Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina

MCRD Parris Island, South Carolina, began enlisted male training in November 1915. Enlisted female training began here in February 1949. Marines have trained on the Depot during each major conflict of the 20th and 21st century.

During 1715, an Englishman named Colonel Alexander Parris purchased the large island and eight small surrounding islands. Until the Civil War, plantation life flourished here. Marines were first stationed on Parris Island in 1891, in the form of a small security detachment headed by First Sergeant Richard Donovan. Donovan's unit was highly commended for preserving life and property during hurricanes and tidal waves that swept over the island in 1891 and 1893. Military buildings and homes that were constructed between 1891 and World War I form the nucleus of the Parris Island Historic District.

From 1941 through 1945, 204,509 recruits were trained here. At the time of the Japanese surrender, more than 20,000 recruits were aboard the Depot. On February 15, 1949, a separate "command" was activated for the sole purpose of training female recruits. This command has since been designated the 4th Recruit Training Battalion and is the only battalion in the Corps to train female recruits. Today, about 19,000 recruits are trained at Parris Island each year.

Parris Island serves as one of the Marine Corps' preeminent training facilities in the easternmost of two Stateside installations, which transform civilians into "the few and the proud” and the only depot that trains female recruits.

Here is the official website of MCRD Parris Island.

Location/Driving Directions

The USMC Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) is located on Parris Island and several smaller islands approximately 4 miles south of the City of Beaufort, South Carolina. Beaufort is a high cost military town, which is home to three different military installations.

There are no shuttles or public transportation from Charleston International Airport or Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport to MCRD Parris Island. If you need transportation from either airport upon arrival, please contact, The Depot Officer of the Day at 843-228-3712.

From Charleston International Airport To MCRD Parris Island upon leaving the airport get on I-526 (Mark Clark Expressway) heading South. When I-526 ends take a right at the stop light. This will put you on US17 South. When you come to Jacksonboro you will veer to the left (still on US17 South) following signs to Beaufort. You will stay on US17 for approximately 50 miles altogether. At Garden's Corner, you will take a left on Hwy 21 South towards Beaufort. Take a right on Parris Island Gateway (Hwy 802). Follow Hwy 802 until exit for MCRD Parris Island.

To Beaufort from Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport or from I-95 Northbound to MCAS get on I-95 North. Take Exit 8, Beaufort/Hilton Head to the right. Take left toward Beaufort on Hwy 170. After crossing Board River Bridge, merge to the right on Savannah Hwy. Then merge right onto Hwy 802, Parris Island Gateway. Take exit to MCRD Parris Island.

If driving from I-95 Southbound to MCRD Parris Island take Exit 33. Hwy 21 combines with US 17 North. Follow signs towards Beaufort. At Garden's Corner merge right onto Hwy 21. Take a right on Parris Island Gateway (Hwy 802) at first light after MCAS Beaufort. Follow Hwy 802 until exit for MCRD Parris Island.

Main Phone Numbers

Photo courtesy U.S. Marine Corps; photo by Lance Cpl. Sarah A. Fiocco

Base Operator DSN: 335-1110 (843) 228-2111

Child Development Center 843-228-3514/843-228-3685 Fax: 843-228-3618 DSN: 335-3514 DSN Fax: 335-3618

Child Development Program 843-228-2215 Fax: 843-228-3618 DSN: 335-2215 DSN Fax: 335-3618

Depot Education Center 843-228-2152 Fax: 843-228-2161 DSN: 335-2152 DSN Fax: 335-2161

Exceptional Family Member Program 843-228-3188 Fax: 843-228-3995 DSN: 335-3188 DSN Fax: 335-3995

Temporary Lodging Facility 843-228-2976 Fax: 843-228-2872 DSN: 335-2976 DSN Fax: 335-2872

Population/Major Units Assigned

Photo courtesy U.S. Marine Corps

Major Units at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris include the Recruit Training Regiment, First Recruit Training Battalion, Second Recruit Training Battalion, Third Recruit Training Battalion, Fourth Recruit Training Battalion and the Support Battalion.

Personnel assigned to MCRD Parris Island include about 2,200 marines and sailors and 360 civilians.

Temporary Lodging

The Osprey Inn. Photo courtesy U.S. Marine Corps

The Depot currently does not have a Temporary Lodging Facility. However, the Osprey Inn is available on a Space Available basis. The Osprey Inn can be reached at 843-228-2744. Rooms are limited, so make your reservations early.

The Osprey Inn is not a hotel, but a transient barracks. As such its primary purpose is to serve personnel traveling on official government duty. They do, however, have rooms available to recruit families on a Space Available basis. Some weeks they may have as many as 70 rooms available, some weeks fewer than a dozen. Space Available reservations for Recruit Graduations are taken within 15 days prior to the recruit's scheduled graduation date. Such reservations may be canceled by the Inn on short notice (72 hours before) if last minute requirements arise to house official government travelers.


Housing Office. Photo courtesy U.S. Marine Corps

Service members can apply for housing prior to arrival by mailing or faxing a DD 1746 (Housing Application) along with detachment or web orders. The DD 1746 can be obtained from any housing office. The service member with detachment orders can check in with the Officer In Charge, Installation Personnel Administration Center (IPAC) located at Bldg. 807. The service member can then provide endorsement and orders to the housing office in order to place their name on the waiting list or to accept available housing. The detachment date from your last permanent duty station is what becomes the control date on the wait list.

Housing has been Privatized with Tri-Command Communities in charge. Call 843-846-5300 or 866-803-1487 for more information or a tour of homes. Once you have seen all that Tri-Command Communities has to offer, you can schedule an appointment at our housing offices located on Parris Island and Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort. At the Military Housing office, you will fill out a Housing Application. Tri-Command Communities will receive your referral from the Military Housing Office. At that time, we will assign a home to you based on availability, rank in the service and the number of persons occupying the home. A new Tri-Command Communities address will be given to you one week prior to a scheduled move-in date.Visit the MCAS Beaufort website to find all of the forms needed to apply for housing. For questions regarding your housing application status, please contact the MCAS Military Housing Office at 843-228-6000 or the Parris Island Housing Office at 843-228-2583 or 843-228-2853.

Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) Manager, in close coordination with Family Housing and TCMH, work closely together to meet the needs for specifically Cat 4 families and other families assigned to the program. A family, Cat 4 priority, inbound should have their EFMP coordinator contact the EFMP Office at 843-228-6903 at MCAS Beaufort or 843-228-3188 at Parris Island as soon as possible. Our goal is to have a home available upon your arrival. Families, Cat 4 status, are given priority to housing. Homes on base have air conditioning and were constructed to accommodate special needs for all ranks.

For our single service members MCAS Beaufort has two man rooms with a small refrigerator, microwave, wall locker, bed with drawers, free cable, outside grills, picnic tables, heat and air conditioning. GEO Bachelor housing is available for a monthly fee.


The Laurel Bay Schools are part of the larger consolidated school district known as the South Carolina/Ft. Stewart Department of Defense Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools (SC/Ft. Stewart DoD DDESS). The Fort Jackson Schools in Columbia, SC and the Ft. Stewart Schools in Hinesville, GA are also part of our consolidated district. The schools are attended by dependent children in grades PK-6 who reside on federal property in the vicinities of Beaufort, Columbia, and Hinesville. Our students represent three branches of the Armed Forces: Army, Marine Corps and Navy.

Galer Elementary School accommodates children in grades PK-3, Elliott Elementary serves children in grades 1-3, and Bolden Elementary School houses children in grades 4-6.

Technology is integrated unto all areas of the curriculum through the use of a wide variety of software and hardware components. Students receive instruction leading to mastery of the DoDEA Technology Standards. All classrooms have computers for student use, and all schools have a computer lab. Every student has access to the Internet and electronic mail systems.

The alternative school in Beaufort County is called Right Choices and is located at 2900 Mink Point Blvd, Beaufort, SC 29902. You may contact them at 843-322-0744.

In South Carolina, parents/guardians may home school their children in one of three ways:

1. Through the local district
2. Through the South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools
3. Through a private home school association

The parent must hold at least a high school diploma or its equivalent. The home schooling program must meet certain specified requirements for curriculum, scheduling, lesson planning and record keeping. Parents must ensure that the child has access to library facilities.

Beaufort County School District serves South Carolina's most rapidly growing county, with a student population of over 19,000 students attend 28 schools across the county.

Child Care

Child Development Program (CDP). Photo courtesy U.S. Marine Corps

The Parris Island Child Development Center (CDC) programs include: hourly care for 6 weeks of age to five years (up to 25 hours per week), part-day preschool for three & four year olds, full day care for thirteen months to five years old. Parris Island Youth Center (YC) provides before and after care for five years (kindergarten) through twelve years of age and full day camp for this age group in the summer. Family Child Care Program (FCC) provides home-based care for children ages six weeks to twelve years of age. All of Parris Island's programs for Children, Youth, & Teens (CYT) are inclusive; children with special needs are welcome.

The dependents of: active duty military, active duty reservists, retired military, DOD civilians & DOD contractors are eligible to attend CYT programs. The fees are based upon total family income (TFI). Priority care is given to single/dual active duty military that are stationed at Parris Island. There is an excess demand list, projected wait list and preference for care wait list.

Parris Island has one Child Development Center, and one Youth Center. However, dependents can use any CYT programs at Laurel Bay and MCAS Beaufort. The Parris Island Child Development Center offers a variety of child care programs. Following is a description of each: Full day developmental programs for pre-toddlers, toddlers and preschool children ages 11 months to 5 years of age. The full day program hours are 6:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Drop-In Child CareNow open Bldg 115 (Old DI School) between the hours of 7:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.. Reservations may be made up to 2 weeks in advance.

Please call 843-228-3514 to reserve space. Maximum usage 20 hours/week. $7 registration fee & $2.50/hour. SC Certificate of Immunization required for all children.

The SAC program is offered for children 5 to 12 years of age, or Kindergarten - 6th grade at the Parris Island and Laurel Bay Youth Centers. Rates are base upon Total Family Income.MCRD Parris Island, 843-228-3302 Ext. 7344; Laurel Bay, 843-228-7640, Monday - Friday 6:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Medical Care

The Naval Hospital is located on Ribaut Road on the Beaufort River and approximately halfway between Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort and Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island. The small-to-medium sized hospital provides care for all active duty and retired members located in southeastern South Carolina and northeastern Georgia.

All eligible patients with medical problems not covered by the specialties within the hospital are either referred to an appropriate military hospital or receive treatment elsewhere which is covered by the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS).

When referral for civilian care is initiated, service members will be specifically advised concerning the health benefits available and expected costs by the Managed Care Department located on the first floor of the hospital in Room 109. They can be reached at 843-228-5506.

All family members are required to enroll in the TRICARE system through the CHAMPUS office at the Beaufort Naval Hospital.

The Naval Hospital has one physician on duty to treat emergency cases. The Emergency Department personnel use a "triage" system to identify those individuals with serious life-threatening illness/injury requiring immediate attention and those individuals whose condition is not serious and could await physician evaluation.

Parris Island Branch Dental Clinic is located at Bldg. 674 and is for active duty personnel. You may contacted the Dental Clinic at 843-228-3500.