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Bldg. 283 • Blvd. de France
MCRD Parris Island, SC 29905
H: Mon-Fri: 0800-1630
P: 843-228-1667
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MCRD Parris Island
P: 800-826-7503
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FAQs

Recruit Training

How long is training?

Receiving is 1 week and actual training is 12 weeks long.

What does my recruit do during training?

Recruits are transformed into the world’s most elite fighting force through 12 weeks of rigorous training. Recruits will acquire the knowledge, discipline, team work, and fitness level required of a Marine through physical training, classroom instruction, and developing combat skills.

To learn more about training, visit http://www.mcrdpi.marines.mil/Recruit-Training/.

What is a typical day of training like?

After getting ready for the day, recruits will eat breakfast before attending training or classes. They’ll break for lunch and then continue the scheduled training until dinner time. Recruits may also spend part of the day discussing core values and receiving coaching about future training from their drill instructors. The remainder of the evening is spent preparing for the day, cleaning the squad bay, and enjoying one hour of free time before lights out and 8 hours of sleep.
 
To learn more about training, visit http://www.mcrdpi.marines.mil/Recruit-Training/.

What happens during receiving week?

Receiving week is 3-5 days processing to prepare recruits for their first day of actual training. They complete paperwork, receive haircuts, are issued uniforms and gear, undergo medical evaluations, and take the Initial Strength Test to ensure they are prepared for training. At the end of the week, they meet the team of drill instructors who will be responsible for them during training.

What is the Crucible?

The Crucible is the final 54-hour training exercise that tests the recruits on the knowledge, skills, and values taught throughout training. Those who complete the final challenge are awarded their Eagle, Globe, and Anchor, symbolizing their transformation from recruits to Marines.

To learn more about the Crucible, visit http://www.mcrdpi.marines.mil/Recruit-Training/Crucible/.

What happens if my recruit gets injured or can’t continue training?

In the event of an emergency, training delay, company transfer, or separation, the recruit will be permitted to call one person to notify them of the situation, its cause, and what happens next.

If the recruit cannot remember the phone number or is unable to reach someone, the recruit’s recruiter will be contacted. If the recruit is unable to make the phone call for any reason, depot personnel will call someone designated by the recruit. 

What happens during a hurricane evacuation or other natural disaster?

If recruits have to leave MCRD Parris Island due to a natural disaster, such as a hurricane, they’ll be moved to another Marine Corps base to continue training until it’s safe to return. Recruits will be unable to call their next-of-kin during an evacuation due to the large number of recruits undergoing training.

Recruits will be kept informed about possible actions leading up to a natural disaster. Rely on letters from your recruit for information or monitor official resources such as the MCRD Parris Island website and Facebook page for announcements.

Who do I contact if I have questions about training?

The best person to contact is your recruit’s recruiter.

Contacting Recruits & Emergencies (TOP)

When will I hear from my recruit?

Recruits are required to make one phone call the night they arrive on MCRD Parris Island to inform their next-of-kin or recruiter they’ve made it to training safely. After the initial phone call, all correspondence is made through letters and postcards.

Recruits will send their first letter home 7-9 days after they arrive at MCRD Parris Island. The letter will include their mailing address with company and platoon information.

Can I visit my recruit?

You may not visit your recruit until Family Day, the day before Graduation. To learn more about Liberty, CLICK HERE.

When will I see my recruit again?

You can see your recruit during Liberty on Family Day, the day before Graduation. To learn more about Liberty, CLICK HERE.

Can recruits make phone calls, send email, or use the internet?

Recruits are required to make one phone call the night they arrive on MCRD Parris Island to inform their next-of-kin or recruiter they’ve made it to training safely. After the initial phone call, all correspondence is made through letters and postcards.

New Marines can make personal calls and use the Internet during on-base liberty on the Sunday after the Crucible, the following Saturday and Sunday, and the Thursday immediately before graduation.

How do I send my recruit mail?

Recruits will send their first letter home 7-9 days after they arrive at MCRD Parris Island. The letter will include their mailing address with company and platoon information. See recruit mailing addresses.

How do I notify my recruit in the case of an emergency?

If a message is required to notify a recruit of an emergency situation at any time during recruit training, please contact American Red Cross Emergency Communication Services.

Who do I contact if I have questions about getting in touch with my recruit?

The best person to contact is your recruit’s recruiter.

Visiting MCRD Parris Island (TOP)

Where can I stay?

There are many places to stay in Beaufort, SC. ITT & All Points Travel is a full-service travel agency that can help you find a reputable hotel in the area. You can contact them at 843-228-3557 or at pai.itt@usmc-mccs.org.

Inns of the Corps Beaufort is an award-winning hotel located aboard MCAS Beaufort, just 8 miles from MCRD Parris Island. MCRD Parris Island also has a R.V. Park with 18 sites.

If you don’t plan on staying in Beaufort, please be sure to check the travel time from your hotel to MCRD Parris Island before booking.

How do I get to MCRD Parris Island?

You can find directions at www.parrisisland.org/travel.

What do I need in order to visit MCRD Parris Island?

Vehicle operators must have a valid ID, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance. Foreign nationals must have proof they’re in the U.S. legally as well as a valid passport or driver’s license. For more information about visiting MCRD Parris Island, CLICK HERE.

What can and can’t I bring on MCRD Parris Island?

Firearms and fireworks are prohibited. Bags will be searched before passing through metal detectors at the security check point at the Parade Deck entrance on Graduation day. All vehicles and individuals are subject to search.

What areas are off limits?
  • Inside of the barracks and chow halls occupied by recruits in training
  • Obstacle and confidence courses
  • The area where the Crucible is held
  • Past any barricaded area, including the Yellow Footprints. Liberty is the only time walking to the Yellow Footprints is permitted. Driving is always prohibited.
  • Past any hazard or restricted area signs
  • On base housing areas and permanent personnel quarters
Where should I check in?

Guests should check in at the Douglas Visitors’ Center at arrival. Check in by finding the clipboard for your Marine’s platoon and provide the number of visitors in your party and a phone number your Marine can call if he/she is unable to find you after the Liberty Ceremony. You’ll only need to check in once. To learn more about the Douglas Visitors’ Center, CLICK HERE.

Where do I park and how do I get around base?

Military personnel will direct traffic and steer you to parking areas during peak hours. There will also be complimentary trams to shuttle you to event locations and parking areas. However, you will be doing a lot of walking so wear comfortable shoes.

See Parking Map

Where can I find a base map?

Base Map

Where can I eat on base?

There are many places to eat on MCRD Parris Island. To see a list of places to eat, CLICK HERE.

Where can I shop on base?

You can shop at the Marine Corps Exchange and Douglas Visitors’ Center. You can also order customized gifts through our Engraving Shop. To learn more about shopping on MCRD Parris Island, CLICK HERE.

What are some places I can visit on MCRD Parris Island?

You can see places to visit at www.parrisisland.org/things-to-do and http://www.mcrdpi.marines.mil/Visitors/Things-to-See/.

What else should I know before visiting MCRD Parris Island?

You can find information about everything you need to know in order to visit MCRD Parris Island at www.parrisisland.org/things-to-do and www.mcrdpi.marines.mil.

Does MCRD Parris Island have a lost-and-found?

Yes. The Douglas Visitors’ Center, Marine Corps Exchange, and the Parris Island Museum all have lost-and-found areas.

Douglas Visitors’ Center has items that may have been lost during Graduation. The owner will need to provide return packaging and postage for any items that need to be shipped. You can call the Douglas Visitors’ Center at 843-228-3650.

To contact the Marine Corps Exchange, call 843-228-1538. To contact the Parris Island Museum, call 843-228-2166.

Graduation Week (TOP)

What events are offered leading up to Graduation?

There are many events leading up to Graduation designed to make you feel welcome and knowledgeable and to celebrate your Marine’s accomplishment. To see what events are offered, CLICK HERE.

Where can I find a schedule of events?

Schedule of Events

How do I register for events?

Only certain events require advanced registration. You can register for Marine Corps 101 including a Behind the Scenes Tour and Family Day Dinner as well as order a picnic lunch or pizza for liberty at www.parrisisland.eventbrite.com.

What is Liberty (a.k.a Family Day)?

Liberty is free time held the day before Graduation that allows Marines to reunite with their loved ones after 13 weeks of training for a well-deserved break. Marines must stay on base but there is plenty to do and see: go bowling, grab something to eat, explore MCRD Parris Island, do some shopping at the Marine Corps Exchange, or just relax and enjoy each other’s company. 

When and where does Graduation take place?

Graduation typically takes place on Fridays on the Peatross Parade Deck aboard MCRD Parris Island. To see the 2018 Graduation schedule, CLICK HERE. To learn more about what happens on Graduation day, CLICK HERE.

What is the dress code for Graduation?

There isn’t a specific dress code but business casual is recommended. Wear comfortable shoes as you may have to walk from parking areas to the ceremony and use stairs in the reviewing stands. 

Current and former service members are permitted to wear uniforms to graduation in accordance with the uniform regulations for their branch of service. Uniforms comparable or more formal than the graduates is appropriate. The graduation uniform is the Dress Blue B during winter months (non-Daylight Saving Time) and is the Dress Blue D during summer months (during Daylight Saving Time).

Where can I find a Graduation program?

Graduation Program

Do I have to go to any of these events?

No. All events are optional and you can attend as many or as few events as you want.

Who do I contact if I have questions about events?

You can contact Recruit Families at 843-228-1667 or recruitfamilies@usmc-mccs.org.

After Graduation (TOP)

What happens after Graduation?

Marines receive one day of travel and ten days of leave after Graduation before attending the School of Infantry (SOI). Marines participating in the Recruiter Assistance program will receive up to thirty days of leave before attending the SOI.

Those with an Infantry Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) are trained at Infantry Training Battalion (ITB) over the course of 52 days, and those with a non-Infantry MOS are trained at Marine Combat Training Battalion (MCT) over the course of 29 days.

Upon completion of SOI, non-Infantry MOS Marines attend their MOS school, which vary in length, graduation requirements, and locations. All Marines are then assigned to a unit with a Permanent Duty Station (PDS).

How does my Marine get home?

Marines can drive, fly, or take a bus with their families. If you plan on taking a bus or flight home and will not be purchasing tickets for your Marine, provide them with your travel itinerary as soon as possible so SATO Travel can try to match his or her travel plans with yours. You can contact SATO Travel at 866-928-1420 and Greyhound at 843-524-3557.

SATO Travel DOES NOT make reservations for families, only recruits. ITT & All Points Travel can assist families with travel plans.

To learn more about ITT & All Points Travel, CLICK HERE.

How does my Marine get to the SOI?

Marines will receive a set of orders when they leave training telling them exactly when, where, and how to get to their next duty station.  All recruits are required to book commercial travel from their leave location to Camp Lejeune.

Find out more about traveling to the SOI at www.trngcmd.marines.mil.

Purchasing Photos, Gifts &
Memorabilia (TOP)

How is the money I spend with MCCS used?

We’re a government operated organization where the income generated supports the programs and services used by your Marine during training and the Marines and families stationed at MCRD Parris Island. Every dollar you spend with us goes back into supporting the Marine Corps community’s quality of life.

Where can I shop on base?

You can shop at the Marine Corps Exchange and Douglas Visitors’ Center. You can also order customized gifts through our Engraving Shop. To learn more about shopping on MCRD Parris Island, CLICK HERE.

What type of items are available for purchase?

Apparel, souvenirs, gifts, and supplies for your Marine can be purchased at the Marine Corps Exchange and Douglas Visitors’ Center. You can also order banners, coins, custom t-shirts, and other personalized items through the Engraving Shop. To see a selection of products available and download order forms, CLICK HERE.

How do I order a banner, coins, t-shirts, and other items?

You can download order forms to submit by mail at www.parrisisland.org/shopping.

How do I order additional copies of my Marine’s individual and platoon photo?

You can contact the recruit photo office at 843-228-1555. Please have as much information as possible, including the Marine's full name, platoon, company, battalion, and graduation date, when ordering.

How do I order a video of my Marine’s Graduation?

You can download an order form to submit by mail at www.parrisisland.org/shopping.

Will a brick certificate be sent to the purchaser?
If you request this at the time of purchase, yes, we will send you a certificate.

Recruit Photo (TOP)

I don’t see my recruit on the Facebook post of images or video, how do I know that they are on the disk?
The posted album entails a very small sampling of thousands of photos taken. There well over 6,000 pictures taken of the Training Companies throughout training, typically much more than that. The photographers try their best to take multiple pictures of all recruits, at various locations, angles, and views. If you have questions regarding the pictures or the photo disk, please contact Recruit Photo at recruitservices@usmc-mccs.org.

When will you post video or pictures of XYZ (My Marine’s battalion)?
Thank you for your interest in the Parris Island Recruits Family page! The images we post are limited to certain privacy and security requirements. We too are excited for the upcoming graduation and look forward to sharing a small sampling of the pictures taken as the Marines take that final step toward becoming a Marine. We will post images once they are made available and have met the guidelines for privacy and security. If you have questions regarding the pictures or the photo disk, please contact Recruit Photo at recruitservices@usmc-mccs.org.

Why haven’t I seen any photos of my recruit yet? He/she arrived two weeks ago and you haven’t posted ANY photos of them yet!
We are not allowed to post photos until after the Crucible, once they are Marines, typically at the end of Training Week 10 and once they are approved for posting based on security and privacy requirements.

My son/daughter is recruit/Marine Jones in Platoon 1022, can you please post photos of him/her for me? I haven’t seen him/her in two months and I really miss him/her.
We cannot look for photos of a specific recruit or Marine for you.  This album entails a very small sampling of hundreds of photos taken. There are over 1000 pictures taken of the Training Battalion when the recruits take the final steps to become Marines. The photographers try their best to take multiple pictures of numerous recruits, at various locations, angles, and views. If you have questions regarding the pictures or the photo disk, please contact Recruit Photo at recruitservices@usmc-mccs.org.

My Marine completed the Crucible this morning and you posted photos and video to the recruit Families Facebook page already but I haven’t seen him/her yet, can you please post more photos right now?
Thank you for your interest in the Parris Island Recruits Family page! The images we post are limited to certain privacy and security requirements. We too are excited for the upcoming graduation and look forward to sharing a small sampling of the pictures taken as the Marines take that final step toward becoming a Marine. We are limited in the number and type of photos we are allowed to share. If you have questions regarding the pictures or the photo disk, please contact Recruit Photo at recruitservices@usmc-mccs.org.

Can you see what my recruit ordered for me?
Unfortunately, we do not have the final recruit orders until after graduation, I recommend speaking to your Marines during graduation week. If you have questions regarding the pictures or the photo disk, please contact Recruit Photo at recruitservices@usmc-mccs.org.

I want to order the photo disk but I need to write to my recruit and tell him/her not to order it, how can I do that? THIS ANSWER IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.
IMPORTANT!!! Please do NOT write your recruit and tell them not to order. This can cause a lot of confusion. The recruits have the option to order different packages than the parents can.  So, if you tell them not to order something there is the potential they will miss out on the yearbook and digital yearbook.

Typically recruits do not order the training photos alone, traditionally the recruits order a digital download of the pictures that is part of the yearbook package. This ships 90 days after graduation with the yearbooks.

I want to order the photo disk but I don’t want two of them if my recruit orders it, can I tell them not to order it or can we cancel his/her order?
The recruits get the photo "disk" as a digital download that is included in the yearbook package they purchase. Their orders are processed with the yearbooks so they ship 90 days after grad.  Online pre-orders can be processed locally and you get a physical disk that ships on graduation day so you can view them with your Marine while they are home on leave.  So you have an option of ordering online if you want an actual disk that arrives sooner.  Recruits cannot order a physical disk.

We cannot change your recruit’s order because it is his/her order.  Plus, if you tell them not to order something they run the risk of not getting the yearbook and digital yearbook. Trying to coordinate your order with your recruit over letters can be confusing. You are more than welcome to wait until you see you’re Marine at Family Day and choose to order then if you prefer.

Why do you ship the online orders faster than the recruit orders?
Why do you ship the online orders faster than the recruit orders?
The recruits place their orders as part of the yearbook package and the photo disk has always shipped with the yearbooks. Yearbooks include photos up to and including graduation, so it takes 90 days to make them. We are able to produce the small amount of orders we get online locally. And ship while your Marine is home. That would be impossible for the recruit orders. The important thing to realize is that ordering online is an option. People have the option to order it online for fast delivery and if they want a physical disk instead of just a download. Graduation DVD ships within 6 weeks.

How can I make sure my recruit gets the yearbook, or an extra yearbook, or the digital yearbook?
Your recruits can order the yearbook items around training day 26. Parents CANNOT preorder the yearbooks online.

When do orders ship?
Online orders for the photo disks ship on graduation day and typically arrive by the Wednesday after graduation, if you don’t have it by then let us know. The grad videos ship separately approximately 6 weeks after graduation.

The Marines get the photo "disk" as a digital download that is included in the yearbook package they purchase. Their orders are processed with the yearbooks so they ship 90 days after grad.

My recruit started with one platoon but was injured and dropped to another graduation date. How can I make sure I get all of his/her photos? Can you split up the disk and include both platoons on it?
Depending on when they are dropped you may want to keep/get the first disk. We take thousands of photos in the first three weeks so some people keep the original disk and decide if they want to order the second disk, but we can make any changes you want.  You definitely want to put the graduation video on hold since it will be a different graduation date.

We cannot split up the photo disks, it would be impossible to keep track of for everyone.

I want to place an order but what if something changes and my recruit switches graduation dates?
We can make changes to your order up until the day before graduation if needed.

When do I need to place my order by?
If you want the photo disk to ship on graduation day just get your order in before graduation.

Can I print the photos on the disk?
Absolutely!

I put my photo disk in my DVD player and it will not play, why?
  • The photo disk is NOT a video, it is a disk full of photos, so you cannot play it on a DVD player.
  • It's similar to a USB drive.
  • The disk comes with instructions on the best way to view the photos.

My Marine graduated in 2007, do you have pictures or a yearbook I can order from back then?
You can order your Marine’s dress blue photo. We would need of course his/her name, platoon number, month/year they graduated and you can contact us with this information at recruitservices@usmc-mccs.org or 843-228-1555. The yearbook is not available however his/her platoon picture is still available..

Can I wait till after my Marine graduates and then decide if I want to order a photo disk? If so, how long can I wait?
Yes, within reason, 6 months out to a year.

Who do I contact regarding photos and memorabilia?
Recruit Services at recruitservices@usmc-mccs.org or 843-228-1555.

Can I order a yearbook if my Marine Didn’t?
Yes! You must contact Recruit Photo prior to your Marine’s graduation to place the order at recruitservices@usmc-mccs.org.