United States Marine Corps Recruit Depots are set to begin allowing a limited number of visitors, in the first significant step toward a return to pre-COVID normalcy.
MCRD Parris Island and MCRD San Diego both released guidance on allowing visitors to attend recruit graduations, though there are some subtle differences between the two depots. Below you’ll find updated information on the reopening of Marine Recruit Graduations issued by each respective command.
Reopening Marine Corps Recruit Graduations aboard MCRD Parris Island
Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island released guidance on Tuesday for a limited reopening of Recruit Graduations set to begin on May 7.
Careful planning and mitigation efforts to prevent exposure to COVID-19 allowed MCRD Parris Island to succeed in our…
MCRD Parris Island, one of two installations tasked with training all incoming recruits for service in the United States Marine Corps, is set to begin allowing a limited number of visitors for upcoming graduation ceremonies. Guests will be limited to those who already live or work aboard MCRD Parris Island, command approved visitors, and two guests for each graduating recruit.
According to an official statement released on Tuesday, the two guests permitted to attend will be chosen by the graduating recruit, and they will receive notification approximately two weeks before graduation will take place.
The first graduation to allow these visitors will take place on May 7, with confirmed visitors authorized to begin arriving on base beginning at 5 a.m. on that day. Visitors will need to utilize the random vehicle inspection gate when arriving at the installation and will be required to provide photo identification before entry. MCRD Parris Island has indicated that there will be prominent signs directing visitors on which gate to use and where to go once they’ve been cleared for entry.
Guests will also have to abide by COVID-19 mitigation measures that are already in place aboard MCRD Parris Island, which include:
- Wearing a face covering
- Social distancing between family groups
- Adhering to occupancy limits at building and facilities within the installation
Visitors who do not adhere to the Depot’s COVID mitigation measures will be asked to leave without attending the graduation.
Graduation ceremonies typically occur between 9 and 10 a.m., and immediately following graduation, new Marines will be authorized liberty aboard the depot that will continue until 1600. All visitors attending graduation will be required to depart by 1700, or 5:00 p.m. local time.
Marines will not be authorized leave following graduation, and will be required to travel directly to their follow-on appointed place of duty at the School of Infantry for training.
MCRD Parris Island has released the following as a tentative schedule for graduation ceremonies until further notice:
MCRD Parris Island Graduation schedule beginning May 7:
5 a.m. MCRD Parris Island opens for approved visitors
6 a.m. Douglas Visitor Center, Marine Corps Exchange and Java Cafe open
6:30 a.m. Trams begin operations
7:45 a.m. Morning Colors Ceremony
8 a.m. Depot Museum Opens
9 a.m. – 10 a.m. Graduation Ceremony
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. New Marine liberty
5 p.m. Visitors required to depart depot
Reopening Marine Corps Recruit Graduations aboard MCRD San Diego
Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) San Diego recently released guidance outlining their efforts to reopen recruit training graduations for a limited number of guests. The first graduation to allow guests to attend will be for Charlie Company and will take place on April 22, 2021.
As people all around the country receive COVID vaccinations, the commands responsible for training the recruits and trainees of America’s Armed Forces are likewise looking ahead toward a return to some semblance of pre-pandemic normalcy. For the families and friends of these recruits and trainees, that means once again having the opportunity to attend their boot camp graduations. MCRD San Diego is among the first, opening their graduation ceremonies up for two guests of each graduating recruit.
In order to attend graduation, you must receive your entry tickets in the mail and you’ll be given the opportunity to confirm your intent to attend graduation via a telephone call on Training Day 54 of the recruit’s training cycle. From there, each guest must register on the Eventbrite website listed on their ticket. Guests will also need to present that ticket at the gate of MCRD San Diego on graduation today in order to come aboard the installation.
“Each guest will arrive at Gate 5 of MCRD San Diego (W Washington St & Pacific Hwy, San Diego, CA 92110, Pacific Hwy, San Diego, CA 92110), and present their original entry ticket during a vehicle search,” An MCRD San Diego press release reads.
“Guests may begin arriving at 6:30 a.m., and will enter search lanes that correspond with the LAST NAME of their graduating Marine. Guests must have a temperature below 100 degrees F to enter the installation. Facial coverings will be mandatory while on the installation, and strict social distancing will be expected.”
After the ceremony, recruits will be allowed to spend time with their families on base until 1700 local time. Graduating recruits will be able to take their families to the command Museum, food sales, and retail sales establishments on base, provided they are not at maximum capacity under ongoing COVID restrictions.
All guests will be expected to depart the installation by 17:30 (or 5:30 p.m.).
Despite the limited reopening of graduation, new Marines who graduate from recruit training will still be required to travel directly to their next appointed place of duty without any leave.
Importantly, the command element of MCRD San Diego requests that anyone who feels ill, believes they might be sick, or who has recently been exposed to others infected with COVID-19 not attend these ceremonies.