48" x 40"
Oil on Canvas
United States Army Training Center, Infantry, Fort Ord, California
Major General R. G. Fergusson, Commanding
Depicted in the painting is the graduation ceremony of three companies of
of the 3rd Brigade. Trooping the line are Colonel Dean E. Hutter,
commanding, 3rd Brigade;
Major Henry E. Vincent, commanding, 1st Battalion, and Brigade Sergeant
Major Leon B. Doubek.
During his eight weeks in basic training, graduation seems as remote to
the trainee as
the next century. He is so busy mastering a multitude of new skills and
that graduation seems to be part of a not quite comprehensible future.
The discipline, practice and pressure of eight weeks of accelerated
bring to the trainee a maturity that frequently amazes his family.
Though he may slip back into childhood at moments, he has experienced the
his own manhood. He has accomplished a journey into the unknown where
discipline, self reliance, strength, stamina, physical and mental agility,
have become so exercised as to be instantly available to him.
Recognizing this, the artist chose to portray the new soldiers at
this unforgettable moment – their graduation.
Himself a veteran of army training in his youth and then a trainer,
the artist recently watched his young stepson mature into manhood
during basic training, renewing his conviction that this training is of
to the young men who receive it. He said, "A boy becomes a man when
it is necessary,
and in today's army, it is necessary."
This, then, is their day. In a thrilling ceremony rooted in ancient
tradition the graduates
are honored with martial music, flags, addresses, and awards. It is a
ceremony of triumph.
They are men, now, prepared to do the work of men.