Adrian Fussell

2012 Winner


My Name Is Victory

This project, My Name Is Victory, explores world of the Patriot Guard, a JROTC drill team, from Francis Lewis High School in Queens, NY. These images show how a community of immigrant youth in suburban New York assimilate through a volunteer U.S. military program.

JROTC is a high school military program that seeks to “motivate young people to be better citizens.” The Patriot Guard is a two-time national champion (2010, 2011) drill team, consisting of 15 Asian American and Latin American teenagers. They are trained six days a week in the school cafeteria and gymnasium by former U..S. Army sergeants. JROTC cadets have no future obligation to serve in the military, but the Francis Lewis battalion still sends more cadets to West Point military academy than any other school in the nation. The graduation rate of JROTC cadets in the Francis Lewis battalion, numbering over 800, is more than 99%.

This work shows the drill team’s efforts in 2012, up to and including their second place finish in the drill team national championships, held in Daytona Beach, FL, in May.

About the Photographer

Adrian Fussell (b.1989, USA) is a documentary photographer based out of New York City. He was raised in Switzerland, Zimbabwe, and Guatemala, nurturing a critical eye towards contemporary social issues in both his homeland and abroad. He studied print journalism and political science at New York University, as well as photojournalism at the International Center of Photography.

Adrian is a Magnum Foundation / Emergency Fund fellow and is pursuing a project on military recruitment and immigrant youth. He freelances for Newsday, and the Wall Street Journal, and has joined the Emerging Talent roster at Getty Reportage.