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Proving Grounds

An intimate glimpse into United States Marine Corps (USMC) recruit training on Parris Island, SC by photographer Jason Maris.

The images an video are taken with vintage plastic cameras are surreal and hauntingly visceral.  Each image captures a unique moment in the process of transformation that thousands of young men and women experience once committed to a life of service for their country. Displayed with the video, the soundtrack of training, marching, shooting, helicopters and exhaustion transport the viewer into world few outside the USMC ever experience.

Jason Maris has worked as a professional photographer documenting the United States Marine Corps for commercial recruitment materials since 1994. In this time, Maris developed a unique understanding of the USMC and rapport with many Marines. The military, for many civilians, remains an abstraction operating under the radar of the general public. Proving Grounds aims to address the separation between the civilian population and military service men and women.

“These images reveal a side of the military that many people have never witnessed. The images aim to represent the subconscious mind and memories of those who have experienced recruit training.  I hope to increase the empathy we have for those who choose to fight for the
freedom of others. It is a record of the past and present.” - Jason Maris


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