Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island

Easter Recruiting Region
6th Marine Corps District (6MCD), Headquarters & Service Battalion (H&SBN), Recruit Training Regiment (RTR), Weapons & Field Training Battalion (WFTBN)
923 Chosin Reservoir Road, Parris Island, SC 29905
Marine Corps logo


MCRD Parris Island is located within Port Royal, South Carolina just 5 miles south of the city of Beaufort, the community that is typically associated with the installation. Nearby MCAS Beaufort, located at Merritt Field, is about 12 miles north of the Depot. The motto of MCRD Parris Island is: “We Make Marines”.

The primary activity at MCRD is the training of Marine Corps recruits. Male recruits living east of the Mississippi River and female recruits from all over the United States report here to receive their initial training. Male recruits living west of the Mississippi River receive their training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, California, but may train at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island by special request.The facility covers more than 8,000 acres, including more than 4,000 acres of salt marsh and tidal streams.

Parris Island has a long history of colonization. Many attempts were made at permanent settlement between 1526 and 1722. The first successful attempt was made by the French in 1562, followed by the Spanish and finally the British. After the Revolutionary War, Parris Island plantations began to grow cotton instead of indigo. During the Civil War, the island became a coaling station for the Union Navy.

On Nov. 1, 1915, Parris Island was officially designated a Marine Corps Recruit Depot. Since 1915, Parris Island’s primary mission is to train new Marines. Over a million men and women have trained at the Depot, and have served the United States all over the globe.
MCRD Parris Island’s mission:

“We make Marines by recruiting quality young men and women and transforming them through the foundations of rigorous basic training, our shared legacy, and a commitment to our core values, preparing them to win our nation’s battles in service to the country.”

The Marines train about 17,000 recruits at Parris Island each year. Recruit training for those enlisted in the United States Marine Corps includes a thirteen-week process during which the recruit becomes cut off from the civilian world and must adapt to a Marine Corps lifestyle. 

During training, the drill instructors train recruits in a wide variety of subjects including weapons training, Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, personal hygiene and cleanliness, close order drill, and Marine Corps history. The training emphasizes physical fitness and combat effectiveness. Recruits must attain a minimum standard of fitness to graduate. This standard includes a Physical Fitness Test and a Combat Fitness Test. Recruits must also meet minimum combat-oriented swimming qualifications, qualify in rifle marksmanship with the M16A4 service rifle, pass minimum curriculum standards and complete a 54-hour simulated combat exercise known as “The Crucible”.

There are over 2,560 active duty, military families, DoD personnel, civilians, and retirees assigned to MCRD Parris Island.



Both the Charleston International Airport and the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport are options for arriving close to base.

From the Charleston International Airport To MCRD Parris Island: 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. Stay on US17 for approximately 50 miles altogether. At Garden’s Corner, take a left onto Hwy 21 South toward Beaufort. Take a right on Parris Island Gateway (Hwy 802). Follow Hwy 802 until the exit for MCRD Parris Island.

From Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport or from I-95 Northbound – leaving the airport, get on I-95 North. Take Exit 8, Beaufort/Hilton Head to the right. Take a 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 the exit to MCRD Parris Island.

Access to the Depot is structured on Thursdays and Fridays of graduation weeks in order to accommodate the large number of visitors. Please follow the directions of the PMO Marines at the entrance gate in order to assure the most expeditious access to the base. Also, be advised that the Provost Marshal’s Office enforces traffic regulations aboard the Depot, please adhere to speed limits and make complete stops at marked intersections.

All personnel reporting to Parris Island for duty during normal working hours, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., will report to the Installation Personnel Administration Administration Center (IPAC), Building 923.

If you will be arriving after working hours, on weekends and holidays, please report to the Headquarters and Service Battalion Officer of the Day in Building 144.

To assist in navigating Parris Island, a FREE tram service is offered to and from major locations on base during our peak hours only on graduation weeks. Please look for the tram stop identification signs and wait there for pick-up and drop-off. 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.


TRICARE Information and News


For a full list of community health centers, visit the Health Center Program at


Check the US News Health directory online at to find the best doctor for your family.


The American Dental Association provides a list of dentists near you on their website


To be enrolled in a South Carolina school, a child must be at least 5 years old by September 1st of the school year. For more details, you should contact the local school district. 

In 2010, the majority of states, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Education Activity adopted Common Core State Standards that provide a consistent set of educational expectations for students, regardless of ZIP code. When a family moves, a student’s education is often disrupted because the student may be forced to repeat material or learn at a different level at the new school. With common standards across states, this disruption will be reduced — of particular interest to military families. For more information, visit


Beaufort County School District (K-12)
Laurel Bay Community Schools (DoD Schools – Pre-K to 8th Grade)

You can learn more about Bolden Elementary & Middle School by contacting their office at (843) 846-6112. Additionally, you may contact the Laurel Bay Schools Administration Building at (843) 228-6128.

For an outline of the school standards in South Carolina, visit the South Carolina Department of Education website.

If your child is preparing to attend college, this information on scholarships may be helpful.


Current service members can attend college in their off-duty time and have their military branch pay the tuition. Learn about the Military Tuition Assistance Program. Use the Tuition Assistance (TA) DECIDE tool to help you make the best use of your tuition assistance dollars. 

If you were or are in the military, you may be eligible for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) education benefits. If you are a spouse or dependent, you may be eligible too. 

Online course options: edX – Founded by Harvard University and MIT, offers high-quality courses from the world’s best universities and institutions to learners everywhere. Whether you are interested in computer science, languages, engineering, psychology, writing, electronics, biology, or marketing. Enroll today!

When moving to a new location, it is important to know who to call when you have an emergency or you need help. Below are some organizations you will find useful.


Child Care Aware:

Under the site’s “Child Care 101” tab you’ll find information related to locating quality child care, the types of child care available to you and how to evaluate the child care providers you visit. There’s also a special section for the military child on the website covering topics such as military fee assistance, payments and provider services.


Military Children and Teens Resource Guide


The City of Beaufort

Beaufort County, South Carolina

Beaufort Human Resources (843) 525-6016
Helps families live safe, healthy and successful lives. It fulfills this mission by providing children, youth, families and adults care, services and treatment to thrive in their homes and communities.

Beaufort County Social Services (843) 255-6080
Strives to create communities where children grow up safe from abuse, neglect and dependency, where adults are protected from domestic violence and where parents can be strengthened in their capacity to keep their family safe.

Humane Association of the Lowcountry (843) 255-5010
Handles pet adoptions, pet licensing, lost and found animals, and more.

Beaufort County Health Office (843) 525-7615

Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office (843) 255-3200

Beaufort County Library – Beaufort Branch (843) 255-6456
Water and sewer services are provided by the Beaufort-Jasper Water and Sewer Authority (BJWSA). City trash and recycling pickup are coordinated by Waste Pro and are billed through BJWSA. South Carolina Electric & Gas Company (SCE&G) provides electricity and power services to the city. Charter, Hargrayand CenturyLink provide telephone, digital, and cable television services to the city.

Local Internet Providers in Beaufort County:
Comcast Xfinity

Local Cable TV Providers in Beaufort County:

Marine Corps Recruit Depot (843) 228-3712  

Chaplain (843) 228-3533  

Dental Clinic (843) 228-3500/2159  

Exchange (843) 228-1538  

Finance Office (843) 228-2447  

Housing Office (843) 228-2244/2853  

Housing Office (Laurel Bay) (843) 228-5300  

ID/CAC Card Processing (843) 228-3396/4006  

Legal Office (843) 228-2925  

Lodging Facility (Osprey Inn) (843) 228-2744  

Medical Clinic (843) 228-4237  

Relocation Assistance (843) 228-2371  

School Liaison Office (843) 228-6128  

Veterinary Services (843) 228-3317 

Visitors’ Center (843) 228-3650  


On-base housing at MCRD Parris Island is privatized through Atlantic Marine Corps Communities at Tri-Command.

For off-base housing, there are many communities with single-family housing, duplexes, and apartments for rent. Visit Beaufort Online for more information about housing and things to do in the area.

Cottage Farm
7.9 miles from MCRD Parris Island

Cottage Farm is a safe, quiet neighborhood near the Spanish Moss Trail that is close to schools and shopping with a great view of the river.

Royal Pines
13.3 miles from MCRD Parris Island

Located on Lady’s Island, this safe and family-friendly community offers large lots near the country club with great schools nearby.

Submit information about your neighborhood

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Report to Base is the #1 site for vetted, trustworthy realtors, mortgage brokers and home inspectors. Report To Base does all the hard work for you. All you have to do is click and call.

Be sure to let our partners know you found them at Report to Base!


Parris Island experiences warm, humid summers and short, windy and mild winters. The summer temperatures range from the low 90s to low 70s.The hot season lasts from May 25 to September 16, with an average daily high temperature above 84°F while the cool season is from December 1 to February 28, with an average daily high temperature below 66°F. The temperatures during the winter typically range from the low 60s to high 30s.

The area is generally humid, especially in summer, but this is moderated to an extent by being on the sea coast. Ocean storms do come ashore from time to time, including major Atlantic tropical depressions and, occasionally, hurricanes. Parris Island is susceptible to high tides, flooding, and hurricanes, though they rarely do extensive damage.

Over the course of the year, the temperature usually varies from 42°F to 90°F and is rarely below 29°F or above 96°F. Typically, the area is wet and partly cloudy year round. On average, Parris Island gets 48 inches of rain per year; it does not snow in this area. The most pleasant months in Parris Island are October, April, and May. In addition, there are 216 sunny days per year, with the U.S. average being 205 sunny days.

The overall cost of living index in Parris Island, Port Royal, SC is 108, which is 12% higher than the South Carolina average and 8% higher than the national average. The cost of living index is created from the following categories: goods/services (33%), groceries (13%), health care (5%), housing (30%), transportation (9%) and utilities (10%). As you can see, goods/services and housing make up the majority of the overall cost of living index. Everyday goods and services can be a good indicator of the general cost of goods in a given city. In this case, the goods and services in Parris Island, Port Royal, SC are 5% higher than the South Carolina average and 12% higher than the national average.

MCRD Parris Island is located 5 miles north of Beaufort, in Beaufort County, which has a population of over 160,000 people. Beaufort is located on Port Royal Island, in the heart of the Sea Islands and South Carolina Lowcountry. The city is also known for its military establishments, being located in close proximity to MCAS Beaufort and the U.S. Naval Hospital Beaufort.

Renowned for its scenic location and for maintaining a historic character by preservation of its antebellum architecture, Beaufort was named the “Best Small Southern Town” by Southern Living Magazine. Remnants of the original English colonial settlement of Beaufort can be found in the downtown or historic district area. In fact, 304 acres of the town have been designated as a National Historic Landmark. In addition, Beaufort has been named by some sources as one of “America’s Best Art Towns” and The University of South Carolina Beaufort has a performing arts center which attracts regional and national acts to the community.
Beaufort is also a tourist destination known for its history, architecture, and events. Major festivals and arts events include the Home Water Festival, a two-week festival in the middle of July; and the Shrimp Festival, celebrating the local and traditional industry, in the first weekend in October. Also, the Beaufort International Film Festival is a popular event held in mid-February each year that screens independent films.

Take a historical horse drawn carriage ride downtown and learn more about the history of this charming and historic part of South Carolina. Visit “The Anchorage”, which is also known as the William Elliott House. This historic home in the Beaufort Historic District, was built in 1776 and has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In fact, the Beaufort area has close to 70 sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places, in addition to the downtown area being listed as a historic district.

Enjoy the lowcountry cuisine, the many unique lighthouses, and the scenic coastal views Beaufort has to offer. Other local outdoor activities include fishing, boating, kayaking, and biking.

Some other notable attractions and local sites include Hunting Island State Park, the Beaufort History Museum, the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park, and the Hunting Island Lighthouse.

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