Sunday, October 7, 2012
In July I had the privilege of accompanying veteran New York Times war correspondent C.J. Chivers to Marine Corp Base Quantico in Northeast Virginia to document the last all-male Combat Endurance Test in Marine Corps history. For the first time in history female Marines are now allowed to volunteer for the course as part of an experimental program. The CET is an intensely grueling and secretive ordeal that all Marine Officers must endure on the path to becoming infantry officers. Because the test is designed to weed out officers who don't have what it takes to lead Infantry Marines under fire, it's the first segment of the strenuous Marine Infantry Officer Course.
To protect the integrity and efficacy of the training for future officer classes, the Marine Corps asked that some events not be photographed and that the timeline be obscured when describing the Combat Endurance Test. For this same reason I won't say how long the test lasted, but I will say this was both mentally and physically the toughest assignment I've ever shot. I have a newfound respect for our Marine Infantry Officers and the men who train them.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
In August I got a call from my national desk editor that I've always dreamed of: "Luke, we need you to ride Amtrak for 5 days between Washington and Boston photographing trains and infrastructure." I was pretty stoked to be photographing a subject that I've been interested in since I was 2 years old. Assignments like this really make up for the long Summer days sweating it out on Capitol Hill.
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