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The Last US Draft, 1972

Author:Ed Eckstein
Language:English text
Dimensions:9" x 9"
Photos:116 b/w photos
Publisher:Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.

This photojournalistic essay documents one of the last groups of civilians to be drafted into the United States Army in 1972. The journey begins at an induction center in Philadelphia, where recruits swear allegiance to the United States, and undergo physical and mental examinations. The focus then shifts to Ft. Jackson, South Carolina, for orientation, haircutting, and the acquisition of uniforms and supplies. The balance of the nine-week experience is basic training - where civilians become soldiers. We observe them practicing hand-to-hand combat and marksmanship, and we also see them calling home, writing letters, and bonding with fellow soldiers. Shortly after these images were taken, the draft officially ended and the all-volunteer army began. All photographs are candid. Nothing was set up or posed for the camera, nor was there censorship by the army of any of the images taken for this project.