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Parris Island to allow limited access to recruit graduations starting May 7

From staff reports

In yet another sign that things are slowly getting back to normal, Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island announced Monday, April 12 that the installation will begin allowing a limited number of people to morning colors and graduation beginning Wednesday, May 7.

According to a news release, the change is part of MCRD Parris Island’s gradual approach to reopen completely to visitors.”

“Shifts in policy will be conditions-based, not time-based,” according to the release.

MCRD Parris Island announced Thursday, March 12, 2020, on Facebook that it was canceling family day activities for the immediate future “out of an abundance of caution.”

In that Facebook announcement, MCRD Parris Island said, “We understand the significance of this event to Marines and their families, but we must remain cautious and focused on public safety.”

The number of people who will initially be allowed to witness graduations will be limited. According to the news release, the people with access will include “those who work or live aboard the depot, command-approved visitors, and two visitors per each graduating Marine. The two visitors will be chosen by the graduating Marine and notified by their Marine approximately two weeks prior to graduation.”

Of course, COVID-19 mitigation measures that remain in place on Parris Island and must be adhered to by any visitor include wearing a face mask, social distancing between family groups and adhering to occupancy limits at installations aboard the base.

Guests who don’t follow the rules may be asked to leave Parris Island. And any visitors who display COVID-19 symptoms or have had close-contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 are requested to remain at home. Visitors attend graduation at their own risk.

Approved visitors may arrive at the depot beginning at 5 a.m. on Friday and must use the random vehicle inspection gate. Signage will indicate the correct gate to use. Photo identification is required.

Graduations typically occur from 9-10 a.m. Newly graduated. Marines will have base liberty immediately after graduation until 4 p.m. Visitors are required to depart the depot no later than 5 p.m. Marines will continue to ship directly to The School of Infantry until otherwise stated.


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.

For more information: Contact the Communication Strategy and Operations Office at MCRDPIMedia@usmc.mil.

Above: Rain did not stop these people from watching a recruit graduation at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island prior to last year’s lockdown due to Covid-19 concerns. Officials at the depot have relaxed some of the restrictions allowing for some employees and family members to attend graduations beginning May 7. Photo by Bob Sofaly