PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. --
In a milestone emphasizing the Marine Corps’ successful standardization in recruit training, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island will deactivate its Fourth Recruit Training Battalion in a ceremony June 15, 2023, and realign personnel between the service’s two recruit training locations.
“This is a moment to celebrate the legacy of so many of our Marines who made the transformation through 4th Recruit Training Battalion,” said Gen. David H. Berger, the Commandant of the Marine Corps. “It’s also a moment to celebrate progress. I’m proud to see our male and female recruits benefit from having access to the quality of all our leaders—at Parris Island and San Diego—through an unchanging, tough, and realistic recruit training curriculum.”
Since 1949 and until recently, Parris Island served as the sole point of entry into the Marine Corps for all enlisted female Marines. Since that time, female Marines have trained under multiple guidons, with 4th Recruit Training Battalion transforming Marines since 1986. Male recruits began training within Fourth Battalion in 2020. Today, successful recruit training standardization makes an all-female training battalion unnecessary, as all recruits have been training in gender-integrated companies since 2022.
“On 1 November 1986, 4th Recruit Training Battalion was established as the Corps’ only unit through which women could earn the title of U. S. Marine,” said Brig. Gen. Walker M. Field, Commanding General of MCRD Parris island and the Eastern Recruiting Region. “Since then, those Marines have transformed thousands of young women, and since 2021 men, through rigorous basic training and our Corps’ cherished legacy, preparing them to win our nation’s battles. On 15 June 2023, we will bid farewell to 4th Battalion in a deactivation ceremony that concludes her glorious tenure, closing the final chapter of integrating recruit training. We are forever grateful to the Drill Instructors, staff, and legions of Marines who so proudly call 4th Battalion home.”
The personnel move to standardize the recruit training experience includes a portion of the personnel structure previously serving 4th Recruit Training Battalion moving from Parris Island to San Diego. This will create a more similar organization at both depots while MCRD San Diego increases their throughput of integrated training companies to match that of MCRD Parris Island. MCRD San Diego is scheduled to train approximately half of the female Marine population by fiscal year 2024.
“What matters most is making the very best Marines,” said Sgt. Maj. Troy E. Black, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps. “It won’t be long before there are female Drill Instructors who, as recruits, graduated alongside their male counterparts. They will train recruits and make Marines with that experience.”
The ceremony will be held at Parris Island this summer to formally deactivate the battalion, honor its legacy, and highlight the historic unit’s impact on the transformation of female Marines. More details on the event will follow in a later release.