Witnessing your loved one or friend graduate from Parris Island as a new Marine is a very special moment. Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island is one of the most visited military facilities in the entire world hosting more than 125,000 guests every year and that brings tons of folks to the area, and you need to know where to go and what to do while you’re in town.
When visiting our Parris Island Graduation & Family Day Guide, you’ll find all the information you need for enjoying the events on Parris island as well as finding top notch lodging, fantastic local dining, tours, attractions and things to do here in the Beaufort area, many with discounts and freebies for your new Marine.
Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island: A History
Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island is an 8,095 acre military installation used for the training of enlisted Marines. Male recruits living east of the Mississippi River and female recruits from all over the United States report here to receive their initial training. Male recruits living west of the Mississippi River receive their training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, California, but may train at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island by special request.
Marines were first stationed on Parris Island in 1891, in the form of a small security detachment that was attached to the Naval Station, Port Royal, the forerunner of Parris Island. The unit was highly commended for preserving life and property during hurricanes and tidal waves that swept over the island in 1891 and 1893.
On November 1, 1915, Parris Island was officially designated a Marine Corps Recruit Depot and training was continued from then on.
During December of 1941, 5,272 recruits arrived there with 9,206 arriving the following month, making it necessary to add the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Recruit Training Battalions. As the World War II influx continued, five battalions were sent to North Carolina, to train, and the Depot expanded to 13 battalions. From 1941 through 1945, the Marines trained 204,509 recruits here and at the time of the Japanese surrender, the Depot contained more than 20,000 recruits.
Today, Parris Island graduates some 20,000 new Marines each year.
Visit this link to take a tour of Parris Island with us and see where your new Marine is training and check out the many sites and monuments at the Depot including the Lyceum, Museum, the Peatgrass Parade Deck, the Iron Mike Monument, the Iwo Jima Monument, Molly Marine and lots more.