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'Birth Of A Warrior' Documents The Transformation From Civilian To Soldier

A conversation with photographer Raymond McCrea Jones

What makes someone want to become a soldier? What does it look like to transition from a civilian to a soldier? How does it affect individuality?

Raymond McCrea Jones, who used to be on staff at the New York Times, wanted to answer those questions. He embedded himself in a company of 162 Army recruits at Fort Benning in Georgia for 10 weeks. His fly-on-the-wall photos show the experience of basic training, from 4 a.m. wakeup calls to grueling field exercises.

Jones culled nearly 12,000 photos down to about 200 in a photo-essay book, “Birth of a Warrior: Ten Weeks in Basic Training” (ForeEdge/2015).

Host Frank Stasio talks with Jones about his book and experience at Fort Benning.

Jones speaks at UNC-Chapel Hill tonight in Carroll Hall at 7 p.m. as part of the PhotoNight series. 

A drill sergeant reprimands one of the recruits
Raymond McCrea Jones /
A drill sergeant reprimands one of the recruits
Army recruits simulating combat situations
Raymond McCrea Jones /
Army recruits simulating combat situations
There were a lot of early mornings before sunrise for the recruits.
Raymond McCrea Jones /
There were a lot of early mornings before sunrise for the recruits.
Graduation day for the recruits
Raymond McCrea Jones /
Graduation day for the recruits

Copyright 2015 North Carolina Public Radio

Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
Andrew Tie