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MCRD Parris Island

 

MCRD Parris Island

Eastern Recruiting Region

"We Make Marines"
Historical Photos
A drill instructor inspects a recruit's rifle in this early-1980's era photo.
New recruits exit a train at the station in Yemassee, S.C., in the 1950's. Depending on when they arrived, the recruits would either spend the night in a barracks in Yemassee or they would be processed and sent directly to Parris Island by way of bus or cattle car. The use of the Yemassee train station ended in June 1965.
A drill instructor shows recruits different training items in this circa 1956 photo on Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C. This gear was very similar to the kind they would use as Marines.
Alligator kept by World War II era Marines on Parris Island.
By the sixth or seventh training week recruits marched to their rifle range quarters where they lived for several weeks. On the range, recruits "snapped in," or dry-fired, until live ammunition was used. The object of the training was to qualify each man with the Model 1903 Springfield rifle as a marksman, sharpshooter or expert. The course included timed and untimed firing from the 200, 300 and 500 yard lines in the prone, sitting, standing and kneeling positions. A perfect score was 300 points. The expert medal could be won with 252 points, the sharpshooter with 237, and 201 points were required to become a marksman. Depending on his score, two, three or five extra dollars was added to one's monthly pay.
During World War I, recruits arrived at Yemassee and then took a train to Port Royal where they were conveyed to Parris Island by boat or barge to be quarantined. Cleanliness and personal hygiene were stressed. In 1918, the Marines were said to be not only the "first to fight," they were also the "first to clean." This photograph shows recruits marching from the Depot’s main dock past Buildings 17 (the Depot’s original Headquarters Building) and 18 (today the Lyceum).
After World War I, permanent personnel aboard Parris Island contributed to a fund to create a statue to honor all of Parris Island's Marines who died in the 1917-1918 World War. The honor of unveiling the statue was afforded to Mrs. Nellie Glen of Atlanta whose two sons were Parris Island recruits killed in action in France. During the base's pre-World War II expansion, the statue was moved from its original location in front of the Post Inn when Panama Street was extended west for construction of the Second Recruit Training Battalion. That required the statue to be relocated in 1940, to its present Boulevard de France site near Building #144.
During World War I, approximately 500 temporary barracks that could 10,000 recruits were constructed on what is today the North side of the parade deck in what was then known as the East and West Wings.
In the early 1970’s, women recruits were received, billeted and trained at the old Women Reserve Complex along Cuba Street from 1948 to 1975, when the current Women Marine Complex (4th Battalion) was opened.
In 1919 the Depot’s permanent personnel and recruits took the time to create what was then considered to be the world’s largest known human sculpture. The human Marine Corps emblem was formed on the parade ground by 9,100 Marines and recruits with BGen Pendleton (with cane) forming the bottom of the globe.
Parris Island's Centennial Celebration
On Nov. 1, 1915, Parris Island was designated as a Marine Corps recruit depot, and it has been the birthplace of new Marines ever since. Beginning in May, MCRD Parris Island will host events to celebrate and honor this momentous event with the culmination of the celebration occurring in mid-October.