War Reporter Alex Quade covers U.S. Special Operations Forces on combat missions. She is the only reporter, male or female, ever embedded long-term with these elite, secretive units downrange. She is the recipient of two national RTDNA Edward R. Murrow Awards, as well as the Congressional Medal Of Honor Society’s “Tex McCrary Award For Excellence In Journalism” for her war reportage.
The Medal of Honor recipients present the award to individuals who, through their life’s work, have distinguished themselves by service or unbiased coverage of the United States Military through journalism. Prior recipients of this prestigious award include legendary broadcasters Tom Brokaw, Mike Wallace, Tim Russert, Paul Harvey, and author Joe Galloway. The Congressional Medal of Honor Society recognized Ms.Quade, “for her courageous reporting and honest news coverage.”
Ms.Quade started her career as a White House Press Office intern during the Persian Gulf War, for President George H.W. Bush. She has worked in television for Fox News and CNN, both domestically and internationally. Extreme storytelling and silent risk-taking lie at the heart of what she does. As a “one-man-band”, she embeds with elite combat units several months at a time, producing exclusive, long-form, special series and documentaries.
“Chinook Down” is her investigation into the Taliban surface-to-air missile shoot down of a U.S. Chinook helicopter in Afghanistan, that killed all on board. Alex Quade was supposed to be on that helicopter. She survived to report firsthand on the recovery efforts, which included a fierce firefight. The mission involved Army Special Forces Green Berets, Air Force Special Operations assets, Parachute Infantry Regiment and Combat Aviation Brigade elements. Ms. Quade gathered material about the attack on the helicopter, obtained previously unreleased documents from the Pentagon and collected video from soldiers and pilots on the scene. The result of her work is a video special for The New York Times – At War website. “Chinook Down” garnered a billboard in New York’s Times Square, and is now in film festivals nationwide.
Ms.Quade produced and directed a documentary about Special Operations Forces in Afghanistan, “Horse Soldiers of 9/11,” that is currently showing in film festivals nationwide. Narrated by actor, Gary Sinise, Quade’s film expands her original investigative reports for The Washington Times, CNN.com, and The Daily Caller. Vice President Joe Biden quoted Ms. Quade’s stories during the dedication of a monument paying tribute to the secretive warriors, near ground zero in New York. (FOX affiliates, Armed Forces Network, and the Pentagon Channel re-broadcast the event and Quade’s stories worldwide.)
In Quade’s documentary short “9/11 Generation Rangers”, she followed special operations Tier-1 Army Rangers for 5-years, beginning with their meeting President Barack Obama at the 65th Anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, France. Ms.Quade brought attention to Sgt.1st Class Cory Remsburg, who was critically wounded in Afghanistan shortly thereafter. President Obama recognized Remsburg during his State of The Union address; and again at the 70th Anniversary of D-Day in Normandy. There, the President praised Ranger Remsburg and this “9/11 Generation” of warriors, comparing their call to serve, to that of the “Greatest Generation” from World War Two.
“Combat Outpost Pirelli” is Quade’s intimate look at a Special Forces A-Team in combat, during which one Green Beret was killed in action. Ms.Quade followed the A-Team and their families over a 5-year period, through various deployments. Her video and long-form print and web articles were critically acclaimed throughout the Special Operations community.
In Quade’s award-winning documentary, “Wounded Warriors” for CNN Presents, she was the first reporter to obtain unprecedented access to injured troops, premiering an exposé on the ravages of battle and the care given at every echelon in war zones. Senator Bob Dole personally asked Quade to provide copies of her video to him, to share with Health and Human Services Director Donna Shalala and President George W. Bush’s Commission On Care For America’s Returning Wounded Warriors; to help educate decision-makers and troop caregivers. Today, military units include her piece in their pre-mission training.
Quade’s commitment to providing viewers “ground truth” behind the conflict and disaster zones around the world has kept her “boots on the ground”. For her award-winning “Brothers In Arms” for CNN’s “Paula Zahn Now”, Quade followed an Army National Guard family for 18-months, from Idaho to Iraq, and back. Following the program’s airing on CNN, President George W. Bush publicly recognized the family for their bravery.
Quade’s dedication to sharing military stories from all angles and giving voice to those in the fight is evident in “Hunting IEDs” for CNN’s “The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer” and CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360”, her series that gave viewers their first inside look at a dangerous Marine Platoon mission in Fallujah. The U.S. Department of Defense Joint IED Defeat Task Force has used her piece as a case study.
Quade expanded her behind-the-scenes access in “Combat Search And Rescue” for CNN’s “The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer” and “The Glenn Beck Show” on Headline News (HLN). Her in-depth special incorporated never before told, high-risk rescue missions from the frontlines of Iraq and Afghanistan with U.S. Special Operations Forces.
Quade has embedded with every branch of the U.S. military and spearheaded CNN’s Air Force coverage from a secret air base during the “Shock & Awe” campaign. Her “Military Hero” segments aired on CNN’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” and CNN’s “This Week At War.”
Other awards for Quade’s war reportage include: A Military Reporters & Editors Award, two American Legion “4th Estate Awards”, an Armed Services YMCA “Angel Of The Battlefield Award”, a U.S. Army National Guard Bureau “Minute Man Award”, an International Health & Medical Media “Freddie Award”, two CINE “Golden Eagle Awards”, an American Women In Radio & Television Association “Gracie Award”, a Newswomen Of New York “Front Page Award”, two Society of Professional Journalists “Green Eyeshade Awards”, a “Communicator Award” and a “Telly Award.” Her in-depth, frontline reporting on the Asian Tsunami was listed as part ofCNN’s “DuPont Columbia Award” win; her special pieces for “CNN Presents” were part of CNN’s “International Documentary Award” win; and her Hurricane Katrina and Rita stories, while embedded with military emergency response teams, were part of CNN’s “Peabody Award” win. Ms.Quade has also been nominated for several National Association of Television Arts and Sciences regional “Emmy Awards”, as well as honored by the New York Festivals and regional Associated Press Broadcasters Association. Her magazine articles were part of an “Excel Award” for General Excellence (Magazine Group Award).
Quade’s articles have appeared in news magazines such as “Dangerous Assignments”, “Communicator”, “National Press Photographer”, “The Drop – Special Forces Association Magazine”, “Soldier of Fortune”,“Veterans March” magazine, “USO On Patrol” magazine, “Columns” magazine, and“The American Headache Society” (regarding military Post Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injuries). She has also written for CNN.com, The New York Times “At War” blog, Military.com, The Washington Times, the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Radio, Television, Digital News Association (RTDNA).
Quade has appeared live on CNN many times, and is also known for “finding the humanity in inhumane conditions”, not only in combat zones, but also in other hostile environments and natural disasters. Despite ongoing civil strife and the Aceh Separatist Rebel Movement, Quade was one of the first reporters to get into Bande Aceh, Indonesia, ground zero for the devastating Asian tsunami. She was one of few reporters to return a year later. Following her compelling stories on orphans of the storm for “CNN Presents”, and her special series for CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360”, there was an outpouring of aid organization and viewer offers, including U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D – California), to help the children specifically in Quade’s pieces. The reaction to Quade’s distinctive stories from Hurricane’s Katrina and Rita for “CNN Presents,” was similar. (In fact, Cher, the Academy Award-winning singer and actress, contacted Quade to help the people in her hurricane stories.)
Ms. Quade moderated the Defense Forum on Capitol Hill, and the Warrior Family Symposium, both aired live on C-SPAN. For several years, she’s helped plan and moderate the annual Washington State Women Veterans Conference. Quade also moderated the groundbreaking “Patriots At Home” conference with Medal of Honor recipient Drew Dix. Every chamber of commerce in the United States near a military installation now owns a DVD of this results-oriented event to help their leaders reintegrate returning war veterans back into their civilian communities.
In addition to serving as a White House Intern, Quade was a student delegate at NATO’s “Conference on The Atlantic Community”, and is a graduate of Georgetown University’s “Institute of Political and Ethical Journalism”. She holds three separate degrees from the University of Washington: Political Science, Communications and Speech. Quade was an East-West Center Fellow in China, is an alumna of the selective University of North Texas Mayborn Literary Non-Fiction Writers Conference, the Medill National Security Journalism Initiative (Covering the Military Home and Abroad Conference), and is a graduate of The Poynter Institute’s “Power Reporting.” She attended the University of Kansas School of Journalism/U.S. Army Combined Arms Center “Military and Media Program” at the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, and The Goethe Institute in Frankfurt, Germany.
Alex Quade serves on the Advisory Board of Medal of Honor recipient Drew Dix’s “Center For American Values.” She helps our nation’s other Medal of Honor recipients by raising public awareness of their role model examples of heroism, through her stories, and their “Character Development Program,” which aims to inspire school children to do the right thing when nobody’s looking.
Ms. Quade serves on the Board of Military Reporters & Editors Association, the association of military journalists. The association exists to advance public understanding of the military, national security and homeland defense; to educate and share information with its members and the public on best practices, tools and techniques for such coverage; to represent the interests of working journalists to the government and military; and to assure that journalists have access to places where the U.S. military and its allies operate. Quade is a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc., the Society of Professional Journalists, and Radio Television Digital News Association.