MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. --
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus visited Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina March 3, 2016, in order to see firsthand how young men and women from across the country are transformed into United States Marines.
Parris Island is the only place in the Marine Corps where enlisted females undergo 70 training days to earn the title United States Marine alongside males.
Mabus visited Parris Island in November 2013 as the parade reviewing official for graduation, but this is his first time seeing the training up close since being appointed.
“We are the greatest fighting force the world has ever known,” said Mabus, “and it's part of all of our jobs to keep it that way.”
In addition to seeing 3rd and 4th Recruit Training Battalions doing martial arts training at Leatherneck Square, Mabus went to Page Field where Delta Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion and Oscar Company, 4th Recruit Training Battalion, were on the first day of recruit training’s culminating event, the Crucible.
"We're really proud of what we do here," said Capt. Taylor Bates, commander of Oscar Company, 4th Recruit Training Battalion, "so this was a wonderful opportunity to show the secretary all the hard work the drill instructors put into making Marines."
Mabus also had lunch with Parris Island Marines where he fielded questions and received feedback about recruit training from Marines who play important roles in the transformation process.
“Thanks for what you all do every day,” Mabus told commanders and depot staff. “People don't tell you that enough.”
Following his visit to Parris Island, Mabus spoke to the Marines of Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina.
Recruit training was consolidated under Recruit Training Regiment in 1986, and since then, all those desiring to complete recruit training must follow the same training program of instruction, and must complete the same graduation requirements.
Follow-on entry level training has been a direct representation of the Marine Corps since 1997. An important distinction from the other services is that this training occurs after recruit training has instilled a strong, clear understanding of our core values of honor, courage and commitment.
Parris Island has been the site of Marine Corps recruit training since Nov. 1, 1915. Today, approximately 19,000 recruits come to Parris Island annually for the chance to become United States Marines by enduring 12 weeks of rigorous, transformative training. Parris Island is home to entry-level enlisted training for approximately 49 percent of male recruits and 100 percent of female recruits in the Marine Corps.