Artist Statement Submitted 2017Following a commercial assignment at Fort Benning, Georgia, photographer Raymond McCrea Jones, who had no previous military experience, became fascinated by the singular rite of passage known as boot camp, by which ordinary citizens are turned into military soldiers.
The stunning photographs in Birth of a Warrior chronicle the transformation of 162 young men from across the country into U.S. Army Delta Company 2/47. From four in the morning until late at night, through arrival, processing, outfitting, marching, inspection, drill, physical training, combat training, and live-fire exercises, Jones documents an astonishing metamorphosis. Granted unprecedented access to the lives of these recruits and the NCOs responsible for their basic training, he photographs everything from their first haircuts to the tossing of their caps at graduation. Birth of a Warrior is both their story and our story: a profound look at the culture and humanity of those who go off to war.