January 13, 2012

Legacy: Flag, Father and Son - HD

This is a video I produced over the last couple months. It started with a polo match at Ft. Shafter where I heard that they were dedicating the match to Lt. Nainoa Hoe. I inquired about this soldier and heard about his story along with his father's story, Allen Hoe. I then talked to Mr. Hoe about interviewing with me and he agreed. After an extremely emotional hour and a half interview I had captured an extremely important and raw story. The hardest part about this story was fitting that hour and a half into four minutes. I sat there staring as Mr. Hoe talking about his story, then talking about the many anecdotes about his son; including the last time he saw his son and the random things throughout his day that remind him of his son. Throughout the interview I had to remember to breath and try not to tear up. Maybe one day I'll be able to explore more of this interview but for now this story stands on its own.

Legacy: Flag, Father and Son - Shot, Produced and Edited by Robert A. Ham

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

U.S. Army Pacific Command Video in HD

This is the official U.S. Army Pacific Command Video that I've been working on for the past several months. I say "several months" because these types of videos take a long time to get approved. This video is shown to pretty much every VIP, high ranking officer (foreign and U.S.), incoming soldier and their family, foreign dignitary etc. who visits USARPAC. I shot much of this video but there were some other great videographers that helped including SSG Brehl Garza, SFC Joann Moravac, and SSG Jason Kreiss along with several others. The television scene didn't come out quite how I envisioned but I think the concept gets across my intent. Those graphics along with the end graphics were done by Mike Albert of DMA. The music is by E.S. Posthumus and was used with permission. Enjoy.

USARPAC Command Video - Shot, Produced and Edited by Robert A. Ham

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Prodigal Son Part 3 - The Rescued

This is part three of a three part mini-documentary series. I made this specifically for my church during their sermon series on the prodigal son passage in Luke 15. It's a simple documentary shot on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. Part three focuses on a ministry outreach in downtown Waikiki. 

Shot, Edited, and Produced by Robert A. Ham

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Prodigal Son Part 2 - The Righteous Son

This is part two of a three part mini-documentary series. I made this specifically for my church during their sermon series on the prodigal son passage in Luke 15. It's a simple documentary shot on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. Part two focuses on the older ("righteous") brother in the prodigal son story. The older brother focuses more on working and what he "rightly deserves" than having compassion on his brother who has returned.

Shot, Edited, and Produced by Robert A. Ham

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Prodigal Son Part 1 - The Rebellious Son

This is part one of a three part mini-documentary series. I made this specifically for my church during their sermon series on the prodigal son passage in Luke 15. It's a simple documentary shot on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.

Shot, Edited, and Produced by Robert A. Ham

Monday, May 30, 2011

"Attack on the Fourth of July" with EXCLUSIVE Taliban video of massive vehicle bomb

This is my "Attack on the Fourth of July" video I produced about a massive coordinated attack on a remote combat outpost in Afghanistan on July 4th, 2009. This is UPDATED with exclusive Taliban video that they recorded during the battle. It shows the immensity of the vehicle bomb that went off outside the outpost's gate. It adds an immense intensity and allows us as an audience to understand a little more what these men went through. This version also has the original music that I wanted to use. This documentary is now playing on the Pentagon Channel.

Produced and Edited by Robert A. Ham

Attack on the 4th of July from Robert Ham on Vimeo.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Emmy Nomination for "Shamrock Black"

  So I received an Emmy nomination for my documentary "Shamrock Black" which happens to be one of my favorite stories that I produced in Afghanistan. I spent a lot of time in the hospital at my Forward Operating Base and had the privilege of getting to know the doctors and the staff there. These folks are the unsung heroes of wars. They see the worst that war has to offer and their success hinges on fixing the tragedies. My respect and gratitude hopefully shows through this film and am glad it's getting recognized mostly because these stories need to be seen by as many people as possible to help carry on the legacy of what these amazing people do. 
  When I was finished with this film I had a showing in my office in Afghanistan. I was expecting 5 maybe 10 people but practically the whole hospital staff came (those who were not working). The biggest compliment I received was after the film there was just silence, some sniffles, then they all applauded enthusiastically. It was a very moving experience because I felt in that moment I got their story right and for a storyteller that's what it's all about. God bless those doctor's, surgeons, nurses and all of the staff members that are expected to do the impossible and do.

If you haven't seen Shamrock Black check out parts 1 and 2. 

Part One - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaTzb1iA1h8

Part Two - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5exkLltbQU

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Rocket Attack in Afghanistan HD

This is a video I waited to release until a bit after I got home so as to not worry the wife and mother and is an illustration of a rocket attack on a large forward operating base (FOB). Rocket attacks at the FOB I was stationed out of in Afghanistan were quite frequent. The insurgents got close a couple times even injuring some soldiers. The general area that my office was in just happened to have a higher frequency of rockets getting close. One time I was on tower guard and saw a couple rockets hit maybe 500 meters from our office and thought that was close. While I was there I can't even count how many rocket attacks we had and some were scarier than others. Some attacks had 3-5 rockets sometimes 7-10. I guess it depended on how much the Taliban felt like they could get away with that day. There were many nights that I spent several hours in a bunker, sometimes at night in the rain and usually with some civilian journalist. The video I have posted below was the only rocket attack I kind of got on video. The other angle happened to be shot at the same time and I happened to know the soldier who shot it. The rocket I recorded was maybe 100 meters from our bunker. The rocket that hit before I turned on my camera was about 50 meters from where my interpreter and I were standing with nothing between us and it but a road. There's pretty much one thing you can do in those moments; pray the rockets don't hit you or any other soldiers and pray that our choppers and artillery get the guys firing at us.

Produced and Edited by Robert A. Ham

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Video featured on the Pentagon Channel's Youtube page

The Pentagon Channel has showed several of my videos as part of the Battleground series. One of my videos "Attack on the Fourth of July" is being featured as a preview for the Battleground series on the Pentagon Channel's youtube page. Check it out!

Monday, April 18, 2011

"To look after orphans - Balikatan 2011" in HD

This is a short video I made about U.S. and Filipino service members visiting an orphanage in a remote area of the Philippines. The service members passed out toys and food. They also sang songs and played with the children. It was a really moving experience. I wanted to take one of the kids home with me! The amazing Filipinos that take care of these children on a daily basis are amazing people and I was honored to meet them.

Produced by SGT Robert Ham

Thursday, April 14, 2011

"Building for the future - U.S. Army Engineers in the Philippines"

This is a short video I put together of some Army Engineer soldiers from Hawaii. They worked for over a month on this school out in a remote area of the Philippines. They worked really hard and I think it will help the local area a lot.

Produced by SGT Robert Ham

Balikatan 2011 Music Video in HD

This is a music video I put together summing up the events of Balikatan 2011. Some of this video was shot by SSG Jason Kreiss and SSG Joann Moravac. It should give you an idea of the hard work and countless hours many of the U.S. Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, and Marines along with their Filipino counterparts worked.

Produced by SGT Robert Ham

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Bataan Death March Ceremony Video

This is a short piece I put together about the Bataan Death March Ceremony that takes place every year in the Philippines honoring the Filipino and American who suffered and died while on that march. There were thousands more that died and were killed while being held at the Japanese prison camps. It was a moving experience and the memorial was pretty amazing.

Shot and Produced by: SGT Robert Ham

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

New Contingency Command Post Video

This is a video I made for one of the units I work for. It's simple but shows what this unit does and its capabilities. Check it out.


Friday, March 18, 2011

A couple of new awards brings more attention to the real Heroes

Yesterday was the DOD Military Videographer of the Year competition and I received 1st place in "Best Field Production" for the "Cost of the Silver Star" story and 1st place for "Best Documentary" for my "Training with the Special Forces." I also was the runner-up for the Videographer of the Year. I'm honored by these awards but am excited to bring more audiences to these types of stories. I really admire the soldiers I do stories on and want more people to see them. If me getting awards opens my videos to more audiences than that's the real reward.

Here's my link to the Silver Star blog entry and video. If you haven't watched it you should. Not because I made it but because this soldier is a hero.

Friday, February 18, 2011

4-101st ID to 4-25th ID Change of Command Retro style - HD

This was one of the first videos I made while I was in Afghanistan. Col. Johnson the Commander of the 4-101st ID had to give an end of tour brief and I recorded it. I decided to put together a little video as an introduction to the "Spartan Heroes" series in Afghanistan and make it stylistically like the old WWII Army videos.

"4-101 to 4-25 Change of Command in Afghanistan Retro"

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Training with the Special Forces

This was the last story I did while I was in Alaska. I hooked up with the Special Forces guys while the Indian Army was training alongside them at Ft. Richardson during an annual exercise Yudh Abyas. The U.S. Army Special Forces operators are some of the best in the world and it was fun to see them operate and tell a small story about what they do.

"Training with U.S. Army Special Forces"

Produced and Edited by: Robert A. Ham

Monday, January 31, 2011

Cost of the Silver Star HD

This is a story about Silver Star recipient PFC Robert Parson (now SPC) an infantryman in the 1-501 4th Brigade Combat Team 25th Infantry Division (Airborne). I heard his story while I was in Afghanistan from some of my buddies and wanted to get out to the Combat Outpost* that PFC Parson was at to interview him and his buddies about the situation. As I interviewed these young soldiers I heard a story of remarkable courage and needed to tell their story. At the time that I was there (early 2010) Parson's award had not yet been approved. It was interesting to see the soldiers reaction to the whole situation. As you can hear there are moments when Parson laughs while discussing a grenade being thrown his way; illustrating some of the crazy almost absurd situations young soldiers must endure. The soldiers discuss many aspects of that day; killing of bad Taliban dudes, the excitement and adrenaline and the accomplishment of their mission. However, nothing lingered more than the death of their platoon sergeant SSG Kurt Curtiss. The Combat Outpost I was visiting was named after him and he was talked about almost as if he was on leave and was coming back. He was greatly loved and admired.

This video is made for a military videography competition so I had to stay within a four minute time constraint. This story should really be told in a longer format and maybe one day I'll revisit it. I hope that in four minutes I told a story of immense bravery, sacrifice, triumph, pain and loss.

"Cost of the Silver Star"

Produced and Edited by: Robert A. Ham

* http://bit.ly/hQbp56 - This b-roll from Thanksgiving was taken on Combat Outpost Curtiss. It'll give you a context to how these soldiers live minus the rarity of having such a good meal (which was obviously just for Thanksgiving).