TRIANGLE, Va. — A nearly seven-foot, bronze-colored United States Marine stands battle ready. He is clothed in history — Marines from as early as World War I prepare for battle, assault vehicles and aircraft patrol the area, a drill instructor holds a steady salute and hundreds of Marines execute their missions — truly embodying the essence and service of the United States Marine Corps.
The Marine Corps Recruiting Command unveiled three iconic Battles Won-themed sculptures at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Virginia, Dec. 13, 2017.
“The mentality of a Marine is selflessness, camaraderie, brotherhood and kinship — all working together and fighting to the death for your fellow man,” said Kris Kuksi, the creator of the sculptures. “I wanted to capture the fighting spirit.”
The weapons, uniforms and machinery were meticulously crafted from toy soldiers, building blocks, model kits and 3-D printed accessories, which were painted to look like Marines in battle. When an individual visits the museum and sees these sculptures, they will become lost in a place between artwork and imagination as they view products displaying centuries of battles Marines have faced.
“Kris really took the essence of the Marine Corps and materialized it through his imagination and into artwork,” said Col. Terence Trenchard, the chief of staff of MCRC. “Winning our nation’s battles is one of our promises as Marines, and it can be seen here — in a physical sense — as a long-carried tradition and culture.”
The Battles Won brand idea, which was released in March of this year by MCRC and its contracted advertising agency, J. Walter Thompson, was designed to convey the fighting spirit of Marines, which is the irreducible essence of the Marine Corps; it’s their willingness to engage and determination to defeat opposing forces – whether personal or on behalf of the nation and its communities.
“When I look at the statues, there’s too much for me to take in at one time,” Lin Ezell, the director of the NMMC, admiringly said. “I don’t think you can figure it all out at one time. It’ll take some revisiting.”
It took approximately seven months for Kuksi to complete production of the mixed-media sculptures. The names of the sculptures being displayed are, Nation’s Call, Waged in Will and At Their Core.
“MCRC is proud to donate these sculptures to the museum so that all people, not only Marines, can experience who we are, what we do and why it matters,” Trenchard said.