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Marine Corps Recruit Depot

Eastern Recruiting Region

Parris Island, South Carolina
Frequently Asked Questions
What do I need to come to Parris Island for a graduation?
Visitors to Parris Island must have a valid photo identification. Visitors driving vehicles must have a copy of the vehicle registration and proof of auto insurance.

How do I get a parking pass for Family Day and graduation?
Parking passes are not required for typical daily visitors of Parris Island, such as those coming for graduation and other related events. Much of the information regarding parking passes found around the internet is obsolete (i.e., the visitors’ center does not provide parking passes). Individual battalions still may include a "parking pass" as part of a packet of information recruits mail home, but it is neither required to get on base nor to park. Visitors may park in any available open, unreserved/unmarked spaces, although it is recommended that they park in the parade deck parking lot or the lot next to the visitors’ center, both of which are within walking distance of the major Family Day and graduation events.

When does graduation take place?
Graduation ceremonies typically held on Friday mornings. For the exact dates of specific graduation ceremonies, check the 2014 Schedule. The ceremony begins at 9 a.m., so guests should be in thier seats well before then. The ceremony is typically about an hour long.

Can current or former service members wear military uniforms to graduation ceremonies on Parris Island?
Yes, current and former service members are permitted to wear uniforms to graduation on Parris Island in accordance with the uniform regulations for their branch of service.  Wear of any version of the camouflage utility/field uniform is not encouraged, and wear of uniforms comparable or more formal than the graduates is appropriate. In the winter months (non-Daylight Saving Time), the graduation uniform for the new Marines is the service A uniform (green coat and trousers with long-sleeved khaki shirt and tie. In the summer months (during Daylight Saving Time), the graduation uniform is the service C (short-sleeved khaki shirt and green trousers).

Can I visit my recruit?
The first time families are able to see their new Marines is on Family Day, the day before each graduation ceremony. The recruits are gathered at the All-Weather Training facility before being dismissed to spend the day with their families. The recruits have from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to show their families around the island before returning to their platoons to begin final preparations for graduation the following day. Families may not visit their recruits before Family Day.

Can recruits make phone calls, send email or use the Internet?
Recruits are required to make one phone call on the night they arrive on Parris Island to inform someone of their choice (typically a parent) they’ve made it to training safely. Other than that, recruits are not permitted to make phone calls, send email or texts or access the Internet, nor are they permitted to be in possession of cellphones or other electronic communication devices.  All correspondence between a recruit and family/friends is made via letters/postcards sent via U.S. Postal Service mail. In the event of an emergency or if a recruit will be held back in training for some reason, the recruit will be permitted to phone someone to inform them of the change in graduation date. After recruits have completed the Crucible and earned the title, the new Marines are only permitted to make personal phone calls or use the Internet during their on-base liberty on the Sunday and the Thursday immediately before graduation on Friday.

Can I check out a wheel chair during my visit to Parris Island?
Complementary wheelchairs can be checked out daily at the visitors’ center. Upon your arrival, speak to one of the Marines at the information desk for more information.

How do I register for events during graduation week?
To make reservations for limited-seating Marine Corps Community Services events, visit www.parrisisland.eventbrite.com. To make reservations for Steak Night at Traditions, call 843-228-1566.

If I am visiting Parris Island, can I bring firearms on base?
Visitors are not permitted to bring firearms on base, including off-duty civilian law enforcement personnel. For military members or other base personnel or residents, contact the Provost Marshal’s Office for more information on registering firearms and other regulations at 843-228-3444/2995.

Who can shop at the Parris Island commissary?
Anyone who holds a current military identification card may shop at the commissary such as active duty, reservists, dependents and retirees. Non-ID card holders may only come into the commissary if accompanied by a card holder, but not by themselves.

Who can shop at the Marine Corps Exchange on Parris Island?
Anyone can purchase souvenirs, such as T-shirts, hats, etc., and food or non-alcoholic beverages. Only active-duty, reservists, retirees and dependents with valid military-issued ID can purchase other items such as jewelry, electronics, shoes, purses, housewares, toys, uniforms, tobacco, alcohol, and firearms (with some restrictions.)

Restrictions:
Firearms – Active-duty service members may purchase firearms with ID card and official orders stationing them here. Dependents and retirees must have valid South Carolina driver’s license and military-issued ID card.

Alcohol – Must be 21 or older and have a current ID card.

Uniforms – Active duty and dependents may buy any uniform item. Retirees may buy any regular-priced uniform items, but not used uniform items such as utility blouses and trousers and boots.

Tobacco – Must be 18 or older


How do I send mail to my recruit while they are in training?
To send mail to a recruit currently training at Parris Island, simply address your letter using the templates below. Contact your recruit's recruiter if you do not know the platoon, company, or battalion information. Please remember not to mail your recruit any prohibited items while they are in training.

Recruit _____________
__ Co, 1st RTBN Platoon ____
Box 16145
Parris Island, SC, 29905-6145

Recruit ______________
__ Co, 2nd RTBN Platoon ____
Box 16245
Parris Island, SC, 29905-6245

Recruit _____________
__ Co, 3rd RTBN Platoon ____
Box 16345
Parris Island, SC, 29905-6345

Recruit _____________
__ Co, 4th RTBN Platoon ____
Box 16445
Parris Island, SC, 29905-6445

Recruit ____________
__ Co, Supt Bn Platoon ____
Box 15001
Parris Island, SC, 29905-5001


How do I get a copy of my yearbook-style platoon graduation books?
The yearbook-style platoon graduation books are only available for order/purchase before and around the graduation date. Copies are not overproduced for future availability, nor are extra copies archived. Those searching for old books are advised to search online auction or classified sales sites, or seek out reunion groups or other members of the unit for anyone who might have an extra copy.

How do I get a copy of my individual portrait photo from recruit training?
Photos of individual Marines in dress blues are archived for 4 years. Call the recruit photo office at 843-228-1555 for information on ordering reprints. Please have as much information as possible, including the Marine's full name, platoon, company, battalion and graduation date.

How much luggage will my new Marine be bringing home?

Marines are issued two sea bags, one garment bag and one small duffle bag for their uniforms and gear. A sea bag measures approximately 32 inches tall and 15 inches in diameter. The garment bag measures approximately 40 inches tall, 26 inches wide and 5 inches thick, but may be folded in half. Excess baggage fees will not be reimbursed to new Marines for their commercial travel from Parris Island to home. However, some airlines may waive baggage fees for Marines who show their military orders and ID at check-in. 

How do I get a copy of my platoon photo from recruit training?
Group photos of platoons are permanently archived, although some have been lost or destroyed over the years. Call the recruit photo office at 843-228-1555 for information on ordering reprints. Please have as much information as possible, including the platoon, company, battalion and graduation date.

How do I get a copy of personnel records, platoon rosters, training records, etc.?
Parris Island does not keep personnel records of former recruits, drill instructors or other military personnel stationed here in the past, nor do we keep track of their current whereabouts.  Those searching for former service members are advised to search the internet for sites and organizations (i.e. Marine Corps League, Drill Instructor Association, etc.) that may be of assistance. The Marine Corps Association also accepts free submissions for its "Reader Assistance" section of Leatherneck Magazine; visit http://www.mca-marines.org/leatherneck/submission-guidelines#Readers for details.

For procedures on requesting archived military personnel records, visit the National Archives website: http://archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/ (Please note: accessing these records are typically only granted to the owners of the records or their family members.)

How do I order videos of a recruit graduation?
Videos of recruit graduation ceremonies after Nov. 4, 1999, are available on DVD to purchase. For graduations from Nov. 15, 2013, or later, visit http://www.earningthetitle.com for ordering instructions and pricing. For graduations between Nov. 4, 1999, and Nov. 1, 2013, call 1-800-889-6734 for information. (Note: videos were produced by external commercial video production companies contracted with the U.S. Marine Corps.)

Are bricks from the old 3rd Recruit Training Battalion barracks, which is no longer in use and scheduled for demolition, available to the public?
No. The civilian company contracted by the government to demolish the barracks will retain ownership and all disposal rights for the bricks and other materials, which will ultimately be removed from Parris Island.  The government cannot sell or give away individual bricks, nor will it consider business or fundraising proposals involving the bricks. The barracks are currently off-limits and removal of any bricks is considered illegal theft. Demolition is scheduled to begin in early 2014.

Can I visit any of the chapels on Parris Island or reserve one for an event?
Visitors are welcome at any of the Parris Island chapels Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If any of the chapels are locked, can 843-228-3601/3533. The services provided at the Depot Chapel are for military personnel only, including those who live on base. The recruit services are strictly for recruits only. Any chapel on base can be reserved by active duty, reservist, active duty/reservist dependents and retirees Interested parties must call at least 30 days before scheduled event to rent. The chapels can be reserved for weddings, retirements, re-enlistments, etc.

What does it take to become a recruit at Parris Island?
The first step in every Marine's journey should be contacting a Marine Corps recruiter. Visit Marines.com to find a recruiter near you. Once you have spoken to a recruiter and made the decision to join, make sure you are physically ready for the rigors of recruit training.

Initial Strength Test
Soon after arriving on Parris Island, all recruits will take an initial strength test. Recruits who do not meet the minimum requirements will be placed in a special training program to strengthen their bodies for the difficult path ahead.

 

Male
Requirements 

Female
Requirements

 Pullups/
Flexed-arm Hang

 2

12 seconds 

 Crunches
(2 minutes)

 44

 44

 1.5-Mile Run

 13:30

 15:00


How do recruits make reservations for travel/transportation home after boot camp and to Camp Lejeune, N.C., after leave?
All recruits are required to book commercial travel (bus/plane) from their leave location to Camp Lejeune. The cost will eventually be reimbursed by the Marine Corps. Recruits have several opportunities to purchase plane/bus tickets to go home after graduation. The cost WILL NOT be reimbursed. Families may also drive them home or purchase them tickets. Families and recruits are advised to coordinate travel plans via letters, so duplicate tickets are not purchased. If families provide recruit with their travel itinerary in advance, SATO Travel will try to match up the recruits’ flight with his or her family. If that is not possible, they will find the closest matches they can. SATO Travel can be reached at 866-928-1420. The Greyhound representative on Parris Island can be reached at 843-524-3557. SATO Travel DOES NOT make reservations for families, only recruits. All Points Travel works with families of Marines and can be reached at 843-228-3557/1540.